I’m always being asked about the systems I use to run my business and the tools I use to keep my Digital Nomad life organized. There are so many awesome resources available to online business owners and travelers today the options can seem overwhelming.
Which is why I’m happy to share with you the ones I use on a regular basis so I can continue to travel and work remotely.
And remember that the best system is the one that you use! There are no right or wrong answers here, just solutions. You can also download a PDF version in the Ultimate List of Tools to Run Your Online Business.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below. This means that if you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. But these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Website & Themes
My first site I built I ran on wordpress.com because I didn’t understand there was a difference. This site runs on wordpress.org and while there was a bit of larger learning curve, it’s so much more customizable and so much better for SEO and monetizing.
If you just need a website to display information and maybe directions to your business than wordpress.com will do great. It’s essentially your domain, hosting and everything all built in one. The downside is you can’t add plugins and have your site grow with your business. So it really just depends on your goals.
WordPress.org is more of the bare bones set up, but if you are looking to create and monetize a blog, have an ecommerce store or have plans to do anything dynamic with your site down the road, than hands down, just start with .org.
YOAST SEO PLUGIN
If you decide to go with wordpress.org than the first plugin you’ll want to add is Yoast SEO. It’s the most trusted one in the industry and will help give you a leg up when it comes to SEO and optimizing your site.
DIVI THEME BY ELEGANT THEMES
I love Divi by Elegant Themes! This is the theme my site is built on. It’s drag and drop interface is easy to use and the amount of design options available means you can create a completely beautiful and unique website. Friendly for beginners and great customer support.
Domain Names & Hosting
I’m a fan of Namecheap for purchasing my domain names. They have some of the best rates and their platform is easy to use and navigate.
SiteGround is known for their great support and fast site speeds. This is my current host and you can get started for as little as $3.95/month.
ConvertKit is my preferred email provider. I use it for my email list and have used it with many of my clients. It has a simple design, is intuitive and easy to use. You can create tags and segments for your lists so if you have multiple businesses or want to keep certain subscribers separate it’s easy peasy. Use my link to get a 14 day free trial.
Social Media Tools
Tailwind is my scheduler of choice. You can use it to schedule Pinterest and Instagram posts without ever leaving the platform. I’ve used it for both and it has really made scheduling posts so much easier. Especially since my audience is mainly in the US and depending where I am I might be sleeping at the best times to post! #digitalnomad
If you have a YouTube channel, than Tube Buddy is a good free resource to have. It provides tips when you post a video to increase views and most importantly shows you the tags that your competitors are using in their videos.
Design & Stock Photos
A completely free tool, Canva is the design tool for non-designers. Perfect for bloggers and when you need to create nice looking social media graphics. I design everything in Canva!
Unsplash is also a stock photo library where you can search hundreds of free stock photos for your website or graphics.
If you are serious about your site and want to rank on Google than you need to know the best keywords to use. Keysearch is hands down the best tool out there for finding keywords for your post and website.
Use discount code KSDISC to get 20% off your subscription.
CRM & Invoicing
I’ve used Dubsado for a couple of years now. They are always improving the system and adding new and beneficial features. It does take a little time to get set up but overall they make managing my client communications, contracts and invoices super easy.
You can connect your Paypal, Stripe and Bank Account (for client’s to submit e-checks) which is great if you work with a range of clients who may want to pay in a variety of ways.
It’s also free for up to your first 3 clients so you can try all the features with no time limit. Sign up with my link and you’ll get 20% off your first month.
Paypal is another great, free, and easy way to send invoices to clients as well as manage your money. I recommend setting up a business Paypal account if you will be using it to accept money from clients or affiliate commissions.
What did people do before Zoom? I have no idea. An alternative to Google Hangouts, Zoom is my preferred tool for scheduling & hosting meetings. If you are on the free account you can have unlimited one-on-one meetings or up to 40 minute group meetings. Great incentive to keep them short & to the point!
Organization & Security
If you work online, you need a password manager. Lastpass not only remembers all of your passwords for you and will generate secure ones, but it is also the safest way to share passwords with your team. There is a chrome extension, a desktop app and phone app so your passwords are always at the tip of your fingers. Oh and it’s free.
To make sure you are browsing safely and securely as you travel around the world, you need to be using a VPN, especially if you are using public wifi! I use a combination of the following two:
- Tunnel Bear – Free up to your first 500mb of data. I like Tunnel Bear and it’s great for cafe working and small tasks. But it can sometimes be restrictive on certain sites.
- OpenVPN – I use OpenVPN to specifically give me a US IP Address. It is also one of the only ones that allows you to connect to Hulu and other US online tv services.
Trello is my preferred organization tool. I keep all of my business, life and travel tasks organized here. It’s simple to use and visually appealing.
Want more? Download the definitive list of online tools to run your business from anywhere!
Digital Nomad Resources
I did a lot of research on travel medical insurance before I left and felt that SafetyWing offered the best value for price. It’s the insurance for Nomads by Nomads and only costs $37 every 4 weeks.
CREDIT CARD: CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED
The Chase Sapphire is my preferred credit card and that of other nomads as well. No foreign transaction fees, 2x points on traveling and dining & travel and purchase coverage for things like trip interruptions and car rental collision insurance.
Luggage: Away Travel
Away is a travel luggage company for travelers by travelers. They sell directly to their customer cutting out any 3rd parties which helps keep their cost down. They sell online or through the handful of physical stores across the United States and expanding internationally. Their lifetime warranty policy makes purchasing their luggage a no brainer.
Get $20 off your first purchase by using my referral code.
There are AirBnb hosts ALL OVER the world. No matter where it is you want to stay there is someone who is willing to open their home. I’ve used Air BnB for work travel all over the US and vacations in Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Fun fact: I was an AirBnB host myself for 2 years!
If you are traveling on a budget then hostels are good alternative to AirBnB or hotels. Again, I’ve used hostels all over the world and never had any issues. Hostelworld.com is the best site for finding and securing them. You get to see pictures, read reviews, and filter the results based on your required facilities.
I start all of my flight searches with Momondo. I feel like it always finds the best deals. You can also search to/from multiple airports so if there are multiple large airports around you and you could leave from/fly into any of them it allows you to search up to 4 at one time.
Kiwi.com allows me to put in a general search term like “Western Europe” or “South East Asia” in the to/from fields and let me see where the best deals are. It’s great when my plans are wide open and I know the general region but not the specific place. It’s a great site to do some research and start narrowing your options.
Want to become a Digital Nomad? See how to convince your boss to work remotely!
The very first platform I joined was House Carers and I’m still a big fan. It’s an international platform with sits available all over the world. It also has one of the smallest yearly fees.
Nomador was the second international platform I joined and I’ve had a lot of success with it. It took me a little longer to get going with it, but I’ve secured many great house sitting jobs through the platform from Vietnam to Switzerland.
HOUSE SITTING WORLD
If you start to do a lot of house sitting than House Sitting World is a super helpful platform to keep all of your sits organized! Many sitters are on multiple platforms and may be in different stages of planning. House sitting world helps you keep everything in one place from your platform profiles, to sit information to travel details.
You can also create “sit alerts” if you are looking for a specific one and it will email you the moment it gets posted on any of the platforms. Since applying early is critical this is an amazing feature.
See my post on How to Get Started as a House Sitter
Online Courses & Ebooks
PIN TO PROFITS
Created by McKinzie of Moms Make Cents, Pin to Profits, walks you through how to use Pinterest to make money online. It’s an amazingly robust course and covers everything you need to know!
If you aren’t ready to invest in the her main course yet she also has a less expensive Pin to Profits: Affiliate Marketing that focuses on how to make affiliate sales on Pinterest or her free Pinterest Primer course to help you get your Pinterest account setup for success.
DNK VIRTUAL ASSISTANT STARTER KIT
Created by Hannah Dixon of the Digital Nomad Kit (DNK), the VA Starter Kit is a your one stop shop to getting your Virtual Assistant business off the ground even if you don’t have any experience. This is the course I took to get started and it helped me find a niche, build confidence and 6 months later quit my job.
Created by the lovely Nat & Jodie, Freedom HQ is your one stop shop to building your freedom lifestyle. It includes their online courses to the House Sitting Academy and the Roaming Income Club plus numerous discounts and other products they’ve created. It’s literally a freedom lifestyle bundle for those ready to get started.
TRAVEL LIFESTYLE PLAN
Also created by Nat & Jodie, the Travel Lifestyle Plan is a free ebook they put together to help you create the perfect plan to get your travel life off the ground.