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Elgan: I'm a digital nomad (and so are you)

Mike Elgan | July 16, 2012
New technology enables almost everyone reading this to live and work with more freedom and flexibility. Are you missing the boat?

Touch tablets. Devices like the Apple iPad and the Google Nexus 7 are dream gadgets for digital nomads. They're small, their batteries last a long time, and they have plentiful apps -- making everything better while working abroad.

Internet-based telephony.Skype existed in 2008, but Google Voice didn't. Google Voice is a great service for digital nomads because when you're in another country, you can't connect it to a phone in that country, but you can place and receive voicemails and texts via the service. You can also associate your Google Voice number with your Skype account.

The benefit is that your phone number stays the same no matter where you go. So while you're in the U.S., your phone number can ring your landline and cellphones. Abroad, that same number lets you keep getting voicemail and texts.

Voice-cancellation headsets. One of the challenges of working abroad is that Wi-Fi is often found in crowded, noisy locations like coffeehouses and cybercafes. You might even have to deal with street noise, like yelling, honking and sirens, outside of the rooms you're living in.

That's why a new generation of noise-canceling headsets is so welcome. The very best I've found is a product called theBoom E headset from theBoom. (Here's my demo.) The noise cancellation is so good, you can be in a nightclub or any room full of shouting people, and it sounds like you're in a quiet office to others on the line. It works with laptops, tablets and phones.

These are the tools we digital nomads can use to make our lives better, whether we choose to live abroad or not.

So whether you're working from a local Starbucks or a cafe in Spain, tools designed for digital nomads give you unprecedented freedom and flexibility to remain connected and productive no matter where you choose to live and work.

Yeah, you're a digital nomad. But are you taking advantage of all your options?



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