Today the Productivity For Busy People series continues with a wonderful guest who inspires me a TON! Alexis Giostra is a productivity guru with a passion for planners and female community. Her blog and You Tube channel caught my eye a while ago and I have been inspired ever since. I am really excited to share this interview with you guys today. Make sure to follow Alexis on her links at the end to stay productive and inspired!
Hi Alexis, thanks for being here today! Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Thanks so much for having me Claire! I’m very excited to meet your readers and hopefully make some new friends!
As Claire said, I’m Alexis Giostra, an online entrepreneur focused on content creation and strategy. I run the blog Strange & Charmed as well as a YouTube channel under the handle MissTrenchcoat where I talk about lifestyle productivity and help other writers and budding entrepreneurs with their business goals and questions. I am known for my love of planners and I run an online shop through my site where I sell Productivity Printables, ranging from inserts for your planners to inspirational artwork for your office or home. I also do business consulting, and will soon be launching my own coaching practice to help other small business owners develop content to market their businesses through social media platforms.
I have been a follower of your Youtube channel for quite some time now and it has been amazing to watch it grow! What is the best thing about making video content?
I love Youtube and video content first and foremost as a fan and consumer of videos myself! I started my Youtube channel because I loved watching others and thought I could add to the content online in a positive way. The thing that will always make Youtube and video content special to me is that I believe it gives you a one on one connection with your viewers and community the way no other form of social media can. When you watch a video, you get to see me, and experience me as though I am sitting right there with you and having a discussion or teach you how to make some fun DIY for your planner! No other platform, from blogging to Instagram really embodies that direct connect and to me that is what YouTube is all about!
As you know, we have been discussing productivity tips and would love learn more from a Productivity Guru such as yourself. What is your number one tip for beginning to live more productively?
We have all heard a number of productivity tips throughout our lives, some we follow, some we ignore, but I think the most important thing to understand about productivity is that it’s all about efficiency; working smarter, not harder. I consider myself a very lazy person when it comes to work, and I find hacks and ways to get more work done in less time so that I have more time to do whatever else it is that I really want to do. If you focus on working smarter and more efficiently, instead of just working hard or quickly to get things done, you will embody the spirit of productivity!
Lots of my readers are interested in your advice for using planners to enhance their productivity. Can you share how you get the best out of your planner? What are your planner faves?
Great question! I really love planners because I think they can really help you enhance your productivity as you said, and for me, getting the most out of my planner comes down to two things. First, setting it up so that everything important in my life and my business is properly housed inside. You can’t expect to be organized if your planner is missing sections of your life or doesn’t have the necessary inserts to keep your information clearly organized. No matter if you use one planner or five, the planner needs to have a complete system housed inside. The second thing that will help you get the most out of your planner is to actively use it! Sometimes it takes effort to get into the habit of using your system, but its important because if you don’t use it, it won’t be able to help you stay organized and productive!
As for my favorites, I love decorating my planner with cute accessories like paper clips and dividers. I have a few DIYs on my channel that can help you create awesome extras for your planners very inexpensively, so I’ll link those below.
For someone like me who runs a creative business with a number of projects on the go, what is your best advice for juggling everything?
Whether you run a creative business, have a #sidehustle or even just have a family and multiple commitments in your life, I think most people feel like they are juggling priorities on a daily basis! In order to get everything important done in a day, I think it’s very important to keep To Do lists for your projects and other tasks. As a creative business owner myself, it’s important for me to plan out my projects and keep a complete list of “next actions” so whenever I have time to work on a project, I know exactly what I need to do next to maximize my time. Same thing with personal or other general tasks, having a to do list ready and clearly marking which items are priorities can really help you manage your workload. When you’re a busy person, the question isn’t always “how do I get it all done in a day,” as much as the question needs to be “how can I ensure I am getting the most important tasks done in a day.”
What are your favourite tools for being organised and managing productivity? Any app recommendations or revelations?
Although I do primarily use my planners for organization, I also rely on some iPhone apps to help me capture ideas on the go and get work done while I’m out and about. My favorite list making app is Clear, it has a great UI and its very easy and quick to input information. I also rely on the Reminders and Calendar App on my iPhone for events and reminders throughout the day. Hootesuite takes care of all my scheduled tweets and facebook posts, and Afterlight is my go to photo editing app for anything posted to Instagram when I don’t want to bother with Photoshop!
Finally, how is your new doggie Starbuck getting on?!
Starbuck is really good! He’s full of energy and gets bigger, cuter and more spoiled everyday!
Thanks so much for sharing your advice with us today Alexis! It’s been amazing to have you here on the blog (bit of a fangirl moment for me ha!).
I have been joining in Alexis’ Instagram challenge for March which you can learn more about here. Be sure to follow her on all her links below!