Organising Your Translation Paperwork

If you have been employed as a freelance translator for some time, then there’s no doubt that you are going to have begun to collect quite a large assortment of documents for different translation jobs you have taken or completing. Whilst everybody has their own way of organizing and storing these records, it is often worth taking the basic ideas about filing and organising and then being certain that you’re employing the most efficient way. That’s why we have written this guide to organising your translation articles.


If it comes to handling your document structuring, there are several different ideas to choose from. Popular methods include organizing headers alphabetically by customer with a heavy duty stapler,  or perhaps utilizing less structured but more digital procedures and relying upon your operating system’s (OS) research and automated sorting tools.

Organizing your documents by customer is great, especially if you have particular clients you frequently get work from. Your customers will be able to ask you to get a copy of their translation at a certain stage, and it will be easy to visit their designated folder and then give them the appropriate file. Using this technique alone won’t let you see all of your dictionaries: you will have to browse through every customer’s folder individually to truly benefit.


Another way to do it, would be to organize your documents by date, and this comprises all translations in a useful, chronological perspective. But fast obtaining all translations for a particular client will probably be more difficult than the above method, so it is maybe better to use this technique when you’ve got tons of ‘one-off’ contracts out of a large array of clients rather than normal work from your standard customers.

Whilst both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, together with your OS’s automatic sorting and search capabilities might help mitigate the dangers of both approaches. As an instance, if you would like to purchase your documents by customer, you can create a folder that automatically organises all documents by date modified or date established, letting you keep your client-based file arrangement but also enjoy the advantages of having instant access to the translations you have worked on lately. Similarly, if you sort your documents by date, together with your OS’s system-wide search, it will make it possible for you to recover parts of work that fit a customer’s name, again letting you sidestep the principal disadvantage of a chronological document arrangement.

In the end, taking advantage of your OS’s organising methods will make locating documents much simpler, it will be better for everyone if you have consistency in your document management and include as many details from the document name as you can. Be mindful that whilst hunt and automated sorting are extremely dependable, it’s possible for the application to forget a document or pose an erroneous outcome. Bearing this in mind, make certain that your manual document sorting consistently provides a trusted fallback if this happens to you.

Which way of sorting out your translation-related files would you use?

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