What are the essential apps for digital nomads?

There is a constant flood of new apps for perpetual travellers and digital nomads. However over the years, only a handful have become apps that I habitually use and actually benefit my lifestyle.

Which apps are most essential to your daily lifestyle as a digital nomad?

Toshl - Personal Finance App for iOS and Android

“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. My spending easily gets out of hand. Being able to track and monitor everything I spend helps me realise when I need to reel it in. Living / travelling in a foreign country where we’re alien to the local currency makes it easy to treat cash like Monopoly money.

Over two years I have become seriously anal about using Toshl. I log every single 1baht expenditure.

With Toshl, you input each expenditure (in local currency) and the app will show your total spend each day in a home/familiar currency. I display my expenditure in USD because I earn in dollars.

I would recommend Toshl to every traveller as it enables uniform logging of your expenses and helps easily monitor a budget when you’re spending in multiple foreign currencies. It does take a good month of daily use to develop the habit of using Toshl, but do try!

Beanhunter - Locate the best nearby coffee shops

Hello my name is Adam and I’m a shameless caffeine addict.

When you rock up in a new city, you need somewhere to work from that serves good java. Beanhunter users rate and review local coffee shops. When you open the app in a new city, it’ll geolocate you and provide a list of local rated cafés. This app has served me well on all my trips, but it isn’t very popular outside of big SEA cities yet - it’s mainly an Ozzy / American thing.

It’s worth downloading even if you’re not a raging coffee fiend. Beanhunter is free to use. If you only use it once every blue moon, finding a highly rated local cafe hidden in a back alley is 100x better than sitting in yet another Starbucks.

Slack - Team communication, chat

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Slack. if you’re not it’s the same platform that NomadChat runs on.

Slack is a relatively new addition to my iDevices. I originally had Skype, which I quickly uninstalled as it was buggy, slow and delayed message sending and receiving.

Slack on the other hand goes balls deep at providing a rock solid chat platform. It works seamlessly across all devices.

We also use Zapier to integrate Basecamp and Helpscout into Slack. Even when staff aren’t chatting we can see one another’s key tasks being completed.

Slack can be used 100% free, too. If you’re still using Skype, stop. Seriously.

Converter+ - Quickly convert metrics, particularly currency

Converter+ has been in my pocket since I left home. The app quickly and easily allows you to convert length, weight, volume, currency and more.

I use it primarily for currency. The currency rates update each time you open the app (internet required) and you can select your favourite currencies to be displayed each time. If I enter something in baht, it’ll show me the conversion in GBP, USD, PHP, and a bunch of others.

Here’s a quick screenshot.

Other worthy mentions:

  • Basecamp - not the easiest to use on iPhone, but when you simply need to jot down a to-do on an open project it’s ok
  • AirAsia App - At least in and around Thailand AirAsia have a big presence. I’ve never booked a ticket via the app but I do quickly search for flights.
  • Paypal - Occasionally the need to see recent sales pops up (often CS related). Other than the occasional convenience I’ve no need for the app personally.
  • Vivino - Unrelated to travel but… Vivino is a wine community app (similar to Beanhunter). Wine in SEA, particularly Thailand, is overpriced and often not very good. When you’re out with friends or on a date, snap a picture of the wine list with the Vivino app and Vivino will point out which wines are best. You look like a boss ordering a great bottle at a good price.
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I’ll just add Skype & Trello & Evernote, for the obvious reasons of course.

This is a newer app but I already love it: Battery doctor - Kills apps and thus saves your battery.

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I like

FlightTrack 5 >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/flighttrack-5/id716913565?mt=8
Celsius >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/flighttrack-5/id716913565?mt=8
dict.cc >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/dict.cc-worterbuch/id327732352?mt=8
1Password >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/1password/id568903335?mt=8
OutBank DE >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/outbank-de/id775678532?mt=8

and :wink:
7 Minuten Training >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/7-minuten-training-seven-mit/id650276551?mt=8
PushUps PRO >> https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/runtastic-push-ups-pro/id570180361?mt=8

@marinajaneiko is actually making a Product Hunt collection for this http://www.producthunt.com/simpleasthat_/collections/nomads-favorite

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Thanks for the tools collection, love how you describe the need for them! I’ll be reviewing them to add to Product Hunt soon :wink: Thanks @levelsio

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@robert thanks for the tip on Battery Doctor! I could do with something to help me out. My iPhone 5 is draining way too quick -_-

Also have a look at http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-productivity-tools-for-entrepreneurs

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Anybody using a VPN to access the internet at places where you do not control the connection?

CloackVPN is pretty good ~ https://www.getcloak.com/

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It also looks great. A lot of VPN solutions look like they are designed in the 90’s.

I see there is a better topic for that info: How do you stay safe on public WiFi?

Here’s a few more I highly recommend:
Hotspot Shield VPN
1Password
Evernote
Backblaze

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For traveling Americans or the rest of the world going to the US - there is a very fast, visual and gestures based C and F converter available - check out Dgrees. I’m biased though, I made it :slight_smile:

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The app Maps With Me. If you have a GPS on your phone, this app is a must have. You can download country maps so it works offline, no need to use Google Map and save maps, etc. The pro version allows you to put pins on the map too. The places (restaurants, etc.) are not really up to date but just to know where you are and where you’re going, that’s a really nice tool.

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I can also suggest Line2

It’s a phone in the cloud (for US/CA numbers). line2.com

Can anyone suggest a solid project management (cloud based) program/app?

i would say Basecamp.

Though I know Trello is popular amongst devs.

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Thanks! What about something for when outsourcing to programmers? Like a task/error system - have you heard of anything like Jira?

Maybe http://bugherd.com ?

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I’m surprised no one mentioned Google Translate. I used it extensively in Japan and Indonesia. It’s pretty much indistinguishable from magic.

I use ProXPN for VPN service. http://proxpn.com/twit/ will get you 50% off for the year, and it works on mobile and desktop. I chose it because many of the other ones I looked at didn’t have Asian servers and I didn’t want the extra latency on top of a slow wifi of going back to Europe or N. America.

It’s very nerdy, but I like “Ping Tools” available on Android. It has a ping feature which does just that. It’s the fastest way I have to tell whether I have an internet connection as it’s only sending about 50 bytes to test for connectivity.

I also use JuiceSSH on Android. In a pinch I can ssh into my AWS servers and run a script or get some status if I’m on the run without my laptop.

My last pick is Instapaper. It downloads your saved articles so when you don’t have a connection, you still have something to read.

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We use a bunch of tools. When I was in China, the most important tool was a VPN software that can help me access Twitter/fb hahaha.

Here’s a post on 5 tools that remote teams/nomad must use! - http://blog.dailypulse.io/5-tools-that-all-remote-teams-should-be-using/