15 free tools for translators you did not know you need

The advancements in tools for translators have made it possible for people of different languages, traditions and customs to come into contact. As was expected, translators and interpreters quickly became essential for society, because they are the only ones who can make conversations between foreign individuals possible. Every translator in the twenty-first century will tell you that it is impossible to get the job done without appropriate tools for time management, productivity, organisation and even translation. Nevertheless, it is not enough to simply purchase an overly-priced product.

One must invest wisely in the right tools, because as any good craftsman can tell you, owning the best one doesn’t mean that you will get the job done: you must also know where to start. After scouring the Internet far and wide, we have found the best tools for translators to manage time, increase productivity, track efforts and all in all, reduce workload. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to purchase proprietary software at obscene prices, because the Internet is teeming with free, open-source software (FOSS) and reasonably priced translation tools which can be used to make translating easier.

FOSS is very useful, especially since most translators are self-employed. If you are a translator struggling with an unstable budget, or simply trying to channel work efforts in a positive direction, you will want to know all about these 15 tools, organised in four handy categories: Productivity & Collaboration, Blogging and Social Media, Design, and Security.

Productivity & Collaboration for Translators

 1. Google Drive

Google Drive is one of those tools that freelancers and entrepreneurs simply cannot live without. It’s like Google Docs on steroids, because it provides a hefty 15GB space, for free. In addition to this, it has a plethora of features which are extremely useful for business. This cloud storage service can be used for different purposes, especially since it integrates so well with other Google products (such as Google Apps).


Why it is useful for translators:

Besides its organisational and management capabilities, Google Drive can also be used as a collaboration tool. Several people can work on the same document, at the same time, without having the file crash (useful if you have a project with a tight deadline and need to work with someone else). This can significantly speed up the work, and make tracking tasks easier (each action performed by a collaborator is tracked by the software). There is also a handy chat function integrated.

But this is not all, probably the best way is to use it as a very inexpensive (free for up to 15GB) and simple backup tool, you do backup, don’t you? To take advantage of this, all you need is to install it and put your most precious files inside the folder that it creates and you are good to go. This way, those files are also copied in the cloud creating a backup. Pretty neat, I’d say! Last but not least, Google Drive is invaluable among tools for translators because it makes sending large attachments (over 25 MB) a breeze, organising data easy, and accessing documents from any location with internet access, possible.

Pricing and plans:


Out of all the cloud storage units out there, Google Drive is arguably the best. Recently, prices for the tool dropped dramatically. This basically means that you can get ten times the storage that you would get from a competitor, for the same price.

Where to start

First, you will have to register an account with Google, unless you already have an account with YouTube, Google+, Gmail or any other Google services, in which case you already have one.

There are no payments included, and you will gain instant access to all the Google services. Once you have signed in, you can download the desktop version of the app.

Recommended read: Get started with Google Drive: Overview

2. Evernote

Evernote has the power to give you your life back, if you only let it. There is no questioning its usefulness as a note taking and productivity tool, but most people don’t use it at its full potential. Evernote is so much more than a simple note-taker: it is an overall superb tool, and the more you add to it, the smarter it becomes.


Why it is useful for translators:

The volume of information that translators must remember on a daily basis will eventually become overwhelming. Luckily for us, Evernote can store all of it, have it indexed and searchable across a single platform. A word of advice would be to use all of its features, not only the ones that you feel comfortable with, to become even more organised.

Interesting features you may not know about:

  • Presentation mode –  you can turn your notes into a presentation
  • Handwriting supported (for Android)

Pricing and plans:

There are three price plans available for Evernote.

  • Evernote Free: with limited features
  • Evernote Premium (approx. 4.99$/month):offline notebooks, passcode lock, note presentation, smarter search, more storage.
  • Evernote Business (approx. 13.75$/month/user):4GB of storage, better collaboration, centralised administration and billing, business and personal note-books etc.

Where to start:

Simply download the app on your smart-phone, PC or tablet and register a free account with your e-mail.

 3. Podio

Podio is a superb tool that every freelancer/small team should be using. Two years ago it received 9/10 stars from Web.Appstorm. Today, their words still stand, and for good reason. Its key features include customisable project management for teams, content sharing and feedback workflows for clients, email and webforms integration, simple CRM and sales tracking, 24 hour personal support(paid version only), file-sharing integrated with DropBox and Google Drive, mobile capabilities and automated progress reporting and calculations.


Why it is useful for translators

Podio is the ultimate tool for managing time and organising stuff. It is the workspace…




Read more | inboxtranslation.com/blog

Photo credit | « tools » by Ron Matson on Flickr

Posted on juin 25, 2014 in Field of translation

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