Issue 26, Volume 1
November 17, 2021
To succeed as an Anywhereist, you have to be able to run your business from anywhere.
In our last newsletter, we talked about the part of your business’ digital infrastructure – finance and legal – that you really need to put in place before you leave your home country.
Now we’re getting into the infrastructure you need for actually getting work done and managing your daily life.
Hopefully you already have this in place as well, and have been using these tools for a while so you’re comfortable with them. Some of this may seem very basic (duh, Susanna, you think?), but again, we don’t want anything to fall through the cracks.
To figure out the tools you need, ask yourself this question: How will you stay on top of your personal and work schedule, projects, and your daily and weekly to-do lists?
You’ll want some combination of a calendar, a project management tool, and to-do list. There’s some overlap, and some tools combine two or even all three of these functions.
The first thing you need to help you run your business is a place to keep track of your schedule. Seems like a no-brainer, but your calendar is vital, and not all calendars are created equal.
Obviously it needs to be digital, because you don’t want to be lugging paper calendars all over the place. It also must be in the cloud and work with all your devices.
Beyond that, what do you need a calendar to do for you? Do you want it to include a task list? Send you reminders? Add others to scheduled meetings?
Do you have other people, programs, or apps that need to access or interface with your calendar?
What, if anything, are you willing to pay for your calendar?
Answering those questions will narrow down the choices.
My choice: Google Calendar.
PC Mag describes project management software this way:
Project management software is a type of online collaborative app where everyone who’s working on a project can log in and see what they’re supposed to do and when. They also record their progress on those tasks and add relevant details, such as notes about any changes. People who have the right permission level can see what everyone else is doing or will need to do and when. For the person or people managing the project, the app provides a clear overview of the project and its health.
If you work a remote job, you probably have to use the tool your company makes available, but if you’re on your own you have lots of choices.
Again, it has to be in the cloud and work on all your devices.
Beyond that it comes down to your own work style and the types of projects you’re handling. If you head up an editorial team, you probably need something different from what a freelance writer needs, and that’s different again from what you’ll need if you’re building or sourcing and selling a physical product.
My personal choice: Trello, which I use to run both business and personal projects. It’s highly ranked (#1 on this list).
Trello is perfect for freelancers, bloggers, and solo business owners as well as teams. There’s a free plan, and paid plans start at $5/month.
There are plenty of to-do apps available, and most calendars and project management tools include a task list.
As with your calendar and project management app, think about what you need your tasks to integrate with. Can you use the task list in your project management app or calendar, or do you need something separate?
I use Trello for my daily to-dos. If you want a standalone task list, take a look at something like Todoist.
Here’s a list of 9 recommended to-do apps that you can integrate with other apps you’re using via Zapier. (Don’t know Zapier? We’ll get to it in a future newsletter!)
Want more in-depth help with this? Get my mini-course. There’s no charge.
I’m calling it Are You Ready to Work From Anywhere? All the Information You Need to Get Off to a Flying Start.
It’s not quite ready yet, but you can sign up here to get it as soon as it is.
Tips & Tools
Don’t believe the hype — always good advice!
Francis Nayan highlights the more common lies about what it’s like to be a digital nomad (and why I’m not fond of that term).
While it’s easier now than it used to be to work from anywhere, the reality is, you still need to do some real work in the real world. You can’t do your best work while sipping pina coladas on the beach, exploring Machu Pichu, or hangin’ with your bros at the hostel.
Sure, you’ll have some great, Instagram-worthy moments. And yes, those are a lot more fun to share than pictures of the days when you’re racing to meet a deadline and you never set foot outside your door. Or maybe your reality is more like Shannon O’Donnell, one of the earliest digital nomads, waking at 5 AM to race down the road, laptop in hand, to use the cafe wifi during the brief time it was available that day. (If you missed Shannon’s story, you can listen to it here.)
Read: Six Lies Digital Nomad Gurus Sell And You Shouldn’t Believe
How would you like to live in a digital nation?
I’m still trying to wrap my head around this concept, especially how a digital nation can coexist with actual nations. Still, it’s a fascinating idea, and one that recognizes some of the new realities of our work and our world.
Read: A community of digital nomads wants to build an internet country for digital citizens
When you picture yourself living in a new and exciting location, doing work you love, what’s your first step to making it happen?
It’s not your travel plans, or your tech, although those are important.
Read: If You Want to Work from Anywhere, Do This First
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In Case You Missed It. . .
We all know good health is important, but we often underestimate how much impact feeling lousy has on everything we do, and everyone we come in contact with.
Fortunately, as an Anywhereist, you can choose to live in places that support your health.
Before we moved to Panama, I had spent several years under a huge amount of stress, and it took a severe toll.
I was excited about our move, happy about the chance to dig out from under our personal financial crisis following the meltdown of the US economy, and feeling pretty optimistic about life.
I also felt tired. Bone tired. All the time. No matter what I did.
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