Learn how to organize a communication plan to stay in contact with friends and family who live in different time zones.
Being an adult and having friends is so much harder than a kid, huh? Kids have all their friends close by, and they see them at school or down the road of their neighborhood almost anytime they want. But adults have often moved away from their close friends, sometimes completely across the country.
If you’re struggling with keeping the communication up with your bestie who’s a plane-ride away, these quick tips will help you organize a system so you never interrupt a dinner, work hours, or sleep schedule while still hearing the juiciest gossip from her dramatic ex-boyfriend encounter at yoga class.
5 Tips For Organizing Communication With Friends Over Varied Time Zones
1. There’s an app for that!
Start by installing a few apps on your phone to make things a little easier for you from the get-go. Here are personal my go-to’s:
- Time Zone Converter gives you time conversions in a flash, and you don’t even need an app for it. It’s a quick, simple website. Bookmark it on your browser for easy access.
- Slack is great for a text message alternative. You can set available hours and silence messages outside those hours, just in case she forgets you’re already in bed when she texts. (link above is for Apple devices, here’s the Android version.)
- Google Duo is a must-have app for video chats. If you have an iPhone and your BFF has an Android, you won’t be able to FaceTime with her. Google Duo works exactly the same as FaceTime, but it works across all phone platforms. Plus it has some fun filters and stickers that will make your convo even more hilarious. (Here’s the Android app link.)
2. Hold A Planning Meeting
Agree on specific times you can both communicate that won’t interfere with work, sleep, and cooking dinner. Make sure you write these times down in a note on your phone so you can reference in case you forget.
3. Schedule Chats On Zoom
The great thing about Zoom calls is that the platform will convert your time zone for you. You’ll never be showing up to a meeting at 4pm and waiting full 15 minutes before you realize you’re two hours early. Plus, you can record Zoom calls, so if you’re chatting with a close friend you family loves too, but they can’t join the meeting, you can record a portion where your friend leaves them a fun video message.
4. Go Old School and Send Emails
If you have something to say, a story to tell, or a reminder you want to make sure she gets outside your agreed hours, send her an email instead. Most people get notifications for text messages and social media DMs, but not usually email. If it’s not important, send an email for later. She’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness and will likely reciprocate, too.
5. Be ok with a delayed response.
Don’t get your feelings hurt. My childhood BFF lives on the other side of the country and sometimes our text messages don’t get a reply for at least 24 hours. We both understand that we’re busy and have schedules that don’t align, so we never get upset.
How Do You Communicate With Your Long-Distance BFFs?
Send me a DM on Instagram @lelaburris and tell me what works for you! See what I did there? You’re probably on the other side of the country right now, but you can DM me anytime because I have notifications turned off from 5pm to 7am.
I’d love to do a follow-up posts with reader-submitted stories on what they do with their BFFs to communicate over different time zones, and I want to include YOUR tips and stories!