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  • Jan 3rd 2013
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Essential Tools for a World-Traveling Entrepreneur

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    1

    ATM card

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATM_card
    Let's face it, when you need cash, you need an ATM card to pull money in local currency. Gone are the days when you needed to bring a wad of cash and have it exchanged at a bank. And long gone are the days when you needed to use American Express Travelers Cheques. There is one "hack" that I found which worlds when traveling to other countries. Your daily limit of cash to pull might be something like $250 or $400/day, but that's not per 24 hour period but rather for a calendar day. Therefore if you're in another country, you can pull the cash limit one minute, wait a couple of minutes for it to be 12 Midnight at your branch location at your home country, and then pull another amount of cash.
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    2

    Beyerdynamic MMX 2 PC Gaming Multimedia Digital Headset with Microphone

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BYOY42/ref=wms_ohs_product
    I got this headset for two reasons. (1) Excellent mic quality and (2) Excellent speakers. When working at a cafe or where there is ambient noise, I wanted to have something that offered excellent microphone capabilities with noise canceling. These are marketed as the following: "The noise-compensating microphone provides a clear and precise voice transmission even in noisy surroundings" They fit very well on the ears so when I need to be "in the zone", I can drown out the ambient noise and listen to my tunes. Sometimes I just wear them w/o music on so others around me know not to disturb me and it muffles out the sound.
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    3

    Case Logic Backpack DLBP-114

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004AM624C/ref=wms_ohs_product
    When traveling to/from a working location (such as a cafe or a co-working location) you need a backpack big enough to hold your gear, but not too big or bulky. I discovered this pack to be an ideal size to hold my "office". I have two chargers and two headsets, but keep a charger and headset for dedicated use with my backpack at all times. This way I do not leave the house and accidentally leave behind the charger still plugged in the wall, or find myself all settled in and comfy at a cafe only to discover that the headset is still at my desktop computer miles away. In my backpack are the following things: - business cards - MacBook Air - iPad - Cocoon Grid-It organizer (with pens/Square/USB drives/iPad stylus, various adapters) - Apple corded extender - Apple Macbook Charger - Small tripod (for use when I bring my GoPro with me - Headset
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    4

    MacBook Air 13" (2011)

    http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_air/13
    The best selling feature to this computer is how versatile it is. It's lightweight and powerful enough to do the things I need to do. When working in coffee shops, or when working from a vehicle or in the airport, the fact that this computer is so lightweight makes it easy to schlep around. My recommendation is to buy the previous year's model used on Craigslist to save some money, or to buy a refurbished model from the Apple Store. The URL link goes to the refurbished shopping page on Apple's site for a MacBook Air 13"
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    5

    Nokia N79 Cell Phone

    http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_n79-2497.php
    Ok, I know a lot of people love their Android and iPhone smart phones and could not live without it, but to use those phones you need a data package. Or if you're traveling internationally, you have to pay more money for an international roaming package. I don't need a smart phone since all the emails/apps/contacts will be on both my laptop and iPad. I just need a phone to make and receive some calls (mostly in-country) and to send/receive text messages. Since I can easily swap in an in-country SIM card, it just makes sense to get a local number wherever I am. If I need to forward work calls to my cell phone, I can do so with Skype or any other VoIP service. Because the Nokia N79 is GSM quad band (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) I can use it in pretty much any country in the world. I bought mine used on eBay for about $65. Since Nokia is a quite popular phone brand worldwide, it will be easier to get it serviced at local electronic kiosks that fix cell phones, should there be a problem, or to get a new battery or find a charger. As a worst case scenario, I can also purchase a used Nokia phone in a country and swap in the SIM card if this phone breaks. The advantage in my opinion to using a phone for just calling/texting, is that is it small and lightweight. It has got two weeks of standby time, weighs in at under 100 grams, and very portable. Plus since it doesn't have a huge screen like iPhone or Samsungs, I'm not worried about cracking the screen if it drops. Plus, since it's an older model and not so flashy, I'm not as worried about it being stolen.
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    6

    Skype

    http://www.skype.com
    This is an essential piece of software to stay connected to your clients and colleagues no matter where you are. Sign up for the Skype numbers so that you can always be reached by people who want to call a phone number.
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    7

    TeamworkPM

    http://www.teamworkpm.net/refer/townweb
    This is a great piece of software which is an alternative to Basecamp. It just works. The best feature in my opinion is how easy it is for clients to use it. They do not really even need to log in to use it. Instead they can be assigned a dedicated email address and simply email files and questions using that email address so that the team is informed. Additionally, if they are assigned a task, they can reply to it via email and their reply (and attachments) are added to the specific task thread. If you are struggling to collaborate with a remote team and with several clients simultaneously, TeamworkPM will make your life so much easier. We discovered this tool after being frustrated with too many back and forth emails, too many CC/BCC emails, and after needing something easy to use. Note: the URL is a link to my referral link
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    8

    Toggl

    http://toggl.com
    We use this for tracking project time with contractors. It's actually free to use, but we actually pay the $5/month per person to get the advanced features. This piece of software makes it easier to do cost-accounting because of how easy it is to export the project details by task, by client or by worker. This also makes it easier to calculate time on a project when needing to bill a client, or to pay a contractor. They also have an iPhone and Android app so that contractors can track their time away from a computer, which is helpful if they're going to be out of the office, or doing tasks that are non-computer tasks, such as running errands. One feature that is nice is when a time is left running overnight, we get an email about it saying what happened. We can go in and manually stop the timer and enter in the correct details quite easily.
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