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Katherine Morton

Katherine Morton: An Editor’s Top 3

Speech bubble with the text "Top 3: Rules, Tools, Channels" on a red background.

In this series, experienced editors reflect on their top 3 tools, rules and suggestions for clients and colleagues.

Katherine Morton is an Editors Canada certified copy editor. She has been editing throughout her more than 20-year career and has been freelance editing for the past few years. With a Master of Business Administration and a former career as an international nongovernment organization executive in program management, operations and strategy, Katherine is an expert in efficiency and organization. She edits academic, government, nonprofit and corporate materials, often for multilingual writers. When she isn’t simplifying and clarifying content for her clients, she’s outside running, cycling, hiking or swimming.

Katherine will present a productivity-centred session at the 2024 Editors Canada conference, Present Progressive: Passion, Precision and Purpose, which will be held June 21–23 in Vancouver, B.C. Register now so you can attend “Acceptable Error and Productivity Rates and Top 10 Tips for Increasing Productivity”!

Top 3 professional tools you can’t work without

1. Paul Beverley’s macros are free and help editors save time. I especially like his macros that analyze documents. 

2. I think almost every copy editor I know uses PerfectIt, a consistency checker that helps editors save time and catch those small sneaky issues.

3. Text expanders, like Phrase Express, also help editors save time. With simple keyboard shortcuts, you can type your signature line or your entire contract template. 

Top 3 marketing channels you enjoy using

1. I like LinkedIn because I can share posts, link my website and connect with colleagues. I can also grow my network — of both clients and colleagues — quickly.

2. My website is the hub for my experience, certifications, portfolio, blogs, training and contact information.

3. I enjoy participating in the many Facebook groups for editors. We support and help one another, and we also refer each other to potential jobs.

Top 3 life-work balance rules

1. We are more productive if we take breaks. I work in sprints of about one and a half hours with five-minute to one-hour breaks.

2. While taking a break, I exercise. I have some quick stretching and strengthening exercises I do every day. While on a longer break, I often go for a run.

3. On my breaks, I also try to eat well. I love healthy, nutritious food, so I take the time to prepare yummy meals that I can save and eat over a few days, and I ensure there are healthy snacks around, like whole fruit and raw nuts.

Top 3 suggestions for authors/clients you work with

1. My job is to bring out the best in my clients’ writing. To do that, I need an adequate amount of time.

2. My job is to know what level of editing my client needs. Some people request proofreading when they need copy editing. It’s okay for the client to not know the difference, but as the editor, I’ll provide advice to make the document the best it can be.

3. English is hard. We’re a team. Together we’ll make a great product.

Top 3 suggestions for new editors/freelancers

1. Network, network, network. We work in a wonderful community of people who help each other. Many of us are introverts, but we don’t necessarily work alone. I am constantly and gratefully amazed at the support I receive through this community.

2. Keep learning. There is always more to learn, no matter how much of an expert you are. Participate in professional development, take courses and attend webinars.

3. The best way you can network and learn is through volunteering with your editing association. 

Top 3 things you’re looking forward to at Editors 24: Present Progressive

1. Networking. See #1 above. 😉

2. Learning. See #2 above. 😉

3. Having fun. How pleasurable it will be to personally connect with my peers, share some puns and have a party!

Bonus — One recent industry trend that inspires you

The plain language standard: ISO 24495-1:2023. Plain language is not new, but the ISO standard is — it was published in June 2023. I have been a plain language proponent since before I knew the term “plain language.”

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Previous post from Katherine Morton: Collaborating on a Webinar: Two Editors’ Perspectives (with Letitia Henville)

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