Guide for a Digital Life
Living Proof Creative team is a tight-knit community of worldwide digital nomads accustomed to working remotely. With all our thoughts on the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to share some useful resources and strategies that can make the quarantine ride worth your while.
As #stayathome experts, we compiled a guide for a digital life for anyone who might be new to this. Our creatives share tips, tricks, and tools that help them stay inspired & productive while nurturing physical and mental health, and keeping the business afloat.
Spoiler alert: the digital nomad writing this spent years living isolated in a Norwegian forest and is prone to praise the joys of missing out, but that’s on them.
Fun Indoor Activities to Stay Occupied
Plant an Indoor Victory Garden
This isn’t the first time that we’ve been ordered to shelter in place. During World War II, people were encouraged to plant Victory Gardens in order to mitigate food shortages and boost spirits.
Tending to edible indoor plants that have a short growing season might be a great way to fight cabin fever posed by coronavirus quarantine. Plus, microgreens, leafy greens, and herbs are powerful natural remedies that may actually help fight the virus.
Make a Wild Yeast Water Sourdough Starter
If you don’t really have a green thumb but still want to tend to a(n edible) living being, you might want to go for a wild yeast water sourdough starter. The sourdough craze has been around for a while, and now we finally have enough time on our hands to knead and get them sticky.
Cook with Grandpa Kitchen
Foodies out there might be familiar with the endeavors of the late Narayana Reddy, a chef famous for his YouTube channel Grandpa Kitchen, to feed orphan children in India.
His channel gained more than six million followers and owes its popularity to simple yet delicious recipes prepared in immense amounts. Mr. Reddy’s inspiring motto “Loving. Caring. Sharing. This is my family” resonates with this precarious situation, so it might be a good time to honor his legacy by indulging in one of his culinary delights.
Audiobooks Make for a Great Quarantine OST
Open Culture is a great source of free cultural and educational media. Prepare to spend hours browsing through their audiobook library and choosing between fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The list consists mainly of classics such as Atwood, Burroughs, Calvino, DeLillo, Hemingway, and Vonnegut.
We strongly recommend thinking twice whether it’s the right time to listen to books with near-future apocalyptic plots.
Get in Touch with Your Inner Bob Ross
Miniature watercolor painting is another great way to unwind and soothe anxieties caused by the many unknowns related to coronavirus.
Our in-house designer and artist extraordinaire Alexandra recommends Noelle Curtis’ video tutorials as a solid departing point. Not only is watercolor painting therapeutic and stress relieving, but it also improves concentration and memory and nurtures creativity.
Learn About the Importance of Care in Uncertain Times
Many major publishing houses and libraries have introduced open access to their resources over the past few weeks.
Duke University Press has compiled a much-needed list of books, journal issues, and articles that explore the potential of care to bring communities together when governments and institutions fail to deliver. Texts from the syllabus are free to read online until June 30th and double as quality self-care lit in these vulnerable times.
Take a Virtual Museum Tour
Google Arts & Culture is an impressive collection of artworks from all four corners of the world. They offer free online exhibits and virtual tours of over 2500 museums and galleries. Discover treasures and stories from amazing collections of The Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), MoMA (San Francisco/NYC), Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, as well as numerous others.
Free-Video-Streaming and Chill
Can you imagine if someone told us half a year ago that governments will encourage us to Netflix and chill?
Well, now we call it free-video-stream and chill, but you get the point. Services such as IMDb Tv, Crackle, Hoopla, Internet Archive, Kanopy, Plex, The Roku Channel, Tubi TV, and Vudu all provide dozens of films and TV shows that we can enjoy while we… try to chill?
There are many ways to monetize hobbies but embroidery shouldn’t be one.
This lovely craft should be something that’s done out of pleasure, therapeutically, for friends, family, or even as performance or public art. DIY Stitching is a great resource with free video tutorials and home decor sewing ideas. In addition to stitching, this YouTube offers easy and inspiring hand embroidery and smocking instructions for beginners.
Heads up: Skip Fallout
Sure happy hour video calls with friends are fun but have you tried playing multiplayer games with your remote #quaranteam?
Nothing brings people together as a common enemy does, and by fighting together both coronavirus AND fiends you’ll end up building a lifelong friendship. There are many free and discounted games out there right now, and we find this subreddit the best resource.
Soothing Indoor Activities and Tools to Improve Mental and Physical Health
Yoga with Adriene
If you are quarantined with your pet(s) and want to stay fit, opting for yoga might be a wise thing to do instead of slipping into a chaos of confined space cardio.
Yoga with Adriene is one of the most popular YouTube channels dedicated to this soothing practice. With over 500 free videos, it is also one of the most resourceful online yoga libraries. Since we can’t actually tell how long we’ll have to stay isolated, might as well start a 30-day challenge?
Even if you don’t end up contracting COVID-19, your wellbeing might still be affected by it. Pandemics pose great challenges to mental health and it is important to address them head-on.
Moodpath is a mental health app developed to help its users cope with depression and anxiety. The app includes useful features such as mood tracker, digital journal, articles, and audio files that are meant to guide you toward emotional wellbeing. This mental health companion is free of charge and available for iOS and Android users.
Hill Country Indoors
With a statewide Stay at Home order, many gyms had to replace face to face training with virtual classes.
Hill Country Indoor, Austin’s premier sports and fitness facility, prepared a diverse lineup of video streams in order to provide value to its clients at home. From cardio and pilates to yoga and meditation, virtual classes are in full swing! It’s easy to fall out of routine, so check out this week’s schedule and see which indoor physical activities can best help you stay active.
Shifu Yan Lei’s Shaolin Qigong & Kung Fu YouTube Channel
A Shaolin monk might be THE figure to look up to in these unprecedented times. Not that anyone would mind those impressive levels of flexibility, inner peace, and overall well being any other day.
Shifu Yan Lei is a 34th generation Kung Fu and Qigong master from the Shaolin Temple in China. His amazing Shaolin Warrior series comes with a subscription through his website and includes various online training courses and challenges. He also regularly updates his Youtube channel with exercises for optimal health and immune-boosting home workout tutorials.
Make Sense of Complexity
Observing a virus spread in real-time is doubtless scary, yet it makes for a great case study of complex systems. Complexity Explorer is an educational project by the Santa Fe Institute that offers tutorials, online courses, and other essential resources for an endeavor of this kind.
Introduction to Complexity might be the most entertaining (and useful nowadays) MOOC out there. It covers topics that provide insight into how complexity arises, such as self-organization, dynamics, chaos, networks, and information theory. From viruses and other complex adaptive systems to stock markets and big data, you’ll learn how nature, society, and technology evolve.
Learn How to Fold
Anyone who has ever folded a simple crane knows how fulfilling, calming, and fun origami can be. Origami.me is the largest database of free instructions, diagrams, crease patterns, and video tutorials online.
Make sure to check out the mind-blowing dinosaur skeletons, gorgeous flowers, and other wonders, and remember: patience is the key!
Take Guitar Lessons
However apocalyptic deserted cities may look, we’re still not quite there yet.
If you want to make sure that we don’t all go down to the soundtrack of infamous Nickelback, now’s your chance to work on your guitar playing skills. Fender offers 3 months of free classes for ukulele, acoustic and electric guitars. The promotion is only available to the first 100,000 subscribers, so hurry up!
Keep Track of Endless Quarantine Snack Intake
Don’t shoot the messenger: calories do count even during the state of emergency.
Luckily, there are ways to keep track of our daily calorie intake, and MyFitnessPal is one of them. This app can also be synced with fitness tracking devices and give insight into burned calories too. The app also has an immense nutrition database, food diary, chat forums, as well as an exercise log.
Insights Timer is a free app that might actually provide its users with a peace of mind.
With over 30,000 titles, the library included in the app offers the world’s most extensive collection of guided meditations, lectures, podcasts, interviews, poems, and much more. From different yoga exercises to neuroscientific insights, this app is an invaluable resource for everyone who’s after some calmness.
Google Digital Garage
Google Digital Garage is a neat resource with online courses designed for people who want to grow their business or career. Learning resources are mostly focused on digital marketing, data, technology, as well as career development. The lectures and quizzes are extremely user friendly, which makes this content very accessible to anyone new to all things digital.
Free Tools for Digital Creatives and Professionals
Scrolling through this article wouldn’t be possible without the help of Adobe. This platform is a must for Creatives & Designers, and we’ve been paying for it for years. Now you can get some of their tools for free (available through May 31).
Avid is another company focused on proactively minimizing any potential disruptions or delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemics.
For the time being, in addition to enabling unique remote workflow solutions, the company also offers free duplicate licenses to enable creative users to work remotely. Tools such as Media Composer, Sibelius, Pro Tools and other resources for management, storing, and distribution will be available for 90 days.
Cloud content management company Box offers its Box business edition free to subscribers for 90 days. As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, the company is also allowing small and medium-sized businesses to add new users beyond their license limitations over the course of next month.
Many tech companies are launching tools that are meant to support the security of remote workers.
Okta, the cloud identity management firm offers its core services free of charge to new customers over the course of the next six months. In addition to Okta Single Sign-on (SSO) and Okta Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Okta for Emergency Remote Work includes best practices guides, community access, and training resources.
Salesforce is giving away six months of free packages of tools and services to help healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. While Salesforce solutions may not really be useful for people staying at home, it’s good to know so you can recommend it to health professionals in your community.
Salesforce Care for Healthcare is a solution for institutions and systems that are experiencing an increased number of requests due to the pandemic. The packages include Salesforce Health Cloud, Salesforce Shield, Salesforce Community Cloud, as well as Salesforce myTrailhead.
It is one thing to have all the necessary tools to work remotely, and another to work securely.
As a response to implementation of work-from-home policies, SANS Institute has developed SANS Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit. The kit is a combination of resources and training materials that allow people to learn and work from home securely while providing the organizations with technologies needed to manage a remote workforce.
Similarly to the aforementioned OKTA, SecureAuth offers new customers free access to their Intelligent Identity Cloud package through December 15. Besides risk-based MFA, the package includes tools such as passwordless and biometric access, phone fraud prevention, as well as SSO.
Let’s say you’ve nailed that Complexity Explorer course and want to jumpstart your own analysis.
Salesforce-owned Tableau is a great free data resource hub that you can use for that purpose. Tableau data hub provides access to data from the World Health Organization and the US CDC to organizations that can combine that data with their own and track the impact of the coronavirus on their business or make strategic decisions.
Tough times call for solidarity and solidarity calls for collaboration.
Trello offers a one-year free subscription to Trello Business Class to help educators stay connected and keep their distance learning organized. From parent-teacher communication tools to boards to organize and plan coursework and projects, this neat tool can provide relief to thousands of educators transitioning to remote classrooms.
Another Austin-based company came forward and has offered free cloud-based productivity tools to support people transitioning to remote work and coronavirus quarantine.
Zoho has launched a program that will relieve around 20,000 companies from the cost of their products. A set of applications will be available for free to small businesses for the next three months.
Focus on Gentle Growth
We hope that you’ll find some of these tips, tricks & tools useful in weeks to come. We’re excited to see your #quarantineprojects thrive as you #stayathome. If you are looking for a digital expert to support your business in these trying times, feel free to reach out at [email protected].