Five productivity tools for translators

April 4, 2018
Five productivity tools for translators

Working hard is not the same as working efficiently. We all know people who seem to work every available hour, yet somehow don’t quite produce or achieve as much as might be expected. Even those of us who consider ourselves to be quite efficient can do with a little boost every now and then to ensure we remain as productive as possible. 

As such, the professional translation team at Tomedes has looked into various productivity tools for translators. Here are five of our favourites. 

Productivity Timer

Productivity Timer does exactly what it says on the tin – it provides a countdown timer designed to ensure that you focus on a particular task in a more productive manner. The timer is set at 25 minutes, based on the popular Pomodoro Technique, which Francesco Cirillo developed in the 1980s. The 25-minute countdown provides a period of intensely focused work, followed by a short break. 

Productivity Timer is a great way to keep you focused on the task at hand. If you feel social media beckoning (and what greater time-drain is there, these days?), knowing that you’re on a timer to get your task finished can be a strong motivator to keep going and avoid distractions. 


Notability was the bestselling chargeable productivity app in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – and for good reason. The app allows you to multi-task in a new way that you can personalize to your heart’s content. You can annotate PDFs and images, add handwritten notes next to screenshots, make recordings and play audio feedback. It’s one of those apps that the more you become familiar with it, the more uses you find for it.  


1Focus is an app that gives you the space to work, minus the usual background distractions that come with being online. You can use it to block websites that would otherwise encourage you to procrastinate. If you don’t have the self-discipline to stay off social media, online auction sites and news portals while you work, 1Focus can block them for you. You control the duration of the block, meaning that you can focus for as long as you need to in order to get the job done. 


TopTracker is a great app for allowing you to gauge your own productivity levels. The time-tracking software analyses the way you work and then provides intuitive reports to help you understand your own patterns. It was designed with freelancers in mind and can provide real-time summaries of your productivity. You can run the app across different projects, to establish whether there are particular areas that you need to focus on when it comes to enhancing your productivity. 


If This, Then That (IFTTT) works to make your everyday app and device usage smarter. Essentially, it learns your basic actions as you use your devices, then automates those actions for you. It has been designed to work across a vast range of Internet of Things products, so once you’ve built using it into your workflow, you can then use it to enhance your life in other ways by ensuring that your smart devices work together in a way that suits you. 

Final thoughts

It can be hard to know which apps to opt for when there are so many on the market. These are five that we’ve found particularly interesting, but everyone will have their own combination of apps and ways to use them in order to enhance their productivity. Finding the right blend of apps can make a marked difference to your working life. 

Leave a comment below to let us know which productivity tools you use on a daily basis to ensure you translate as efficiently as possible. 

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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