This post was inspired by my friend Ark, who recently shared his favorite tools he was thankful for, and was similarly inspired by others.
Today I wanted to quickly share the list of tools that I personally utilize at ZenMaid to run our marketing, sales, and various parts of the business.
I’m personally grateful to the creators and operators of every single one of these as they allow me to live the life I do, from anywhere.
I keep my hardware as simple as possible because A) I have little appreciation for things like better sound and video and B) The more replaceable my stuff is the easier it is to relax and enjoy myself while on the road.
1. Chromebook – I bought a Chromebook recently on Amazon (will find a link here shortly) brand new for $235 that does literally everything I need it to operate my business, in large part because of my choice of tools in the section below
2. Headphones – I have a pair of highly rated earbud headphones that I got off of Amazon for $35. I’m happy to replace them in an airport or local shop if necessary but prefer to pick up a highly rated pair of Amazon when my location allows.
I also have a pair of blue tooth over-ear headphones. I honestly don’t use these all that much and they may not make it into my bag when I take off again in a few weeks (leaving for 6-8 months). They’re great headphones and I highly recommend them, I just don’t personally utilize them enough at the moment.
3. Speakers – I have usb speakers I can plug into my computer or any other for Netflix, YouTube, maybe even Courses if I’m trying to get my learn on.
4. Phone – My phone is a Piece of $hit. I hate it and am absolutely going to replace. I’d rather not talk about this situation but let’s just say that unlike everything else on this list, if I lost or broke my phone right now, I’d be relieved and happy.
Also, I’m on T-Mobile which offers an international plan. Everywhere I land I get a text welcoming me to the new country (aww) and letting me know of rates. 2 or 3g data is usually available the instant I touch down and I can still call ($.20 per minute) or text (free) with anyone on my US number.
5. Charging – I have a trusty Anker charger that I use to recharge my phone in emergencies. It’s always charged before any sort of travel and comes in handy most when I just have to finish that damn podcast episode and my phone is dying. Although the Anker charges my phone (or headphones) faster than my computer so I find myself using it quite often even when I’m settled in somewhere.
NEEDED – I’ve realized that I need to get a mobile hotspot of some sort to give me internet in business emergencies. Thus far I’ve stuck to places around the world with good internet but there’s always a chance that I lose access when I need it. There should be an affordable convenient option I can find.
The Software, Apps, and Extensions
So many business and personal tools to list, many of which overlap
1. Google Chrome – Sounds obvious but I don’t think people appreciate what these browsers can do often enough. Chrome allows me to login to it on any computer in the world and almost instantly pull up my extensions, logins, and bookmarks, so I instantly feel at home (or rather safe in the office) to work on whatever I need to.
2. Hangouts, Drive, PlayMusic, GMail, Google Calendar – I’m obviously pretty darn deep in the Google eco-system. The move to Chromebook has forced me away from Dropbox but other than that I don’t really miss anything from my old computer.
3. Evernote – it’s taken some getting used to to get on the web app but once I made the change I adjusted (obviously). Can’t say it’s better or worse, just different, but it’s still a very, very useful tool for so many things.
LPT: check out this awesome article on how to get started on, and make the most out of, Evernote:
(fun fact: I used Evernote to quickly find the article about evernote above for you. So Meta)
4. Audible – Why I haven’t been on this sooner I don’t know. I’ve been “reading” like crazy thanks to this awesome app. Any time a friend recommends a book I find it on here and add it to my wishlist.
Book recommendation for y’all: the Fish that ate the Whale – fascinating story on a dude who started a banana business and went on to build the entire railroad system in a central American country and at one point overthrew a government that was co-operating with his competitor. True story. You’re welcome.
Ending here for now, will update this article shortly