If we’ve learned anything about running a location-independent business over the last 12-ish years, even before we were actually traveling, it’s that there are some non-negotiables for us. Time after time, the tools on this list have saved us heartache, lost revenue, major tech headaches, personal challenges that were just plain unnecessary, and coffee-fueled crises of confidence in our ability to keep traveling – like at all.

This post is a list of our 7 rules for running your business from anywhere – we never leave home (or wherever we’re staying that resembles a home) without them.


View the slideshow . . .



A post-office box


Having a post-office box to direct mail to has been a LIFESAVER, even before we were travelers. Aside from the benefit of random anyones on the internet getting your actual, real home address when we worked at home, we lived in a rather volatile real estate market that involved moving to a new leased home every 1-2 years. I know, sounds fun, right?

Anyway, as much of a blast as it was to pack up and move house every 12-24 months for absolutely no reason, we learned quickly that it is more affordable and far more sane to get a post-office box than it is to use mail forwarding every year. Especially because mail forwards eventually do expire.

We have a PO BOX at an actual post-office near our “home base” campground that is close enough for our local staff to check when we’re away. Most UPS, Kinkos, and Mailboxes Etc. (obviously) locations also have boxes you can rent. You can pay for a year upfront if you like, so no need to worry about when you’ll be back again to keep it up to date. A PO BOX is now one of our must haves.

A community.


I really do, honestly and truly, wish we had figured this one out sooner. We work from home (wherever that is today), we homeschool (same location), we don’t leave for anything other than food and fun – neither of which typically have a built-in social network. I don’t know about your local Whole Foods, but mine doesn’t host mixers.

To keep from going completely insane, you need to have long-term relationships with people and actually connect with them on a deeper level than airport-luggage-compliments and awkward armrest negotiations.

You need real friends. Real life ones and online ones. A whole community of them, if you can, and preferably ones who support and understand your lifestyle choices. We just so happen to have created a community like that right here (shameless plug) but there are others – find one that suits you, join it, participate in it, build relationships, and rely on those people for support when you need it. You’re there to make friends, not to be perfect.

Video Conferencing

Miss seeing the faces of friends and loved ones? Want to land new clients and need to negotiate with them? Want to keep the job you already have, but have agreed not to meet in person anymore while you travel the world?

Enter video conferencing. We can’t live without it. It is our way of staying in touch with friends and family, it is how we communicate with potential and current clients, and it is how we host meetings with our team. We like Zoom. You might like something else, like Skype or Google Hangouts. Pick a tool and stick with it!

Good work habits.


I bullet-journal in Google Keep (and sometimes still paper.) This involves planning out my entire year, month, week, and day, at the beginning of each of those things.

I also use an Eisenhower Matrix (Google it) to prioritize my tasks, aiming to spend as much time as possible in the top right quadrant because that’s where growth happens.

I don’t check my email first thing every morning.

I do create a bunch of instagram quotes at the start of every week.

I don’t keep a firm, set schedule for all of my hours.

I do try to keep my work contained between 10am and 2pm most days.

Set yourself a structure for your work, and make it a daily habit.

It is far easier to work 4 hours every day from anywhere than it is to work 8 hours over 5 days in a cubicle while slowly dying inside. Am I right?

Communication tools

Oh how we <3 #Slack. Email is cool and all, and yes we still use it, but we <3 #Slack with our whole <3s. <3.

We have multiple Slackbots posting messages in our team Slack, including support requests from Groove, new leads from Drift, process triggers from Process.st, and of course, our team chat where we discuss everything that’s going on across the organization.

Because of that, we have one central dashboard for our entire company. New leads come into our #leads channel automatically, if they become clients the onboarding process triggers a slack message into #onboarding, when they ask us for help it goes into #requests, and when we have a funny random gif to share, it goes into random.

Our entire client cycle is covered by Slack, as is our communication within our team. Did I mention Slack is free? Oh yeah. SLACK IS FREE.

Organization tools

I’ve been terrible at organizing things in a way that other people can understand them for my entire life. Bullet journaling has me organized for myself, but I need a way to share progress on projects with the team and keep up to date on what they’re working on.

Enter Trello.

We organize everything in Trello. Blog posts, social media campaigns, group topics, upcoming books, even the outline for the blog posts and upcoming books.

We have two teams – one for this community and one for the agency. Our agency has a project for each client with multiple boards to manage ideas, campaigns, projects, etc. We would be lost without Trello.

Others use Asana, Basecamp, and some use Slack (but I don’t like using Slack for project management – details get lost that way. We just added Trello to Slack!)

Reliable internet

Campground wifi is the most painful experience of my life, hands-down. If you’ve ever tried to load Google.com, waited 3 minutes, and then had it timeout – you know my frustration. So, having more reliable wifi than this has been a huge priority for me.

When we’re in Canada, land of beavers and geese, we use what’s called a Rockethub – it’s a cellular hotspot that gives us up to 100GB of bandwidth per month. Unfortunately, Canada is also the land of telecom monopolies so we don’t have unlimited data here yet.

When I’m using too much data, I find a public hotspot. That’s where my friend WifiMapper comes in. It’s like the Foursquare of public wifi.

Open up the app and you’ll see all of the nearest hotspots with status (open/private/secure), wifi passwords (so you don’t even have to go ask), and reviews (so you know if it sucks eggs before you use it.)

I’ve used it to find hotspots in locations people never even think of, and they’re often WAY faster than the usual Starbucks wifi. For example, did you know that several chains of oil change centers offer complimentary wifi to their customers that no one ever uses so it’s blazing fast? Yeah. Me neither, until I got WifiMapper.

Those are our top 7 non-negotiables for life on the road with a business. What are yours?