An Amateur’s Guide to Location Independence [Part 3 of 3]

July 9, 2009 by Anil Polat  

In Part 1 you got the basic hardware and software to get started working and in Part 2 took it to the next level with virtual machines and off site backups. Today for the 3rd and final part of the series I’ll run down some basic security and budget tools as well as good online time wasters for your location independent mobile office.

working on a laptop at the beach


There are a number of other laptop anti-theft, tracking, and cool security software that I wanted to include, but weren’t essential for a mobile office. If you’re curious, send me an email or ask away in the comments. I highly recommend TrueCrypt for all laptops and if you’ve got a Windows machine don’t leave it without anti-virus software.

  • TrueCrypt – Encrypt your entire hard drive, specific files and folders, as well as USB drives (for free). The only overhead you’ll have is an extra password for access.
  • Avast! Anti-Virus and SuperAntiSpyware – For Windows only (both free). On Macs and Linux machines you can forgo these types of programs, for now.

mint com logoBudgets

Get Better Travel Photos From Your Phone With These Apps

Wasting Time

Everyone who works in front of a computer wastes time, whether you’re location independent or not. You don’t want your mobile office to be lacking of this essential creative zoning out time so waste time efficiently.

  • Twitter – Even the most reluctant realize how useful yet what a time pit Twitter can be. There are so many different ways to absorb it and TweetDeck and TwitterFox are only 2 examples. Come find me on Twitter if you haven’t already.
  • TravBuddies GeoQuiz – Dan who will be leaving the UK in August to travel the world, which you can read about on his travel blog Dan’s Adventure, suggests this fun online time waster. See how much your travels have taught you about the world and test your knowledge while avoiding actual work.
  • polaroidsFlip Through Pictures – Dan (who’s been a big help in this series) suggests looking at geotagged photos from Flickr and (which has a bit more variety). Aside from his blog, you can find more useful tips from Dan by following him on Twitter @DansAdventure.
  • Be Lazier – Read my other blog for ways to do less and not feel guilty about it.

Here are 10 other online time wasters – how do you pass the time online when you’re not working or traveling?

TunnelBear Brings All The Travel Benefits Of A VPN To Your Mobile Devices

More Information On Location Independence

There are a number of good resources, blogs, and websites to help you with your technical and other questions about the location independent lifestyle and digital nomad tips. Here are just some of the few, and I invite you to drop your links in the comments if you recommend yourself or others.

Location Independence is A Few Clicks Away

While this series on an amateur’s guide to location independence is by no means comprehensive it will cover most of your basic location independent office needs. For (almost) nothing you can convert your laptop into a powerful IT department with the best manager you have with you – yourself.

All you need to work and travel fits in your backpack and rests within your head.

[photos by: zzatras777, Spencer Finnley]

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  1. dreaming says:

    My big obstacle with this location independent working is how to fit into the legal and tax systems. Almost every country I’ve lived in has reacted very strongly AGAINST the concept of location independence.

    And I’m not talking about tax evasion or retiring rich to the Cayman Islands – I just mean fitting earning any money around working visas and local systems without, er, breaking the law…or paying more in bureaucratic and accountant’s fees than I’m earning.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Anil P. says:

      I guess it depends on where you are an what type of work you do exactly. I think that location independence is a new or foreign concept for many governments so that makes visas and taxes a cumbersome process.

      I’m not sure what the best general resource is for such things, I think it’s something that has to be taken care of on a specific basis for each place. I’m open to hearing any further suggestions from others though.

  2. jen laceda says:

    Ooh, I’m going to check out Mint. That’s such a good idea!

  3. Dan says:

    Happy to help, I’ve enjoyed this series.

    TrueCrypt is a good shout. I use it for a hidden encrypted volume on my harddisk for scans of my passport, driving license, credit card etc in case I lose them and also on a usb drive which I use for backups. The usb drive is so small, its easy to misplace, so I like the reassurance that its contents are encrypted.

    • Anil P. says:

      Originally this post was going to be a single one but kept growing longer and longer. I guess I like writing about technology and get carried away, glad you and others like reading about it too.

      I use the full disk encryption along with hidden volumes on the hard drive and encrypt all of my USB drives. I can’t imagine losing my important documents on a lost or stolen USB drive that wasn’t encrypted.

      Yeesh – what a pain that would be.

  4. Cool, thanks for mentioning Anil! Look forward to your submissions for this next edition of the Location Independent Blog Carnival! Cheers

    • Anil P. says:

      Thanks Cody. I was going to pull a few good links from the last carnival but there were so many decided just to link to them all at once. Great site you have.