Twenty Questions about Translation Office 3000

by Reed D. James

I used to cringe at administrative work I was forced to do. I had installed several different software applications take care of accounting, keep track of projects and count words. At the beginning, it was bearable because I was just starting out and did not have an overwhelming workload.

However, as time wore on, I began receiving more and more assignments with tight deadlines. The last task I wanted to perform was take time away from translating to write up invoices and calculate each word count with the calculator. "There must be a better way of doing this.", I said to myself.

Luckily for me, there was a better way. Not only was it better, it was faster, easier and more complete. I had heard about Translation Office 3000 from other translators on ProZ. One day, while feeling adventuresome, I downloaded the demo version and tried it out.

Normally, I am quick to judge a software application. I do not usually wait the full 30 days to either buy or uninstall a program. I like to reach a verdict within two or three days, as I believe that an application's strengths and weaknesses are obvious from the outset.

However, because of the price of the software, I was reluctant to take the plunge. After all, you can get by with an Excel spreadsheet, a calculator, MS Word and an e-mail client such as Outlook Express. I wasn't sure that by paying US$ 150 and using the software daily I would achieve justifiable results.

Fortunately, I decided to take the risk of buying the software. I reasoned that most if not all of my other business investments paid off, why should this one be the exception? I soon realized that by using Translation Office 3000, I had a much clearer view of everything related to my business: client information, invoices, projects, payment and the general state of the business as a whole.

Any one of Translation Office 3000's features would make it worth buying. To explain this point, the automatic folder creation feature in and of itself has made me much more organized. Not only that, I know where everything is --all the time. I would not have had the knowledge or time to set up something similar on my own.
Rather than go on about the benefits of Translation Office 3000, I thought I would give you a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which had been asked by other translators on the Internet.

1. Is Translation Office 3000 hard to use?

Only doing the first week. Because of the vast array of applications that this program has, it takes a few days to get used to everything. Nevertheless, given Translation Office 3000's scope, it is surprisingly intuitive and easy to use.

2. What if I have a problem?

The staff at AIT is more than happy to help you with any question you may have. They are also friendly and open to any suggestions from Translation Office 3000 users. Just e-mail them, and you will receive a quick reply.

3. Is a good program for translation agencies?

That depends on the size and need of the particular agency. If it is a small agency with a limited number of clients, there is no reason that staff couldn't adapt to Translation Office 3000 to fit the agency's needs. On the other hand, if it is a larger agency, perhaps Projetex would be a more suitable solution.

4. Is it updated regularly?

Yes, it is. You will automatically see a message after launching the program. You only need to accept the update, and the software does the rest for you itself.

5. How customizable is it?

While keeping its basic structure, Translation Office 3000 can easily be updated and expanded on. Let's say that a new country comes into existence. All you have to do is add the country to a list. The same can be said for currencies or your proofreading rates. This is a good example of how flexible Translation Office 3000 is.

6. Will it save me time?

Yes it will. You'll be amazed how quickly you will do your administrative work once you learn how the program works.
7. What exactly does it do?

Translation Office 3000 helps you track your translation projects, manage your clients, generate your invoices and record payments.

8. Can I add/deduct taxes with it?

Yes, you can. This is part of Translation Office 3000's intuitive versatility.

9. What kind of invoices can I make with it?

You can make any invoice your clients need. Simply create an invoice template the way you would like it to look, and it will be available for you every time you want to issue that particular invoice.

10. Will I earn more money if I use TO3000?

You will indirectly. Obviously, you're main money earner is your translation work. Translation Office 3000 helps you to spend more time translating and less time doing administrative work. It also gives you a clear picture of your business so you know how much you have earned on any date. This allows you to plan your workload. You also provide better service to your clients because you are able to give them the information they need on demand. Never again will you wonder what to do when a client asks you to resend him or her "job 357a" that you delivered two years ago. With Translation Office 3000, you will be answering your client faster than you can say "send message".

11. Will I have an advantage over translators who don't use TO3000?

I can't speak for all translators not using the software. I assume there are clever and efficient people out there who have devised their own accounting and project management systems that rival Translation Office 3000. However, those translators who do not have the time or knowledge to engineer such a system, will be spending a considerable amount of time doing administrative work while you, the translator with Translation Office 3000 will breeze through these chores. I remember that I used to spend 20 to 30 minutes writing a monthly invoice. Now, it takes me longer to convert the invoice to PDF and send it than it does to write up the invoice itself.

12. Isn't there some way I can create my own system for free?

Yes, of course there is. You could either line up a series of software applications such as Excel, Word and Quicken or program your own software. Unless you are a computer programmer, I would imagine that you would have to hire a programmer to do this for you. Though the result may arguably be better than Translation Office 3000, I'm certain that you would have to spend much more than US$ 150.

13. Is there a basic and professional package?

No. There is one program with one price tag on it. You will not be forced to buy add-ons and plug-ins or upgrade to a superior product.

14. How long does it take to learn the program?

You should probably give yourself a week to learn the program comfortably. the software comes with sample information. Instead of erasing it right away, you can study the sample information and adapt it to understand the program better.

15. Does this program translate?

No, it doesn't. That is one of the few functions that it does not handle. However, it will help you spend more time translating instead of other administrative tasks.

16. How soon will the program pay for itself?

That all depends on your workload and expectations from this software. It is safe to say that most freelance translators could earn the money to pay for this program in one day, perhaps less. That is a small sacrifice for software you'll be using for years.

17. Is it the only translation administrative software I will ever need?

That all depends on how complex your business is and what you need to manage. What I can attest is that whatever extra software you may choose to use to run your translation business will be small, complementary applications.

18. How much does it cost?

At the moment it costs exactly € 159 (US$ 216.74). Look for special deals that AIT offers from time to time.

19. Is there a demo I can download and try?

Please click here. You may also benefit from joining the web site's mailing list.

20. Where can I buy it?

Please click here.
Reed D. James
rjames@vtr.net

+562 8485729