TBT 144 | New Perspectives

In one of the past episodes of this podcast, we learned why paper planners still offer a set of advantages over digital ones aside from their obvious charm. In this episode, Best Results Organizing founder Julie Bestry returns on the show with Penny Zenker to discuss in detail how her paper planners can be used bring you closer to your goals and help you sleep better at night. You will learn about the three major categories of paper planners and what each one uniquely offers in your quest for better productivity. You will also get some ingenious tips in time-blocking, which many of us are arguably having some problem with. Listen in and decide for yourself which planner best suits your needs and personality!

Listen to the podcast here:

Boosting Productivity With Paper Planners Part II With Julie Bestry

I am excited to have Julie Bestry back with us, a twenty-year veteran in organizing and she is a rock star. We had a great part one conversation. She’s a certified professional organizer and her company is called Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga. We wanted to start talking more about types of organizers, and also I realized she got upset that I didn’t ask her the question that I always ask. I’m going to do that, and I’ll start with that, then we can move out from there. Julie, welcome to the show.

It’s great to be back. Thank you, Penny.

There are two questions that I always ask everyone. The first one is, how do you define productivity and why?

I define productivity in two parts of one sentence. It’s doing the things that get you closer to your goals and that help you sleep at night.

I haven’t heard anything like that before.

If you have created an expectation that you are going to accomplish certain things, to be productive, to do things for work, for your family, for your personal life, even if you only do a tiny bit of what you plan, you are at least incrementally closer to your goal than you were the day before. If you have over-planned day-after-day, and there are things that you have not accomplished, sometimes it’s because it’s something that you didn’t need to be doing, something you could outsource it, somebody else could do it. Sometimes you’re doing it because it wasn’t your goal, but someone else’s goal and you were living up to somebody else’s expectation. Sometimes there are things that you want to do.

If you aren’t moving every day, incrementally closer to your goal, you’re going to feel demoralized. When you get in bed at night, you don’t think about what you’ve accomplished. You think about what you haven’t accomplished and what’s rolling over. Unfortunately, rollover minutes in our lives don’t work as well as rollover minutes for our phone plan. If we have task after task rolling over from day to week, to month, to year, if your goals for 2021 are the same as the ones for 2020, maybe you can give yourself a pass because you’ve been in lockdown for eight months or more. Most of the time when we don’t accomplish what we set out to do, we feel bad. When we feel bad, especially if we feel bad about ourselves, we worry about, “Are we who we think we are? Are we where we want to be?” We don’t sleep well. If we don’t sleep well, then there’s a whole myriad of health issues, mental health, physical, and then we’re not productive. If we can’t sleep at night because we’re feeling badly the next day, we’re going to have mushy brains and accomplish less, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

I have to tell you what Penny Zenker’s planner has in it. It has something to help that challenge. I have something called the 1:3:5 Daily Planner. It’s how we balance urgency and importance. The main thing I want to get to is how we can sleep better. It’s one thing that brings us what’s the one action you’re going to take. This is a high-level planner. This isn’t put this in your calendar, that’s the second step. This is when I’m stepping back to think about it, I have a planner where you say, “What’s one thing that’s going to get you the action you’re going to take towards your long-term strategic goal?” Whatever that might be for you personally or for work, three things that are getting you towards midterm milestones and five things that “must be done” by you.

Productivity is doing the things that get you closer to your goals and help you sleep at night. Click To Tweet

We have to challenge that. Is it urgent and important? Can you delegate it? Does it have to be done by you? The most important thing is the piece where I used to be one of those overachievers. We make long lists and then at the end of the day, we focus on what we didn’t do instead of giving ourselves a pat on the back on what we did do. A friend of mine and I, we decided that at the end of every day, we were going to capture our wins and write them down because we forget. We pushed those off easily what our wins are. We don’t celebrate them and we’re off to the next thing. In my daily planner, there’s a little section for daily wins. Even though it might not have been on your list, you still might have taken a step towards your long-term goal, but it wasn’t the thing that you had identified. You get to recognize it that, “These are the things that I did do.” That helps you to sleep a bit better. A thought process for people to think about is something that they could do as part of their daily process as well is to remember and take a look at all the things that they did do.

I’m a big believer in the idea that it takes a village. It’s great if we have accountability partners or I’m in a mastermind group with other professional organizers and we discuss our weekly goals. We send out two emails every Sunday to the five of us. We have a recap of, “These were the goals that I sent you last week, and this is how I did on them.” Good, bad or indifferent. We send another list of what we intend to do. We are cheerleaders for one another. In some ways it keeps us honest, whether you have a partner at home or whether it’s an accountability partner or a mastermind group. If you’re finding it hard to look at what you’ve done well, having other people repeat back to you, “That’s a hard thing to do and you took a bold stride forward.” The last time you and I talked, we talked about how we’re good at fulfilling our obligations for other people. One of the tricks of accountability is we’re doing things for ourselves, but because we have somebody else to testify as to what we’ve accomplished. We get to take more credit for our accomplishments because someone else has helped us acknowledge them. That’s important.

Remind me, what do we come here to talk about? We’re going to get off on all these different topics. We said we were going to talk about types of planners.

Last time, we talked about the mindset of using a paper planner for all those people who feel guilty because they’re not getting as much out of technology for planning themselves. We zipped through a lot of the features and details of having enough space to write in, layout, the practical features, the weight, the size and the binding. A lot of people will say to me, “What planner should I use?” I’m like, “What do you want to accomplish?” We talked about Simon Sinek and know your why. I have broken down planner types into three major categories. We’ll talk a little bit about specialty planners and hybrid work. This will give people who are saying, “I’m ready to go out and buy a paper planner. I hated my last planner.” Instead of standing in the middle of the office supplies store which don’t do, because somebody near you is probably not going to be wearing a mask or going online to buy it, what types to look at? I am generally brand agnostic, but I will tell you the advantages and disadvantages and some of the things that are my favorites.

The first type of planner is what I would call a basic planner. If you’ve ever gone to the dentist office and they would say, “We’re going to schedule your next appointment.” It would be these columns from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and a column for every day of the week. It would be page after page of that. You go into an office supply store and those basic planners are a monthly view and then a daily view. It’s largely a place to put your appointments. Tasks are not appointment. You need a place to brainstorm and put your tasks and figure things out. Schedule appointments, meetings and things that have a fixed place in your schedule. You want to put your fixed things into the planner first. What we will talk about is time locking and time in general, and how creating a time for specific types of tasks is useful. I know you talk a lot about time blocking.

I have my method to it, but what I wanted to point out is when we put our appointments, most people, that’s their calendar. They put their appointments in their calendar. Going back to that people pleasing, doing things for other people in a way, that’s what we’re booking in our calendar. What most people’s calendar looks like is their appointments, which is their obligations to other people. I want to put that as a thing, and I know you were saying figure yourself out on your tasks, then we’ll come to time blocking, you block them in. I want people to understand that you still have to schedule what’s important to you and what your tasks and activities are, or even at a different level.

I don’t want people to think that their obligations to others are their only important things. If you know you always have a standup meeting at 1:00 on Mondays, you’re not going to put a dentist appointment there, or you’re not going to plan to study for a test. If you have firm commitments, treat yourself as your number one most important client or obligation. You have to put a focus on what you need, but unfortunately, because we have jobs and families, we do sometimes have to put our obligations to others as a fixed appointment.

You didn’t mean unfortunately that we have families.

TBT 144 | New Perspectives

New Perspectives: Overachievers tend to make really long lists. At the end of the day, they focus on what they didn’t do instead of giving themselves a pat on the back over what they did do.

 

No. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to consider them before we can consider ourselves because if you’ll schedule a doctor’s appointment for a particular date and you don’t go to that doctor’s appointment because you thought, “Instead, I’m going to go to that new Zumba class.” The problem is that doctor is going to charge you for the appointment you missed, and your insurance company is going to fuss at you, and there’s a whole other thing. We’ve got the basic calendars, office supply calendars. A step up from that are AT-A-GLANCE calendars, which are planners that have a real basis in calendaring and scheduling, but they do have places for some of the additional areas for writing tasks and for tracking your expenses that day. The classics we have seen, Franklin Covey, the Levenger Circa, both of them let you have a basic calendar with some add-ons. You’ve got a monthly view and a daily view. You can DIY with other pages that you find useful, including places for mind mapping and brainstorming.

A passion planner is a step up further from the AT-A-GLANCE. It is one of those popular planners out there. I can get it in a few different sizes, but it is a little more than just calendaring. What I love is Planner Pad. Planner Pad has what they call a funnel view. At the top, you have these areas where you can look at your weekly lists. You’re getting a weekly view at a time of brainstorming everything you want to accomplish, but you can use each of those little columns at the top for your project so you can group your tasks. There’s that center area where it funnels down to say, “These are the to-dos that I’m going to try to accomplish this day.” At the bottom, you have a place for appointments. Off at the side, they even have a place for tiny bits of notes, like the call you need to return and the expenses. What I like about Planner Pad is that it is straightforward because everything you’re dealing with in that week, you still have a monthly view, but everything funnels down from that brain dump that you did into that, projects broken down to tasks and funneling the functions. I love all of these basic planners because they give you a view, they’re good for time blocking.

I told you that I was going to talk about this. There’s something that we professional organizers use with a lot of our clients. It’s popular to use with children, with people with ADHD, with anybody who has trouble visualizing time, it’s called a Time Timer. The way it works is you set the timer and as the time elapses, the little red disk disappears. When people have trouble visualizing how time works, this helps them develop that skill. Time blocking gives you the opportunity to say, not necessarily, “I’m going to do X task every day at 3:00, but I’m going to do this type of task in the afternoon when it matches my energy level.” Maybe you’re doing administrative work in the morning because you haven’t had your coffee kick in yet, or maybe you have your creative work late in the day. I am a night owl. From 11:00 at night until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, that’s when I’m doing my writing. I have time blocked at least three nights a week for writing blog posts and for creating things.

I’m a total mush at night. Everybody has got to understand what their energy cycles are and when the best time is to do different activities.

Time blocking can be two back-to-back Pomodoros, those 25-minute blocks with five minutes in between. It can be a two-hour block followed by a break and then a completely different time block. You can color code by using your highlighter and pretending you’re back in social studies highlighting the important things, but you’re visualizing the time that you have carved out for a particular project, because it’s an assignment. Remember we talked about how if we’re obligated to someone else, we’re doing a better job at hitting our goals. Sometimes that someone else is the current version of you is obeying past and future version of you with a little time traveling by creating those blocks, whether they’re color-coordinated or whatever. By creating the simplest planner types, these paper planners with the calendaring section that shows you the time of the day side by side can give you a sense of empowerment for what you’re going to do in your particular time blocks.

That visualization is important. It’s a top-down visualization. Time blocking isn’t the same for everyone. Some people believe that time blocking is taking your to-dos and blocking them on your calendar. We’re talking about a more top-down view where you’re setting different categories that you’re blocking.

More strategic.

You’re aligning your goals with your tasks and you’re able to see it on the calendar. If you’re also tracking your time, you’re going to identify what percentage of time you’re spending in each block and what percentage of time you need to be spending in each block in order to meet your goals. You can identify the gaps and traps in the middle.

Treat yourself as your number one client, as your most important obligation. Click To Tweet

If you’ve set blocks of time to deal with bookkeeping, for example, maybe you have set that up for a 90-minute slot every day or every other day at 1:00 and you aren’t getting it done. If you’re not getting it done because of interruptions, then that gives you a clue, “How do I block the interruptions? How am I blocking the distractions?” If you are procrastinating and that’s why you’re not getting it done, then you have to look at that. Sometimes you could be working that whole 90-minute block and still not be getting your bookkeeping done. That’s where you wave the big white flag and say, “I should be using my time for my unique skills, and I need to hire a bookkeeper to be doing this.” Time blocking is going to not only increase your productivity by what you do when you’re doing it, but it also is going to give you clues to where your other obstacles lie. That’s what I have to say about the basic paper planner types.

We did not just cover paper planners, we covered the time blocking as well, which is a huge, important topic in itself.

We have to talk about the fancy ones because there are weird categories. We’re going to talk about two of them. All of a sudden, the last several years, everybody is making paper planners with animal themes. I’m not talking about an animal print cover. There’s the Panda Planner. The Panda Planner has a place for inspiration and goals and have these categories like today’s priorities, morning review, things I will do to make this week great, which is incredibly motivational for somebody inclined to do that. There’s Clever Fox, not just a fox, but Clever Fox. There are goals, priorities, schedules, to-dos. There are a lot of little sections for your feelings, but it also has the place for a monthly review and to track your one-year goals. It’s fancier than the Panda Planner. It’s got some touchy-feely stuff, but it’s also got some metrics. It’s got stickers. You and I are going to probably talk about this a few times, but some people love stickers, wants more gold stars, vacation day stickers and things to brighten up their lives. Other people, the minute they get a planner that has stickers, those get tossed in the drawer.

There’s the Simple Elephant Planner. I guess your fox is clever, but your elephant is simple, but it’s like the Clever Fox, but it has a mind wrap section and it has a section for vision boards. What people should know if they’re thinking, “Maybe the Simple Elephant Planner is for me,” it’s undated. Any planner you get that is undated means that you have more labor upfront to track things. When we get to talking about bullet journals, we talk that that’s a lot of labor. Usually, you can buy a planner that’s either calendar year, September through August or August through July. The academic year and the calendar year, January to December. If you have to write in all of the dates, you’re going to be less inclined to keep to a planner. That’s my personal opinion.

I would think it gives you more flexibility to buy it and use it for a different time period, like use it next year. I could buy it now and into next year.

If you’re afraid they’re not going to make these anymore, you could buy ten Simple Elephant Planners and have a stack. When they stop making the shade of lipstick that you want, you go out and buy them all.

I have to scrape it out with my fingernail because they don’t make it anymore. That’s a serious problem.

Those are the animals and then there are the celebrity planners. There’s Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner. It’s not just a calendar and a place to plan, but it has sections called truth bombs and sacred pauses. There’s a gratitude section, body and wellness section, a core desired feelings section. If you love Danielle LaPorte, you’re going to love her planner. It might be a little energized and a little woo for other people. There’s Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner, which bridges the gap between basic and fancy the way I look at it because there’s a lot of focus on rituals. There are weekly and quarterly previews. There are specific ways of measuring your goals. It’s a manly, metric-based approach. There’s Brendon Burchard’s The High Performance Planner, which has sections like your morning mindset and your performance scorecards that you figure out at the end of the day and at the end of periods of time. It’s called The High Performance Planner, it’s about measuring.

TBT 144 | New Perspectives

New Perspectives: If we’re obligated to someone else, we do a better job at hitting our goals. Sometimes it just means the current version of you obeying past and future version of you with a little time traveling.

 

It’s not complex. I had Brendon’s, I wanted to try it. There were so much on the page that it made me crazy. It’s too much to do. You had to flip to different pages and different parts to fill it in and update it. As you’re picking one of these planners, before you buy it, you might want to download a page of it and feel it a little bit. There are available online to see which one you like. How are you going to feel if you leave parts of it undone?

You have led into my summary perfectly. If you are going to pick one of these fancy planners, whether it’s the animal planner or the celebrity planner, whether it’s more touchy-feely or metrics based, it is a place for capturing your whole life altogether, but there’s a lot of pressure to get it right, to fill in all of the blanks. If you are not a particularly spiritual person or if you aren’t likely to track how many runs you went for because you only ran as far as the refrigerator, you’re going to feel some frustration with something that is this filled with bells and whistles. Almost every planner has a website. Sometimes it’s not obvious what you need to do, but you need to click and get a view of each of those pages. Sometimes you have to hit command plus or control plus to enlarge multiple times. Don’t try and look at it on your phone, look at it on either a tablet or a computer so that you can see what’s there on the page.

Print it and see what it’s like to fill it in. I changed my mind. The last time we talked, we talked about Speed Dating. Speed dating planners are not good. You need to have commitment. However, I’m thinking that speed dating upfront with the planner makes sense so that you can make a commitment.

Before you can have the commitment, maybe the Speed Dating. Before you go on a date with somebody, you check out their Facebook page, their LinkedIn page, you google them. You make sure that their selling points are valid. The Simple Elephant Planner is undated. If there’s a person out there who has been on an app for a long time undated, there might be a reason why. It’s worth mentioning, the celebrity planners in particular, because they are so complex. Planners are marketed to different audiences. Planners marketed to women focus on aesthetics and feelings. Planners marketed to men tend to focus on the metrics. That brings up a lot of issues regarding power structure. If you’ve got a venture capitalist or you’ve got your boss expecting you to discuss your goals, your accomplishments, things related to discrete measurements, looking at tiny something point, something measurements. You’re going to need to look at it in that specific way. If you’re using a planner that doesn’t give you the opportunity to measure those things, you are going to not necessarily advance in that power structure.

The next type of planner, and this is fun, the DIY Planner. There are the bullet journals. You and I could talk forever about bullet journals, but I am one of those people who says if a bullet journal works for you, if you have already been using it and you like it, I’m happy with you, but I can’t help you with a bullet journal because it doesn’t make sense to me. There’s too much flipping around. It doesn’t work for my organizational structure. I can help with the individual elements of it, for the brainstorming and for the little keys to figuring out what all the symbols mean, but it’s complex. People who create bullet journals tend to be inclined or encouraged to make them beautiful, to have lots of colorful markers.

I had to go out and find my daughter all of these colored markers and looking for ideas. We were doing them together because that was something we could do together. There’s a lot of pressure to be creative where I’m not creative in that way.

I am not a visually creative person. I am a functionally creative person. I want to find the way to make something work well. Color-coding has advantages and disadvantages. If you color code your files and you run out of a file folder in the color you need, your whole system is going to fall apart until the next time you get more file folders. Bullet journals, that’s one way to DIY. James Clear has his Clear Habit Journal. It’s another celebrity planner, but it comes with templates. It’s put out by Baronfig, and it’s got that flexibility. You can DIY whole sections of it. Levenger, old school when we’re talking about. Franklin Covey for the basic planners. Levenger has all sorts of pages so that you can order up the particular planner you want.

There is a cool, incredibly overwhelming and exciting at the same time, like where-are-we-going-first-at Disney World feel website called Agendio.com. It is where you can build the planner of your dreams online by clicking a million different buttons and then it will show up at your house and it’s fascinating. You go to Agendio.com and you pick the planner type. You can pick the elements you want. You can have it printed in particular order with things moved around the page. It is the ultimate in DIY that does not require you to have the bullet journal skills, visual creativity and handiwork, which would be good for me. DIY is good for the Sally types. If you’ve ever seen When Harry Met Sally, and Harry makes fun of her because she wants everything on the side. I’m a Sally type. I want what I want the way I want it. If you have a specific aesthetic and design principles that you want to live by with your planner, the DIY method is great, but it can cause overwhelm. If you’ve ever tried to use a bullet journal and it hasn’t gone well for you, that level of overwhelm can happen. I love that Agendio website, but I felt overwhelmed. I deal with planners all the time and I thought, “I’m going to pause, come back to this tomorrow.” When I got back to that tab, the next day in my browser, I was still overwhelmed. There are good and bad levels of overwhelm.

A planner won't make you do the work, but it makes sure that you assign ample time to focus on doing that work. Click To Tweet

You can recognize when you feel you’re overwhelmed and it’s not working, step back. It’s okay to let go of something. It’s okay to say, “This is not working for me. This does not feel good. This is not a fit.” Let go. Don’t try and try. If it doesn’t fit or feel, move on to the next.

When we have these issues that come up, one of my colleagues says this all the time and I’ve embraced it as my own, “The overwhelmed mind says no.” If you’re overwhelmed in putting together your planner, you may be overwhelmed with a planner that has too many bells and whistles, even if you created it. If you spent all that effort to create it and then you don’t use it, you may feel guilt. The one thing that I should mention is that a lot of people use bullet journals because they have a lot of sticky notes and loose pages all around. That’s where a tickler file comes in. Your planner is for putting information, but if you have lots of loose information that represents things that you want to do, that’s what a tickler file is all about. I wrote an eBook on my site that’s about a tickler file.

You can either buy one or make one yourself with having folders 1 through 31 for all the days of the month, and then twelve more for January through December. It’s the place where you are making this proactive decision, “Here’s this Post-it note about an idea that I want to work on. Before I get to the point in planning, I’m going to say I’m not going to have time to think about this until February.” It goes into February slot. You get something in the mail telling you that you have to renew your driver’s license. You know that you have to renew it by the end of the month, you’re not going to put it in on the 31st. You’re going to put it in on a slot for the day of the month so that it’s on your calendar when you know that you’re going to be able to fit in an appointment to leave your desk, go and take care of it. It gives you a chance to have the paperwork that represents that task waiting for you in the tickler file. In the eBook, I go through that a lot.

For those who are reading, this could be paper, a tickler file on your desktop somewhere or in Evernote. You can use the same organizational structure digitally as you do physically.

Deb Lee, who is another productivity specialist has written an amazing blog post that she has updated through the years on using Evernote for a tickler file. If you google Deb Lee Evernote Tickler File, you should find exactly what you need. One more thing about specialty planners. I was looking up special use cases. My friend’s daughter is a medical student. I was looking at what is the best planner. If you are in a special situation. If you are a realtor. If you have a special use case you think you need, I would google and look at blog posts where people in your field are recommending planners for that. One specialty planner that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention, Leslie Josel from Order Out of Chaos has won all awards for the Academic Planner. It is a specific planner designed primarily for high school and college students. It’s a way to keep track of homework, appointments, afterschool activities, and because she is an expert in one of the current ones, it comes in a lot of different styles and it even comes with stickers.

We were talking about the fact that now that emojis have been normalized and not just be a gender-specific use, some stickers may be popular with guys, as well as with girls. If you like the digital realm, you can have a hybrid digital and paper planner system. I do. For example, I keep my tasks, my appointments and everything in my paper planner, but I put appointments into the digital system, because it’s going to give me an alert. My computer is going to say, “Ding,” and it’s going to put a notification up to give me a 30-minute warning. If I need to put myself together because I am not Zoom-ready, the computer is going to tell me that, whereas my planner requires me to look at it. The computer is my butler, he’s loud and anxiety provoking and is going to say, “Pay attention. You’ve only got ten minutes.” If you want hybrid within any of these systems, let’s say you like the DIY aspect of the bullet journal because you can have that key with all those little symbols, but you’re not artistic, you can use that little system by drawing an arrow to the right to mean that you moved it forward to the next day. You can put that on any calendar system and any planner system you use. Borrow the skills from wherever you want to use them.

Anything else or are we ready for some pull it all together?

I’m ready to pull it all together for you. Have you ever wanted to exercise? Nobody ever wants to exercise, but if you ever wanted to get the result that comes from exercising, you buy exercise videos, equipment or outfits. It is shocking to learn that making those purchases does not firm your abs. It does not help you lose weight or gain cores or anything. Buying a planner is the first step. It’s not the only step. The planner won’t make you do the work, but it makes sure that you assign ample time to focus on doing the work. You’re still going to have to find a way to put yourself in the chair. You can use an accountability partner, phone and text one another for daily check-ins. Time blocking for categories of work is going to help you gain real insight while you do the work.

TBT 144 | New Perspectives

New Perspectives: If you color code your files and run out of a file folder in the color you need, your whole system is going to fall apart until the next time you get more file folders.

 

Mike Vardy talks all the time about daily theming. In addition to time blocking, there’s daily theming, where you get these overarching aspects of your life that are going to get covered in a particular type of day. I love quoting other people who have come up with good ways to look at things. He goes by ADD Crusher, Alan Brown. I saw him at a NATO conference several years ago, and he said there are only three types of tasks. There’s, “This is what I’m doing now.” There is, “Important work that I’m not doing now,” and there’s, “BS that, I’m not doing it now.” If there’s an emergency, we talked about urgent versus important, if there is fire, smoke, blood or somebody threatening a lawsuit, your planner is going to have to be ignored for the moment.

Other than those emergency issues, there’s, “This is what you’re doing now because you have set the tone for your day, week, month and year. This is what you wanted to accomplish.” Your higher past self has assigned your current self to accomplish these things so that your future self can move forward. There’s, “This is what you’re doing now.” There’s, “Otherwise important stuff, but it’s not what you’re doing now.” There’s, “All that junk that you’re also not doing now.” Any of those things that aren’t what you’re doing now, put a pin in them, move them along. Your planner is your guide to what you should be doing. If you commit to it, you’re going to get where you want to go. If you keep working within that commitment, you’re going to feel more confident. The more confident you feel, you’re going to commit even further.

You’re creating that momentum. That commitment creates the momentum because you’re getting the results that you want. It feels good. You can sleep at night because you feel better. That’s what is going to get you the results.

That’s why we want to be productive. When I talk about organizing, the purpose of being organized isn’t so you could say, “I’m organized.” It’s so that you have space, time and opportunity to be and do everything that’s important to you with the people you care about. Productivity, the same way. We’re not being productive so that we can win a productivity award. We’re doing it so that we can sleep at night.

We feel good about the things that we’ve accomplished. Julie, where can people find more information about you, connect with you and contact you?

My website is JulieBestry.com. My company is Best Results Organizing, a little play on my name because it’s Julie Bestry, Best Results. I work with overwhelmed individuals to help them get more organized, be more productive, save time and money, and lessen their stress. That’s what it’s all about.

Thank you for being here in part two.

Thank you for having me again. I guess I did okay the first time.

I guess so, here we are. We had a lot of good stuff that we’ve talked about and we crossed a lot of different themes, even though it was under the umbrella of planning. We talked about a lot of different things. Thank you all for being here. I hope over these two sessions, you’ve taken some great notes and ideas about which type of planner is going to be best for you about the mindset around your planner and understanding that you need to step back and plan things so that you can strategically focus your time, not on what’s demanding your time, but what deserves your time. I will look forward to continuing to bring you great guests and great topics. We’ll see you in the next episode.

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About Julie Bestry

TBT 144 | New PerspectivesJulie Bestry is a Certified Professional Organizer, starting her 20th year in business as president of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN. In her previous career in the fast-paced, detail-oriented, and wacky world of television broadcasting, Julie developed a passion for inspiring good organizing skills and systems with patience and humor. Julie particularly loves eliminating paper chaos and motivates her overwhelmed residential, home office, and small business clients with the motto, “Don’t apologize. Organize!”

In addition to helping her clients save time and money, reduce stress, and increase productivity in a guilt-free environment, Julie has been interviewed by local and national media, including Real Simple, Kiplinger’s, and Redbook. She presents teleclasses and workshops, both virtually and (when we aren’t in a global pandemic) in person. Julie is the author of the book 57 Secrets for Organizing Your Small Business (currently out of distribution, but a second edition is in the works), blogs as Paper Doll, and writes various organizing themed articles and ebooks, including “Do I Have to Keep This Piece of Paper?” and the popular “Tickle Yourself Organized.”

An 19-year veteran member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, Julie has achieved Golden Circle veteran status and has served on the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. Locally, she sits on the board of directors of Chattanooga’s Partners and Peers for Diabetes Care. Julie is a native of Buffalo, New York, and holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Arts from Syracuse University.

Julie loves organizing paper and setting up filing systems, hates paper clips, and does not answer the telephone during prime-time TV. She believes in controlling her schedule instead of letting it control her and is decidedly NOT a morning person. She wants you to know that you can replace the chaos in your life or business with serenity.
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