Bringing New Levels of Meaningful Organization into Your Life with Emily Parks : Successful Nonprofits

Episode 110

Bringing New Levels of Meaningful Organization into Your Life with Emily Parks

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Episode 110

Bringing New Levels of Meaningful Organization into Your Life with Emily Parks

Listen on  iTunes    Android     Stitcher  Libsyn

by GoldenburgGroup

To accomplish your resolutions, remember that you are human. Break your goals down. Start small and gain big.

Just in time to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions, Emily Parks shares her extensive knowledge of organizational tools, along with how to analyze what works best for you. Check out this episode and get inspired to make some positive changes in your life this year.

*****Timestamped Highlights*****

(3:06) The prior lives of Emily Parks
(6:06) Dolph’s dirty little (organizing) confession…
(8:25) Bridges and bandaids
(9:38) Is one the lonliest number? Emily thinks not.
(11:25) Electronic person or paper person?
(15:20) John Smith vs Dolph Goldenburg
(18:09) The (3×5) Card Game

For paper or electronic folks: Do a daily wrap-up and weekly strategy session.

(21:49) Colorful projects
(26:10) National Clean Off Your Desk Day
(28:45) Don’t head back to Florida!
(34:43) Roots and wings


Emily’s site:
Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz:
Read the Transcript for Episode 110 Below or Click Here!

Transcript – Episode 110 – Bringing New Levels of Meaningful Organization into Your Life with Emily Parks

Identifying motivational style is very useful for small- to medium-sized organizations.

Dolph Goldenburg: Welcome to the Successful Nonprofits™ Podcast. I’m your host Dolph Goldenburg. This episode will air in early January when the New Year brings hope of renewal and a fresh start, and let’s face it, we all do it, even those curmudgeon at parties that say, “I don’t make any resolutions.” Even if we don’t tell anybody, we make New Year’s resolutions. In some way, we want ourselves to be better next year than we are this year. In some way, we’re like Wimpy from that cartoon Popeye’s. We’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Somehow, I always think that future Dolph is better than Present Dolph because I believe that I’ll make different choices in the future. Resolutions are a little bit of a funny thing, and in order to keep them, we really have to make sure that we have a plan that we are organized for them.

Our guest today is Emily Parks, founder of Organize for Success. She is a productivity consultant, and if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to become more organized, let me tell you, Emily has some great advice for you. Let me also share with you that if getting more organized, if having a clean desk or getting home for dinner on time is not one of your New Year’s resolutions, this is still a great episode for you to listen to because by being more organized, you will also be more likely to achieve whatever your resolution might be, whether that’s professional or personal. Now, I love that in her official bio she lists this as a strength: Helping overwhelmed people figure out what tools will work best for their unique needs. Gosh, that sure does sound like life in the nonprofit sector, doesn’t it? So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re ready to take steps to change that, then join us on this conversation with Emily Parks about how to bring new levels of meaningful organization into your life, both personally and professionally.

Hey Emily, welcome to the podcast.

Emily Parks: Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be here.

Dolph Goldenburg: So, share with me, what led you to the field of organizing as a profession?

Emily Parks: In my prior life, I was in college athletics administration and then the automotive industry with marketing for car dealerships. No matter where I went, I was always being asked by my colleagues, “How do you make your file so organized? How do you have your calendar where you can easily access what you need? How do you always have contact information where it needs to be? How do you process through your email so quickly? How do you actually find what you need when you need it? What a novel concept!” The more I thought about that, the more that I was helping each of my colleagues. Then in Christmas of 2005, I read an article about how to have a stress-free holiday season. I started reading up about the author of it who was a professional organizer. I investigated the industry and realized that there were both residential organizers, business organizers and that… Wait!

I could be paid to do what I was doing kind of on the side for my colleagues and grow this business to help time-crunched professionals in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to squeeze every minute out of their day and just make better use of their resources.

Dolph Goldenburg: That is fantastic. You know, I know a lot of people will often kind of back into a profession and what a great way to back into it.

Emily Parks: Absolutely. I’ve always wanted to help people. I’ve always been drawn to be a teacher and what a great way to transfer those skills in a way that actually customizes the skills for the person and their personality and their needs and really makes people feel empowered.

Dolph Goldenburg: I know you talk about helping overwhelmed people figure it out so that they will not be as overwhelmed. In the nonprofit sector, what are some of the causes of people feeling so overwhelmed?

Emily Parks: Sometimes, it’s the fact that the to-do list is longer than there are hours to get all the to-do’s done. Sometimes, it’s that feeling of drowning because of all the emails coming into the inbox. Sometimes, it’s the simple juxtaposition between leading staff members to get things done when you have a very small skeleton staff and have to depend on volunteers because motivating volunteers to get things done can be overwhelming in its own right. Then sometimes, it’s the difference between, you know, [its asking yourself] “How do I choose my priorities for the day based off of how I can either meet my development goals or meet my event planning goals or meet whatever might be the most highest priority, but also most urgent from the calendar standpoint?”

Dolph Goldenburg: So, can I share with you my dirty little organizing confession?

Emily Parks: Absolutely.

Dolph Goldenburg: So, like all professionals – and let me also say you’re like being my priest, my rabbi and my therapist because I’m going to ask you if this is unusual and if this is weird – I will reach points in any given year where I start to feel really overwhelmed. I know that I have some tips, tools and tricks that will help me, but one of the things that I also often do is go and find some new tool or tip and implement it. For me, the act of implementing something that’s new… it’s easier for me to kind of turn it into a pattern that lasts for several months, essentially through that period where I’m feeling overwhelmed. So, is that like completely weird and perverse or what?

What is being overwhelmed? *Feeling of drowning *Not enough hours to handle the tasks on the to-do list *Difficulty in prioritizing *Trouble shifting gears from one task to another

Emily Parks: No, and that’s actually very common because as a society, we’re oftentimes very fragmented in how we gather information, organized information, things like that. So, let’s take tasks. For example, you may be receiving tasks in your meeting notes. You may be receiving tasks on voicemail tasks via email, task on post-it notes all over your desk or the napkin that you jotted something on when you’re in the drive through lane and thought about it.  Sometimes, it just feels so overwhelming to go through all those fragmented channels of receiving information and to get it organized into one to-do list where you can actually move from to-do to done. It’s easier to start from scratch and just forget all those fragmented areas and start on a path of freshness and newness and a clean slate.

Dolph Goldenburg: I am genuinely glad to hear that that’s not unusual because every time I’ve done it, it seems like a really weird thing to do, but it seems to work.

Emily Parks: Many times, if we have a process that’s working – because you mentioned that sometimes you’re on a path that works and then you get out of that habit and chaos erupts. Well, whenever we have a system that’s working and we get away from it, a lot of times we put Band-Aids into place or bridges to get us from the chaos to something that actually gets something done. It may not be exactly what we think is most important to get done, but it’s getting something done. Well, those bridges and those Band-Aids are crossing a gulf, which is that overwhelm and that disconnect and the whole world of, “Oh gosh, I just can’t even imagine culling together my tasks from everywhere or my contacts from everywhere,” or “I’ve got six email accounts and they all have 10,000 unread emails. Let me just move all the unread emails to a folder and start from scratch.” Then we don’t have to deal with the chaos.

We can just keep moving forward.

Dolph Goldenburg: I will say I don’t feel quite so bad now because I actually do have four or five email accounts, and I don’t have tons of unread emails. Now I don’t feel nearly so bad.

Emily Parks: Fantastic!

Dolph Goldenburg: What are some of those bridges that a really overwhelmed person can build to get themselves from feeling overwhelmed to the eventual solution?

Emily Parks: I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the song from Three Dog Night that talks about ‘one is the loneliest number.’ Well, as a productivity professional, I believe that one is the most powerful number from a productivity standpoint. Whatever type of information were receiving, whether it be tasks or calendar appointments or contacts, information or electronic files or emails or whatever, I believe that we’re most productive when we implement the power of one. One way to view all of our calendars, one way to view all of our emails, one way to see all of the to-do’s that need our attention.

Now, you may not have one calendar. You may have a full-time job calendar, a consulting-on-the-side calendar, a family calendar, a personal calendar, but the power of one is the fact that you can make changes on different devices, and they sync to one another (happens seamlessly, automatically in the background). Also, if you so choose, you can view all of these calendar commitments at one time. The key behind that is if we can see everything in one place, we’re less likely to duplicate things and less likely to have things fall to fall through the cracks. We’re less likely to waste time looking for the information that we need, and we’re more empowered to do the things that matter most.

Dolph Goldenburg: What are some of those technological tools that you recommend that help us have just that one, that one to-do list, that one calendar, that one contact list?

Emily Parks: Step one is to figure out if somebody is an electronic person or their paper person. If you’re an electronic person, then figure out if you are more of a Google person, Microsoft person, or a multi-platform person? Then pick one solution for each of your capture points, so a platform on which to hold all your calendars. If you’re a Google person, Google calendar enables you to have multiple different calendars. You can subscribe to other people’s calendars. You can share calendars on a basis. [There is] similar functionality within Microsoft Outlook calendar if you’re a Microsoft person or the calendar built into apple products. Then for note-taking, if you’re trying to capture all of articles you want to reference, or want to capture reference materials or checklist… I love taking handwritten notes but then scanning them in so I can search my handwriting later and actually put it to work. If you are a Google platform person, Google Keep works wonderfully. If you are a cross-platform person or more of an Apple person, I personally love Evernote. If you live within the Microsoft platform, OneNote is a great solution for that. Then, there’s figuring out your task management option.

There’s nothing wrong with being a paper person versus an electronic person but knowing that is step one. Then realize that with electronic you do have better opportunities for reminders, carry over and setting up automation so that if it’s the 15th of every month, you automatically have that task. Then things like remember the milk, if your electronic will work, cross platform. If you’re looking more for a project management tool, Asana is amazing. One of the things that I really like about Asana is its integration properties. For example, I can put notes into my Evernote account and have them connect with tasks that are in Asana. We can’t always do everything ourselves, so having things speak to one another across platforms is super, hugely important. From a context standpoint, it’s so important to make sure that, number one, we’re capturing the context, but number two, we’re keeping them up to date.

I love a tool that works across several different contact management solutions called EasilyDo that will help me remember or alert me when context information is updated. For example, I give my EasilyDo account permission to look at my context within my Apple contacts [world], and whenever something on the Internet shows that they have a new email address, a new title for their business, a new snail mail address, it will automatically alert me and say, “Do you want me to automatically update these things within your contact database?” I don’t have to worry about making that change. It’ll automatically make it for me, and I don’t have to be constantly worrying about what I’m missing. That fear of missing out is real. We don’t want to have to worry about what we’re missing out about our context.

Dolph Goldenburg: I’ve got to ask you a question about EasilyDo. Admittedly, I’ve never heard of EasilyDo. For someone with a unique name like mine, Dolph Goldenburg, if you set up an alert on EasilyDo for me, that’s going to work, but let’s say my name was John Smith. Does it work as well with a John Smith as it does with Dolph Goldenburg?

Emily Parks: That depends on how much information I already had about John Smith within that context. If I already have the company name of where he works, they can keep tabs on that particular situation. I could have given it permission to look at my LinkedIn account so that it can see that I’m connected with John Smith on LinkedIn, and when that changes, it can track what happens with that person’s contact information. All of those extra connections give it that much more power.

Dolph Goldenburg: What are some of the paper tools and tricks for those of us that are old fashioned, you know, that are probably not wanting to go online for everything? What are some of the things you recommend?

One is the most powerful number from a productivity standpoint. We need to see everything in one place.

Emily Parks: One of the tools that I recommend, whether someone is paper or electronic, is a daily wrap-up as well as weekly strategy sessions. So, the weekly strategy sessions set your plan in effect for the week. Then the daily wrap-up keeps you on track throughout the week. A paper person really responds very well to the weekly strategy and the daily wrap-up because they can have their paper planner laid out right there where they can see both calendar commitments and tasks for each day of the week, and they can easily move amongst them. If someone wants something that’s more flexible and pliable from a paper standpoint, I often recommend having that weekly plan or layout and then use post-it notes that you can move around. We all come in and think we’re superman or superwoman and we think, “Oh, we could easily do 20 items today.” Instead, we end up beating ourselves up at the end of the day when we’ve done five of the 20 items. We didn’t get all the 20 items. Let’s start with realistic expectations and know that we can plan for three to five must-do items, which from a paper standpoint means if I take a sheet of paper and I draw one line down the middle and then two horizontal lines, so I have six post-it notes spots. I can use that same block every work day, and just the day before, I can go ahead and put into it the six post-it notes that I want to accomplish for the next day.

Dolph Goldenburg: I have to tell you, that is really, really smart. I love that. I also have to share with you I’m a kinesthetic learner. For listeners – and I’ve said this before – Emily and I are on a video call. I can see her, and she can see me. So, I’m going to show you actually what I use for my to-do list. I have these 3×5 cards and on each card, I write something down. I started the day. At any given point in time, I probably have like 50, 3x5cards with something written on it. So, you know at the end or beginning of a week, I kind of shuffle through them to see what’s most important to do the next week, which is kind of like that strategy session you were describing. Then, you know, for a day, I may start with like five, 3×5 cards on my desk and I’m like, okay, “If I can just get these five things done, I’ve had a successful day.”  When I’ve done it – I’m actually going to do this. It’s going probably sound horrible on the audio… Let me see one that I’ve done today – I actually rip it and throw it away. There’s something for those listeners that are kinesthetic that’s just such a sense of accomplishment. I have finished it. I ripped the 3×5 card, and I throw it away. It feels great.

Emily Parks: Oh, it’s such a powerful motion of ripping that up and being able to alleviate that, get it out of your space and move on. I love your system because it gives the visual of having those cards that you can refer back to, but it’s also the action of writing out on those. Then, there’s the constant review of it each week and each day to make sure it’s in the right order and that you’re addressing the right cards for that day. What gives you the A+ score on this is that you are realistic about pulling the five cards for the day and not saying, “Oh well I’ll work on all 50 of these,” and then nothing actually gets done because you’re doing bits and pieces of all of them.

Dolph Goldenburg: Well, and I’ll share with you. Sometimes, I’m realistic, but sometimes those four or five or six cards are actually like 12 hours of work. At the end of 10 I’m just frustrated. I’m like, “Oh, well I have two cards left. I’m done. I’m done. I’m done.”

Emily Parks: You actually bring up a really important point from a productivity standpoint of not only the number of tasks but the breadth and depth of the task. There’s a really big difference between a task and a project, so if you’re looking at your to-do list and you have three to five projects, you can’t go through and check off a project at once. For example, if you’ve got plan a party from A to Z as one item on your action list, that’s going to encourage procrastination. It’s not even going to allow you to get past the overwhelmed to get started on planning that party. However, if your to-do list, were to research location options, narrow research down to three to five, pick a top choice, select a date, then you could knock off each of those individually. That’s so much more empowering than looking at a list where you don’t even know where to start because they’re just projects, not tasks.

Dolph Goldenburg: It’s funny you say that because when I look at my stack of 3×5 cards, often there’s 50 to 100 that are filled out, it’s for that very reason. I don’t have 100 projects, but if I break a project down into manageable bites, then I end up with 100, 3×5 cards, and I just can’t flip out. I guess it’s probably the same line you use the Asana. You just can’t flip out when you look and see there’s 100 things you have to do in Asana.

Emily Parks: Absolutely. Another thing, I work with clients who liked the 3×5 index card approach to project management. I tell them to pick a color, a color per project. So, if you have one project that’s going to end up being 25 different cards, if all those are in green, then when you’re flipping through all your cards, you can fine tune the green cards that are most appropriate for that week and then intersperse other ones, maybe purple cards are blue cards are yellow cards or whatnot within it. A lot of my clients will get a stack of 3×5 index cards and line them up such that each step is like a flow chart for a major project that needs to be done.

Dolph Goldenburg: I will share with you that while I don’t color code, what I do is in the top, left-hand corner(?), I write the bucket that it falls in, but then I also always write it using a sharpie because you can’t write that many words on a 3×5 card with a sharpie. It’s not supposed to be a novel. Here is like the one thing to do on this card.

Emily Parks: Absolutely. That is perfect.

Dolph Goldenburg: Let me ask you, for someone who loves a paper system, and clearly, I guess I’m on the cusp of the digital divide, but so for someone like me who loves the paper system, what is a good online system that gives us the same satisfaction that we get from paper?

Know yourself: are you a paper person or an electronic person? Organization is possible either way.

Emily Parks: That’s a great question. Wunderlist has traditionally been a very clean, clear task management system that looks like a notebook where you’re listing things out. The problem with me recommending Wunderlist is that it was purchased by Microsoft a couple of years back, and now Microsoft has made the decision to phase Wunderlist out by replacing it with an APP called Microsoft To-Do. Unfortunately, Microsoft To-Do doesn’t function quite the same. One option that has a really good to-do list which is Todoist, and it is probably one of the more similar to recreating your note cards approach. I also really like… they call them Boards, but Asana has shifted to this, and [it is] the Mac Daddy version of the Boards, which is very similar to the 3×5 index cards used in called Trello. Trello might be the top recommendation I would have that sort of take that paper where you have cards and are moving them around. They do call them cards and boards within Trello, so it’s a simple and seamless transition.

One of the reasons that I find people pick the electronic versus the paper is because of the visual element to it. With paper, there’s definitely a very visual element to seeing all of your tasks laid out if you want to, whether it be in a list where you’ve handwritten it in a notebook or in cards where you can visualize it. Sometimes, within the electronic option, there’s just not that visual element to it because they might be buried within each other or buried on different screens. Lord knows if you’re using a smart phone, you can’t see everything on that screen. But Trello gives a visual element that is similar to fulfilling that visual need for paper task management.

Dolph Goldenburg: Got it, got it. So, it is the new year, so I would be remiss if you and I did not chat a little bit about how people can keep their resolutions. I’m thinking the resolution, whether it’s to, you know, get in shape and go to the gym more often or leave their work desk every night completely clean and clear. I think this episode is probably going to air about a week, maybe 10 days into the new year. This is about the point that people start to flag on their resolutions just a little bit. Tell me, what can we do?

Emily Parks: Well, it’s funny that you would bring up the clean desk because there is a holiday in January that is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. It’s all about how we reconnect with that goal of making sure that our desktop is clear. Anytime time I’m speaking with someone about resolutions, whether it be new year in January or new school year in August or a brand-new month and we’re starting with a clean slate, the first thing I always convey is that you are a human being. You are not a superhero. To sit there and think that [you are] going to lose 15 pounds in a day is not realistic, but if we break that huge project down into something tiny and minuscule… Rome wasn’t built in a day; the world can’t be reinvented in a day. What’s the smallest little tweak to your behavior that we can start with and actually commit to that tiny tweak rather than committing to make a huge change?

Dolph Goldenburg: That certainly makes sense. Now, whether someone’s resolutions to get in shape or to have a clean desk, what do you do on that day when it’s been a really long day? You know you’re supposed to go to the gym or supposed to clean your desk before you leave the office, but you’re just emotionally done and you’re like, “Ah, I just, I don’t have it. I just don’t have it. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Emily Parks: Two things. Number one, keep in mind that tiny increments are much more manageable than letting it pile up and doing a whole lot at one time. So, if you can power through and get your desk cleaned off for that one afternoon or if you can power through and go to the gym at least for 15 minutes… so, you go and you walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes or you go onto the elliptical or you walk around the track or whatever for 15 minutes, you’re not making a commitment for a whole hour. You’re just making progress, and it’s a whole lot easier to commit to baby steps of progress than it is the whole big kit and caboodle. The other thing is that backsliding is normal. If you have a day when you get off course, think about it this way.

If you were going from Florida to New York and were taking the train, and you ended up on the train that takes you from Florida towards Texas (you’re going west, you’re not headed north), well, once you realize you’re headed the wrong direction, you’re not going to say, “Oh, well, forget about it. I’m going back to Florida.” You’re going to get on a train track that’s headed back North East and get you headed in the right direction. So, if you have a day where you’re off, and you don’t get fulfilled what you really wanted to fulfill for that day, just realize you don’t have to head back to Florida the next day. Let the next day be your day for redirecting and heading northeast and just regroup. It’s never too late to start.

Dolph Goldenburg: That is fantastic advice, and I love that because you’re not going back to Florida. You still want to. You still want to go north. That is fantastic advice, but let me ask you, what role do you see rewards that we give ourselves playing?

Emily Parks: Typically, from a motivation standpoint, people either respond to rewards so they’re going to move towards something positive or they respond to avoiding punishment, and you can look at this from two different ways. Let’s take the desk for example. There is positive reinforcement when your boss comes by and sees that your desk is clean and it makes you look more professional, which may lead to you getting a raise, a salary increase, maybe get more of the work that you’ve been looking to receive versus the boss coming by and seeing your disheveled desk where you can’t ever find anything and you look unprepared and it’s just not a tool in your productivity tool box. So, there is an element of self-evaluation that is imperative no matter what we’re working on. So, if someone feels like they’re not achieving their goals, oftentimes I’ll rein them back in and say, “Okay, if you’re consistently not making the tiny tweak that we’ve talked about, if it’s this one little thing and you’re consistently not feeling up to it, let’s figure out why. What’s the hurdle? Is there not enough of a reward ahead of doing it or is there not enough of a punishment for you to avoid?” It’s then kind of figuring out what’s your personal motivation and then how can we take your personal motivation and implement it within what we’re trying to accomplish.

Dolph Goldenburg: Nice. Nice. You know, a few years ago I read a book by Gretchen Rubin called the Happiness Project. You’re shaking your head, and I think you’ve probably read that book as well. I love that. Obviously, I’m also a little obsessive compulsive. That’s the perfect book for someone who is kinesthetic and obsessive compulsive. It’s the perfect book. One of the things that I really took away was when she talked about rewards. It’s okay to give ourselves a reward, but the reward should reinforce the behavior. If my resolution is to go to the gym three days a week, you know, if I do it for a month, my reward should not be that I get a week off from the gym; maybe it should be, I get new workout gear. If my resolution is to clean my desk and make sure it’s clean every night before I leave the office, you know, my reward should probably not be lunch out because that does not reinforce that reward for that behavior. Maybe it should be that I can go buy myself a new desk set.

Emily Parks: Absolutely, or a new one of those fantastic Emily Ley staplers that everybody won’t put on their desktop. There are lots of great little treats that we can implement that are directly connected to the action and the habit and the routine that we’re trying to develop. Absolutely.

What is your personal motivation? Reward? Avoiding punishment? It’s important to know what works for you.

Dolph Goldenburg: I did love the fact you were shaking your head when I was mentioning Gretchen Rubin. Is there anything else maybe that you’ve picked up from Gretchen that you really wanted to share?

Emily Parks: Well, one of the greatest things that I’ve covered with Gretchen on a couple of occasions is her understanding of motivation. She has an online assessment that people can take on her website that will determine, for example, are you motivated to a behavior because of a commitment to someone else? Are you motivated to a behavior because of your commitment to yourself? Are you a rebel that’s not going to commit to a behavior regardless? Are you a questioner where you’re going to commit to it once you fully understand it? I think especially within small teams that are trying to accomplish huge, great, wonderful things and depending on one another to do that, making sure that everyone on the team is aware of who’s the upholder, which one is the rebel, which one’s the questioner… how can you use each person’s motivation in order to better achieve the whole group’s desired results?

I think her research on that is deep and in depth and very thorough and hugely powerful for small to medium businesses.

Dolph Goldenburg: Absolutely, and I’m so glad you mentioned that as well as the free assessment because that’s such a great resource for small nonprofit teams, and I will make sure that we link to that in our show notes as well.

Emily, I have to say you’ve been an amazing person to talk to. I have totally skipped past the midpoint break so we’ll just tack it onto the end, but I cannot end our conversation without asking you the Off-the-Map question. I think I’ve got a really good Off-the-Map question for you. I understand that one of your favorite movies is Sweet Home Alabama, and there is one line in that movie that is very special to you. Admittedly I’ve not seen it. Full disclosure, I’ve not seen the movie, but the line that you said was very special to you is: Since when does it have to be one or the other? You can have roots and wings.

Share with me what that quote means to you.

Emily Parks: Well first and foremost, you have got to go see the movie because it is a fantastic story. Plus, it’s such an engaging kind of triangle that’s going on throughout it, but the line to me is talking about how we are developed by from where we come. All of our experiences of growing up where we’ve worked with whom we’ve encountered, all of those things make us who we are, but we also have this great blank slate in front of us of what we could become. By moving forward and celebrating all the great things ahead, we can still honor and cherish our roots from which we came, but we have to understand that it takes both. It takes that nurture that made us who we are, but we also can build upon what we are to become even bigger and better and do all these awesome things that we envision for our homes and our work lives and ourselves and our communities and all of the entities within our work and life integration.

Dolph Goldenburg: That’s really incredible, roots and wings. That’s very incredible.

Emily, it has been such a pleasure talking with you today. I have to share that I’m feeling inspired and I’m going to take some time – we’re doing this conversation in middle of December – between now and the end of the year and just kind of examine what I’ve done this year that’s worked in terms of organizing and what hasn’t and see what tweaks I might want to make for the new year. Thank you so much. You’ve helped our listeners and you’ve also helped me. Thank you.

I want to make sure that all of our listeners know how to find you. They can go to At her website, you will find a treasure trove of free resources as well as products, eBooks, and online courses for those that are seeking to boost their productivity. What’s really incredible is that she has some resources that you can work through at your own pace and on your own desire timeline. So, you know, it’s not like having the coach that’s blowing the whistle and screaming at you. You can kind of do it in a way that works for you. [inaudible] Now, as part of our online offerings, she has a special seminar on Evernote on Friday, January 25th, so make sure you go to, and check out everything that she has to offer. Finally, I know I am gushing a lot about what she’s doing at her website. She’s also got some eBooks, and she’s willing to offer our listeners any coupon for those books as well as the ability to download a complimentary white paper, so make sure you check it out. Hey, Emily, thank you again for being on the podcast today.

Emily Parks: Thank you so much. This was such a pleasure.

Dolph Goldenburg: If your desk is too cluttered to locate a pen and paper so that you couldn’t have written down Emily’s URL, no worries. You know, we have got all of Emily’s information and Organize for Success at our website, I have to share with you, listeners, that I think of myself as an organized man. I think that most of my friends would agree that’s probably an accurate assessment of me, but I got some new ideas today and I’m actually going to go online and check out Trello since Emily recommends that might be one that would actually help me switch from paper to digital. Maybe between now and the end of the year, I might figure out how I could actually do that. I would love to hear what you found helpful today, so, hey, just pick up your laptop or your phone and hit me up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or at

Now, I also need to share something really important with you all and it’s something that I was going to share in the mid-point and break, but the conversation with Emily was just so great that I ended up forgetting to do it. What I wanted to share with you is that the Goldenburg Group is doing a major rebranding. So, I started the Goldenburg Group about five years ago, and when I started at it seemed like a really good idea to name my consulting practice after me, Goldenburg. I figured, “Hey, it’s my name, I should do it.” We now live in an era where (and I don’t really shy away from politics) I’d rather not have my name on my business. There’s just something about it that just seems too flashy. So, over the last six months we’ve been working on a rebranding, and in January we’ve already launched our new brand, which is Successful Nonprofits™. We will still provide the same incredible strategic planning, board development, interim executive assistance, but now we will do all of this under the rubric of Successful Nonprofits™. So, when you go to, you’ll get everything on one website, our podcast, our blog, the services that we offer, and more. So, be certain to check out Successful Nonprofits™ today. That is our show for this week, dear listeners. I hope that you have gained some insight to help your nonprofit thrive in a competitive environment.

(Disclaimer) I’m not an accountant or attorney, and neither I nor the Successful Nonprofits™ provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been providing for informational purposes only and is not intended or should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Always consult a qualified licensed professional about such matters.


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