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Parents or people on the move - best device for checking emails when out and about?
Thread poster: Katharine Ridgard

Katharine Ridgard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 30, 2011

My daughter is about to start nursery, where she will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Until now she has had someone looking after her but has seen me throughout the day as I work from home. Now that she will be away from me for most of the day, I wish to dedicate my time to her from when I go and pick her up in the afternoon to when she goes to bed.

The problem with this is, although I intend to get an early start in order to get my work done by 3.30-ish, my clients have
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My daughter is about to start nursery, where she will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Until now she has had someone looking after her but has seen me throughout the day as I work from home. Now that she will be away from me for most of the day, I wish to dedicate my time to her from when I go and pick her up in the afternoon to when she goes to bed.

The problem with this is, although I intend to get an early start in order to get my work done by 3.30-ish, my clients have a habit of emailing me any time up to 7.30 p.m. and beyond, often expecting an immediate response. In the past I have lost out on jobs because we were having our dinner! So I need some kind of device for checking my emails on the move (so that I can take my daughter out and do fun things). I can already do that with my mobile phone but I can't open the files my clients send me. I thought of getting an iPhone or equivalent but a friend advised me that it would be an expensive option on a monthly basis and recommended getting an iPad 3G instead- which is expensive initially but much cheaper monthly.

Any thoughts? What do other people do?

Thanks!
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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:36
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Depends on charges in Italy Aug 30, 2011

It really depends on flat rates for data in Italy (where you seem to be from).
Here in Spain I use a BlackBerry with a very reduced rate through Movistar and can open Offices files and pdfs on it. The screen isn't big enough to do any editing though.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
iPAd Aug 30, 2011

The iPad might be better because not only could you open documents; you could also work on them.

Which might defeat the whole purpose of being with your daughter !

[Edited at 2011-08-30 13:47 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 14:36
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
The response time Aug 30, 2011

The clients who expect me to reply during my dinner/shower/toilet time do not interest me much. Even with mobile service such as Blackberry, if you are engaged in playing with your child, for instance, you certainly won't break that with phrasing up an email response to a client. You simply need to organize your on and off time and draw a thick red line between them, even when you are a freelancer.

Translation is not urgency service, nor are we paid to be on absolute stand-by. I rep
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The clients who expect me to reply during my dinner/shower/toilet time do not interest me much. Even with mobile service such as Blackberry, if you are engaged in playing with your child, for instance, you certainly won't break that with phrasing up an email response to a client. You simply need to organize your on and off time and draw a thick red line between them, even when you are a freelancer.

Translation is not urgency service, nor are we paid to be on absolute stand-by. I reply to emails within a relatively short time but that doesn't mean the same minute or the same second, unless I happen to be on-line that very second.
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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member
German to English
+ ...
Dell Streak Aug 30, 2011

I have a Dell Streak, which is somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet. It's small enough to carry around all the time, yet big enough to view files (and show videos to small bored children!) I'm honestly surprised I don't see more of them around as I like it so much!

http://en.community.
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I have a Dell Streak, which is somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet. It's small enough to carry around all the time, yet big enough to view files (and show videos to small bored children!) I'm honestly surprised I don't see more of them around as I like it so much!

http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/direct2dell/b/direct2dell/archive/2010/05/25/dell-streak-the-versatile-5-inch-android-tablet.aspx

I know nothing about data charges though!
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René Stranz-Nikitin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 14:36
Czech to German
+ ...
Exactly my approach! Aug 30, 2011

Lingua 5B wrote:


The clients who expect me to reply during my dinner/shower/toilet time do not interest me much. Even with mobile service such as Blackberry, if you are engaged in playing with your child, for instance, you certainly won't break that with phrasing up an email response to a client. You simply need to organize your on and off time and draw a thick red line between them, even when you are a freelancer.

Translation is not urgency service, nor are we paid to be on absolute stand-by. I reply to emails within a relatively short time but that doesn't mean the same minute or the same second, unless I happen to be on-line that very second.


I second what Lingua 5B said, just get rid of the stress makers. One way you could win as well by doing this would be to raise your rates.

I am carrying a HTC Touch Pro2 with mobile internet connection with me when I am out of the office with my daughter or doing the shopping for instance. When I am standing at a crossroads with my daughter, even with this device in my hands I cannot answer the same second. I have to find a secure and not too sunny place for me and my daughter, then I will check the source files and write my offer. So I won't satisfy the absolute stress makers, only those agencies, who give me at least 15 minutes to answer.

In my opinion the stress makers are exactly the low paying clients, so just give them what they deserve and don't let your child feel that you are in contact with stress makers. It's not her fault that we translators do not manage to make this world a little better.

Best regards,
René Stranz-Nikitin
www.uersn.de


 

mediamatrix (X)
Local time: 09:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Invest wisely Aug 30, 2011

Katharine Ridgard wrote:

My daughter is about to start nursery, ... I wish to dedicate my time to her from when I go and pick her up in the afternoon to when she goes to bed.

... my clients have a habit of emailing me any time up to 7.30 p.m. and beyond, often expecting an immediate response. ...


Your daughter and those clients share a common trait: they want your immediate attention as soon as they start shouting.

However, your daughter is without doubt a far better long-term investment than those clients. Focus on her and let the clients stand in the queue for a couple of hours. And if they get fed up waiting and take their business elsewhere, so be it. They can be replaced. But your daughter cannot.

MediaMatrix


 

Katharine Ridgard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the info Aug 30, 2011

No, my clients don't expect me to reply that very second but I can lose out on a job by not replying within what they consider a reasonable amount of time if they are pushed for time their end (most of my work comes from agencies). While I believe being expected to reply immediately to emails sent in the evening is unreasonable, expecting a reply to a message sent after 3.30 p.m. is not, hence my question.

Anyway, to get back to the issue, thanks for your recommendations, I will che
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No, my clients don't expect me to reply that very second but I can lose out on a job by not replying within what they consider a reasonable amount of time if they are pushed for time their end (most of my work comes from agencies). While I believe being expected to reply immediately to emails sent in the evening is unreasonable, expecting a reply to a message sent after 3.30 p.m. is not, hence my question.

Anyway, to get back to the issue, thanks for your recommendations, I will check out those devices and yes, I need to look into pricing in Italy!
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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
French to English
+ ...
iPhone / iPad Aug 30, 2011

I find that the iPhone/iPad generally works well enough for the purpose of viewing a document in order to give a quote and for basic editing of Word documents (DocsToGo works reasonably well in that you can edit and it preserves the original layout of the document althuogh doesn't show you that layout on screen; Apple's Pages application has a nicer "look and feel" but can corrupt the layout during its import/export process-- it's better suited to creating new documents from scratch).

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I find that the iPhone/iPad generally works well enough for the purpose of viewing a document in order to give a quote and for basic editing of Word documents (DocsToGo works reasonably well in that you can edit and it preserves the original layout of the document althuogh doesn't show you that layout on screen; Apple's Pages application has a nicer "look and feel" but can corrupt the layout during its import/export process-- it's better suited to creating new documents from scratch).

Your friend is right that the iPhone isn't necessarily the cheapest option, but it's a decent phone and does the job of reading e-mail/documents reasonably well. And the whole point is that over the year you're going to recoup the cost with a couple of jobs that you wouldn't otherwise have got-- if that's not the case, then you may as well just buy nothing and not bother with those jobs.

If you get an iPhone and then later decide you want an iPad, the iPhone as a "Personal hotspot" function so that you don't need to get an additional data plan for your iPad but can just hook on to your iPhone's Internet connection. (Just check with your network provider that they haven't disabled this feature: apparently some less scrupulous networks are doing this, or charging extra.) So whilst Tom's advice is good that the iPad is more practical for editing, if you thought you were going to end up with both devices at some point, it's probably not worth the extra cost of having to get the 3G version of the iPad and a separate data plan.

One other thing: if it was really vital to guarantee reading/editing ANY document on the move in an emergency, you can also install VNC which lets you control your main computer remotely. So for such emergency situations, you can even "log into" your computer from your iPhone-- it's not the most comfortable way to work, but the point is you can do it in an emergency. (From the iPad, on the other hand, it works quite nicely.)

N.B. I'm not necessarily an Apple fanboy-- I happen to have an iPhone/iPad personally and I like them, but I imagine you can replace these words with "smartphone" and "tablet" and the above comments will still generally be true.
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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:36
French to English
Don't get a Blackberry Curve! Aug 30, 2011

I got one in July and I'm rather disappointed, I can open docs and pdfs, but it is maddenly slow.... I didn't realize I wasn't getting a 3G phone when I purchased it - my fault, I know! Also the web browser is not very good at all, a certain website that I really need to use often only functions with OS6, which of course, is not available for my Curve, and I didn't check that before purchasing. If you get a Blackberry, go for a better model (Torch, Bold).

 

Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Different tack Aug 30, 2011

Couldn't you just switch on an "out of office" every time you clock off in the afternoon, stating your working hours? You could even promise to check your e-mails one more time (give a specific time when your daughter should be asleep - although that may be wishful thinking!). This would at least be a whole lot cheaper...

Cheers

Noni


 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:36
English to Russian
+ ...
Just got new HTC Status.. Aug 30, 2011

.. a couple of months ago and still feel happy like a kid with a new toy! Actually, this is my first smartphone. The keyboard is so big and comfortable - that was the primary reason for buying this specific model, but the entire device fits so snugly in your hand. Ideal for reading and replying to emails when away from your computer, and you can view the docs sent for translation/editing (as you download apps for that), to be able to respond.

Katharine, I have the same problem - if
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.. a couple of months ago and still feel happy like a kid with a new toy! Actually, this is my first smartphone. The keyboard is so big and comfortable - that was the primary reason for buying this specific model, but the entire device fits so snugly in your hand. Ideal for reading and replying to emails when away from your computer, and you can view the docs sent for translation/editing (as you download apps for that), to be able to respond.

Katharine, I have the same problem - if I do not reply within 30-45 min. I can lose out on a job (sometimes quite a lucrative one). Wish I were a Facebook user - if you are, this model has a separate button for that!
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S E (X)
Italy
Local time: 14:36
Italian to English
Blackberry Curve in Italy Aug 30, 2011

Hi Katherine,

I have been using a Blackberry Curve 8520 in Italy for over a year now, and I acquired it specifically so that I can remain in contact with clients (and they with me) even when I am out of the office.

I use it very often to let clients know whether or not I can take on a given project - I can download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Pdf docs directly to my phone (using an app called Docs to Go), check the project content, check word counts, etc. Documents can
... See more
Hi Katherine,

I have been using a Blackberry Curve 8520 in Italy for over a year now, and I acquired it specifically so that I can remain in contact with clients (and they with me) even when I am out of the office.

I use it very often to let clients know whether or not I can take on a given project - I can download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Pdf docs directly to my phone (using an app called Docs to Go), check the project content, check word counts, etc. Documents can also be edited and sent as attachments using the phone. I also use it to write quickly to clients if I am out and busy, to let them know that I received the message and when I will be able to get back to them in full.

In short, I find it really convenient. The small screen and keyboard do not bother me at all - it's intimate in size, rather like a Renaissance Book of Hours produced for the private use of a single patron. I actually like the size and prefer it to something larger - I do not find it difficult to use and like that it is discreet.

In Italy, it costs 10 euro/month for unlimited internet service from the phone, and I use the Opera Mini browser instead of the native browser. I have a two-year contract with Vodafone; when it finishes, I will start a new two-year contract and get a newer model, to stay technologically up-to-date.

Let me know if you have questions about use in Italy!

Ciao,

Sarah
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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:36
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
off-topic question about BlackBerry Curve Aug 30, 2011

Sarah Elizabeth Cree wrote:

I have been using a Blackberry Curve 8520 in Italy for over a year now,

I can download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Pdf docs directly to my phone (using an app called Docs to Go), check the project content, check word counts, etc.


Slightly off-topic, sorry, but I just wondered if you know how to browse to the end of a long e-mail, or to the end of a long Word doc with your Blackberry?

I'm looking for some equivalent of Ctrl+end, so that I don't have to scroll all the way down. (I have the same BlackBerry and use Docs to go.)

Thanks,
Emma


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:36
Member (2008)
Italian to English
A suggestion Aug 30, 2011

Stimulated by this thread I have started another here:

http://tinyurl.com/429du5k


 
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