How do you organise your translation files ?
Thread poster: Geordi

United States
Local time: 11:54
Member (2017)
French to English
+ ...
Jan 15, 2016

When working on several different translation jobs I find that my desktop becomes cluttered with several files. Is that normal ? How do you organise you files ? Any suggestions ?


anamaria bulgariu  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Member (2007)
English to Romanian
+ ...
No saving files on desktop Jan 15, 2016

Hi Geordi,

My filing system is pretty simple. I have a main WORK folder on the main partition of my drive. There, job files are organized according to YEAR > CLIENT > PM > JOB NUMBER/DAY OF THE MONTH. This makes it easy to identify any file I need in a second.
As a general rule, I never save work files on my desktop unless these are junk files (e.g. version files which I know I won't need to keep or files that my clients want deleted after reading). In my opinion, it's dangerous to save stuff anywhere on the C:/ partition. If your computer gets infected or you just need to reinstall everything (it happened to me more than once), the content there will get erased first.


[Edited at 2016-01-15 08:35 GMT]


Dylan Jan Hartmann  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

Check this thread Jan 15, 2016

Many people organise in many different ways. The most important thing is to have a system, and stick to it!!!

A lot was covered in this previous thread:


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
A semblance of order Jan 15, 2016

I have a folder called Work, which contains separate folders for each of my clients. I don't tend to keep files and folders open on my desktop at the same time. I usually have no more than 3 documents open at same time, i.e. the original document, the draft I'm translating, and sometimes the list of documents from the client which I am working on at the time.


Kay Denney  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
simplicity itself Jan 15, 2016

I keep all my translations in a folder called "translations", then a sub-folder for each field I work in (tourism, fashion, art, architecture, health, corporate bla-bla etc.) then a sub-folder for each client, then another sub-folder for each job.

The desktop only is used for shortcuts to folders or software, and the only work-related folders to get their own shortcut are "translations" "TMs" "estimates" and "bills". Except for very rare big jobs which might have their own shortcut until done and dusted.


B D Finch  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
No working files saved to desktop Jan 15, 2016

The only files (other than shortcuts to programs) I ever save on my desktop are those in a "Temp" folder, which I regularly clear out. My translation files are saved in one of three folders in a main "Translation" folder in my Documents folder, thus keeping them separate from my "Personal Files". Those three folders are "Incoming Work", "Jobs Current" and "Jobs Completed". Within each of those is a set of subfolders named by Client Name + my code number for that client.

Incoming work is saved to a new, dated, folder in the (usually pre-existing) Client folder in "Incoming Work". When the job is accepted, its folder gets a reference number and is copied to that client's folder in "Jobs Current". Once the job is finished and paid for, any files there is no point keeping are deleted and the job folder is moved to that client's folder in "Jobs Completed". The corresponding folder in "Incoming Work" is deleted. While I'm working on a job, or if I'm waiting for confirmation, the relevant folder is pinned to the pop-up list on my File Explorer icon on the task bar, so that I don't have to scroll through to find it. Documents I need to refer to during the current translation are similarly pinned to the Word, Excel or PDF icon on the task bar.

Reference files are opened on a second screen beside my working screen.


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
English to French
TO3000 Jan 15, 2016

It generates job folders automatically, and I can easily access them through my list of jobs in TO3000, without drilling down any folder tree. In other words, I neither have to worry about where my files are, nor click any string of folders (C:\...Various folders...\TO3000 folder\Client folder\Job folder) to get down to the job. I've been using it for 10 years and it suits me.

And I do heavy cleaning/archiving once in a while to keep my computer clean and tidy.

This program is quite helpful when you have a steady client base. It may be a bit clumsy when you have new one-off customers every week because of customer sheet and details entry.



Diana Edmond
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Member (2008)
Italian to Romanian
+ ...
Try using a file manager Jan 15, 2016

I organise my work pretty much like other people on here do.

I also use a file manager like Total Commander - this one is free and has become so useful, I could not imagine my life without it now.

[Edited at 2016-01-15 11:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-01-15 11:07 GMT]


xxxDr Howard Ca  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:54
Italian to English
+ ...
The devil is in the detail! Jan 15, 2016

I use FLUENCY NOW for translation work on my Mac - all files for translation automatically sync to 'Project Dashboard' where they are displayed in time + date/alphabetical order, where even I can keep track of them! Cam

[Bijgewerkt op 2016-01-15 13:08 GMT]


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