Life as a Digital Nomad: 10 Designers Share Their Tools

Becoming a digital nomad when you’re already a graphic designer isn’t the simplest thing within the world. While this career path is rewarding thanks to the sheer freedom—and the traveling may be a great bonus—there are numerous challenges you’ve got to master to form the foremost of becoming a digital nomad. this type of lifestyle isn’t for everybody, but, for those that have the eagerness for it, numerous benefits and overall empowerment await.

What makes this lifestyle possible is that the use of the proper tools, which makes all the difference to productivity and delivering fantastic results for your clients. because of the interconnectivity of the online, digital nomads have an equivalent advantage as their counterparts who are based in one location. In other words, distance and remoteness are not any longer barriers to delivering high-quality work while living the transient life you would like. It comes right down to how you empower yourself with the proper platforms, find the way of learning about them may you join the best institutions that have provided the best graphic designing course in Delhi.

We asked 10 Creative Market shop owners, who also are remote workers, what their go-to tools are. Here’s what they revealed.

1. Optimize Your Processes


Being a digital nomad means having to juggle many things at an equivalent time to urge projects to wipe out a high-quality process for valued clients. When you’re traveling, there’s nothing just like the security of having the ability to consistently depend upon a good assortment of tools—essentially, having an overall system in place—that ensures great results.

In Tomas Laurinavicius’ case, his tools of choice support everything he does from the standpoint of an entrepreneur running a business on the go. all of them help him save tons of your time and energyand everyone has his own, specific job.

Here’s Tomas’ list:

  • Whereby for quick 1-on-1 video calls

  • Todoist for managing personal tasks

  • Airtable for side project databases and project management

  • Webflow for quick online prototyping and blogging

  • Spark for fast email processing on Mac

  • 1Password for password management and secure sharing

  • Google Drive for sharing documents and collaborating asynchronously

  • Figma for collaborating on visual design projects and exploring ideas

  • Slack for automated notifications, internal messaging, and connecting with cool 
  • people in niche communities

  • Bannerbear for automatically generating images for social media

  • Fathom Analytics for privacy-respecting website analytics

  • Roam Research for note-taking, writing, and knowledge management

  • MailerLite for automated email campaigns

  • Grammarly for fixing my spelling and grammar

  • Pipedrive for managing my sales process and outreach campaigns

  • Hunter for quickly finding emails

  • Toggle for tracking time

  • Calendly for scheduling calls across different time zones

  • Zapier for connecting different apps and services

  • Integromat for more advanced and granular automation of tasks

  • TextExpander for quickly typing frequently used terms and sentences

  • Makerpad for learning new skills for work and side projects

  • Wave Apps for accounting

  • Revolut for spending and stock picking

  • Stripe for online payments

  • PayPal for online payments

  • YNAB for budgeting and net worth tracking

“I consider myself a tech nerd and wish to try new tools and apps. While I don’t switch fairly often, sometimes there’s a tool or service that’s simply better than others or does quite competitors and persuades me to migrate. I feel it is often really overwhelming at the start, so stick with tools that you simply know and slowly explore. Picking the simplest tools won’t help much if you don’t deliver by the top of the day.”

Tomas Laurinavicius, tomaslau

2. rest on Mobile Devices

Technology may be a must for any nomad who wants to thoroughly achieve the digital nomad lifestyle. the right combination of hardware and software unites to make a very portable canvas for designers on the go.

Marina, the shop owner behind Popmarleo, says her go-to tools are those with easy-to-use interfaces and UX. Currently performing on digital nomad jobs within the city of Marmaris in Turkey, she’s enjoying the cool vibes of this resort town by partaking altogether kinds of sports like kiteboarding and spearfishing (and it also helps keep her fresh and productive).

She can’t live or fulfill client projects without her Apple Macbook and her Wacom graphic tablet, alongside her software of choice: Adobe Illustrator. Luckily for her, Illustrator is compatible together with her Wacom graphic tablet and her iOS devices.

“I’m using my Macbook and an easy Wacom tablet. I got an iPad last year but didn’t yet make any use of it. I’m so attached to Adobe Illustrator: Digital nomad hinges really like to sketch directly in AI with a blob brush. The newly released Illustrator for iPad is, at the instant, a fun toy.”

Marina, Popmarleo Shop

3. Collect Inspiration and References On the Go

Becoming digital nomad hinges on creating balance. It’s not just the work-life balance that we’re talking about, but, even as vitally, the equilibrium between old-school tools and equipment that’s more in line with 21st-century technology.

For Shop Owner Andres Moreno at Nimatype, counting on tried, tested, and true tools that are around forever—along with digital tools—is how he’s thrived in his travels. Working off a number of his lodging costs within the places he stays has also helped him keep expenses low.

While the pandemic is understandably making it challenging to travel unimpeded lately, Andres is confident he’ll be hitting South America, specifically Argentina, within the near future.

“Besides basic luggage, when traveling, I always bring a pencil and a notebook to write down down quick ideas, and, of course, my computer to figure and keep connected. A camera is additionally essential since I really like nature, but I also wish to keep a record of nice logos, illustrations, lettering, posters, graffiti, etc., that I encounter on my journeys. Another thing that I need to have with me is my music; sometimes, there’s no streaming, and that I would go crazy without music.”

Andres Moreno, NimaType

4. Try Canva and Browser-Based Design Tools

Canva has been a runaway success since it launched in 2012. This platform, which makes it easy for designers to make visual content like social media graphics and presentations (just to call a few), is liberal to use and also offers paid subscriptions. Featuring both a desktop experience and app, it’s ideal for the digital nomad traveling with their device of choice. We even have a subcategory for Canva assets at Creative Market.

Shop Owner Giovanni, from Creative Presets, puts all his faith in Canva:

“My favorite tool ever is Canva. As a designer, Canva is a tremendous and quick thanks to creating things and organize my files.”

Giovanni, Creative Presets

5. Reduce the number of Tools You’re Using

This is one of the toughest pieces of recommendation for nomads to follow. If you’re considering the way to become a digital nomad, remember that it doesn’t depend upon using as many tools as possible. When your platform count gets too high, it’s the other effect of empowering your productivity and creativity: instead, it starts to weigh you down.

That’s what Daniel Schwarz discovered throughout his years of being a digital nomad.

“As for tools, I do have a couple of, but I attempt to limit the number of tools that I exploit. I find that tools, especially management tools, are mostly procrastination disguised as productivity. II feel the tools that I couldn’t live without would include:

  1. Adobe XD
  2. 1Password
  3. Shopify Theme Kit
  4. Affinity Designer
  5. Alfred
  6. iA Writer
  7. PixelSnap
  8. Postman
  9. Optimal Workshop
  10. Whimsical
  11. Typeform
  12. Shopify
  13. Google’s Lighthouse audit
  14. Google Search Console
  15. Twitter (@mrdanielschwarz)
  16. Café culture – I work from cafés a day

Daniel Schwarz, Daniel Schwartz

6. Balance Design Tools With Tools to truly Run Your Business

It happens so often to designers: they’re trapped such a lot in their craft that they often tend to forget that they’re business people, too, and thus need a well-rounded set of tools. this is often particularly true for digital nomads who need meeting and accounting support as they’re performing on their projects from various places.

In Caroline Mackay’s case, she understands this only too well, which is why her essential tools of the trade center on quite just strictly design ones. Her go-to tools include communication apps and finance tools.

“The absolute essentials are my MacBook, an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and a reliable Wi-Fi connection! My favorite tool to use is my Wacom tablet, which I exploit for illustrations and drawing icons, but also even as a mouse. Intuitive accounting software is additionally really helpful. I’m using one called Rounded. IspecializationgaugewithDigitaldigital nomad hinges exploit Zoom for video meetings and Slack to form it easy to stay in touch with clients and run projects smoothly.”

Caroline Mackay, Caroline Mackay

7. Look Out for specialized Apps

On the opposite hand, if you’re a designer with a special specialization in a particular sort of digital nomad jobs—such as designing for user-interface screens, for example—you might want to drill down specifically into tools that optimize your craft. This empowers you to actually become a specialist at what you are doing and switch out high-quality work each and each time.

In Wei Liu’s approach, finding the tools that help him create better UI, UX, web design, and branding experiences are priceless. because the co-founder of dineHQ, an internet design, and digital agency, he relies on design-heavy tools to please clients and make aesthetic visual experiences.

“As a designer, I mainly specialize in screen designs like UI/UX, web design, and branding. My main design tools are an iPad with Apple Pencil and an iMac.

Here are the apps I exploit every day:

  • Paper by WeTransfer – to sketch ideas
  • Figma – my main design tool
  • After Effects – animation design
  • Drama – for animation and prototype design
  • Cinema4D – to make 3D visuals
  • Eagle – to gather inspirations
  • Raindrop – to gather bookmarks
  • Iconjar – my icon manager”

Wei Liu, Neway Lau

8. Be Willing to vary Up Your Workflow

Flexibility is important once you weigh the way to become a digital nomad. supported where you’re and what projects you’re seeing through to completion, the equipment you believe shouldn’t always stay constant. That’s why you would like to gauge different options and intrepidly make changes, together with our digital nomads acknowledged.

ThePolovinkin, whose designs center on pixelated and digitized patterns and remains a full-time digital nomad even during this pandemic, made the change from PC to Mac, alongside a jump from Adobe tools to iOS apps. This enabled him to regulate his workflows to raised accommodate the designs he was curious about producing.

“A few years ago, I had used a PC laptop, a Wacom Intuos creative pen tablet, and Adobe illustrator for up to 90% of my time spent on projects. Now, I exploit my iPad Pro and therefore the Pixaki app. Sometimes, once I got to convert raster to vector, I exploit my MacBook and illustrator.”

ThePolovinkin, ThePolovinkin

9. Be Mindful of Your “Traveler” Creative Mindset
It’s hard to not work once you spend such a lot of time on the road because both your creativity and finances will dwindle. Even on road trips—when you’re hitting one town after the next—a good digital nomad will always find inspiration.

That’s the way it’s with Yuliya Derbisheva, a digital nomad and watercolor illustrator from Europe. She and her husband travel a minimum of 3 times a year, with the highlight being an enormous summer road trip starting in Russia and browsing Greece, Belarus, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and lots of other places.

She’s learned to not bring watercolors on her trips because the water quickly evaporates at the beach, but she won’t leave home without her computers and digital devices.

“We usually take two laptops and an iPad with us. On my iPad, I draw linear illustrations and make sketches for brand spanking new sets. The laptop is nearly better fitted to this.

When traveling, I often finish my sets: I make ready-made designs, create previews for Creative Market, add new sets to the location, promote them, and communicate with customers. When traveling, the brain works differently; it’s more relaxed and thus ready to generate new ideas. This helps tons together with your work.”

Yuliya Derbisheva, Yuliya Derbisheva

10. Mix Virtual and Traditional Instruments

One of the repetitive themes we see here when watching our digital nomad’s comments is that the combination of technology with traditional tools. regardless of how well your iPad empowers you to virtually draw or what proportion a selected app allows you to edit your designs altogether kinds of ways, traditional tools are timeless and thus still fashionable many graphic designers within the 21st century.

One such example is SNIPESCIENTIST, a graphic designer whose skills span font making, logo design, branding, and resumes. store travel by two brothers, SNIPESCIENTIST features a huge appreciation for technology, but still deep respect for the normal tools without which they simply can’t finish projects. Being a digital nomad means having to be comfortable with both mediums and scenarios.

“We use our iPad Pro, an iMac, and a PC as tools, alongside, sometimes, sketch papers. We are two brothers who design together.”

Snipe Scientist, SNIPESCIENTIST

The Tools of the Trade for Digital Nomads

Whether you’re trying to find digital nomad jobs immediately or getting to travel soon, one thing’s for sure: the proper tools and processes can make the difference between maintaining your business (and lifestyle!) and losing your clients. From the digital nomads we interviewed, it’s apparent that a lot of believing a plethora of devices, instruments, and tools to try to do their work.

Nomad designers enjoy this lifestyle because it brings more freedom and creativity than being stuck in an office or reception 24/7/365. After all, what better thanks to gain inspiration as a graphic designer than to travel, see the planet, and incorporate those experiences into your designs? Have some go-to tools of your own? be happy to share within the comments section below.

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