If you've already heard about Scott's Cheap Flights then you know about their concept. There is no longer needed of you to spend hours scouring the internet for those incredibly discounted flights, just simply let "Scott" (the service) spend 24-hour a day 7-days a week doing the searching for you.
By using this service you'll save a lot of time and "Scott" will also cover a lot more ground than you would ever be able to do on your own. The only downside to the service is that the free version is somewhat limited.
In this version you are only able to choose rather large areas of departure (e.g. Northern Europe), something that isn't very helpful most of the time. However, if you decide to pay for a premium account at about 2.5€ a month, you'll get access to your own account page where you can specify exactly what airports that you want to depart from.
I have only been using this service for a short amount of time, but the deals that I've received this far are incredible. We're talking trips costing under half of what they would normally do, and if you're still unsure about using this service I'd urge you to check out some of the testimonials at their success stories page.
To end this post I'd like to say that this is not a sponsored review, I just really enjoy this service, and it's nothing wrong with trying out their free notifications. Just remember, deciding to go for their premium membership will probably end up paying for itself if you go for one of the deals (what you save on one deal will on average cover the premium cost for about 10 years).
Being able to work remotely can potentially be a lot of fun, but it can be equally challenging. You have a good amount of freedom when it comes to when and where you work, but this does come with a lot of responsibility on your own part.
Some of the most common challenges you'll face when you're working remotely are related to communication, collaboration and teamwork. These issues can usually be solved with the help of a few of the many tools that are available, but in most cases you're going to need to to combine a few of these.
Video Chat and Meetings
One of the simpler apps for hosting both audio and video meetings. It's easy to both host and join a conversation and it rarely crashes. The possible number of participants will vary based on your pricing plan, the roof is at 250, which is probably more than you're ever going to need. Definitely a good choice for quick meetings.
Much like join.me, but with better integrations for Trello, Slack and Youtube. This solution is completely browser-based and there is no need for any registrations or downloads. It works great for both desktop and mobile devices, and the screen sharing is all you'll need for remote meetings. Unfortunately there are limitations when it comes to number of participants.
Is pretty default and known by a lot of remote workers. Like Appear.in it have good integrations with Trello, Slack and is probably the best one when it comes to Youtube Live. Hangouts is easy to use, but it feels like it's a little outdated in its layout.
This is a solution if you need to either broadcast live to a larger audience or if you feel like recording a quick video. You can choose to set everything up in a couple of minutes by integrating with Google Hangouts or you can use the more advanced encoding software for better results.
You can't mention team chat without talking about slack. This is the most commonly used chatting tool available, it integrates with almost anything and the number of useful chatbots are incredible. Using slack will cut back on a lot of unnecessary emailing.
A close second to slack from atlassian (the creators of JIRA). You will basically find all the same things that you expect to find using slack: Great integrations with Trello, JIRA, Github and Google Drive, team and video chat, chatbots, and a file sharing system.
Project Management Tools
A great solution for both desktop and mobile devices. It's easy to use and a great tool for project and task management. Delegating tasks, prioritizing and discussing tasks have never been this easy, and it can be a lot of fun to explore some of Trello's many "power-ups".
A robust project and issue tracker that is a good fit for larger teams. Planning and managing agile sprints is incredibly straightforward, tracking and updating tasks are orderly, and the reports you can generate for each sprint are very helpful.
A good tool for smaller teams. It's simple and there are room for a decent amount of customization, managing your team and their tasks is easy.
Is much like JIRA in a lot of ways, but it has placed larger emphasis on integrations. Some of the integrations have been previously mentioned, like Slack and Trello, but it's the ones with the focus on marketing campaigns that really got me excited, like MailChimp.
File Sharing Tools
One of the best tools for storing and sharing files, especially the cloud storage. Much like Google Docs it can be used for collaboration, but I often end up using it as a place where I keep my old presentations and documents. There are also times where I use it to upload a file that I'm going to share with a lot of people. In other words it's just a better version of Google Drive, which I find a bit messy.
An excellent way to collaborate on word documents, excel spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations. You and your team will have all the tools that you are used to, like tracking changes and adding comments. All without having to send x-versions of the documents back and forth. The best part is that multiple people can work on the same document in real-time.
This one is a lot more than a standard cloud storage with different integrations and tools that are fitting for both single individuals and teams. Box comes with everything you're ever going to need and more, but unfortunately there are no free option after your first two-week trial, and all the available functions can make Box harder to get used to.
This is the ultimate site for hosting code and probably will be for a long time. It's also common to use Github for hosting organizational wiki pages, and if you like you can even host simple webpages using Github pages.
A powerful tool for making design prototypes. InVision has a seamless communication channel, making it easy to give constructive feedback directly on the design. It has it's very own design-driven project management system that looks a lot like Trello, but if you don't want to use it you can easily integrate it with other tools like Github, Slack, Trello and JIRA.
An amazing tool for front-end designers and developers. It's both social and a fun way to write and share your work, and the best part is that you can collaborate on the code and get feedback in real time. This is by far one of the best places to build and deploy a website, find inspiration and show of your work.
I think many of you have been introduced to Doodle at some point. This tool makes it incredibly easy to coordinate the best time to schedule meetings, you simply send out a poll and pick the time that works best for the majority.
Chimp or Champ
If you're managing a team and want to know their level of happiness in their job you should check out this amazing tool. Chimp or Champ is very easy to use and it's is incredibly straightforward. It sends out weekly anonymous check-ins where the employees can express how they felt during the week, reflect on the reason and give actionable feedback. And one more thing, Chimp or Champ is completely free if you teams average happiness level is above 75%.
Take a Break Please
Staring at the computer screen for too long isn't good for you, and by using this very simple app you won't forget to take breaks. It can be even easier to forget about your breaks when you work remote and without the constant interruptions of office work. This app does exactly what you'd think and reminds you to take a break.
Every Time Zone
It can be really bothersome trying to wrap your head around whether your clients or co-workers are awake or not if you reside in different time zones. By using this site you'll never have to wonder if it's morning or evening, day or night in a given area again.
This is another incredible tool for remote teams. The team members only need to remember one password (the one for LastPass), opening up the possibility to use LastPass' to create strong randomized passwords for your other logins. This tool comes with advanced multi-factor authentication which you really should use as, no offence, you'd be a moron not when all your other keys are stored here.
While looking for cheap flights you have probably used sites like Skyscanner, Expedia and Momondo. These are all good, classic sites that in many situations can be everything you need to find flights at decent prices, but you shouldn't limit yourself to just this type of flight-scanners.
I know, it's easy to get lost in a world filled with countless search-engines and services for booking flights. The good thing about this abundance is that you have the chance to browse multiple sites before you decide to buy a ticket, which is a good thing to do. Nevertheless, you can save a lot of time and money if you remember to check out the following sites.
These are the top sites that I use when I'm looking for my next travel destination, one ones I highly recommend that you start using yourself.
First up is KAYAK with its impressive number of choices
If you're lazy and only want to check one site (or app), then start using KAYAK. It searches hundreds of sites at once, and the options available here, when it comes to both flexibility and filters are everything you'll need and more.
You can use it like a standard flight-scanner by choosing your from/to destinations and the dates you wish to travel, or you can decide to broaden your search with some of KAYAKS' additional features.
What I think makes KAYAK so great is the ability to add +/- 1 to 3 days around the dates that you are planning to travel and KAYAK will provide you with a list of the cheapest days to book flights. Combine this with the ability to choose "Anywhere" as travel destination and you are going to get some amazing prices for places all around the world.
As you can see from the screenshot above there is also sliders that you can use to filter out expensive and/or longer flights, and under "Dates" you can even find additional filters like: check for the cheapest flights for summer 2018 or I want a cheap 3 weeks trip anytime this year.
There is also the possibility to sign up for alerts on bargains.
Secondly I recomend WhereFor, a simple yet brilliant tool
Using WhereFor is simply a lot of fun. It is one of the easiest ways to figure out where you can travel for the set amount of money that you're willing to spend.
Take into consideration that the budget you enter is going to cover both flights and hotel, and you're all set. However you don't need to book both (or any) through the website, but it still gives you a good idea of where you can afford to travel.
WhereFor will search for any location in the entire world by default, which is great, but sometimes you may want to limit your search to certain areas or interests. This feature is fortunately available under the sites "Advanced Search".
If you're like me and really like Asia, then you may consider limiting your search to this, or maybe you're interested in wine and want to go somewhere that is famous for it's vineyards (obvious tip: France or Italy).
Last but not least are Google Flights
It is not a big shocker that the giant Google was going to come up with a search-engine for flights too, and it does deliver amazing results, even with its very simplistic look. It is impressive how many destinations Google flights is able to find for you.
The amount of filters that you can toy around with are almost too many, and this can at times be frustrating. This frustration will pass however, once you get familiar with where all of them are (my main issue was that the tabs "flights" and "explore map" doesn't use the same filters, which feels inconsistent.)
One thing that's very good about Google flights is their price calendar, this makes it easy for the user to see when it's cheapest to travel. It's a great tool, but to be honest it's more of a manual version of setting +/- days like you can do with KAYAK (and by using flexible dates here).
If you're reading this and you're thinking about just using Google from now on, hold on a minute. I understand that you may think that Google flights has it all, and yes, it kinda does. However it's not necessarily the best site to use, as by comparing multiple sites I've realized the flights you find here aren't always the cheapest. I'm also inclined to say that the first two sites are slightly more fun and easier to use.
Avoiding the Commute
Reducing or completely eliminating the time you spend commuting is going to stop you from wasting a good amount of time every day. Time that most of us would rather want to spend doing something more enjoyable. Not having to commute is not just liberating in itself by wasting less of your time, your money and removing stress; but it also adds a lot of flexibility when it comes to your day to day activities.
More Time with Family and Friends
Having a remote workplace is incredible when it comes to spending more time for your friends and family. You do not just save time by not commuting, but you also have the ability to schedule your day however you deem fit. Something that will be give you the opportunity to be more available to your loved ones. There is also the possibility for you to work where the people you want to spend time with are, as long as you are able to focus on your job.
Having the Ability to Travel
Without a physical office tying you to one location you can easily combine both your job and travel. You will have the ability to visit all the places you have dreamed about going. You may also realize that this can potentially cost less than paying rent for an apartment. Then there are the added benefit of you no longer needing to go on the typical one week vacation to a place - you can stay there indefinitely if you feel like it.
Increased Productivity and Scheduled Flexibility
Working remotely have increased my productivity immensely. I face far less distractions compared to at an office, and having web-meetings are usually way more efficient than having them in-person.
It is usually a good idea to try to work from 9-5 like most other jobs, but some days this isn't going to fit your schedule. Fortunately this is solved by your remote workplace and the flexibility that comes with it. Some days it may be more fitting to work from 8-12, take a break, then do the rest of your work later in the day.
The time we spend commuting varies a lot from one individual to the next, and most of us don't really think that much about it. The average person spends about one-hour commuting everyday (2x30min), and you may think "what is an hour anyway?". It's easy to think like this, but what if I tell you that this one hour every day adds up to an insane amount of time in just a few weeks.
Within six months you will have spent approximately five 24-hour days on your commute, and if you split this up into workdays your number will be even scarier. A person working an 8-hour workday will quickly realize that they have just spent 15 workdays (or 1/2 month) commuting in just half a year. Just imagine what the same person could do if they didn't have to commute and freed up this time.
I have created a very basic calculator to illustrate how much time you spend commuting. The calculator asks you for some basic inputs and the outputs will then tell you how many full days and how many workdays you spend commuting every year.
Using the calculator you'll see that even if you just commute for 30-minutes it adds up to a decent amount of time, and what about the not so uncommon (dreaded) two or three-hour commute? Now that is a lot of time....
The calculator can be found under resources or here.