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Keeping track of deadlines and wordcounts - any calendar application can do that?
Thread poster: Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 31, 2013

Dear colleagues,

Getting ever more different clients for which I work on different systems (nowadays everyone seems to have a different CAT tool, a different TM server, a different PM system and a different invoicing portal - I can't even tell how much that drives me insane). I cannot any longer rely on the project view on SDL Trados Studio that used to give me an overview over deadlines.

Right now I have several different clients that send smaller jobs and I find myself struggling to keep track of everything. I started using Google calendar to enter all projects in there, but it doesn't really fit the purpose and is rather cumbersome. Is there anything that could give me an overview over the amount of words I accepted for a particular day (and maybe even warns me with a notification like "Remember you have a familiy! You already accepted 12,000 words on next Sunday ), as well as clearly showing the deadline for each project?

I'd appreciate any idea, maybe something created for a completely different purpose can be adapted?

Thank you,
Anna Sarah


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:16
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TO 3000 Oct 31, 2013

I use Translation Office 3000 to keep track of deadlines. It has a "volume" column that shows the wordcount, and when you've entered a project you can automatically invoice it on delivery.
http://www.to3000.com/


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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Overview function Oct 31, 2013

Hi Emma,

I use TO3000 for invoicing and think it's great for that - but is there an overview, like for example opening a certain day on a calendar and being presented with the projects that are due on that day and the amount of words that I would have to translate?

Maybe if there is such, I missed it...

Thanks,
Anna Sarah

EDIT: I can see now that the Client Jobs view could be used in this sense. But I guess I am looking for something more graphical, more calendar-like.

[Edited at 2013-10-31 12:58 GMT]


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:16
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Client jobs schedule Oct 31, 2013

Hi Anna,

Yes, there is such option: "Client jobs schedule". It is exactly what you are looking for.

Natalia


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Texte Style
Local time: 11:16
French to English
Excel file! Oct 31, 2013

I use the system I used in the agency I worked for.

I had to produce an Excel table showing everything I had worked on in the week with a total to show my productivity. I got into the habit of logging jobs as soon as they came in, so in fact the file started out as my "to do" list then at the end of the week it became my "done" list.

I added a line below the bottom line for stuff to be handed in at a later date.

This gives me a clear picture of what has been done and what has yet to be done.

Working as a free-lancer on top of full-time mothering, I learned to never clock off without writing out a list of things to be done at the next work session, in order of priority when things have to be handed in at a certain time.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I still find nothing beats a pen and A4.... Oct 31, 2013

I have a sheet of paper which I actually keep under the keyboard... and start a new one every month.

I print out a table with columns, and as each job comes in I write down what I need to know, and refer to it whenever relevant.

The headings have varied slightly over the years, but are currently

Date/ VAT Number/ Details/ Deliver/ Rate + Currency/ Source words/ with VAT?/ Hours

I tick off the date under Deliver as each job is delivered, so I can see at a glance what I have in hand.

When it comes to invoicing, I usually have all the details on this sheet too.

(The Details column is quite wide, with space for client name, their job number & references, anything like that.)


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 11:16
French to Dutch
+ ...
Same here Oct 31, 2013

My heading is:
Date / Order number (starting with 001 each year) / Client / Subject or end-client or other details / Nb of words / Delivery date / Price we agreed upon / Invoiced?

And on my hard drive I start a new directory for each order number, in which I put everything: files, POs, information, etc. (the TMs are all in a separate directory).

It is old-fashioned of course, but I thanked heaven the day my computer crashed. I only had to contact the clients to ask them to send me back the latest files. And it makes invoicing very easy.


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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The olde ways Oct 31, 2013

You might all be right. Something as simple as an Excel sheet or a sheet of paper might do the trick... oh the time we waste sometimes to make our life easier! Well, time to switch the darn computer off to get a dose of real life, that should help!

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Heartsome Support
Local time: 18:16
Excel Nov 1, 2013

As Texte Style and Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro said, Excel is a good choice for home-based translator. It is simple and easy to track your project.

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puretrans
China
Local time: 18:16
Chinese to English
+ ...
Good Idea! Nov 1, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

I have a sheet of paper which I actually keep under the keyboard... and start a new one every month.

I print out a table with columns, and as each job comes in I write down what I need to know, and refer to it whenever relevant.

The headings have varied slightly over the years, but are currently

Date/ VAT Number/ Details/ Deliver/ Rate + Currency/ Source words/ with VAT?/ Hours

I tick off the date under Deliver as each job is delivered, so I can see at a glance what I have in hand.

When it comes to invoicing, I usually have all the details on this sheet too.

(The Details column is quite wide, with space for client name, their job number & references, anything like that.)



It is a good idea! I will try it, thank you!

Maggie from China


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:16
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Paper in the digital age? Nov 3, 2013

I have been using TO3000 for years however I did originally start using an Excel spreadsheet I believe TO3000 is very good (though it could be improved in many ways) however Excel was also a good option, the main advantage of TO3000 is it lets you keep all the information in one program (client details, rates, quotes, jobs, files, invoices, payments, etc) this is something Excel does not let you do.

What I can't understand is anyone using paper, this means there is no way of getting any statistics at all about your work unless you then spend ages putting all your info into the computer, would it not be easier to put it into the computer in the first place?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I use my desktop Nov 3, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:
I have a sheet of paper which I actually keep under the keyboard... and start a new one every month.


I put each new job in a new folder on my desktop, and the folder name contains the deadline. When a job is finished, I move it off to the one side of the desktop, and when I'm certain that the client will no longer send queries about the job, I move it into the folder for that month's jobs, out of sight. When I job is not yet confirmed, I add the word "maybe" to the folder name, or if the job is confirmed but the files haven't arrived yet, I use the word "later" in the folder name. And if I have to juggle many long-deadline jobs simultaneously, I may even add the job size to the folder name.

One of the things I save inside the folder is the original e-mail from the client (and/or optionally the e-mail in which the PO was sent), which usually contains the project number or job number in the subject line (and therefore in the e-mail's file name), so I can easily find "more" information about any job just by looking at that file's name. I don't mean that I save all my e-mails in the folder on my desktop -- only the first one of the thread, so that I can use it to find the relevant conversation in my actual inbox, should that be necessary.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:16
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't use statistics much Nov 3, 2013

I keep track of what I have earned and from which clients if relevant by looking at my accounts and invoice summaries.

All the other statistics are too complicated and inconsistent to be much use anyway.

Averages like daily production are meaningless, because no job is ever average! I can translate about a thousand words some days, or a thousand new words and some repeats, while other days three thousand words may be quite feasible.

The advantage of the sheet of paper is that it is always at hand on my desk. I can see it at a glance, while talking on the phone or answering an e-mail, without closing what I am working on and opening Excel or whatever.

I can also make entries in it without interrupting whatever else I have on the screen. I dislike Excel - the cursor never responds as I expect to the keyboard shortcuts... while I never have trouble with my pen.

I can't use the statistics for anything meaningful. When I am sent work, the kind of language and subject area tell me far more than the statistics. Whether the terminology is familiar from previous work for the same client, or whether I need to check specific terminology makes a difference. There are very few standard jobs that fit into statistical categories.

I provide a service, not a product that can be weighed and sold by the yard or the kilo.

Paper in the digital age?
When is is easier and more reliable, then of course!


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:16
English
+ ...
Another vote for good old-fashioned paper Nov 3, 2013

Christine Andersen wrote:

I have a sheet of paper which I actually keep under the keyboard... and start a new one every month.

I print out a table with columns, and as each job comes in I write down what I need to know, and refer to it whenever relevant.

The headings have varied slightly over the years, but are currently

Date/ VAT Number/ Details/ Deliver/ Rate + Currency/ Source words/ with VAT?/ Hours

I tick off the date under Deliver as each job is delivered, so I can see at a glance what I have in hand.

When it comes to invoicing, I usually have all the details on this sheet too.

(The Details column is quite wide, with space for client name, their job number & references, anything like that.)
....

I keep track of what I have earned and from which clients if relevant by looking at my accounts and invoice summaries.

All the other statistics are too complicated and inconsistent to be much use anyway.

Averages like daily production are meaningless, because no job is ever average! I can translate about a thousand words some days, or a thousand new words and some repeats, while other days three thousand words may be quite feasible.

The advantage of the sheet of paper is that it is always at hand on my desk. I can see it at a glance, while talking on the phone or answering an e-mail, without closing what I am working on and opening Excel or whatever.

I can also make entries in it without interrupting whatever else I have on the screen. I dislike Excel - the cursor never responds as I expect to the keyboard shortcuts... while I never have trouble with my pen.

I can't use the statistics for anything meaningful. When I am sent work, the kind of language and subject area tell me far more than the statistics. Whether the terminology is familiar from previous work for the same client, or whether I need to check specific terminology makes a difference. There are very few standard jobs that fit into statistical categories.

I provide a service, not a product that can be weighed and sold by the yard or the kilo.

Paper in the digital age?
When is is easier and more reliable, then of course!



I use pretty much the same method: pen and paper in a notebook kept to the right of my keyboard, where I note down pretty much the same information as Christine, and keep track of time worked on each project. Very easy. Always easily visible and accessible.


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 11:16
French to Dutch
+ ...
Statistics? What for? Nov 3, 2013

I tried the Excel way, but after a while this meant that once a week I was retyping the information I already had on papier. Maybe my work is more elementary than yours, I just make quotes, translate and invoice. I never do statistics (the only interesting thing is my yearly turnover, well this figure comes from my balance sheet). For my invoices I use the latest invoice for the same client, adapt the number and the date, it calculates the amount and VAT automatically (Word can do that).

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