our story

June 8, 2022

Ask Us Anything #1 – Podcast Ep 16

Listen to episode 16 on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Have you wondered how we approach planning? Or what advice we give when we talk with friends about planning? Are you simply curious to know more about us?

For the final episode of this season of our podcast, we dive into questions we received from our community! They range from personal questions, to planner-related questions, to general productivity questions.

Join us for a laid back and fun conversation!

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February 2, 2022

Setting ROOTED Goals: Tailored to Your Lifestyle

Sustainable, Lasting, and Life-Giving Goals Are:


Last week, we talked about how to make sure your goals are clear and actionable, so that you can make significant progress whenever you have the time. Today, we’re going to talk about that time, about how to create a symbiotic relationship between your goals and your lifestyle so they mutually support each other over the long-haul.

Step 4 is all about how to Tailor Goals to Your Lifestyle.

Other goal setting systems might show you how to reverse-engineer your goal (what we talked about last week), but then they end there and wish you good luck. This system shows you how to look at your goal in the context of your daily life, and then make strategic shifts in your schedule in order to make space for this goal.

Learning From Experience

When I (Shelby) was seven months pregnant with my first, my husband and I decided that I would work from home. At the time, designing a planner was nowhere on my radar. I had a complex system of to-do lists and digital calendars that makes my head spin to think back on. But what was worse than my lack of a cohesive system of organization was my total lack of understanding about the concept of trade-offs.

That’s why, at seven months pregnant with my first baby, I signed the biggest freelancing contract I’d ever seen. Without fully realizing what I was doing, and with one tiny digital stroke of the pen, I had committed the next two years of my life to the completion of a very rigorous and mentally straining project that would teach me the concept of trade-offs through the hard knocks of experience.

On top of it all, I had a severe deficit in my personal time-management skills. Unsurprisingly, this turned into a years-long season of overwhelm that bubbled into every area of my life.

Even so, I have to admit that I am thankful for that insane season of life. It was genuinely good work (a dream project, really), and I learned SO, SO much from it.

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November 17, 2021

Planning While Postpartum – (Podcast Ep. 7)

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Planning while postpartum? At first glance it sounds over-the-top, almost an oxymoron. In the past we’ve even written about how the postpartum season can be an excellent time to take a break from your planner. So why did we choose to do an entire podcast episode on planning while postpartum?

You have to remember that when we say “planning”, we are talking about self-compassionate planning. And perhaps there is not a better time to practice self-compassion than when you are in a season of recovery like the postpartum season. When we say planning while postpartum, we aren’t talking about planning our biggest goals, or mapping our business’ trajectory for the next year; we are talking about the simple, but extremely useful, form of day-to-day planning that helps us get out of our heads, sort our priorities, and let the non-essentials fall away.

Postpartum should be a season of rest. One where we focus on healing and soaking in those newborn days that pass so quickly. It should be a season where family and friends rally around to bring meals, help with other children, and take over housework. And even when this ideal can’t happen, we can still choose how we will approach our season of recovery. We can choose to set expectations for ourselves a little lower so we are able to focus on what matters most.

But it’s incredibly hard to rest when you have a smattering of to-do’s rattling around in your brain. It’s hard to know what’s essential and what can be left for another day (or dropped completely), when you’re foggy from sleep deprivation. It’s hard to track how well you’re healing physically, mentally and emotionally, if you try to do it all in your head.

And that’s where a planner begins to make a lot of sense.

In this episode, we talk about the unique ways we (Clari & McCauley both had babies this past spring, so navigating the postpartum season is fresh!), and other mamas have used the planner while postpartum.

If you’re pregnant or in the postpartum season, give it a listen. We believe you’ll find it both encouraging, and also inspiring as you navigate the postpartum time. And if you have any friends who are in that season, we’d love it if you’d share it with them!

Listen on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

November 3, 2021

Make Space to Thrive – (Podcast Ep. 5)

If you’ve been following us for long, you are familiar with our favorite hashtag: #makespacetothrive. In a world full of hashtags, this may seem like nothing more than a snippet of motivation, a pithy phrase, or something fun to add on on top of photos. But for us, #makespacetothrive is a reminder of a key practice that moves us from overwhelm—to intentional living. It’s become such a core phrase, that when we were brainstorming names for our podcast, it easily made its way to the top of our list.

Listen to episode 5 on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

The story behind the phrase…

Back in 2016, Shelby was living in a non-stop, head-down, shoulder-to-the-grindstone hustle. She and her husband supported their tiny family with a home business and were always behind on deadlines. Every moment taken to just sit down and breathe—even just to eat dinner together without multitasking work—invited a crushing air of guilt into the atmosphere.

But there seemed to be no way to simply hustle more. After brain-dumping a giant todo list that took up seven sheets of paper, Shelby realized she was going to have to upgrade her productivity strategy, or she and her husband would never get ahead of the train.

In her typical style, Shelby turned to Google to help her figure it out. Her husband gave her a couple of books he thought were relevant. They scheduled a meeting with a business mentor. Something, anything had to give. But every tip and tool she found seemed to yield a mere 1% improvement to their current situation. It just wasn’t enough to move the needle.

But then she found it. The missing piece. Shelby will tell you that learning this strategy radically altered how she approached her life in that season, and continues to be a practice she benefits from today. This is the element that has proved over and over again to be THE #1 strategy to consistent achievement and success in her life, and it’s one she’s found so many people completely miss.

And what was this missing ingredient? MARGIN. 

Margin is planned white-space for your day, your week, your home, your brain—space to breathe in #allthethings.

In other words, margin gives you SPACE to thrive.

Margin looks like many simple things in our lives:

  • daily space to sit down, breathe deep, drink a hot cup of coffee, and have a strategy meeting with ourselves using the prompts in our planner
  • leaving for an appointment (or church or event or party) 15 minutes earlier than needed so that when we hit traffic or forget something or have a driveway adventure with a toddler, we’re not melting down ourselves
  • taking time to re-write your goals in your best handwriting, allowing you to fully emotionally process them and then display them so they stay top-of-mind
  • asking: “what can I say ‘no’ to, cull, or renegotiate about this week to make it easier and calmer?”
  • getting up before the children (whether in the morning, or before naptime is over) and doing essential things so they don’t get missed
  • taking time to exercise instead of putting off health goals until your workload lightens or the kids hit a magical age
  • keeping our homes clean, decluttered, and well-managed so that spontaneity feels fun instead of chaotic
  • saying “no” to a stretch goal in the business so we can make a nicer dinner than usual for our family just because we want to
  • turning off all of the notifications on our phones (except for calls from our husbands and mama, of course) and limiting social media so that new information isn’t constantly taking a toll on our emotions
  • using our time-blocker to add 15 minutes of padding to the transitions in the day (meals, commutes, meetings, etc.), so we don’t have to feel like insane people to get anything done on time

Margin transforms your schedule from a never-ending endurance race to a strategic agenda filled with life-giving rest periods. Margin helps you focus on what’s essential, and then protects your intention, so that you can truly show up in the things that matter most. Margin allows you time to process stuff instead of letting it build up and eat away at your mental bandwidth. With a lightened schedule, opportunities to be flexible, and a decluttered mind, margin exponentially reduces your stress—which in turn empowers you to be more creative, make more thoughtful decisions, and tackle complex problems with confidence and energy.

If you’ve been living a life based on hustling as much as you can from when you wake in the morning to when you crash at night, planning margin into your life will feel like a breath of fresh air. Slowing down is one of the easiest ways you can move yourself from a place of overwhelm, to a place of peace. When you begin by ensuring you’re well rested, well nourished (physically + otherwise), and you’ve distilled your commitments to the things that matter most, you are able to show up for the people and responsibilities in your life with zeal. You will bring a life-filled energy that simply cannot exist when you are run down by a never ending to-do list.

When you build margin into your days and weeks, you are giving yourself (+ your family) the space to truly thrive.

Listen to episode 5, all about margin, on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

And if you haven’t already, please leave us a rating and review so others can find this life-giving content! We’re so thankful for you.