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In this blog post I wanted to share some of my favorite tools that I use daily or at least weekly in my freelance translation business. I will not discuss translation tools or CAT-tools here, just other applications that make my work and my life easier. Most of these tools are free and easy to use.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is a simple online virtual storage utility that allows you to make your files accessible from almost anywhere. After installation and connecting to the server, the Dropbox interface is just like any folder on your computer. You simply drag and drop to move files around and any files or folders that are uploaded to Dropbox will immediately be synchronized within your account. I use it to synchronize my files between my desktop computer and my laptop and it works wherever I am. There is a free version, but I bought an annual subscription to Dropbox with a bigger storage size.
- Google Calendar Sync – There are many different synchronization applications but since I still prefer using Outlook for my email and my calendar, this is the application that works best for me. This makes me able to synchronize my calendar between my desktop PC, my laptop and my iPhone.
- KeePass – These days I have to keep track of so many passwords for websites, accounts, project management tools etc. that it is impossible to remember or store all of them in a secure way. That is why I use KeePass. KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database.
- WordPress – I don’t know HTML, but I need a good, professional website, where I can also integrate my blog and my social media marketing. After trying several other options I ended up buying a self-hosted WordPress service. However there is also a free version available that is not self-hosted. It is not as easy to use as for example Webs, but works really great for the integration and SEO needs I have. WordPress is a free, Web-based software program that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog. It was originally intended as an easy way to set up a blog, but has with free and open source software expanded into more of a business and integration tool for freelancers and other professionals.
- TweetDeck – Most of us freelancers and freelance translators are involved in social media to market our business and interact with colleagues and clients. I use TweetDeck as a platform where I can see my Twitter account, plus all my lists in Twitter, my Facebook account and my LinkedIn account. I can interact on all these accounts from TweetDeck and the list function makes it easier to see what my Twitter groups are up to. It is also a free tool.
- FeedBurner – FeedBurner is a program that hosts your feeds, or blog posts and sends them out to your RSS-subscribers, or people who have subscribed to your blog posts. It also allows your feed to be viewed in any browser.
- WordFinder – This tool is not free, but I have found it well worth the investment. WordFinder is the leading provider of interactive dictionary and language solutions that enable you to write, read or translate in foreign languages. I use it as a platform for all my electronic dictionaries, either bought from WordFinder, or online free dictionaries.
Do you have any favorite tools you use every day in your translation business, that are not mentioned here, or do you agree with this list? Please share!