Our What’s In My Pocket series offers an inside look at the interesting people who use Pocket to elevate their work and life. Know someone who fits the mold? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. This week, we talk to organizing expert Laurie Palau.
Name: Laurie Palau
Bio: Organizing expert, public speaker, blogger, founder of simply B organized, mom of two
Location: New Hope, Pennsylvania
Twitter Handle: @smplyborganized
Little-Known Fact: I make amazing crab cakes.
Started Using Pocket: I signed up in 2012, but didn’t really carve out time to use it properly until a few months ago.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Laurie.
I’m a mom of two girls, 13 and 11 years old. I’m active with my kids, running the house, and managing my family’s day-to-day life. I’m also the founder-CEO of simply B organized, which helps people create strategies to live a more organized life.
What was your path to starting simply B organized?
I was an executive recruiter for 15 years, but I was also the type of person who would end up reorganizing my friends’ kitchens while at my kids’ playdates! I love order, and feel that people add a lot of unnecessary stress to their lives with chaos.
How do you think environment impacts creativity and productivity?
We live in a world with countless distractions: physical distractions, but also, with so much technology in our lives, we’re on 24/7. There’s so much stimulation.
Clutter comes in a lot of different forms, and you need personal accountability and discipline to counter it.
Was there an “aha!” moment when you realized you should be doing this professionally?
Organizing came naturally to me, but I laughed off the idea of doing it for a living until, 5 years ago, an interior-designer friend brought me in as a consultant on organization for some of her clients. Actually starting the business in the middle of a recession was a leap of faith, but it’s been so rewarding. I have a strong online following, and in addition to my private clients, I conduct workshops on being organized at home and work. Best of all, it’s all happened organically, through word-of-mouth recommendations. I am living proof that you can turn your passion into a profession.
What’s your philosophy towards the community you work with?
I want to empower people to improve their lives, but I don’t try to come across as perfect: I’m open about my flaws.
My core demographic is working moms and stay-at-home moms. I took a couple years off work when I first had kids, so I understand these women’s efforts to integrate work and home. I can relate to their struggles — carving out time to read or work out or have a hobby, stress about deadlines, chauffeuring the kids around…
My philosophy is to keep things simple and practical, and my goal with sBo is to take the guesswork out of my clients’ lives and minds.
How do you structure your time so you can be productive?
My day actually begins the previous night, when I spend a half-hour looking ahead, “time blocking” my day, and prioritizing. This is crucial: to-do lists are always a mile long, and overflowing lists (just like overflowing closets) can become overwhelming. So I aim to accomplish no more than 3 home and 3 work tasks per day; anything more than that is gravy.
I don’t want to be pulled in too many directions; I’ve learned the hard way that that is counterproductive. There’s a difference between being busy, being active, and being productive!
Sounds like your life is all three! How and where does Pocket fit into this picture?
By now you know that I don’t like clutter. However, the reality is that information is constantly flowing into our lives, through email, social media, blogs, and so on. I was missing out on articles I wanted to read because I was either deleting them prematurely or they were falling through the cracks. I needed a way to file my “to read” list until I was ready to dedicate time and attention to it.
My husband, a digital media guru and longtime user of Pocket, suggested I give it a try. It’s been a real game-changer.
Pocket is a portal for things that are important to me, and makes it easy for me to go back to them when I can. I don’t have to think about where to go, they’re all just there in one place.
And it’s so intuitive, too; with Pocket you can save stuff with the click of a button!
Has Pocket helped you at work or at home?
Both. I read about building a brand, running a business, being a better entrepreneur, and organizing specific rooms or spaces. I save things to pass along to my clients and blog readers. But I also save content that is useful to me as a mom or matches my interests outside of work.
Do you have a Pocket ritual?
I dedicate weekend or evening time to Pocket, when I’m not being super productive. I’ll sit and read over a glass of wine at the end of the day, as I’m winding down.
Pocket is also great for small periods of empty space — like 10 minutes when I’m waiting for an appointment. I’ll often steal those moments to quickly read something on my phone.
Where do you discover your favorite content? What kinds of things are you saving to Pocket right now?
I find interesting links on Facebook and Twitter, and receive emailed links from friends. My email newsletter subscriptions also help me find good material.
I save articles from sites like Inc., Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, The Huffington Post, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens, plus blogs like Becoming Minimalist and Women on the Fence. I also save DIY tips and recipes.
How do you use Pocket to get organized? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at email@example.com, and you could be featured in the next installment of What’s In My Pocket.