Working for yourself, from anywhere in the world, sounds like an amazing concept. But without the right tools this dream will never become reality.
Talking with a number of location independents (digital nomads, lifestyle designers etc), it soon became clear that the software and web apps they used varied greatly. So therefore it would be nigh on impossible to make a definitive list of tools of the location independent individual. Instead, I decided to merely offer some of my favourite tools. I use all of these, and couldn't live without them. Here is part one of a series of posts on cool tools for the location independent:
Voxtopia - Voip
Skype is alright for personal calls. But when it comes to managing a business, it does have some shortcomings. Voxtopia is one of many startups aimed at small business and entrepreneurs, who need a professional phone system that is dead cheap.
With Voxtopia I can screen calls, offer a "dial 1 for billing support" type of setup and forward calls to any phone in the world. If you're travelling this means you can have one number no matter where you are. It also works on the Iphone.
Carbonite - Backup
Backup, backup and backup. Seriously, don't be like me and learn the hard way.
I use carbonite to backup my files for two reasons. Firstly, I better disclose Carbonite are a partner with Task.fm (my startup) and I was first introduced to the company through this partnership. But, more importantly, I love them because they offer unlimited backup. No need to worry about only syncing the most important files. I backup all my documents and photos without worrying about limits.
Due to the partnership I can offer you an exclusive free 90 day trial. Just use this link to signup (and pretend you use Task.fm!)
Backupify - Backup for the Cloud
Carbonite does a good job backing up my files on my hard drive. But what about all the content I create in the cloud. Increasingly, I am using more and more cloud based services. Google Docs, Wordpress, Gmail and Delicious are all cloud based and all store a lot of my data. Although I do trust these companies, its nice to have a backup in place just in case things go wrong (which does happen). Backupify will backup many of your cloud based accounts and it is free.
If you use a self hosted Wordpress blog, you really do need a backup as things often go wrong. Imagine losing all you past blog posts!
Tripit - Travel Planning
And now we come to my of my favourite apps, Tripit. Using Tripit is as simple as emailing your flight/hotel/car booking confirmations to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will then interpret these confirmations and create a nifty travel plan for you.