Welcome to the Minimalist Journeys Life Resources page, a curated list of the apps, tools, websites and items we recommend so that you too can experience more by living with less. This list is designed to help you organise your home and finances, and give you more time for the stuff that truly matters in your life. As we have Australia, New Zealand and German citizenship, some of the products and services we use and recommend are based on those countries and may not apply to everyone.
Many of the resources on this page were crucial to developing our lifestyle to where it is today. We have tried and tested many options, but only those resources that made the cut are listed here. These are our preferences, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. Though, we do add and change this list as we find more and better resources that help us all. As such, we always look for organisations that are aligned with our values, so if you represent a company interested in working with us please get in touch.
Not sure what to do with your old photos and documents? Make space in your home and preserve your mementoes with our step-by-step guide.
You have the choice of getting the documents and photos scanned by a professional company or doing them yourself.
The Epson Perfection V370 Photo Scanner is the best flatbed scanner we can recommend to scan documents photos and negatives. We used this to scan over 6,000 photos and negatives as well as all of Sandra’s most important documents.
Portable Document Scanning
To remain paperless after having digitised all your photos and documents, we recommend using Dropbox and its built-in scanning feature that will scan any receipts, invoices and other physical documents you may have (to a PDF format) and then automatically store them in its file storage platform.
- Scan multiple pages as PDF files and save into the one single file.
- Take photo through the app and save as a JPG format.
- Save the file to a specific Dropbox folder or the default one.
- Able to rename the file as you save it or use the app suggested file name .
- Rearrange multiple pages into the correct order before you save them.
- You can scan a document while offline. Once you get an internet connection, the document uploads to your Dropbox.
- The SmartPhone app is free and if you have the Dropbox Personal account, you get 2MB free. f you require more storage, then there is an additional cost, depending on your specific plan.
- For Dropbox Plus, Dropbox Professional, and Dropbox Business users, there is a search functionality that allows you to do a full-text search of the scanned documents as well as copy text from within a PDF file
- Capture a photo of a document and convert it into a clean, rectangular PDF.
- Cannot scan multiple pages as PNG files to save into the one single file.
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is only available for Dropbox Business users and only for PDF files.
Digital File Storage
Once you have scanned your initial documents, photos and negatives, you need somewhere to put them. These cloud storage providers allow you to
- store digital files (including photos and documents) safely – as the storage and the transmission of files are encrypted, and also facilitate two-factor authentication; and
- access them anywhere, from any device, and at any time using an internet connection.
Our two favourites are Dropbox and OneDrive.
We use Dropbox to
- back up the smartphone app folders and files, including data from our Password Managers and My Pain Diary;
- back up our photos, videos and scanned documents (including receipts) from our iPhones*;
- store all our photos and videos, including those scanned photos from decades ago; and
- share document files with our accountant, and photo and video files with loved ones.
Dropbox Basic comes with 2GB of space and is free. If you want more space or features, you can upgrade to Dropbox Plus, Professional or Business, which are priced at different price points.
* We don’t use iCloud for this as we prefer an agnostic solution in case we change our phone operating system at some point in the future.
While we use Dropbox to store our photo and video files, we use Microsoft OneDrive for all our documents, because
- changes we make to our files are automatically synchronized across all our devices; and
- we can access our files offline, which means we can be productive even without an internet connection.
As with Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive is encrypted, and you can share files and folders with friends and family. No more large email attachments or USB drives – just send a link via email, text, iMessage or Facebook.
Avira Phantom VPN Pro
We have been using Avira products and services since 2012 and thoroughly recommend them. Avira is a German multinational security software company mainly known for its antivirus software Avira Internet Security. And while it is best known for the antivirus product, Avira launched the virtual private network solution in 2017 and has been enhancing the features and capability ever since. It is now available for the four main operating systems: Android, iOS, macOS and Windows in both a Free and Pro version.
To get technical, neither traffic nor IP addresses are logged on their VPN service, however, bandwidth is logged. And being a German company, they are bound by the General Data Protection Regulations.
As a critical application, it is one of the ones we would recommend you pay for – whichever solution you go with.
Physical Mail Handling
The government, banks and businesses all require your physical or postal address before you access their services, which makes not having a fixed abode (like us) especially challenging.
You can select either a Post Office (PO) box or a street address. Given that all financial institutions and many businesses don’t accept PO box addresses for regulatory purposes, we chose the street address option.
The benefits are:
- Your mail will be received (and signed if required) and you will be notified via email, so you no longer miss important mail;
- You can select which mail you want to have scanned and emailed, shredded or forwarded based on the sender and the weight of the item;
- They provide bank-grade security and protect your privacy; and
- The company is New Zealand owned and operated.
We only operate Australian, New Zealand, and German bank accounts so our actionable tips and practical advice on this in regards personal finance is limited to those countries and the personal experience we have had.
28 Degrees Mastercard
- No annual fee
- No currency conversion fees.
- No international transaction fees on purchases
It is based on no additional spend requirement or the need to have money deposited into a bank account.
You can also use the Card with six different devices to pay for transactions.
The downside is that it is not a points card and even if you are charging thousands to your credit card every year, we estimate the benefits of this card far outweigh those of a points incentive card.
If you pay off your credit card every month (as you should), this is a real money saver. They also offer complimentary worldwide concierge service, 24 hours a day and free Wi-Fi access at more than 1 million hotspots worldwide.
You may not think you need one, can’t afford one, or your personal accounts, finances and taxes aren’t complicated enough to warrant an Account, however, if:
- You are a tax resident of New Zealand AND
- Are a digital nomad and/or
- Have several bank accounts or personal investments
then this advice may be for you. Accounting and Taxation Centre in Stoke, New Zealand provide an excellent service for an affordable price. They have provided us with sound, practical advice over the last couple of years in regards to personal investment decisions and our lifestyle choices. Although we have been to their office just once, the majority of our transactions, because of our lifestyle have been via email or telephone calls. They have an excellent understanding of the nature of New Zealand digital nomads.
What to wear
Obviously, this is a very personal decision, depending on where you live, your lifestyle, your job, age and gender. We have prepared a list of clothing we own as well as where we purchased it from. The lists are based upon our lifestyle of travelling full-time with carry-on luggage only. They include clothing, but also other personal items. This is all we own personally. When we purchase an item, it is added to the list. When we remove an item, the list is also updated.
- Ultimate Carry-On Packing List for Men
- Running gear for travellers
- Ultimate Carry-On Packing List for Women
And below is the list of shops or stores we predominantly purchase from.
Whether it be for new cargo pants, socks or underwear, Amazon Store has a great selection of authentic products that are fulfilled quickly and the packages are easy to track.
We find that Amazon often has the best prices available anywhere. Very rarely do we have to pay full recommended retail prices. and we regularly find exactly what we want on sale.
Communicate with Loved Ones
Our third most used VoIP service is FaceTime. Similar to Skype and WhatsApp, it uses your WiFi or cellular data connection for audio and video calls.
It’s super easy to use, but its’ disadvantage is that only those with an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac) can make or receive calls.
FaceTime is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
As a United Kingdom-based geneaology service, Living DNA specialises in DNA testing and analysis. The service provides deep ancestry details from all around the world, using a unique process of analysis and using linked DNA.
Living DNA calls itself a three-in-one DNA test, as it inspects there parts of your DNA: your autosomes, yDNA from your father, and mtDNA from your mother.
We all have our favourite when it comes to voice over internet (VoIP) and messaging services. Ours is Skype, as it allows us to
- have group video calls – it’s awesome to see everyone as if we were all together in the same room; and
- call mobile and landline numbers at very low rates.
On top of that, it’s super easy to use.
Similar to Skype, WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages, images, and make audio or video calls.
We mainly use it so send text messages and images, because it is so widely used internationally, and its’ messaging capability is much like a mobile phone text service. However, because WhatsApp uses the internet to send messages, the cost is significantly less than on a mobile phone plan (unless you have a plan with unlimited text and multi media messages).
Career and Personal Growth
Nomadtopia Collective is the brainchild of Amy Scott, who also hosts the Nomadtopia Podcast, where she interviews people to find out more about their location-independent life. We started tuning into Amy’s podcasts before we left our corporate careers. Many of the stories have inspired us and helped shape what our Nomadtopia looks like today.
The Nomadtopia Collective gives you access to up-to-date, relevant resources for living a location-independent life and a small but supportive community for your journey. Especially when you’re on your own, having the backing of the community makes location-independent life less lonely, and more sustainable.