On October 2nd, I presented a webinar about Four Free Tools to Streamline Your Translations, which is a combination of web-based solutions I use to organize my projects, invoices, and project orders.
We covered the following topics:
- Color-coding emails
- Using labels to organize messages
- Organizing project files in the cloud
- Scheduling projects to plan your work day/week
- Entering invoicing information
- Keeping an eye on the billing cycle
Below you'll find questions that were asked during the webinar, as well as some other comments from attendees that were sent to me by email. If you purchase access to the video, have questions after watching the material, and don't see your concerns addressed here, feel free to contact me and contribute to this Q&A list.
Q: What emails do you save, and for how long?
A: I usually save important messages from clients and colleagues concerning projects we have worked on, just for the sake of creating a paper trail. If it's something interesting, like an article, audio, or video material about translation, I can read, listen to, or watch it and then share it to my social media channels, but I delete the email because I don't need to keep a copy of it. However, sometimes we need to clean up our mail box, especially when dealing with clients who send out "heavy" attachments. So, when I see that I'm running out of space in our corporate Gmail inbox, I go back to all messages I received up to a certain date (i.e. 3-5 years ago) and I delete everything that had large attachments, so that frees me some space. In other words, you can use filters and remove messages that either don't apply to you anymore or that contain heavy files that are taking too much space.
Q: If you get a domain name for your translation business, do you have to use their webmail or mailbox client?
A: No. We have a domain name at our company, WordAwareness.com. However, we use Gmail not only to receive messages, but to send them as well, and recipients see our corporate address, not our Gmail address.
Q: What concerns me about using free webmail solutions is all the advertising and spam I get based on my searches. How do you deal with that?
A: I usually don't even see spam messages, because Gmail does have a good filter to catch those messages, so they never make it to your inbox. In the even that a client calls me or gets a hold of me through social media, saying that they've sent an email and I haven't replied, I do check the spam folder if there's nothing in the inbox, because things happen. It's very rare, but then all I have to do is move that message to the inbox and flag it as a legitimate email, so it won't be considered spam again. As far as advertisements, there's not much you can do about it, because online ads have become part of our lives nowadays. I just try to ignore them, whether they show up while I'm reading an email inside the Gmail window, or if I'm doing a Google search, or I open Facebook. Because 99% of my emails are about languages and translation, and that information becomes part of coding and cookies if you're using your computer plugged in to the internet, sometimes Google or Facebook shows me advertisement about language classes or translation software. I just ignore them and move on.
Q: How do you use Dropbox to organize your files?
A: I installed their program and created a folder inside my computer, where I save everything that is work related. Because it is a cloud system, a copy of everything I place inside that folder in my computer is available online, but kept private inside my Dropbox account. That means I can be on my desktop computer and download an attachment sent by my client, save it within my Dropbox folder, then turn on my laptop and log into my Dropbox account online in order to access that same folder. I can also access that same file through the Dropbox app on my smartphone or tablet.
Q: Do you use Dropbox for backup purposes?
A: Yes, especially for our translation memories and glossaries. Our backup program runs late at night while I'm sleeping, and a copy of our TMs and terminology gets saved to a backup folder inside Dropbox. Apart from that, all files inside the Dropbox folder in my computer get saved and synched automatically, so there's always a backup of it in the cloud in case something happens to the file on my computer.