In almost exactly a month, I’m getting in the car with my fiancée and our valuables and starting the drive to Edmonton, Alberta. I’ve done the cross-country drive twice before – it’s an amazing way to see the country, and I am really looking forward to the drive.
Why Edmonton? My fiancée has been admitted to the PhD program at the University of Alberta. Luckily, my business is really location independent. The internet has done so much to allow us to communicate remotely that working from anywhere truly is a reality these days.
I’ve been setting up tools for my business for quite some time with a mind to being able to work from anywhere. Here’s the list of what I use:
Vonage – For my business phone. Unlimited minutes and two phone numbers – one for those in Hamilton and one for those in Edmonton. Call quality so far has been excellent.
Blackberry – For cell and email on the go. I know some people prefer iPhones but I like the tiny keyboard for tapping out quick emails while I’m heading somewhere.
MyFax – Sometimes you need to actually send a fax. Instead of buying a fax machine, I have a subscription to MyFax, which emails me any faxes I receive as PDFs.
iPad – Yes, I bought one. I really do love it. I got the model with 3G so I have internet with me wherever I go. It’s super portable, and it’s great for killing time by working on my task list. I also bought the keyboard to go with it. The keyboard on screen is large enough that I don’t make too many mistakes, but I prefer a real keyboard for serious typing.
Freshbooks – For billing, tracking expenses and time tracking. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out. I use the recurring billings for hosting, domain registrations and search engine optimization contracts. Makes my life easy and creates easy reports that makes my accountant’s life easy as well!
Basecamp – For project management. I have been a client of Basecamp since February 9 2004 – 4 days after they launched. I’ve used it continuously since then for project collaboration. Clients (mostly) love it and I love that it keeps everything in one place and on track.
Highrise – By the same folks who brought you Basecamp. I used to work at a CRM software company and most enterprise-level CRM solutions are overkill for the solo or small business owner. Highrise keeps what’s necessary and cuts out what isn’t.
There’s are a few more web tools that I use for specific project reasons, but these are the major ones that keep my business humming.
There are things that I am going to miss about Ontario, and in person meetings will require more notice than a day or two, but I am looking forward to the adventure! I’ll be flying back to Hamilton for a visit in November 2010, and if you find yourself in the Edmonton area, drop me a line!