Every minute counts on projects with a short turnaround time, so be sure to save time where possible.
Remember when your main contractors work and follow their schedule.
Don't waste your time writing to those translators who you know will refuse the job or won't reply at all. Remember who works during the morning and day, and who prefers to accept work only in the evenings and at night. I also try to follow what jobs contractors are currently working on. This goes for my projects, as well as the projects of my colleagues. If a translator received a job for 10 000 words yesterday with a turnaround time of 5 days, don't try and convince them to take another 5000 — you're likely to waste the time you don't have.
Outlook email templates help me send out handoffs very quickly. It's better to spend some time on creating a template once and save up to 30 minutes a day on writing separate emails to everyone later.
A good template of an email to a linguist includes:
- number of words and deadline of the project;
- the link to download files to work on;
- what tools should be used;
- any special instructions.
If your email doesn't include these, you're doomed to spend a lot of time on explanations and likely won't complete the job on time.
I have a template that covers most of the projects I work on. I try to fit all of the necessary information into it, considering the questions that linguists most often ask me. My main goal is to avoid any additional questions.
For those linguists who often work on the same type of a project and know the references better than me, I can omit a part of the instructions and just send the files and deadline.
Use CAT tool templates.
I usually work on projects that include translation files prepared by the client. But sometimes there are projects that will require you to create a package of documents to be translated in a CAT tool. This is when you have to manually add files and glossaries, and set up checks for each linguist. Many CAT tools allow you to create a template that can be used to create packages with necessary references for several languages at a time in just a couple of clicks. You can read about
how to do this in SDL Trados Studio and start multi-language projects seven times faster.
You already have the handoff and CAT tool templates but you can save even more time by sending a mass email. Instead of sending dozens of individual emails, I use the BCC option: enter my own email in the "To" field and the emails of several contractors in the "BCC" field.
When all of the tasks are sent out, go back to your priority list and prepare the next handoff and mass email. Don't forget to re-prioritize — if you received new urgent jobs while you were dealing with the current ones, you need to see what should be moved to the top of the list.