Digital Nomad and my flexi-tools for value creation

What are the tools that you use to get around town and do ‘your thing?’ In the last few weeks, I’ve seen an increase in the number of people posting about what they use to remain virtual in the new world of work. I think we are all heading towards a world which is not so organisation based, but vocational and community based. The first part of that long journey is happening now – with people discussing how they continue to remain productive and valuable (to clients, networks and family) without remaining geographically constrained.

Hugh McLeod wrote recently about Digital Nomands whilst a blog he referred to in that post, Digital Nomads, contained a post from Jay White discussing how he went about mixing his personal and professional life, which I found interesting. Cameron McGrane is also always up-to-date on different ways to get create value from anywhere. So, I thought I would add to the chorus and discuss how I am trying to get a little less ‘place bound’ and more ‘value orientated’ as we move towards a vocational community future.

iGoogle and GMail: Jay alluded to this in his post, and I probably don’t utilise it enough, but the fact that it holds and presents my personal email to me as well as my RSS feeds and other apps means that I can access my conversations (not just my emails) easily from anywhere. In the future, I’m keen to continue adding to the functions I use iGoogle for.

 eLance:I’ve only just discovered this, and truth be-told, I haven’t yet won work on it or contracted work out through it but it is certainly a space I will utilise going forwards. The ability to easily delegate and sub-contract work out is huge for me and promises much. I look forward to experimenting with uses for this in the coming months.

twitter:Is on my Treo primarily, which goes with me everywhere. It’s a mobile community, and allows me to keep in touch with most things going on to a key group of people in my life. It also allows me to connect with new, interesting people for both work and play.

campfire: Again, I’ve just discovered this but look forward to using it more to have (and record) conversations from anywhere. It’s been helpful mainly at the moment working with Ross Hill on a variety of different things, but promises much in terms of creating global discussions (read, facilitating vocational communities).

Monkey on the back: This one is a fun one, but helps in keeping things on the agenda. You can place a monkey on someones back, which kindly reminds people to complete or do the tasks you set them. It’s passive aggressive, and puts a smile on peoples faces rather than invoking that ‘crap, I forgot to do that’ feeling commonly associated with forgotten tasks.

Crumpler bag: This one is often forgotten by many digital nomads, but is probably one of the most important. I upgraded to a Crumpler backpack earlier this year and have not looked back. It carries everything I need: Laptop, cords, books, notebooks, jumpers etc as well as numerous other things which you may or may not need to include on a day out. Check out flickr for more evidence of people using their bags to carry their lives.

I also use a host of others, such as delicious, friendfeed, facebook, amazon, iTunes, laptops, skype and many more. Above, I have tried to highlight some of the other tools which may prove useful for your use in creating a less location based work-life.

8 thoughts on “Digital Nomad and my flexi-tools for value creation

  1. Hey Steve!

    I dig the last your point on the Crumpler bag.


    Because it is “Low Tech” yet uber important.

    You outlined some wonderful “internet” tools but ultimately we are a pile of amino acids and water and must adapt to our environment or dissolve.

    As an “urban nomad” we are exposed to a multitude of different environments and low tech can be just as important as the tools and services we use online.

    Low tech tools I need to stay out longer and increase productivity are:

    SPF 30 sunscreenmoisturizer
    Balloons – back supportpillowwater holder
    Visual Diary – take down stuff – store tid bids
    Merino Wool clothing – Alternative to rain coat
    Trail Shoes – For streets, offroad and running from the law.

    I don’t have it all worked out. Sometimes I have to carry my laptop, extra set of clothes, a fat ass book and lots of ground. The extra weight slows me down tens folds, hurts my back (if you don’t already have a bad back, you will soon if you carry weight). It reality I need a nanna trolley that does not suck of some shape or form.

    What can you not do with out when cascading the urban environment?

    Any ideas on my carry weight in urban environments problem?

  2. Hey Cama! Thanks for the comment…

    When traversing the Urban Environment, I can’t do without:

    1) The Visual Diary. I forgot to put this one in the post. I use it every day, and when I lost it breifly for a few days last week I was absolutely lost.

    2) Bottle of water. I get thirsty, and it keeps the grey cells humming.

    I think that’s all I can add to your list. Obviously loose change helps with small issues (locker hire, PT fare (?), nibbles.

    As far as the weight issue goes, I upgraded to a Crumpler backpak instead of a shoulder bag because there is nothing worse than finishing the day with a torn shoulder/crinked neck. Go backpak, and when you can, use a ‘grounding point’ to dump your stuff for the day. I use the lockers at the State Library as my base before moving off to different appointments with my Visual Diary and laptop.

  3. Hey Steve,

    Have a network of several hundred AYADs ( here who are spread out across urban, regional and rural locations throughout the Asia Pacific Region. We are often isolated geographically, with limited internet access (ie. dial up speeds, unreliable connections, downtime in power shortages and thunderstorms), and are often the only native English speakers in our organisations.

    However, often we are required to complete similar tasks, such as donor reporting, proposal writing and facilitating strategic planning sessions for our host organisations. Hence, the value that the AYAD network can offer to an individual AYAD is significant. However, when placed in these new environments with such different technology resources we are used to, it seems that we can lose that little part of the brain that, in Oz, we used to take initiative over the Net.

    Steve, oh wise one, do you have any suggestions to leverage the AYAD network?

  4. As a quick update on this post, I thought I would add a few more tools I’m finding handy at this stage.

    1) Bike. I purchased a bike about a year ago – a simple single gear one that just clunks along no worries. It is the easiest was for me to get from a to b, period. The only thing you need to be aware of is…

    2) Clothes and deodorant: I now carry a deodorant in my bag (yes, still the same crumpler) just in case. I also have a cache of clothes at work, which is centrally located in town. If I happen to be in need of a fresh change, I swing by there and modify accordingly.

    3) Locks and Lights: When you’re riding around, you need a lock to make sure you can leave your vehicle in public without it going missing whilst you’re doing your thing. Crucial to ease any anxiety or mis-focus when you should be focusing on being in your moment.

    4) I’ve upgraded to an iPhone – it’s amazing. Maps, @foursquare, @twitter, push to gcal, gmail etc etc. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Share your thoughts with a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s