|Name: Laura Lippincott
Profession: Sign Language Interpreter
Location: Los Olivos, California
Laura Lippincott has been learning sign language for the past 30 years. She works for a non-profit organization, interpreting for clients in a variety of settings ranging from doctors’ offices to work environments.
I use Evernote, everywhere
I use Evernote for…
Evernote for keeping track of vocabulary
Most sign language interpreters will be hired to work with a client the day before they’re needed. For example, I could be be at a doctor’s office one day and at a job site where a client is interviewing the next. Every day is different, meaning I have to know how to adapt to my environment, which often times includes knowing the right vocabulary.
Depending on where I’m interpreting — a physics class, doctor’s office, or in a legal setting — I need to be armed with the right terminology. Given that I’m always on the move, I need to know that I always have access to the vocabulary terms whenever I’ll need them. Evernote is the perfect tool to help me be able to access my notes and files anywhere I happen to be — even if I just have my phone with me.
Evernote + Skitch: A Sign Language Interpreter’s Killer Combination
Before I realized I could use Evernote and Skitch together for learning new signs, I actually drew them out. I can draw, but drawing people’s hands and faces in 2-D is pretty time-consuming. When I realized I could use Evernote to take a picture of hands and then use Skitch to show which way they were moving, the pieces all fell into place for me. Here are some of the ways Evernote and Skitch work beautifully together in the context of my work:
- A picture speaks a thousand words. Learning sign language is an ongoing process. When I come across a new sign, I’ll often just take a picture of my hands with Evernote and annotate the image in Skitch using arrows to show the way that my hands are supposed to move.
- Getting your point across. There are some deaf people in the US who don’t use sign language. They may have come to the U.S. from another country at a later point in life, so when they get to America, they turn to mime and gestures. A lot of times, the easiest way to communicate with these people is to share a picture. I was working with a client who was being trained on how to stock shelves at a department store when his boss asked him to get a uboat. There was no way I’d be able to explain to him what this object was, so I snapped a picture of one in the back with Evernote on my phone and showed it to him.
- Creating a visual dictionary. Since I’m always taking photos and annotating them in Skitch, I’ve accumulated quite the collection. I have photos of myself and people I work with. With sign language, it’s not unusual to have multiple signs associated with one word, so I’ll keep track of which clients prefer which signs. Evernote and Skitch, together, have helped me created an archive of signs that I can always reference, and be able to associate with different clients. When I come across a sign I don’t know, I always snap a photo, annotate it, and save it to Evernote.
Keeping it all organized
In order to stay on top of my work and my clients, I’ve created a personal organization system in Evernote.
- I have notebooks and Notebook Stacks of annotated photos. One of these notebooks contains all of the new signs that I’m learning.
- I have a notebook for each deaf person I’m working with so I can keep track of their preferred signs.
- I have notebooks for sites that I’m frequently traveling to, which contain my annotated maps.
Making your own annotated maps with Skitch
Since my ‘office’ can be anywhere from a naval base to a hospital, I can’t just fall into a routine of driving to work and knowing exactly how to get from point A to point B. I use Skitch with Evernote to remember how to get to locations. I use Evernote to take pictures of sites and mark them up with Skitch showing, for example, which gate I need to go to enter the site, where I’ll need to show my ID, etc. I’ll also save maps of specific sites in Evernote. I take a picture of the map and then use Skitch to mark it up.
As a sign language interpreter, I’m always on the road. Since I work under a grant, before I can take on a new client, I have to receive what’s called an authorization. Working with multiple clients, it’s hard to keep track of all of my authorizations, especially when I’m on the go. Evernote is the perfect way to keep track of authorizations.
Evernote for carrying your memories with you
I use Evernote to capture and remember so many different things — from taking pictures of products to remember where I bought things and how much they cost so that I could comparison shop, to what cereals my kids will and won’t eat.