There are some tools on the market designed to manage translation projects. Some are free, and some are paid but each one of them, in their own way, attempts to meet the needs of freelance translators who, as we well know, do much more than just sit down and translate. Of course, you can always fight this and blindly trust your memory to keep a record of your job requests, quantities, deadlines, instructions, invoicing, payments… And if your memory isn’t enough, you can always count on the trusted duo “pen and paper” or, on a more tech-savvy level, your beloved MS Excel. I did this for some time, while I was getting to know several tools a bit better, but I came to the conclusion that none of them was worthy of a serious commitment.
Quahill is project management software specifically designed for the translation industry. It comes in two versions, Enterprise and Basic, with the latter being aimed exclusively at freelance translators. Although this wasn’t exactly love at first sight, some of the features made me think it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. So, what can this little wonder do for you? Let’s see:
– It is highly flexible and customizable: it allows you to create client lists, with all the related data and contacts, price lists for several services, language pairs, subject fields, work units… Let’s be honest, this initial stage takes some effort, but I would actually say it pays off.
– It automatically creates a folder directory on your computer for each job. This directory can also be defined by the user, according to preferences or needs, and is stored in the client folder.
– It has a calendar feature where you can see the delivery dates for each job, or invoice due dates, for instance. It has a colour system to help you quickly identify the status of each item.
– It interacts with SDL Studio. Although this only works with Professional versions, it is a helpful and timesaving feature when you’re creating and analysing new jobs. Besides, you can also manage your translation memories, connect them to projects or clients and keep them updated.
– It interacts with MS Outlook. By installing a plugin, Quahill enables the creation of new projects from e-mail messages or you can also associate several messages to one project, thus keeping a full history of communications. If the sender is already included in the client contacts, the project will be automatically created with the client data and you can also save the attached files in the project folder. This might well be my favourite feature!
– Quahill takes care of all the invoicing for you in a quick, simple process and it offers the possibility of immediately sending invoices to clients by e-mail. The message can be customized and includes fields for the automatic data, such as the client’s name or invoice code. This one may be my second favourite.
– It also allows you to create several performance reports concerning different aspects of your business, such as the number of projects per client, per language combination, subject field, etc.
After that, if you’re ready to take the relationship to the next level, you can purchase a Basic licence.
Give it a try and enjoy!