Digital Nomad

In transit
More and more tech professionals spend time as digital nomads, making a living online while travelling and living around the world. I used to do this myself, and now as an employer, half my tech team consists of digital nomads. We use Skype for weekly group meetings or when we need verbal discussions, and other online tools for working together on development.

Last summer I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to spend a few weeks with two of my employees, and work alongside them as a digital nomad. (The picture is not from there, it is from Geilo, Norway, another great place to go if you like mountains.) As one does as a digital nomad we went to different cafés every day, and sat and worked online. Off hours we went exploring, seeing rural parts of northern Thailand, and later diving down south in Phuket.

This is my ultimate Digital Nomad carry, optimized for work in that kind of setting. The items in the picture is what I bring in the travel bag, and actually contains three different carries: A) café work carry, B) travel carry, and C) explorer carry.

The café work carry. The Surface Pro is a fantastic computer, with a great camera for Skype meetings (and Windows Hello, logging in instantly by being recognized by the camera, is awesome). When doing programming I like to use it in portrait mode, for movies etc landscape is better. I prefer typing on wooden keys instead of plastic, and the protective leather cover that comes with the Orée walnut keyboard functions as a stand for the Surface. (Normally the keyboard comes with key engravings, I asked to not get any, to keep me from looking at the keyboard when I type.) If I need to draw something I can use the Surface Pen that is magnetically attatched (scetches, diagrams etc are great for online teamwork). If the remote office(s) has a Surface Hub it becomes even more useful. (cf. https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-surface-hub/en-us )

The mouse has a great feature, if you press down on it, it collapses and becomes flat (and turns off). Carrying the computer, keyboard + case and mouse takes up very little space, as they all are all flat.

Some work spaces can be noisy, like a busy café or bar. To fix this, the B&O headset is perfect. It has active noise cancellation, and has beautiful sound if you like music while working. It even has a built in microphone for calls. However, if the background noise is really bad, I use the throat mic (item 7) in conjunction with the headset. A throat mic works by detecting sound by the vibration in your throat instead of sound in the air, so any background noise is not detected. (The technology was made for pilots and tank drivers in WWII.) That even means you can speak much lower, almost whisper, which is nice for others around you.

The travel carry is for long flights, bus/train rides, etc. (On a flight, this would all be carry-on luggage. On train etc I just make sure it is easily accessible.) For work (or watching movies) I use a cover that attatches to the base of the Surface, with a built in keyboard and touchpad (landscape mode only). It fits on my lap or a fold out table, just like a normal laptop. (And, when the flight attendants say computers need to be stowed in the overhead compartments I just show them the cover comes off and say it is a tablet, so they let me keep it in the pocket in front of me.) The Kindle e-book reader is another faithful travel companion. The aforementioned headset is equally suited here, the nose cancellation makes flights much more comfortable. With some offline Spotify playlists and extra batteries for the headset and phone I can enjoy even the longest flight.

The explorer carry is for off hours. Digital Nomads live the way they do not because they hate the office (that's what a home office is for), but because they want to go exploring in their free time. They want to see and experience parts of the world they otherwise would not have. This carry is for the two-day diving trip, a day on the beach, days of sightseeing, or the excursion to the local vineyard.

The heart of the carry is the Lumia 950, plus a spare battery, and the Fēnix 3 smartwatch. (That combination is great for many things, I also use it for my "All day meetings" carry, cf. http://everydaycarry.com/posts/12325/all-day-meetings ). The phone's camera is so good that I don't need a separate camera (20mp PureView Zeiss, the triple flash even makes a great flashlight). The last thing I wanna do while seeing a new part of the world is looking down at a phone, so having a smartwatch that alerts me of incoming notifications keeps that to a minimum. It has about three weeks of battery, a screen that is always on, and I can go swimming with it. (I love this thing.) For longer trips I bring the Orée Stylograph, in case I get some work-related ideas. Add a pair of sunglasses and a wallet for some credit cards and I am ready for exploring.

The remaining items not covered in the carries above are convenience items I like to have in the apartment/hotel room. The Pebble Qi wireless charger is great for keeping next to the bed, and it works with both the extra phone covers I bring. (One leather with contrast stiching and one walnut wood.) Being able to change the actual back cover on the phone is nice, it feels like I have a new phone every time I switch. I also keep the Stylograph next to the bed in case I wake up with any ideas I want to write down. The last item is not really neccessary, but I like touching wood much more than I do plastic, so I keep the Touch slab for working in the apartment/hotel room, instead of the mouse. It works like the touch pad on a laptop, but is made of wood (walnut, like the other wooden items).

#laptops-and-tablets #cases-and-sleeves #headphones #electronics #mobile-phones #writing-instruments #watches #wallets #sunglasses #office see all

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