As a freelancer, you cannot rely on anyone else to better your lot (unlike those employed by big companies, who merely are happy recipients of their organization’s productivity enhancement efforts). Moreover, the benefits if employing certain methods to increase your own productivity are obvious: you get the job done in less amount of time.
Although Italian translation may be easy to perform for anyone with some well-honed expertise in this language, it cannot hurt to bring in more “magic” into your ways. The following are just some tips to increase your own productivity as a language translator.
Invest in a good, reliable computer. These days, translators rely on their computer (connected to the internet) to find clients and network with fellow translators. Therefore, having a good computer that would not conk out at the crucial moment you are trying to meet a deadline is a must. It is also a good idea to invest in two or three computers: one desktop for working at home, one regular laptop as a second computer, and perhaps a netbook (handier, easier to lug around if you’re traveling and you wish to bring your work with you). You must install in all these machines the software you regularly use in performing Italian translation, such as word processing software, electronic dictionaries, and translation memory. Also, try to choose a computer based on their reputation for reliability and how comfortable you are working on it.
Invest in a smartphone. A smartphone is a mobile phone that has the functionalities of a regular computer, such as internet connection, wifi connectivity, e-mail, Skype, and certain translation-related apps. A good, advanced smartphone with all the latest bells and whistles can help you stay in touch with clients at all times. The good thing is that smartphones these days—even those that used to be from premium brands—are dropping in prices.
Backing up your work is very important. Sometimes, even the best of care could not stop your computer from suddenly dying on you. And if that happens and you, unfortunately, have not backed up your Italian translation files, that could mean losing a client or setting you back for days or weeks. You don’t want that to ever happen. Fortunately, there are many online backup solutions, and some of them are actually free. There is also some nifty software that allows you to sync all your computers (we presume you have three) so that they have the same version of the same files. In that way, any of your computers breaks down, you can continue working on the other without much loss.
There are now several productivity enhancing options for the Italian translation professional, and most of these are either free or entails very minimal cost. The bottomline is that if something lets you to do your job easier and faster, carefully consider it to be included in your “work arsenal.” It can do you wonders in the long term.