Collaboration, flexibility, promptness are essential to the way we work today and central systems can go a long way to help us stay ahead of the game.
Today being a freelancer doesn’t mean being alone any longer (luckily!). Nor stuck in one place.
Freelancers as multi-tasking digital nomads
Freelancers cooperate with agencies, direct clients, business partners and suppliers in an increasingly complex ecosystem, made up of many different actors. They are connected and part of peer networks. They have become ‘digital nomads’, with the freedom to work from virtually anywhere, be it home, a co-working space, or a place abroad for a bit of ‘bleisure’ time.
But how can we still work consistently, proactively and on schedule? And how can our ecosystem operate in sync with that of our clients and business partners, so that we don’t end up working inside a bubble, instead of in the cloud?
Central systems are the new smart
A centralized approach is key to the modern way of working. Cloud storage, and cloud and web-based tools and systems are allies which literally, and quite funnily if you think of it, keep us ‘grounded’.
Bye bye chaos
Sometimes systems conjure up images of something intricate and obscure, something which adds to your work instead of streamlining it.
But in smartly conceived systems, usability and flexibility are on the house. Systems need to be accessible and versatile to quickly adapt to different needs and requirements.
Simplify your day
System should make our life easier, not more complicated. It sounds obvious, but it is not: just think of how many times you tried a new software or program which was meant to speed up your daily routines and abandoned it after just a few tries because it wasn’t user-friendly enough and you didn’t have time to learn how to use it properly.
With this regard, I particularly like this quote from an article by Ryan Singer (Basecamp): “People use your product because they are trying to get somewhere. You can imagine them standing in front of a chasm with their goal on the other side. They want to do something, but they can’t do it without help. Your product is there to bridge the gap.”
The work which needed to be done for yesterday
Another peculiarity of today’s work is time, or the absence of it. More often than not, time is of the essence, we work in fast-paced environments, everything seems urgent.
So, always having a clear snapshot of where you stand, for instance with a job (project progress), with the overall business relationship with a client (jobs, quotes, paid/unpaid invoices) or with your business expenses, is crucial, also in order to assess, regroup and change gear if need be.
So, how can systems actually help us?
Systems provide the opportunity to properly structure our work. Let’s put the free back into freelancing by liberating translation routines from obstacles and chaos thanks to a centralized approach. Feeling you’re in control of your work is no small thing at all.
[Short, redacted version of an article I originally wrote for LSP.expert, available here]
About the author
I am an Italian specialist in marketing, creative and legal translation and editing. I put my many years of experience to the advantage of my clients by creating texts resonating with the Italian-speaking audience and making brands locally relevant. Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter or visit my website.