Dr. Sarah Hart-Unger & Paper Planners, Planning Privilege, and Digital Detox

March 4, 2024

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Time management is incredibly personal, and not everyone wants to go all in on a digital calendar(s) like I teach. Because of that, I’m thrilled to have Dr. Sarah Hart-Unger on the podcast to discuss how she manages her life with a paper planner. We also discuss planning privilege and digital detoxing. Enjoy!

To learn more about Sarah, her podcasts, courses, and newsletter, visit theshubox.com

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Full Transcript

 Episode 44. Sarah Hart-Unger Interview

[Upbeat Intro Music]

Kelly Nolan: Welcome to The Bright Method Podcast where we’ll discuss practical time management strategies designed for the professional working woman. I’m Kelly Nolan, a former patent litigator who now works with women to set up The Bright Method in their lives. The Bright Method is a realistic time management system that helps you manage it all, personally and professionally. Let’s get you falling asleep proud of what you got done today and calm about what’s on tap tomorrow. All right, let’s dig in!


Hey, hey! Today, I am thrilled and honored to have Dr. Sarah Hart-Unger on the podcast. Now, you might know her from her own amazing podcast Best Laid Plans or her fascinating podcast that she co-hosts with time management expert Laura Vanderkam, which is called Best of Both Worlds. I’ve asked Sarah to be on the podcast today because she is a busy working woman who manages it all with a paper planner, which is obviously different from what I teach, but I truly believe our approaches to time management are similar even if our tools are different. So I’m excited for those of you who enjoy paper planners to get to hear from and learn from her.

In addition, we’re gonna discuss two other things: the concept of planning privilege and strategies around detoxing from your phone and other digital distractions. So whether you’re a paper planner or not, there’s going to be plenty for you on today’s episode! Before we dig in, I want to introduce Sarah for those of you who don’t know her.

Dr. Sarah Hart-Unger is a practicing physician, podcaster, and mother of three with a passion for helping listeners make the most of their limited time through effective planning and goal setting, both at work and in their personal lives. Her nested goal-setting method helps ensure that priorities and energy are integrated at every time horizon to help direct focus towards the most important parts of life, but the details also stay organized, shifting the burden from reactive and stressful to proactive and fun.

Since 2017, she has co-hosted Best of Both Worlds podcast with time management expert and best-selling author Laura Vanderkam. Best of Both Worlds is dedicated to helping women fit work and life together while enjoying the process and has over 300 episodes to date. In 2020, Sarah launched Best Laid Plans podcast on all things planning and planning adjacent. Best Laid Plans has been featured in The New York Times, and she has appeared as a guest on numerous popular podcasts to share her techniques and perspectives, including Cal Newport’s Deep Questions and The Mom Hour.

I cannot wait for you to listen to today’s episode, so without further ado, let’s get right to it.


Kelly Nolan: Well, I am so excited about this, Sarah, and one of the reasons I’m excited about it is that we kind of sound like we come from different angles of this. You use paper planners. I use digital. So it sounds like we’re on different ends of the spectrum, but I really think at the end of the day what I love is I think we have similar approaches to time management and planning in that while we think the tools are important and interesting, they’re just part of a larger system of strategies around time management that the tools are a part of but not the end all be all.

And so, I don’t think everyone should be using The Bright Method. If it’s a great fit for you, awesome, but if it’s not, we just want to find you a different approach. And I love that, again, I can really get behind your approach because it’s not just the paper planner. There’s a whole strategy behind it. And so, I would love for you just to share about your approach to how you use a paper planner in a larger system, particularly because your background is really — you know, you’re a physician. You’re a mom of three. You run a business. You have a blog. You have a podcast. You’re managing a lot, and so, I think it’s so fascinating for the woman listening to this who wants to stay with a paper planner to think about she could use it in her life.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yes, I’m so excited. Well, first of all, I guess when I started my podcast Best Laid Plans, I wanted to do planner reviews and talk about planning on paper, but the more I have gotten into understanding how others plan, the more I feel like the methods are so much more important than the specific choice of materials, and I’ve found that many of the things I do translate beautifully to a more digital system, which is a little bit more in line with how you do things. So super interesting.

But I do like to push back on something I’ve heard a few times, which is something like, “If you are incredibly busy and have a knowledge-work job with a lot of moving parts, then you really are not going to be able to do your planning mostly on paper,” because I’m living that life! I do it, and so, I guess I can share a little bit about how I do that.

Before I do, I will say I’m not advocating for ditching your digital tools at all. I mean, I love digital tools. I love to use Apple Notes as sort of my main repository of lists like a virtual binder or notebook that goes everywhere. I love Gmail. I use Google Drive for different things, Google Sheets. I use plenty of digital tools. But I do a lot of my kind of day-to-day calendar management, goal setting, and planning on paper. So you want to hear the highlights of my system, I guess?

Kelly Nolan: Yeah! Yeah, whatever you’re willing to share. 

Highlights of Sarah’s Paper Calendar System – 5:13

Sarah Hart-Unger: Sure, so I approach planning at different kind of time horizon levels. I love the idea of David Allen’s Getting Things Done where you’re kind of capturing everything into a series of lists, but I found that his method just kind of led to a lot of lists without a lot of direction on what to do at any given moment. His premise is that you’re going to just develop this instinct and know what makes sense to focus on at any given point of the day. Your mind is like water. You’re flowing from one thing to the next. But for me, I need a little bit more direction of prioritization. And so, I developed the idea of — well, I don’t know if I developed, but I adopted the idea of having my goals lists or task lists — really, the scope is going to change. If we’re talking about something that happens over a year, it’s more of a goal. If we’re talking about something that can be done in a given day, it’s gonna be more of a task. But really the same idea.

Things I want to do, I have them collected on different levels. I have a yearly list. I have a list for every season that I create each season. I have a list for each month. I have a list for each week. And then I have a list for each day. And I actually do keep all of those lists currently on paper, and I know it sounds like that would be hard or that would take up a ton of room, but it really seems to work okay the way I do it.

I keep all of my weekly lists on a calendar spread in a planner that I use, which is called The Hobonichi Techo Cousin. It is a pretty big — I wouldn’t say it’s big actually. I mean, there are some big, behemoth, heavy planners. It’s not like that, but it has a lot of pages. The paper is just very thin, so it’s not super big, but it has weekly spreads that have a calendar layout, and on the left hand, there’s an extra column. So picture eight columns instead of seven, so one for each day plus a task list. That’s where all my major tasks go for any given week. I also set up a daily page every day where I choose my tasks for that day based on what’s there in the week plus, if I’ve assigned myself something on any given day, and just like that weekly list, that can just go right in that column for that day.

Now, I mentioned larger-scale lists as well. Those would include monthly and seasonal and yearly, and this year I’ve chosen to do all of those in a cute little discbound planner, but again, the tool is arbitrary. I’ve used spiral notebooks before. You could absolutely go all digital and just create an Apple Notes hierarchy where you have annual and seasonal and  monthly within there. It doesn’t necessarily matter, but even on paper it hasn’t been terribly unwieldy, though I do have basically two notebooks that have everything in my life in them. That daily, weekly, monthly planner (The Hobonichi) and then this little discbound system that has my annual goals in it as well as seasonal and monthly.

So that’s a lot. [Laughs]

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, no! And just to clarify, are the majority of the daily and weekly tasks linked to a larger goal? Because I think I’ve heard you refer to it as a nested goal-setting system so that it’s not like they’re each standalone goals that don’t relate. You’re setting annual goals and then breaking them down into kind of, “How am I gonna get there over time?” Is that right?

Sarah Hart-Unger: So yes and no. It’s a mix. So what I say is that when you are sitting down, let’s say, to plan your day, you’re gonna kind of get your inputs from a few places. First, you are going to look at your week’s goal. So that’s where the kind of nested comes into play. “What did I want to achieve this week?” Then you look at your day’s schedule. “What do I actually have on tap? What’s actually happening? Do I have six meetings? Do I have a lot of free time?” Because those two things together kind of give you a flavor for what’s actually realistic to assign myself for this given day. And then the third is like, “Has anything come up?” or how is your energy? Because really, realistically, we’re going to need to integrate that as well.

Kelly Nolan: Yep.

Sarah Hart-Unger: So I would say kind of the three components at any level is looking at the level above, looking at what’s going on in that given time frame, and then looking at, “Well, what’s up for today? Is anything pressing? What’s my energy,” etcetera.

Putting those three things together, usually you can put together a pretty intelligent checklist of things to do, and that easily fits on paper. I mean, I would push back on someone to say, “Oh, I need digital because I have so many things to do.” If you have so many things to do that they don’t fit on a piece of paper, I don’t know what kind of job you’re doing, but it’s probably too many things. [Laughs]

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, and so, along those lines, because I love that you’re bringing up also that third element of what’s going on, what’s your energy like, you know, the human element of we can plan. Past us made all these plans that might work if we were feeling great energy but just given our current day might not, and so, introducing that human element, it’s not that I don’t believe it. It’s more that I switched into using a broader approach to time management when I moved digital, so I never got to fully do it in paper.

For me, part of the beauty of a digital calendar that also works with paper, I would imagine, is that I’m kind of laying out and making everything I have to do visual, and I’m constrained by how many little boxes can fit in the hours of the day. What’s your approach to how you make sure it’s realistic? How do you know what’s realistic using a paper planner?

Realistic Planning with a Paper Planner – 10:17

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yeah, I love that. So this is why I really prefer vertical layouts, which to be fair, look a lot like a Google Calendar layout when you look like a weekly layout. And I guess the one downside to paper is that if you do have a job where stuff moves around like crazy, I don’t mean like a few things moving around. That’s doable on paper. You cross things out. You put arrows. You put a sticky note, whatever. But if your job is so unpredictable that literally you have no idea what’s happening one day to the next, and it’s almost silly to put something down, then I can see where paper would have its drawbacks. But as long as things are relatively reliable, I agree with you. Having that visual kind of canvas where I can actually see where all the things are in a given week in that vertical layout, again, with kind of the hours going down the side and the days, you can see where there’s white space and see where your time is occupied just like with Google Calendar, I make use of color coding. I just prefer doing it with the tactile materials.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah!

Sarah Hart-Unger: Not having to boot anything off, and I agree with you. Both of them have a nice thing that you can’t fill a day with 50 things to do.

Kelly Nolan: Yep.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Because, in reality, we cannot fill a day with 50 things to do.

Kelly Nolan: And are you loosely assigning tasks to time within your paper calendar for the day?

Sarah Hart-Unger: So it depends. I love Cal Newport’s work, and I know that’s kind of what he advocates, the time-block planning method. I would say I am 50/50. On some days when I feel like I am under the gun and I have a lot of deadlines and I’m a little bit stressed about how I might fit things in, then I will draw out — and actually the Hobonichi is nice because there’s a built-in timeline so you can kind of easily draw out a tentative way that you might use those hours. I might assign myself like, “Okay, from 10 to 11 I want to do this, and from 11 to 12 –.” I mean, obviously, I’m not talking about those hard landscape things that are already scheduled —

Kelly Nolan: Right, right.

Sarah Hart-Unger: — like this interview, right? But I’m talking about assigning yourself stuff. I would say I do that half the time. The other half the time, I do it a little bit more holistically where, again, in the morning, I look at how much white space I have in the day, think about what I want to get done, and then be like, “Okay, I want to get these three or four things done,” and then between the hard landscape scheduled stuff, I kind of just — that is enough structure that allows me to bring out my inner David Allen and let myself flow from one thing to the next thinking, “If I want to try to get these four things done, and I only have four hours of free time,” it kind of logically flows from there.

Kelly Nolan: And it makes sense because you’re doing a smaller, more realistic David Allen approach of like let me choose which of these four things, not five lists of things to do during this time.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Correct.

Kelly Nolan: One last question I had on this front is I know that as a physician, I would imagine you get a fair amount of your schedule electronically. I know that a lot of people listening have their work-life governed by digital just because of the nature of that. How do you incorporate that into your paper-planner approach?

Incorporating Digital Work-Life Into a Paper Calendar – 13:09

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yes, so that is sort of a separate world. So when I see patients, in my paper planner it’ll just say “clinic.” I’m not gonna write out, “I’m seeing this patient and this patient,” because we use electronic medical record and scheduling for that. It would be A, redundant, and B, kind of just nuts and not secure.

Kelly Nolan: Right.

Sarah Hart-Unger: You’re not allowed to do that anyway. So I would just write “patients” and it would be a little square that would say for May 30th — sometimes I actually do two squares because I like to demarcate for myself that I have a little break in the middle —

Kelly Nolan: Yeah!

Sarah Hart-Unger: — that I might want to do something with, like take a walk or get something done for my business side of things. But I always just kind of draw out the clinic times, and then if there’s a separate meeting or something that pops up — I will say back when I was in more of a leadership role, that was really, really common, and I was an outlier in that whenever I got a meeting invite in my email, I would write it down in my paper planner and, I’m not gonna lie, often, I was the only one who seemed to know when the meetings were.

Kelly Nolan: [Laughs]

Sarah Hart-Unger: I mean, it worked for me! And there were a lot of meetings! So, again, I’m sure there are jobs with even more meetings where they move more frequently when at work, but in a pretty meeting-heavy leadership role, I was still able to pretty much track those details. Now, of course, if it was in a WebX or Zoom meeting, I’m gonna go to my Outlook calendar and click on the link that’s there as well. But kind of my master calendar, the one I look to to say, “What is actually happening today,” that was always there for me on paper. It didn’t take a ton of extra time to maintain and felt really useful to me.

Kelly Nolan: Awesome. Well, I so appreciate you sharing because, again, I think there are people out there who probably are attracted to my approach less because it’s digital but more because of the broader planning and approach and realistic approach behind it, and I just love that I can introduce them to someone who has a similar approach but maybe uses the tools that are more in line with what they’re looking for. So thank you for sharing all of that.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Of course!

Kelly Nolan: We are gonna switch gears and jump around a bit because I love — by the way, I know I said it in the intro, but Sarah has an amazing podcast called Best Laid Plans, and I have listened to it, and so, as I was thinking about what we would talk about, there were too many topics to pick one. So I picked a couple. [Laughs] And so, we’re going to just switch gears here.

But something that I just loved listening to you explain that was a real lightbulb moment for me because I’ve seen it in my own life, I’ve seen it with clients, is the concept of planning privilege. And so, I’d love for you to just explain what that is and how you use that on a practical level? Explain what it is, and then we’ll go from there.

The Concept of Planning Privilege – 15:37

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yes, planning privilege came up during kind of a hot moment when I was — okay, so I started teaching courses on planning, and honestly, Kelly was a big influence in helping me develop how to do that and to encourage me to do that. So I want to give you credit where credit is due. But in doing that, I have had the privilege, the pleasure of learning a lot about other people’s inner planning lives and struggles. Plus, I get tons of emails every day, “I struggle with this. How can I figure it out?“ Or people will send it in as a Q&A. One pattern that seemed to emerge over and over again was, “I can’t get my partner to plan –,” usually it’s a female writing to me with a male partner, and it’s like, “I can’t get my partner to plan because they say they would just rather be more spontaneous, and it’s really hard because I want to put things in place for the family, but I can’t even get them to talk about it or it never seems like a good time.” I’m like, “That’s because they have planning privilege.” When I said that, it did kind of resonate with some people, and my husband doesn’t always love the term, but he also does acknowledge that it is a thing.

So if you generally have all of the kind of little, annoying details in your life cared for by someone else, then, yeah, you may not feel the need or feel very motivated to plan or, perhaps, if you have a little bit more privilege when it comes to coming home when you want, not being the kind of first parent that’s gonna be there for the kids, etcetera, or a little bit more freedom on the weekends to not be the default parent, then yeah, you might feel great about being spontaneous because it means that nobody has any plans, so you can just head out.

So I think sometimes, and this is certainly not every couple, and it certainly isn’t always gender specific, but if one person is really averse to planning, you have to look a little bit deeper as to whether it’s because the other person is bearing the brunt of kind of that labor, which it is absolutely labor, both the labor of sometimes doing the things that you’d planned on but also doing the planning itself. Because, you know, when you go on a vacation, it doesn’t magically appear on your calendar with tickets and all the things you need to pack, and etcetera, etcetera. And if you don’t have those conversations about the planning together, it’s probably gonna leave more to the more-apt-to-plan party, and then doing it last minute is often a lot more difficult than doing things a little bit more in advance.

So if you are finding yourself in this situation, just thinking about that concept may help to bring it to light a little bit and maybe bring the family a little bit more peace in their planning.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, I completely agree because I think that, to me, it was a lightbulb moment in that it clicked on a pattern that I’ve also picked up on that typically is the female partner, typically, with a male partner, and I’ve heard as we build out in The Bright Method system, there can be some resistance from the other partner being like, “This feels over-engineered or over-structured or things like that,” and first and foremost, while it does look very structured, it’s not rigid. It’s meant to be moved. It’s just more like let’s get it all out of our head and into a system we can see.

But, to me, that resistance has been so interesting and I almost feel like it puts the people hearing it in an insecure position where when we can identify it as planning privilege, to me, that comes a little bit more empowered of just not being like an angry response, necessarily, but not taking it as the female partner typically hearing that as, “Maybe I am doing something wrong,” but more like, “This is why you think that is because you’re getting the benefit of all the work I’m doing.” And that gives us  more of an ability to stand a little more empowered in that place and then work to get them more on board without kind of backing down. I think without that framework, even the terminology of it, there’s a temptation to be like, “Oh, maybe I am doing something wrong,” and back down versus being like, “No, no, no. This is what life requires now, and I need to do this and also get you on board with it as well.”

So when I heard that, it literally stopped me in my tracks. I was like, “That is it!” [Laughs] So I just thought it was so important to highlight for everybody.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Thank you so much. I’ll have to do an all-planning-privilege episode someday. I actually had one of my group members yesterday say, “Oh, where’s that post on planning privilege?”

Kelly Nolan: Yeah! 

Sarah Hart-Unger: So it must not be just a few of us. 

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, no. I don’t think so, and I just think it gives confidence to people trying to put systems in place to make their own lives easier and also to share the load, so I think it’s important.

Is that something that you address head on? I don’t mean to be asking personal questions about you and your partner. But when you’re working with clients, is that something you talk about having the person talk about, or is it just something that the planning person can hear internally and stand more in that power, I guess?

Sarah Hart-Unger: Well, actually, I have had a couple of couples register together for one of the things I’m offering, which has been really fun and really cool, and honestly any partner engaged enough to be watching on a Zoom with their partner, I’m like, “Yes! There’s probably not a lot of planning privilege happening here.” So more I’ve brought it up in terms of answering that question and validating the struggles of people that have come to me.

In my own marriage, he’s aware of the concept, which is probably enough, and thankfully the good news is I think sometimes the solution is not to say, “Okay, we have to equally plan,” because maybe you don’t want to equally plan, but I have noticed that he really does appreciate the labor that I put into planning and tries not to roadblock me when I am trying to put together plans for our family but also kind of like if you are not going to engage in a lot of the planning, then you also can’t engage in a lot of critique of the planning.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah!

Sarah Hart-Unger: And I think, at least in our relationship, we’ve gotten to a decent place around that.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah. 

Sarah Hart-Unger: But it can be a learning curve. 

Kelly Nolan: I would say that I couldn’t agree more with all of your points. Hopefully, there are ways to break off parts of it and give it to people, but that’s more of the execution of tasks more than necessarily sometimes the planning of the task, and not saying that’s the right result, but it is often the realistic result for a lot of people. And I think you’re right. Sometimes it’s just the appreciation and the respect for the amount of work and the labor can go really far because that’s kind of the breakdown in my family too with my husband’s job. I do kind of quarterback the family from a planning perspective but there is a lot of appreciation and respect for it that goes far. I can’t imagine doing it and having it be dismissed, so I think that makes a lot of sense.

All right, switching gears for one final time. Even though I advocate digital planning, I also fully recognize the distraction and time-consuming nature that phones and everything digital can be. And so, I heard you had this program called The Digital Detox, and you shared generously on your podcast the takeaways from that program that you found most resonant, and I just thought it would be wonderful for people to hear it here because there were some that I was like, “Yes! Yes! I couldn’t agree more with this!”

So I would love, to the extent you feel comfortable, you sharing what you learned through that program working with people on digital detox and, yeah, what’s worked best for you.

The Digital Detox – 23:02

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yeah, it’s such an interesting area of life. These devices are amazing, and they do so many good things for us, and yet some of us find them very addictive and therefore they become intrusive. And so, I developed this program in part because it’s something that I still struggle with from time to time, and yet, I feel like I’ve come a long way and wanted to kind of get together and create an area of support where people could talk about different strategies and kind of support each other, and it was really fun! Yeah, I did come away with a few unexpected takeaways.

One being that what you’re doing on your phone really, really matters. So I kind of started thinking, “Oh, we white-knuckle to try to get us under a certain amount of minutes,” or something like that, but it really turned out that all phone time (we know this) is not created equally, and we really delved deeply into that together. Some people are like, “You know, I realize that when I’m stressed I would go to a group text, and I would chat with a bunch of friends, and it made me feel really, really good or even that I did that and then I found that even adding audio and video components to that made it more enriching, and I realized that wasn’t something I had to work on, but when I went to scroll XYZ social media, I felt like garbage.” So it was more about curating the types of things they were doing.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah.

Sarah Hart-Unger: I also found that for some people, going cold turkey on certain things just seemed to be necessary and then was often life changing when it happened. I had an older participant who was absolutely addicted to Candy Crush, and the only way she was able to get off of it was to just be like, “I only have that device on my iPad, and I only use my iPad when we’re driving. Period. The end. I cannot see that icon. I’m going to click on it.”

Kelly Nolan: Yeah!

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yeah, and also sometimes the very simplest approaches were the most effective. There are some interesting apps out there. People love the One Second app. I’d say that’s probably the most popular because it creates an artificial delay when you go to kind of instinctively open something you don’t want to open. But equally popular is plug your phone in somewhere away.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah.

Sarah Hart-Unger: I mean, I’ve heard it referred to as the In The Box Method or Phone Foyer Method, Cal Newport calls it. Actually just physically getting it out of your person. While that’s certainly not rocket science, just making it inconvenient can be one of the most effective ways.

And then, finally, the last one would be that crowding out those habits can also take you pretty far. So focusing on, instead of not using your phone, what do you want to do instead? So we actually spend a lot of time curating our ways to use little pockets of time, thinking about other goals that could kind of replace phone use, doing things outside in the world more socially, more reading, etcetera.

Kelly Nolan: I love that.

Sarah Hart-Unger: So yeah, it was fun. It was a lot of learning. I have to decide if I want to do it again because I don’t actually feel like I’m an expert. I just felt like I was good at facilitating those conversations.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah.

Sarah Hart-Unger: I feel like my other offerings seem to get more enthusiasm from a registrant perspective, but the people that did it seemed to really enjoy it, so maybe I will bring it back.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, I mean, sometimes I think, especially on those things, almost not being an expert is helpful and that you don’t have judgment around it, you know? There’s no, “This is the right way.” It’s like I’m human. I struggle with this too. But we also are all motivated to solve it and take action, so I love that. A lot of what you talked about resonated. I completely agree that if the options are scroll or not scroll, it’s hard to not scroll. But if you give yourself kind of like a menu of other things that you’ll want to do and future tired you might want to do, then it’s a lot easier to resist, or at least then if you decide to scroll, you’re owning that decision more. It’s less of the, “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I just spent 45 minutes scrolling Instagram.”

I’ll also throw out there that I am someone who has to delete Instagram. And I want the break from Instagram. I do it Fridays at the end of the workday through the weekend, and then I bring it back, and you just have to make sure you have your password, but it’s just a nice common break for me in my pattern that I really like. I’m intentionally choosing when I don’t want to be on it in that way.

Sarah Hart-Unger: I love that. That makes sense. I’ve even seen people that do some really interesting things like, “Oh, I take January and August off of Instagram.”

Kelly Nolan: Yeah.

Sarah Hart-Unger: So you can experiment with different structure to your breaks.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah!

Sarah Hart-Unger: And I agree with getting the icon off your screen kind of being an important step in any break.

Kelly Nolan: I’ve tried to do the move it to the back screen, and the muscle memory, I’m like, “Swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, tap.” It’s just like I’m gonna be on there before I know it.

And then the last thing I was thinking about is I’ve had some clients I work with talk about the value of an Apple Watch to be able to leave their phone but have very limited notifications on their watch (text messages but not email and things like that), so they can leave the phone but also not worry about some of the connection that they want, which I thought was a great middle-ground solution.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yeah, that was a common one. Like, “Oh, I have a young child. They’re in daycare. What if someone’s trying to reach me?”

Kelly Nolan: Yeah.

Sarah Hart-Unger: I mean, first of all, we do have to accept that generally anything urgent, urgent is going to prompt a phone call, not just a text. So if you have a device on your wrist that is at least going to bring calls from known numbers through or all numbers if that’s how you want it, then that’s gonna really get rid of that roadblock for you. So yes, I love my Apple Watch, and I do find that is what allows me to plug in my phone when I get home, and often I will. I’ll bring it all the way to my room, stick it in the charger, and then be like, “Okay, now I can be here for the kids.”

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, I just need to probably get a regular old camera that we used before iPhones as well so that I can take photos. [Laughs] I’m always like, “Where’s my phone to take all these thousands of photos of my children?” [Laughs]

Well, thank you so much, Sarah. I just love getting to talk to you in general, and so any excuse. And then I love these three topics. I just think that the person listening, even if you’re not a paper lover, there are other topics that hopefully helped get you there. So I’m excited about that.

I would really recommend Sarah’s podcast, no matter what you’re interested in using from a time management perspective. Where can people find you? Obviously, Best Laid Plans the podcast, but you also have another podcast. [Laughs]

Sarah Hart-Unger: Yeah, so Best Laid Plans is about all things planning and planning adjacent. It’s available on all podcast platforms. Best of Both Worlds is a podcast that I co-host with Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, author, and speaker, and that’s about making work and life fit together. It’s a lot of fun and a more kind of diverse array of topics, not just logistics-type stuff.

Kelly Nolan: Yeah, an excellent podcast as well. Excellent.

Sarah Hart-Unger: Aww, thank you! And then I have a website, like an old school blog, that’s been around for 20 years in July. It’s www.theshubox.com, and you can find random planning stuff, you can find my podcast show notes, all kinds of stuff.

Kelly Nolan: Well, thank you so much for being here. It was a real honor and a lot of fun, so thank you!

Sarah Hart-Unger: Thank you so much for having me, Kelly!

Kelly Nolan: All right, thank you for being here as well, and I will catch you on the next episode!

[Upbeat Outro Music]

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