One of the biggest benefits of being a digital nomad is the ability to work from anywhere in the world. However, this means that an appropriate and all-encompassing work kit is absolutely essential – after all, you can’t just pop into the office to grab what you need. There are several factors that contribute towards the ideal work kit, including portability, comfort, and utility.
It’s not easy to identify all the things you need to ensure you’ll be able to complete your work efficiently no matter where you are, which is why we have done all the research for you. In this article, we’ll look at what makes the ultimate work kit for a digital nomad on the go.
1. Your work base
Apple MacBook Pro
Your work base refers to the primary piece of equipment you do all your work on – i.e. your laptop or hybrid laptop/tablet, depending on the nature of your work. It is of utmost importance that your work base’s CPU and RAM has enough processing power and the ability to support all your key applications.
Additionally, you should opt for a work base that has a good battery life that ideally lasts up to a day, just in case you are working from a location where a power source is a little difficult to identify.
Another important thing to note is that you should always have backups of all your work, just in case your work base malfunctions. This is why storing your work in the cloud is a good option, as you can easily recover all your files by simply logging in on any device. We recommend OneDrive, iCloud or Google Drive, as all of them are safe and secure options.
With these key factors in mind, we recommend the Apple MacBook Pro for those who need a laptop as their work base. They have two models – one with a 13-inch screen and one with a 16-inch screen. If you do not require high processing power, we recommend the 13-inch screen as it is the more economical decision. Both have a good battery life, clear display and fast performance. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also has the added advantage of increased power and storage, as well as a Magic Keyboard, which is a more comfortable option when compared to their standard butterfly keyboard. However, it is significantly more expensive and less portable due to its size.
If you need a hybrid laptop/tablet, we recommend the Microsoft Surface Book 3, which comes with either a 13-inch or 15.5-inch screen. This powerful device has great processing power that is more than sufficient to run professional softwares, long-lasting battery life and clear display. Plus, it’s portable and can easily be converted into a tablet.
2. Work faster
Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse
There are a few things you can do to cut down on unnecessary time wastage. For example, an external wireless mouse is much easier to use than the trackpad of your laptop, plus, it’s a lot more comfortable to use. We recommend the Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse, as its ability to be flattened when you are not using it makes it highly portable and ideal for those who are constantly on the move. It also functions as a basic external trackpad.
If you have a more permanent set-up, you may want to opt for the Microsoft Ergonomic Mouse, as it provides great wrist comfort without compromising on navigational ability.
Another important accessory is an e-pen so that you can easily make notes or sign documents on your work base itself, assuming it has touchscreen capabilities. We particularly like the Microsoft Surface Pen as not only is it sleek and attractive, it is fast, sensitive, and allows for a variety of effects such as precision inking, shading etc. It also has an eraser on the back end.
Graphic tablets are extremely useful for designers and provide an additional layer of comfort as you can relax your hand naturally as you work. Wacom Intuos Pro is an ideal choice as it supports multi-touch gestures, is highly portable, connects via Bluetooth and is highly sensitive with a great Pressure Response.
3. Get comfortable
Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo
Comfort is a key priority, especially for those who work long hours. A good, comfortable headset is important for remote collaboration, and some key factors you may want to consider is whether the headset is wireless or not, and whether they have noise-cancelling features. The Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo is one of the best wireless headsets out there, as it has active noise cancelling speakers to ensure your calls proceed without any disruptions from external noises. Plus, it has HD-quality stereo sound, 100ft of Bluetooth range using the Link Dongle provided, 15h of battery life and provides great comfort. The Logitech G533 is also a good choice, as it is comfortable, delivers high-quality sound, and has a battery life of 15h.
If you prefer using earbuds, the Apple Airpods Pro are a great choice as they provide a stable Bluetooth connection, have noise cancelling features and fit comfortably. The Sony WI-SP600N are also a good choice as not only do they have all the aforementioned features, they also have Google Assistant integrated into the device. If you’re looking for a more economical option, the Mi True Wireless Earphones are your best bet as they also offer noise cancelling features, are compatible with most devices, and are comfortable.
Another device to increase your comfort is a secondary monitor, so you can expand your work base to use two screens at once, instead of having to switch back and forth between windows. Our top picks are the Asus Zenscreen MB16AC and Lepow Portable Monitor, you can read more about them here.
Multi-port power plugs and power banks are absolutely essential for the digital nomad on the go – after all, you need to ensure you can have all your key devices plugged in for charging as well as a back-up option for when there are no charging ports available. As most laptops require over 30W or 40W of power, USB-C Power Delivery chargers are ideal – but be sure to confirm that your charging cable can support the power you need!
When it comes to power banks, ensure yours has enough capacity to power your work base for at least a day’s worth of work. Typically, those who have 20,000 mAh or more will be sufficient. Once again, remember to ensure your cable can support the power required – anything over 40W is generally sufficient. We recommend the Zendure A6PD as its USB-C port supports 45W input and output, making it the ideal choice for recharging laptops. Alternatively, the Native Union Jump+ can charge your devices wirelessly, or through a USB-A or a USB-C port (up to 18W) and is certainly the most aesthetically pleasing. Read our review on the best power banks for digital nomads here.
5. Connect your devices
Native Union Belt Cable Pro
Multi-port hubs with USB-C connectivity are the best choice when it comes to connecting multiple devices as they can both power your devices while seamlessly and quickly transferring data. However, you will need to check whether this is compatible with your device.
In terms of cables, USB-A/C lightning cables are the best for those who are regularly on the go; plus, they allow you to power devices from older generations as well as between Apple devices and other ones.
Native Union offers superior and durable cables with life-time warranties. We recommend the Belt Cable Pro, as it has an output of up to 100W and an extended range of 8 feet. The Belt Cable Universal is another great choice as it comes with a 3-in-1 Micro-USB, Lightning and USB-C connector so you can use it for all your devices. The standard Belt Cable acts as a good back-up option too.
6. Protect and carry
Once you’ve got all the key items for your work kit, all you need is comfortable and protective sleeves/bags to carry them around! We recommend the STOW line from Native Union, as they have top-quality laptop and iPad sleeves to safely house your equipment, as well as an organizer to store all your cables without getting them tangled up.
For a bag to carry all your devices, we recommend the Qwstion Daypack as not only is it luxurious and stylish, it is also water-resistant and durable. Plus, it comes with a 15-inch padded laptop compartment to provide extra protection!
So there you have it – a comprehensive guide so you can build the perfect work kit to meet all your needs as a digital nomad or remote worker. FLYDESK CLUB+ members are also eligible for exclusive discounts for premium products such as those from Native Union and Jabra!