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Poll: Have you ever forgotten to do a job because you had too many?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 05:05
Mar 28, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever forgotten to do a job because you had too many?".

This poll was originally submitted by Elías Sauza

View the poll here

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Marion Schimmelpfennig  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
Member (2003)
English to German
Forgot once but could make it in time Mar 28, 2006

I always enter *any* job or task - professional or personal - in my schedule, knowing that if I don't, I might simply forget it. I must have forgotten to enter one job once, though, because the client called asking where it is. They called a bit ahead of time, fortunately, and since it only was a very small job, I had the presence of mind not to sound shocked and replied that I am already working on it and that they should have it very soon. I could make it in timeicon_wink.gif


Elías Sauza  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:05
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Twice Mar 28, 2006

It has happened to me twice that I completely forgot two small jobs. Fortunately they were short and one was almost a 100% match of another. I could complete both in matter of minutes (30 or so as they were of less than 500 words). I remember having put aside these small jobs while I completed other rather large assignments. This happened even when I keep hard copies of the jobs PO's to be done and their respective emails open in my screen until they're done.

I'd like to hear from other colleagues' experience and about possible ways to prevent this from happening.

Best regards,


[Edited at 2006-03-28 06:13]


Brandis (X)
Local time: 14:05
English to German
+ ...
well samples yes... Mar 28, 2006

every season I get a few hundred samples and can´t manage them all,so i go as per sampling FIFO and job FIFO basis. Brandis

[Edited at 2006-03-28 08:48]


Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
English to Turkish
+ ...
Yes, just yesterday! Mar 28, 2006

The fact that the client was still asleep -in the US, whereas I was in Europe- at the time I had a sudden flash of memory saved me! Had they been in China... ouchicon_rolleyes.gif


Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Member (2002)
+ ...
"Well samples yet?" Mar 28, 2006

Brandis wrote:

every season I get a few hundred samples and can´t manage them all,so i go as per sampling FIFO and job FIFO basis. Brandis

Could you please explain this further, Brandis. I don't understand your headline.

About forgetting orders, I always put these mails into a separate directory in my mail software (which *only* contains orders). In addition to that, I also print out the PO, write the order no. and the deadline in signal red in the upper corner of the sheet and then put everything into my chronological order pile.

But I agree with other colleagues, that this should be done right away when the order has arrived, or it's so easy to forgeticon_wink.gif


Erik Hansson ( SFÖ )
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Am Birkenwäldchen 38
D-01900 Bretnig-Hauswalde, Germany
Phone +49 - 3 59 52 - 321 07
Fax +49 - 3 59 52 - 322 02
ProZ profile


Dusica Cook
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 14:05
English to Bosnian
+ ...
never! Mar 28, 2006

i have had situations with 5 or 6 jobs overlaping and having tight and close schedules, but have never "managed" to miss a task. one thing i like about me is that i never go to bed before i am 100% sure that i have finished everything. i have a little notebook in which i write all the plans and "tick" what i complete. late at night, i go through the list agian, make the list for the next day and complete all lose ends! it was once that i have not done the translation before i looked in the notebook, but i do not consider that to be "forgotten" as i completed it when i planned to do so!


Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
Member (2003)
German to English
Professionalism Mar 28, 2006

Isn't that what a calendar or day planner is for?


Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:05
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Once Mar 28, 2006

I once forgot a very small job because I had bigger projects too. I had promised to deliver the translation onFriday and remembered it on Sunday. It was my first job for a client (agency), so I was afraid it would make a bad impression, but they were quite understanding.

Has happened once with a test translation, too (when there has been a deadline).


Konstantin Kisin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:05
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
wow! Mar 28, 2006

A quarter of us have forgotten to do a job? What an unexpected result...


PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
English to Polish
+ ...
There should be another choice: "once or twice" or "a few times" Mar 28, 2006

When I was doing a large job (piles of files, to paraphrase Joni Mitchell), I missed one.

The client called me up and said "so, we have everything except that one file".

I said... well what could I say?icon_biggrin.gif
It's one of my best clients, so I just did the last file and shipped it out. No sanctions.

Pawel Skalinski


Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
English to French
+ ...
Excel sheet Mar 28, 2006

I use an Excel log with all my jobs on it. I enter all relevant details such as file name, subject, customer, date received and deadline, number of source and target words or folios, rate, estimated and real completion time, language pair.

This allows me to have a clear view of priorities.

Plus, when all the data is complete, it calculates total price, rate per hour, difference of volume between source and target...

It is also very useful to keep track of invoices. I enter there the invoice number and the date it should be paid, and when that date is in the past, a simple "if" formula tells me it's time to chase this invoice.

I added other sheets to the file, with a day planner, a cash flow, VAT and taxes, customers details, accounts... All in one big file that lets me keep track of everything.


Jesus Murillo  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another method Mar 28, 2006

I have a huge whiteboard in my office (keep away from children) where I write down every assignment's PO number as soon as they come. Also, I manually underline the previous dates, based on the expected workload and my output capabilities.

If I receive a job of, say, 3,000 words, and if there is enough time, I underline the previous three days (allowing 1,000 words per day). When assignments overlap, the calendar dates get underlined more than once. This means I have to translate 1,000 words per every (under)line. Thus, I can handle up to three simultaneous jobs (maybe 4 in case of emergency) every day.

The use of a whiteboard allows deletion and change of the actual deadline (for example, if the client calls back). Also, you can instantly take up and reject projects or negotiate later project deadlines for you have a quick and accurate idea of your workload just with a glimpse of your calendar.

This works for me, although there might be as many work systems as translators out there...


Marisa Condurso de Nohara  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Would you marry me? :-) Mar 28, 2006

Jesus Murillo wrote:

I have a huge whiteboard in my office .....................

I underline the previous three days ........................

..... in case of emergency.................

The use of a whiteboard allows deletion and change......... can instantly take up and reject projects or negotiate........

...... you have a quick and accurate idea of ..................

You are the perfect husband!!! But, at a second thought... I couldn't bear a person so similar to me sharing every day of my life. My "system" has several ways of warning: A red-flagged email from the client, which does not leave the in-coming msgs until I'm done with it. An alarm warning in my electronic calendar 2 days before the deadline, when a job is too big. A hard-copy warning in my agenda (day by day), stating day of arrival, word count, text title and the likes. Well nothing new, but safe, so far.

So, I think I'm not going to marry you! I have enough with myself.icon_smile.gif And after all, I love my husband too much to bring another translator to our house!icon_wink.gif


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Save all accepted current jobs to the desktop Mar 28, 2006

Elías Sauza wrote:

I'd like to hear from other colleagues' experience and about possible ways to prevent this from happening.

That way I have them ALL in full view and can tell when the translated file (or file for translation) has been created or not.

The one or two times I forgot (and rushed overnight) was for a friend who simply sends e-mail to be translated. Where the text is substantial, I save it to a separate document and send it to the desktop, but in a fever pitch of work, it's easy to overlook 3 sentences imbedded in an e-mail...icon_frown.gif

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