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7 essential apps for international road warriors

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | July 16, 2014
I rarely take real vacations, but I do travel often. Since I'm a freelancer, my work can, and does, travel with me.

I actually ended up using Wi-Fi Finder more often than I thought I would, because my typical strategy for finding Wi-Fi when I'm overseas is to hop into the nearest Apple Store. But guess what? South Korea has no Apple Stores.

Desks Near Me

As a freelance writer, I don't have a lot of overhead. I don't need an office, or even a desk, to do my work. But not everyone is so lucky — plenty of people need meeting spaces to meet with clients or collaborate with colleagues, and hey, some people just work better in an office environment.

Desks Near Me is a handy app for finding various work spaces when you're overseas. The free app, which is available for iOS and also has a web version, lets you search for "desks near you." The app uses your phone's GPS to locate nearby work spaces, but you can also manually enter in your location. You can filter for price (free to $200 and up), number of desks (from one to 10 or more), and amenities, such as 24-hour access, child-friendly spaces, or business equipment like fax machines and copiers.

"Desks" are listed by type — you'll find a lot of conference rooms, private offices, and shared workspaces, especially if you're looking in the United States. International offerings are less impressive, but still there: I found a small meeting room in Seoul renting for just 2,000 won (about $20) an hour. You can book a desk directly through the app, or you can call the provider for more information, assuming you have phone service.

DocuSign Ink

The last thing you want to do when you're traveling is try to find a printer, a post office, or a fax machine — but what else can you do if you have to sign a contract and send it back while you're overseas?

Well, you can use DocuSign Ink, a free app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone that lets you virtually sign and date documents and email them to clients and employers. DocuSign Ink is a cinch to use: Just open up your document (usually a PDF) in the app and tap to sign it. If you have a physical version of the document, you can also take a photo of it and then virtually sign it.

You don't even need to sign every single document: The app has you sign once and then it takes that signature and places it into future documents. You can sign as many documents as you like for free, store them in cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Evernote, and send them from the app (you get 5 free sends per month, and you can buy more with in-app purchases). DocuSign Ink is compliant with the eSign Act, so your signature is legally binding.


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