If you’re looking for a webinar solution, either as host or recipient, there are LOADS out there, ranging from free to $50+ per month, so it pays to know which have the best mix of price and functionality. This article, by Nathan Weller, provides a great breakdown of some of the products currently available.

I’m keen to look at Webinarjam, but wonder what you guys are currently using?

Productivity tip: Evernote

If you’re in the thick of a project and find some useful resources, such as the glossary I found below relating to procurement and the tendering process, a great way of storing them away for future reference is Evernote. Available as an extension in Chrome, Firefox and most other browsers, by a simple click you can save any PDF, or other web content to the “notebook” of your choice, which is then stored locally on your PC. In this case, I just created a notebook I called “Glossaries”, and – hey presto – instant access to your reference files. Also worth doing is changing the file name by adding “_glossary” to the filename, which will make searching for glossary content simpler on your computer.

Also worth seeing:
Looking for similar content: Try “Making it as a Freelance Translator” (available from Amazon)

Schermata 2017-07-15 alle 09.31.02

Quick Fix: 4 Productivity Tips


Looking for a quick way to improve your productivity? Here are 4 simple ways of improving your workflow: Mail for Macbook, Bitrix 24 CRM, Wunderlist and the LinkedIn rule of 2.

  1. Mail for Macbook: Having a simple, but effective email client can really help improve the way information is presented to you, how you organize emails that require actioning, project folders and archived emails, as well as giving you an appearance that fits your personality. I’ve used Outlook (for Windows and Mac) for years – largely because it was the most nuanced, function-rich environment for working in; however, the latest, horribly-glitchy version of Outlook left me looking for something more. In a busy week I tried Inky, Opera, Airmail, and a bunch of others, and despite some of having stand-out graphics and some nice features (Airmail being the second best), the one with the most “checked boxes” was Mail, the standard client packaged with the Macbook. Sure, a little tweaking was needed to optimize the font, signatures, and folders, but the overall mix of aesthetic and function has proven the winner.
  2. The LinkedIn “rule of 2”: Every day, find the time to market to at least two new clients on LinkedIn, I guarantee it will bring results. Firstly, make sure you use key words that apply to your specific specialty; open a new tab under the company website and find a registration form or email contact; make sure you send a current, polished CV; on the LinkedIn page, “visit” the profile of the staff member (pay less attention to companies with less than ten employees) who is most useful to you, be that the CEO, HR manager or senior project manager; send the key contact a brief message via InMail (get Premium membership – it is worth the small outlay) letting them know, in grammatically perfect and scrupulously edited language, who you are and why potential collaboration is a good thing, and tell them that you have sent in an application through their website, but “you are more than happy to send them a personal copy of your CV. Do this every working day and I guarantee you some of these self-generated leads will pay off. Give it a try and keep a record in a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). If you don’t want to limit your marketing to LinkedIn, and I don’t; apply the rule of two any way you like—as long as you chase a minimum 2 leads per day.
  3. Get a Customer Relationship Manager: There are heaps of options out there – search under “best CRM” and see which ones you like. I use Bitrix24, which is a great CRM, and free if you have less than 12 team members, and providing you visit at least once every 30 days. The features are appealing, and it’s quite satisfying seeing “leads” converted to “companies”.
  4. Wunderlist: Again, I searched for ages for a decent to-do manager, which would do a better job than my trusted pad and pencil, but through which I could also link emails, calendar events, that kind of thing. Wunderlist is one of many to-do/task list applications out there, and it is IOS only, but explore the options, it can make a huge difference to how much trash you keep in your physical “cache”, and I personally find that knowing I have all the important stuff listed somewhere frees me up from the subtle stress remembering all that stuff causes me, and frees me up to focus on my paid work.

That’s it – 4 simple tools for improving your day-to-day work life. How about you? Have you got 4 can’t-live-without tools that make your workday that much more efficient or pleasant? Anyway, I hope you find this useful.

Related links:

  1. http://inboxtranslation.com/blog/professional-translators-reveal-free-tools
  2. http://www.translatortools.net/
  3. http://www.internationalwriters.com/toolbox/

Diversifying: Facebook banners




To keep life interesting, and to scratch the creative urge (also being slaked by writing these days, rather than just translating), I’m also doing some low-level graphic design work. I’m happy to do Facebook profile images, Facebook banners, and book covers for Kindle, iTunes etc. or to custom dimensions and am happy to offer a reasonable number of revisions to get the look, font type, style you want.

If that’s something you need, feel free to get in touch via this site or by emailing me. Facebook page: Profile images






Changing space



Took my weekly walk on the new block – completion date December this year, possibly February, and the picture above is pre-tty much where my office will be. In our current road, cars go up-and-down all day long, kind of a drag-strip to be honest – totally unfriendly for kids, who’ve never really experienced having a safe street with a pavement/sidewalk to go on.  The new block, in our fairly hilly country town in Western Australia,  has a granite hill (mountain, if you’re Australian) behind it with huge boulders to climb, no through traffic to speak of really, and my kids will be able to get into the Australian bush with just a few steps. There are plenty of snakes to avoid in summer, roos to spot, lots of birdlife (pelicans, ibis, parrots, kookaburras and many more) and one particularly massive boulder where I figure we can sit and watch the sun go down – my youngest daughter and I have already done that. I think there is something to the notion of a “creative space” – I know I can’t wait to have decent sunlight coming into my study instead of Stygian darkness, and having the view over water with hills in the distance will be pretty special too. For me, the move can’t come quick enough, and it will definitely be a super-inspiring space to be creative I think 🙂

Nb. Reminds me to of a fantastic book I read years ago about building your own writing area away from your house, “A Place of my Own: the education of an amateur builder” (by Michael Pollan) which you can find by clicking on the image. Worth a read.

New Book – Making it as a Freelance Translator

Andrew Bell_Kobo

News: Finally, after umming and aahing for ages, I’ve released “Making it as a Freelance Translator” a book I’ve wanted to do for a long time  – priced at under $4, which is a lot of content for the price of a coffee 🙂  It contains lots of archived, and redacted blog postings, from a seven-year period – including some really useful tips for people just getting into translation, as well as some new, unpublished content. If you buy the book, updates and revisions are free of charge. I’ve archived the old content on my blog as a way of putting a line under it, and hope to write plenty of new, interesting content going forward. Nb. You can also get the book on iTunes and (shortly) Kobo. Thanks.