How to Proofread Anywhere: 5 Tips for Working While You Travel
One benefit of working as a freelance proofreader is its flexibility – you set your own hours, choose your own projects, work where you want… By the way, we mean that last one literally: you can proofread while you travel, anywhere in the world. And what’s more, we’ve got some top tips to help you take your (proofreading) show on the road:
- Plan your time wisely – To make the most of your time, you’ll need to plan your schedule.
- Temper your expectations – You’ll get to see the sights, but you’ll have to work hard, too.
- Think about your workspace – To maximize productivity, you’ll want to find somewhere to work that is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions.
- Bring extra gear – Make sure you have everything you need to work effectively.
- Communicate with your clients – Traveling may make it hard to work at times, so stay in touch and make sure your clients know your availability.
For more on all the above, read on below.
1. Plan Your Time
If you are jet-setting, of course you’ll want to do some sightseeing! With proper planning, you can proofread anywhere you go and still have a bit of fun:
- Use wait times wisely. Long layover? Plug in and get some work done between flights.
- Give yourself time to adjust. If you travel far, you might be dealing with a bit of jet lag when you first arrive, which means you won’t be doing your best work. Take a few days to enjoy the local scenery and adjust, then dive into your proofreading after that.
- Stick to your schedule. If you know you normally work well in the mornings, plan your work time to be in the morning, leaving the rest of the day for enjoyment.
The key is to make the most of the time you have available, to plan for your free time, and to take account of the downtime that inevitably comes with traveling.
2. Temper Your Expectations
We’ve all seen the Instagram posts of people “living the life” – working on a beach, laptop on their knees, margarita in their hand – but it’s important to have realistic expectations about what working while you travel will actually be like.
Sorry to kill the mood, but there’s no Wi-Fi on a beach or in the mountains. Sand clogs and kills keyboards, and cosy little cafes can be quite noisy. Chances are high that you will be tethered to a workspace at least part of the day. Don’t worry: you’ll still get to sightsee. But you’ll need to work hard, too, if you want to make it a lifestyle rather than a holiday.
3. Plan Your Workspace
It’s not just when you work; it’s where. Plan out your workspace to maximize success. This may be your hotel or Airbnb, a local café or library, or a designated coworking space.
Whichever mobile work space you choose, be sure it meets your needs. Can you make a call, or is it too loud? Is the Wi-Fi fast enough to send that proofread document back to your client? Are there distractions that will lower your productivity? Are you comfortable there?
You won’t always be able to find the perfect workspace on the go. But keep the above in mind when deciding where to set up, and you should find it easier to get work done.
4. Bring Essential Gear
While traveling, you’ll want to bring the gear you need to work effectively, but without overburdening yourself (or your luggage, as no one likes extra baggage fees.)
As well as your computer, helpful equipment may include:
- Noise-cancelling headphones or a white noise machine.
- Favorite work music.
- Ethernet cables so you can plug in to the internet if needed.
- Extra laptop batteries for working on a train or plane ride (or a sunny beach, if you’re lucky).
- Hard copies of reference materials and downloaded projects to work off the cloud.
- A personal hotspot (MiFi) to be sure you can connect wherever you are.
- Plug adapters if traveling to another country.
Additionally, we’d recommend making sure your computer is fully updated and covered with antivirus software and warranties/insurance before you leave.
5. Communicate with Your Clients
There is nothing worse than having a client call you at three in the morning because they didn’t realize you were in another time zone. Likewise, clients may not be happy if they can’t get an urgent document checked because they didn’t know you were on a flight.
As such, you should always inform clients when you will be traveling, as well as letting them know the time difference and the best way of contacting you.
If an emergency arises – Help! My computer fell into the lake! – don’t wait until the last minute to let them know. Keep lines of communication open so they can adjust with you.
Becoming A Proofreader
With a little bit of planning, you can proofread anywhere you’d like. Sounds nice, right?