Saturday, 18 March 2017

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.

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