Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Because Disney is classic, and whoever says it's only for kids lies.

Strong - Sonna Rele

In a perfect storybook the world is brave and good
A hero takes your hand, a sweet love will follow
But life's a different game, the sorrow and the pain
Only you can change your world tomorrow

Let your smile light up the sky
Keep your spirit soaring high

Trust in your heart and your soul shines forever and ever
Hold fast to kindness, your light shines forever and ever
I believe in you and in me
We are strong

When once upon a time in stories and in rhyme
A moment you can shine and wear your own crown
Be the one that rescues you
Through the clouds you'll see the blue

Trust in your heart and your soul shines forever and ever
Hold fast to kindness, your light shines forever and ever
I believe in you and in me
We are strong

A bird all alone on the wind can still be strong and sing

Trust in your heart and your soul shines forever and ever
Hold fast to kindness, your light shines forever and ever
I believe in you and in me
We are strong

Again, shamesly taken from

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Just some romance

Well, what the tin says, just some places where I can download/check some romantic novels. Mostly in Spanish. Prolly to be added to later.

El Desván de Morrigan - almost a year without posts, but all links seem to be up
FreeLibros - Tu Biblioteca Virtual - tag Johanna-Lindsey
El rincón de la novela romántica - tags Jo-Beverley and Johanna-Lindsay - not downloads, but reviews and bibliographies (ordered in series!)
Descarga Novelas Romanticas - and here a long list of Johanna Lindsay novels

ebookmundo - Miles de ebooks gratis en formato epub, y fb2 para descargar
Descargar libros electrónicos gratis - Libros electrónicos de Ficción Contemporánea gratis

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Language Learning

After vowing that at some point I'll speak more languages I decided to study pashto (long list of odd coincidences account for the choice), and then realized that before that I should really become proficient in the languages I've already started to study, namely French and Japanese - mainly because it also implies learning a new alphabet. So, in the meantime, I'm shelving this links as well as a couple of Android apps that might work.

¡Aprenda las palabras más importantes en pastún! at 17 Minute Languages, where you obviously can pay for more extensive courses, and there are a lot of other languages.
Aprender Pashtu at ilanguages, very basic too but with some grammar.

Language Exchange Community penpals, chats, voice chats, word games, etc.; plenty of language pairs to choose from - I'm thinking on signing up if only to practise English.

App/site combos I intend to check:
Anki (shared decks and AnkiWeb sync too)

Also, trying to re-acquaint myself with Japanese kana, these sites:
Aprende el silabario Hiragana! at, where you can choose the lg, and there are several sources for each one (including Japanese)
JGram: The Japanese Grammar Database - an interactive community; learn by communicating, sharing knowledge, and talking between Japanese and non-native speakers

Monday, 3 April 2017


Not the first and not the last BON JOVI gem I'll add. Also, I'll tighten up the format soon.

Have A Nice Day - Bon Jovi

Why, you wanna tell me how to live my life?
Who, are you to tell me if it's black or white?
Mama, can you hear me? Try to understand.
Is innocence the difference between a boy and a man?
My daddy lived the lie, that's just the price that he paid
Sacrificed his life, just slavin' away.

Ohhh, if there's one thing I hang onto,
That gets me through the night.
I ain't gonna do what I don't want to,
I'm gonna live my life.
Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice,
Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly.
When the world gets in my face,
I say, Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day

Take a look around you; nothing's what it seems
We're living in the broken home of hopes and dreams,
Let me be the first to shake a helping hand.
Anybody brave enough to take a stand,
I've knocked on every door, on every dead end street,
Looking for forgiveness,
what's left to believe?

Ohhh, if there's one thing I hang onto,
That gets me through the night.
I ain't gonna do what I don't want to,
I'm gonna live my life.
Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice,
Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly.
When the world gets in my face,
I say, Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day.

[Guitar Solo]

Ohhh, if there's one thing I hang onto,
That gets me through the night.
I ain't gonna do what I don't want to,
I'm gonna live my life.
Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice,
Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly.
When the world gets in my face,
I say, Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day.

When The world keeps trying, to drag me down,
I gotta raise my hands, I'm gonna stand my ground.
Well I say, Have A Nice Day.
Have A Nice Day
Have A Nice Day

Shamesly taken from

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Apps tips from experts III, for productivity's sake

Last but not least, for productivity's sake:

RescueTime – An add-on to Google Chrome that measures your time spent on different activities and programs. It produces daily, weekly and monthly reports and I use it to see where my time goes, what activities are unproductive and time-sucks and how much I work.
Rescue Time – This is free but there is a paid version. I use it to time my hours at my PC. But it does more than log time at the PC. It breaks down your work patterns into productive time, very productive time, or distracting time You can control which website or applications are productive/distracting. For example, although I might go onto Facebook during the working day, it is usually for work purposes, so I count it as productive. You can see how long you were using MemoQ, for example, or how long on Skype. You can also categorise your applications into types, such as communication and scheduling, business, writing (i.e. translating).
I haven’t been using it long but it is already producing some insightful reports.
You can set goals, such as achieving 85% productive time, not working more than 2 hours at weekends, and others
– RescueTime tracks the time you spend online, offline and away from your computer. It’s helped me to boost efficiency and streamline processes, and I don’t know what I’d do without it! It saves me time and headaches by working automatically and holds me accountable by showing exactly what I’ve spent my time on (whether that’s work or Beyoncé videos). The best bit is the ‘productivity pulse’, which shows how productive you’ve been that day. The paid option also allows you to block distracting websites, set up goals and alerts, and even compare your annual productivity levels.
– RescueTime Lite: Free, Time management software
If you want to keep track of your productive/distractive time online, this is your tool. You get reports that show which applications/websites you have spent your time on, how much time you have spent in different (editable) categories, how productive you have been, and whether you have achieved your goals.
– RescueTime helps me track how much time I spend on what on the computer. At, you can categorize the programs/apps and websites you use from very productive to very distracting and once a week, you get a report on how much of your computer time was productive. Quite an eye-opener! You can also set goals and you are cheered accordingly if you reach them. The regular reminder motivates me to keep on the right track.
Focus@Will – If you’re easily distracted by noise around you, this app is for you! Focus@Will is like a Pandora for productivity, featuring scientifically optimized music to help you concentrate and increase your focus. You simply select your channel, from classical piano to ambient cafe noises, choose the intensity level, and tune into your work. An optional timer reminds you to take breaks every now and then to give your brain a rest. I listen to the Focus@Will app with noise-cancelling headphones on my iPhone whenever I translate to tune out barking dogs, ringing phones and other distractions.
– Focus@Will is a paid music streaming service that lets you listen to music scientifically proven to increase your focus. I don’t know about the science behind it, but I do know that it has kept me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during long proofreading sessions and tricky translation passages. This might be just the tool to bebop you out of that afternoon slump.
Workrave – Workrave is a free tool to help you remember to take breaks. I love my job and I love running my own business, which sometimes means I get sucked in and forget it’s time for a break, a glass of water and a bite to eat. Workrave reminds me to take regular breaks and even takes me through exercises to keep my body in tip-top shape. It makes the day whizz by and I’m a fresher, happier translator as a result!
Simple Pomodoro (Firefox or Chrome) – This app helps me divide my working hours into 25 minute chunks (when I have to focus on the task, and I’m not allowed to check social media, eat, take calls etc.), interspersed with 5 minute breaks. It works both ways: with tasks I’m keen on, it reminds me to take regular breaks; with tasks that I’m not so very fond of (administrative work etc.), it’s easier to focus when I know I can have a break every 25 minutes.
7 Minutes Full Work Out – The title gives out what it does, I guess – interval training for seven minutes. I can use it at home – no equipment needed. It’s excellent for days when I don’t get to move around much. I use it mostly in the morning, first thing before (or right after) coffee.
Fitbit App – As translators, we can sometimes end up sitting at our desks for hours on end. I use the fitbit app as a reminder to keep moving and get some exercise! I’m much more productive if I look after my health and fitness, so I always aim for a good balance between work and play.
Focus Keeper – This is a small app for iOS based on the concept of Pomodoro technique. I find that concentrating on translation for shorter periods of time followed by a break helps me translate 20-30% more words per hour. Taking regular breaks from sitting at my desk is also good for my health.
TomatoTimer – A useful productivity tool where simplicity is the key. I find that thinking in 25-minute segments (with the promise of a short procrasti-break at the end) helps me to keep going when faced with a daunting task. It also helps me to move more when I’m working from home: at the end of the 25 minutes I get out of my chair and stretch my legs.
Moosti – Moosti is a simple Pomodoro timer app. It’s on my favourite list because of its additional features. You can mark the time period you wish to work for, and set your short break and long break times. You can also use it on your mobile phone so you will still receive the notification when you get up and move around during your break. This app is perfect if you tend to peg away for hours until your eyes become blurry!
Strict Workflow – This is a ‘Pomodoro’ extension (for Chrome, but similar tools are available for other browsers) that blocks a list of sites for a set period before giving you a break – perfect for those of us who are easily distracted by social media and news sites!
– I use this Chrome extension to manage the time I spend surfing the Internet. As you know, sometimes you waste time checking your pages or commenting on fb, twitter and so on. This tool helps you to block certain websites for a set time and be able not to be distracted from them.
Productivity Planner – This tool mixes the Pomodoro technique with a daily/weekly planning focusing on the most important tasks. As I love getting things done, accomplishing goals or dreams and celebrate my wins, this is a tool that is now fully part of my day and I miss it when it is not around! I use the paper version, but the developers are planning to create an app, too.
SelfControl – This little helper is my last resort when I just can’t stop procrastinating. It shuts down all the websites that you put on a blacklist (like Facebook, Twitter or other dangerous time sinks) for a pre-defined amount of time, e. g. for one hour. After you hit start, you cannot circumvent the restrictions in any way, not even by quitting the app. Because sometimes someone needs to be strict with us when we just can’t.
Noisli – Noisli is a simple little website that lets you choose a background noise (nature sounds, train rattle, café atmosphere, etc.) to boost your productivity. Studies have shown that you are more productive with a soft constant background noise than in absolute silence. It works miracles for me! Bonus: Sometimes I get to choose a noise that fits my current translation. For example, while I worked on a book on the Top 50 dive sites in the world, I listened to the sound of sea waves in the background. Method Translating!

Yes, I know that some apps could go in more than one category, and that if I go read that article again I'll probably chose some more apps. It is what it is.

Apps tips from experts II, good for bussiness

Here, good for bussiness, or at least for the translator:

Google Keep – Tried every productivity colour-coded app in the world. Loved them all. For a day or two. But this one seems to have stuck. Great for all my notes.
– My favourite note-taking app is Google Keep. I can take and save notes, to-do lists, checklists, images and voice memos, and easily transfer them into Google Docs or share them with others. I can set a pop-up reminder in Keep and get notification in my browser or on my smartphone. Two amazing features: you can use Google Keep as a bookmarking tool and to transcribe text from images.
– I find this tool particularly useful for writing down ideas or for brainstorming while I’m out or to remind myself of a particular task. I can then add pictures, drawings, recordings. I can share it or invite somebody to collaborate. I can set a reminder or change the note colour. And then, once I’m back in front of the computer, every change or addition has been already stored and updated.
Trello & Asana – Task and project management. These SaaS are very helpful when it comes to organization and task distribution of projects!
Trello – Trello is the perfect tool for every to-do list fan! You create boards which are personal or shareable. On each board you create lists and add to-do items to each ones. You can define a deadline or a checklist for each item, and if the board is shared, you can also assign items to different users.
– A perfect tool for all organisational freaks (or just translators). Allows you to manage all translation projects and keep an eye on deadlines as well by using visual cards which you can easily drag and drop from one list on another (Kanban type) – I use three lists: “to-do”, “doing” and “done”. Basic version is free of charge.
– I use Trello to manage all the important information I need for my work as a translator, and also in other areas of my professional or personal life. I can create as many boards and tasks as I want, even if it is a “not so urgent” task. With the possibility to add a label, to have a due date or even adding another person to the task, I really love this tool and recommend it to everyone.
– Trello is a collaboration tool that helps me keep projects organized, so I know who is doing what and when. You can have a number of boards and organize the workflow in whatever way works best for your individual needs. So, for example, I have one board for my manager who handles all into-Spanish projects, and that’s organized by workflow, and I have another for my blog contributors that’s organized by person. Trello helps me keep everything in one place, as the members of a particular board comment on it, attach files, assign due dates and use checklists. It’s a simple yet very versatile tool.
– This is an amazing tool for collaboration. You can use it from a laptop or install the app on your smartphone. It allows you to see an overview of the whole project, you can add people to the project board and discuss your work with them. There’s a number of additional tools like labels, checklists or deadlines that make organizing work on a project easy.
– Trello helps me keep all aspects of a project organised and run efficient to-do lists. With Trello, I can keep track of all stages of a project at one place and make sure I don’t lose any important note or idea! For example, your ‘Projects’ board can have lists such as ‘To do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’, each containing cards of projects at various stages. These cards can show deadlines, checklists, comments, labels and attachments.
– Trello is a great way of creating to-do lists. It allows you to set up different boards, set deadlines, colour-code different types of tasks and, if necessary, assign them to other people within a group. You can also sync it to your smarthphone. Moving a task from to-do to done when you’ve finished it is the best part. I have even been known to add small tasks I’ve already completed just so I can do this!
Asana – All your projects in one place! You can quickly view your tasks, to-do-lists, deadlines, calendar, project documents, etc. It’s a great tool for team work and helps to keep all project conversations and ideas in one place. For example, Asana is very handy, if you collaborate with reviewers or a small group of translators and want to communicate with them quickly and avoid the e-mail ping-pong.
Toggl – Toggl is a fantastic and completely free tool that helps you keep track of the hours you have worked on a particular project. I love it because I bill a lot of my translation clients by the hour and it’s very easy to use and well designed. You can create reports and use all this data for invoicing. I tried several time management tools, and this one is my favorite by far!
– Simple, but visually appealing productivity tracker which will provide you with transparent reports. I find it very helpful when working on projects such as proofreading or transcreation as it allows me to see how much time I spent on particular tasks and. If required, I can also share a report with my client. Basic version is free of charge.
– Toggl is a very useful time-tracking tool to help you find out how much you earn per hour for each job, regardless of how you charge for it (per word, fixed price, etc.). This way, you can easily see which jobs are the best paid ones. The free version offers plenty of options to create your own custom reports.
Flipboard – Flipboard is my “Personal Magazine”. It allows me to choose the type of news I want to hear about, in my case international news, business, biotechnology & science, art & design and books. Easy to use, varied sources, great layout!
Quahill Basic – Quahill Basic is a translation project management software that was specifically developed for freelance translators that allows me to keep track of all my projects, manage client data and invoicing procedures and still get lots of performance reports.
Insightly – Free CRM tool which I use to organise eCPD work, allocate tasks to myself and my assistant and keep track of emails (the important ones anyway), files, contacts and dates. There are limitations with the free version, but it’s enough for us for now.
CRM (customer relationship management)
Portable Kanban – Kanban is an excellent system for staying organized and on top of your projects. It can be used by teams but also by individuals. Dmitry Ivanov’s Portable Kanban is an excellent implementation of the Kanban system for Windows, very suitable for individual translators. This tool is freeware.
Pocket – Pocket allows you to save and tag online articles with one click, whether you are viewing them on a PC or on your smartphone. This tool comes in really handy for building a content archive for my social media marketing efforts. Whenever I come across an interesting article, I save it in Pocket and tag it in the place I plan to share it later, e.g. “Twitter,” “LinkedIn,” etc. Pocket integrates with many other apps such as Feedly, making it a one-stop shop. When I schedule my social media updates for the week, I just go to Pocket and pick from there.
Pocket and Flipboard – I use them alternatively for saving interesting links (and I use both in addition to Pinterest). They complement each other very well – Flipboard has a public side to it that might be useful for reaching out to colleagues etc., while Pocket makes it easier to save the same article under different tags.
– Whenever I come across an interesting article that I want to read later on, I add it to Pocket. Pocket automatically syncs content to my phone so I can view it any time, even without an internet connection. There are three things I like about Pocket: 1. It allows you to add custom tags to your articles. This makes it much easier to sort through and find articles. 2. Saving to Pocket removes the non-text elements of the page so you can read the articles without any distraction. 3. You can connect Pocket to Evernote!
If This Than That – If This Then That is an app that does exactly what the name implies. It allows you to connect your favorite apps such as Twitter, Pocket, Evernote, Facebook, Buffer and many more by creating “recipes” that determine task sequences. For example, I use this app to help expand my social media content archive: If I like, send or retweet anything on Twitter, that content is automatically saved to Pocket. It’s an effortless way to build up my library and a huge time saver when it comes to my content marketing strategy.
– This is an online tool (both for desktop and mobile) that allows you to automate tasks. You can create your own “recipes” or borrow others that have been created. Each “recipe” carries out an action whenever a certain trigger happens. For example, you can get a notification in your phone when you receive a high priority email, you can automatically save all attachments you receive by email in your Dropbox/Google Drive, or you could add a reminder on Google Calendar whenever you miss a call. The possibilities are endless and, if used well, you can save a lot of time by automating repetitive tasks.
Unroll.Me – I try to keep my inbox as clear as possible so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. (free tool) creates a list of all your subscription emails and you can instantly unsubscribe from any you don’t want to receive. It then combines your remaining subscriptions into a ‘Roll up’, which is sent out once a day. So all my translation e-group emails, blogs I’m following, industry newsletters, etc. are sent as one email and don’t clog up my inbox.
– I am one of those people who can’t help but read every email that drops into my inbox as soon as it arrives. bundles up all of the less important emails (newsletters, LinkedIn requests, blog notifications) and delivers them in one bundle every morning. This means I’m not distracted by a “ping” every 10 minutes, but also that I don’t have to unsubscribe from emails that might interest me.
– If you’re a compulsive newsletter subscriber like me but hate being disrupted with non-urgent emails when working, then is for you. This handy tool creates a list of all your email subscriptions so you can unsubscribe form all unwanted emails in one go and combine non-urgent emails into one daily email.
Unroll.Me has increased my productivity a lot. I’m no longer distracted by non-urgent emails and I can now read all my newsletters at the same time and whenever it suits me.
Feedly – For me, Feedly is the best way to read blogs and share your favourite articles very easily on social media. It’s specially directed to those who are avid blog readers, and there are so many great translation blogs right now! It’s a great tool that I love to use on my smartphone. Give it a try!
Inoreader – Want to stay on top of industry news in your interest areas and working fields? Inoreader ( is your new best friend. Subscribe to RSS feeds, social channels (Twitter, Google+, Facebook), and more. Create active searches to track specific keywords and topics. Maximise for effectiveness with rules and filters. With a Pro plan, you can also search in all public articles. Great for keeping a close eye on interesting prospects too!
Google Contacts – I use it a lot for the translation school where I work now. It’s very convenient because it lets me create different groups of contacts (students of specific xl8 courses, teachers, tech support of the webinar platform and other services we are using etc.) and then email them by groups. It also makes it a lot easier looking for the contacts of a specific person if I have forgotten their email, but I remember which group he or she is in). I started using Google Contacts only after I started working with this translation school and I almost immediately wished I had started long before that because it makes communication so much easier!
Hootsuite – Since I started freelancing as a translator/interpreter Social Media has helped me connect with other translators and share views on interesting topics regarding our profession. This wouldn’t have been possible without Hootsuite.
The tool allows to schedule tweets/posts across different social media channels. I usually spend about 1 or 2 hours in the weekend scheduling my social media posts for the whole week.
The basic version allows you to synchronize up to three social media platforms.
FreeAgent – This website basically runs the bookkeeping and invoicing side of my business for me. I have an accountant too but being able to see an overview of my accounts, bank statements, taxes and clients at a click has transformed things.
– At a cost of only US$20.00 per month, I find the FreeAgent invoicing and accounting tool good value and very useful. I wish I had taken action earlier on this recommendation made by Marta Stelmaszak in 2014. Apart from all the usual features one would expect, and excellent online help and support, it has an in-built time-tracking tool which can be linked to the client invoicing function.  This is great for work paid by the hour, but is also an uncomplicated way to keep tabs on your productivity per job, and non-billable hours per client.  The overview and reporting functions are a source of endless fascination to me, and the pleasant user interface motivate me to get my administrative work done.
LSP Expert – This is a project management platform I’ve started using this month. It has specifically been designed for freelance translators (by a translator and a developer who come from… Belgium!), so it’s very convenient to organize your project, pricing and services per client, etc. This is a giant change from my previous management system which consisted of Excel spreadsheets (yes, not very intuitive as you can imagine). Now, I just need to type in all the project information and voila! LSP Expert allows me to issue invoices and to get an overview of my profits. It probably has more features that I haven’t explored yet, but for now, I must say I’m pretty satisfied with it and can’t imagine going back to my old system!
Translators who outsource might also be interested in having a look at Linguition, which is also a project management only much more complex!
Linguition | Manage your translation projects in just a few clicks: Linguition is an all-in-one user-friendly online translation project management solution that helps you manage your projects in just a few clicks.
Instapaper – I find this website extremely useful when it comes to saving useful online resources, translation-related blog posts and articles, translation agencies websites that I want to check out, and the like. It literally only takes one click to save any website so that I can go back to it later on whenever I have (or schedule) some time to peruse them in more detail.
Remember the Milk – Remember the Milk is a to do list tool which I use to plan my work. I often work on a lot of small jobs and RTM allows me to quickly see what I need to do this week and whether I can still fit in another job.
Hievage – It’s an invoice and billing software. It allows you to send an unlimited number of invoices and estimates, accept online payments, track your mileage and expenses, etc.
And yes, managing your finances in a way that works best for you, will make your life easier.
Podio – This flexible and easy to use workhorse is great for project management and collaboration. It helps you get more work done, is easily connected with other cloud based platforms and it allows customized forms.

Prolly shoulda broken this down a bit more, but there you have it.