Ultimate Digital Nomad Remote Work Setup in 2024

The Ultimate Remote Work Setup for Nomads in 2024

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I haven’t set foot in an office since 2019. It’s 2024 in a few days and I hope to extend this remote working streak for life. In the last 4 and a half years I have put a lot of trial and error into getting a working setup that was “just right” and I am happy to share that I finally found a way to build a dual screen remote work station anywhere I go comfortably and, most importantly, it all fits in a 13″ laptop sleeve.

I broke down my setup in 3 parts: Essentials, Ergonomics and Accessories.

Essentials: Laptop

It’s been 3 years since the Macbook Air M1 (link) came out and it’s still one of the best solutions for working on the go. The M1 chips have revolutionised portable computing. I have used The MBA M1 for all sorts of work, from building React Web Apps with VS Code, editing photos with Photoshop and Capture One opened at the same time and editing both short form and long form videos with CapCut and DaVinci Resolve.

All of the above with 1 or 2 browser windows and a bazillion tabs opened (Yes, I’m one of those).

The Macbook Air M1 has never hanged or froze on me, no matter what work I threw at it. Pair that with an insane battery life and being one of the lightest and thinnest options on the market and it can’t get any better than that.

Essentials: Notebook and Pen

Despite the constant exposure to Remarkable 2 ads on social media and, well, everywhere. I didn’t fall for the whole digital notebook hype and I stick to pen and paper, well… special pen and special paper.

It might not be.. Remarkable.. but my A5 Smart Notebook (link) is certainly an improvement over a normal notepad. This notebook has reusable, erasable pages. The ink will magically disappear when exposed to the hot air of an air dryer or simply by wiping it with a damp cloth.

The only caveat is that you need a gel pen. I found the one that gives the best feeling when typing on this notebook is the Pilot Frixion 0.7 (link).

Reusable pages and refillable pen, means I can take notes on the go and erase them when I don’t need them anymore. I haven’t bought a new pen or a notebook in over 2 years so I guess it’s also good for the planet. 🌎

Essentials: Portable Screen

Ok it’s not really an “Essential” cause you can still work without one but having another monitor is, in my opinion, the biggest productivity enhancing step up over a laptop only set up.

I use an Arzopa (link) 14″ portable monitor. It’s an IPS FHD 1080 panel with a 97% sRGB space and comes at just under 150$. The thing I love the most about the monitor is that can be connected with USB C to USB C directly to the Macbook and has a second USB C slot where you can plug your laptop charger, it will keep your laptop charging and free one of the 2 precious USB C slots of the Macbook Air.

Essentials: USB Hub

You heard what I said before right? The Macbook Air only has 2 USB C ports, and with one being used by the second screen you’ll need a hub to expand its capabilities. Just don’t cheap out on this one because there are plenty of horror stories of USB C hubs ruining the macbook’s logic board. Get one from a reputable brand like Anker (link)

Ergonomics: NexStand/RooStand

Getting a stand is just a no brainer for me. Having the laptop at eye level instead of way lower on a table means I can keep my back straight, which is good news for my posture and health. When it comes to which stand to choose, this will depend on whether you live in Europe or USA. In USA a laptop stand like the Roostand will set you back about 89$. In Europe a NexStand K2 costs about 30$ and it’s just as good. Unfortunately you can’t get the NexStand in the US so I’ll leave a link to the Roostand: (link).

Ergonomics: Magic Keyboard

I picked the Magic Keyboard (link) simply because I’m yet to find something so light, thin and that it feels this good when typing on it. I am a fan of mechanical keyboards but they are a bit clunky to carry. The lightest, most portable non-apple portable keyboard I found is the Logitech K380, which weights 415g compared to 230g of the Magic Keyboard. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it really makes a difference. It also need to be powered with batteries whilst the magic keyboard has a built in I-On battery that can be recharged.

Ergonomics: Magic Mouse

Same as above really, the Magic Mouse (link) is insanely slim and light, it doesn’t need external batteries and can be recharged straight from the laptop. Another great advantage of using this with an Apple macbook is that it supports gestures, you can vertically and horizontally scroll without wheels and navigate MacOS faster than with a normal mouse.

The battery life of both the Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard is so good that I often can’t find the cables when I need to charge them cause it’s been so long since I last did it I lost track of its location!

Accessories: Samsung SSD T5

My MBA has only 256GB SSD of internal storage, so with all the photography and video work I do I quickly ended up having to get an external SSD. The Samsung T5 SSD (link) is just a beast. It’s so fast I edit photos and videos directly on it and it’s also the thinnest and lightest I have come across when hunting for an external HD.

Accessories: Headphones

It was tough to place headphones in this category because for me are sometimes an essential (hello babies crying on planes!). I carry two different sets of headphones: A pair of KZ ZS10 Pro (link) for when I want to listen to music (Their sound quality for the price is just fantastic) and a pair of 1More ComfoBuds Pro. They are pretty hard to find these days, so I’ll leave a link to the Anker SoundCore Liberty 4NC (link).

Honestly the world of wireless IEM is moving so fast and there are so many releases every year that it’s really hard to keep track. Do your own research as each ear responds to different earphones’ sound signatures differently.

Closing Thoughts

That’s it. This is what I carry around, it all fits in my laptop sleeve and in my carry on backpack. There’s something incredibly satisfying to open the sleeve and unpacking a fully ergonomic dual monitor setup anywhere.

If you’re not an Apple fan or need Windows or Linux to work, there are a lot of great alternatives to the Macbook like the LG Gram (link), the Dell XPS 13 (link), The Lenovo X1 Carbon (link) and the ASUS Zenbook (link) lines.

Just do yourself a favour and don’t go too cheap on the laptop, because if you use it intensively you’ll have to replace it in a couple of years and it’ll end up costing you more than keeping a top of line or higher-medium range laptop for 5 to 7 years.