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My 5 Favorite Online Tools for Staying Connected

This post is contributed by Sabrina Ziegler, a SPS Featured Blogger.


I was 12 the first time I moved abroad to another country. I moved with my parents for 2 years to Germany – as a pre-teen I thought that was an eternity.

One of the first things that I asked my parents before moving was, how can I stay in touch with friends and family in Canada? The answer I got from my parents was through letters that I could mail via air mail to Canada and the occasional phone call.


After that answer from my parents, I thought that my first steps into living a global life would mean that I would become detached from friends and family at home.

I felt that I was not able to share and stay connected and have my global life at the same time.

Fast-forward to the present and thinking about my global life, I have to say that I am grateful for the developments in technology that have occurred. I no longer need to keep in touch via air mail envelopes that takes days, sometimes weeks to reach their destination. I no longer feel out-of touch and detached from my home when creating my global life.

Thanks to the internet and smart phones, it is possible to stay connected and even work when living a global life.

Here are some of my favorite online tools for staying connected:

1. Adobe Connect

In my global life being connected also means being connected with work colleagues from across the country and around the globe. Having an online meeting platform that is versatile and usable for an online webcam meeting, hosting a webinar or facilitating an online training in invaluable.

2. Every Time Zone

Trying to calculate the timezones you and the person you’re connecting with are in is not a fun task. This site is one of my favorites. It calculates the time zone for you – enough said.

3. WhatsApp

Thanks to this app I am able to send and receive text messages, photos, and even short voice messages on my phone without having to pay the cost of a text message. WhatsApp uses wifi and allows you to stay connected and share your global life with friends at home without the costly cell phone fees.

Another function that I love about this app is the group function – when I travel I will create different groups and share my messages, photos with the whole group at once. More people are able to connect and share in my global experiences.

4. Skype

I never really think of the cost of an international phone call anymore – with Skype it is either free or a very minimal cost. Skype lets me connect in many different ways, depending on how I will be using the platform. I am able to skype for free with a friend who is also using the platform, call a phone number, and receive phone calls. Cate and I even used this tool to record all the videos interviews for the Living your Ideal Global Life Summit.

5. Facetime

Have you ever seen someone walking and talking into their phone or ipad while holding it up? I am probably one of those people. I love to not only tell family and friends about the different facets of a global life, I wish for them to experience it together with me – even if they can’t join me in real life.

I even use this tool when I am in my hometown of Vancouver and I want to show someone the beauty of my city. One morning, I took the Skytrain into Vancouver and shared the experience and scenery of the city with Cate – it was so much fun sharing and hearing her remarks.

What are your favourite tools? Share with us below – I am always looking and searching for new apps and online tools.