Sophie Jewry: Ultimate Diary Planner, Happy, Dealing with Overwhelm and Learning 

Ultimate Diary Planner, Happy, Dealing with Overwhelm and Learning with Sophie Jewry of Brand Kitchen

What We Recommended:

Tools & Apps

Basecamp – “Basecamp is brilliant – the one that I like best. I’ve only actually just gone to Basecamp 3, which is the new thing, which they’ve brought the cost right down, which is brilliant. I am really enjoying it, there’s a Campfire feature, which is a bit like Skype or private messaging just between the people in the team on that particular project, so you can chat to each other in real-time, which is very cool. I love Basecamp.”

Dropbox – “what do I actually use every single day? That is Dropbox. I use it all day every day. I get clients send me files, I send clients files, my team, we all work with Dropbox and send things to each other. It is a massive, massive, massive part of my day-to-day working of business, and also I store loads of personal stuff on there, as well.”

Infusionsoft – “A big part of my business is Infusionsoft, which I guess falls under the category of CRM. A lot of my clients would never use half of what Infusionsoft is capable of. I don’t even use half of what Infusionsoft is capable of, but I do use a lot of it. I do use it every day. It helps me automate processes and systematise the business in a way that frees up more times to be able to get on with the things that need to get done outside of that process. It helps me think in a much more structured way about how I do things, and then look for solutions to do things better. It also handles all my payments for products that come through, including one-off payments and also payments over time. It also helps me do my newsletters and it helps me get sign-up things done and automation, and it just does loads.”

Blinkist – I asked if Sophie had heard of Blinkist. And explained that I came across it listening to a Podcast a good year or two ago, and it was the people who set it up that were being interviewed, and their editorial process is really robust, so the actual quality of what they do is really good. They have about five editors for every book, so it really is putting the real key points on each chapter into what they call blinks, which is like a page, so it was about ten pages per book

Sophie said, “Well, only about a week ago, my friend Ruby McGuire said, “Have you heard of this? It’s really good”. I said, “No.” She said, “Well, you might like it.” I’m going to try it. Again, one of my peculiarities, but I quite like the actual process of the whole bit, so I don’t know how I’ll feel about a mini version of it. I might feel like I’m missing out, so I’m not sure, but I’m going to give it a whirl and see if I like it, because if I like it, it will be really cool.

Other Resources

Ultimate Diary Planner – “I have my diary planner, which I know we’ve talked about before, which I designed in December the year before last, 2014. I couldn’t find a diary that worked for me, so I thought, “I’m going to design one, and then I’ll see if anybody else wants a copy,” and it’s kind of gone from there.”

Intuos pen – “Most people who aren’t in design will not probably even know what that is, but essentially you might have seen one. It’s this little pad next to my desk. I’ve got my little keyboard, it’s actually a very little keyboard, then I’ve got this giant pad, if you will. It’s just this black thing, and then on top of that, I’ve got a little pen, which is the mouse. Instead of a normal mouse, I’ve got the pen, so then I can use the pen to do what I want to do on there. There’s quite a few people in the graphic design industry have that. You might have used one in a shop to sign for something. The Intuos pen is absolutely brilliant. If you’re doing any sort of creative thing, it’s fantastic. I’ve got friends who do 3D drawings and artists and things that use them, and they are so much better than a mouse, because they are much more intuitive in how you use them. That’s definitely a really cool thing, and again, something I use every day. I don’t actually have a mouse. I just have my pen that I use.”

Attending Workshops for Learning – “I also attend a lot of workshops. Last year I did about six workshops I went to. There was one on Google Analytics, there was one on scaling and expanding your business. I really love all that. Nigel Botterill did a Millionaire Master Plan two-day event — maybe even longer, two or three days. I’ve done various personal development stuff, like I’m an NLP practitioner. I did that in 2011 when I did my fire walk. I’ve done EFT, which is the tapping, one reiki, just all sorts. I just really enjoy learning new things, and I think that everything you learn, whether it be personal or business, gives you extra insights and experiences that help you help others better and have a deeper understanding of life in general, really.”


‘Scrum’ – “It’s not new to me, by a guy called Jeff Sutherland and he talks all about systems for businesses, basically, and teams, and how you can bring things from conception to market to market really, quicker and much more effectively, so that’s really interesting.”

“I’ve just finished ‘Made to Stick’, so books are definitely a big part of my personal development.”

Black Box Thinking’- which is not really traditional business development as such, but just a little bit different.

Extreme Ownership’ – “is another one on my list, which is written by a Navy Seal, and talking about all sorts of bits and pieces but it is applicable to business.”

Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown. “I love Brene Brown. I read her ‘Gifts of Imperfection’ last year, and I loved it. I like that because it’s personal introspection. There was a couple of moments in ‘Gifts of Imperfection’ that really hit home, and made me feel quite emotional actually in a number of places reading that, so it was definitely one of my recommended reads.”

The Five Love Languages’– “this is one of my best reads from last year. It just took it to another level of stuff I hadn’t considered before, and it’s really, really good. It’s so true. It just helps you find a way of becoming conscious of how you look after other people to develop strong relationships I think is really it. It’s definitely a good one to read.”


‘Happy’ – “There’s films like ‘Happy’, which is a lovely one by the Shady Acre Films. Tom Shadyac, who wrote ‘Life’s Operating Manual’, brilliant book, brilliant man. ‘Happy’ is a lovely little one-hour documentary about the happiest people in the world and happiness in general, so there’s lots of things like that, and ‘What the Bleep’ and ‘Three Magic Words’ and ‘The Secret’, all these sorts of things. I love all that sort of stuff for personal development thinking and things.”

‘Avatar’ – “I really liked things like ‘Avatar’.”

‘Leap Year’ – I also like just to sit down with my daughter and watch something like ‘Leap Year’, a real classic comedy romantic film and just laugh and to get to the end of it and feel all gooey inside, and you know when your cheek muscles ache slightly from smiling and laughing and going, – Oh, it’s so sweet! – That gives you that moment, just that couple of hours of escapism, and that’s what I think films are about.”


Being in Flow –  “There are times when you just have to just get on and do it, but there also days where I’m in better flow than others, and when you’re in that flow, it is good to continue in that flow because you can do some really cracking work, and although you don’t necessarily produce bad work on off days, it is nice to really embrace that moment of creativity when it’s there and make the most of it, and then obviously when you’re not feeling creative, do some admin.”

Stopping Work / Family Time – “I made a kind of rule with myself that once I’ve done the school run pretty much, I would stop work and then that would be family time, which meant that I had the brain space and I could relax and do the cooking of the food and then all the other bits and pieces, then we can sit down as a family in the evening, so that’s what we tend to do.”

Managing Social Media – “I’ve got so much that I manage on social media in terms of groups and pages and everything else that it takes the pressure off me if I can keep up to date with it, so I do check it very regularly, but if there’s an advert break or something comes on, I’ll just flick onto my phone and have a quick look-through and answer some stuff.”

Multiple To Do Lists – “Well, I just feel like I can do so much better all the time, so I’m always looking for way to do things differently. As I’ve said, some days are really brilliant and productive, some days less so, but a way that helps me do that is my to-do list, and I have multiple of them.

I’ve got a master list, which is all my jobs that need to get done, particularly client jobs, and then there are different to-do lists for things like designing, needs proofing, needs ordering, needs invoicing. You just drag it and drop it into wherever it needs to be. You can set deadlines on it, it e-mails you reminders and all of that sort of stuff, so that’s my main master list

If it’s really urgent and needs to be right in front of my face, I will put it on a post-it note and sometimes stick that post-it note on my hand or on my phone, so literally I can’t move without seeing it there that it needs to get done.”

Walking – “I love walking. We’ve got some cracking walking around here. We have organised dog walks with friends. We’ll get like twenty of us and go for a dog walk and then go to a pub afterwards or something to eat. Walking is fantastic, and I do really enjoy it, but we live in Norfolk and it’s glorious up here, so we are really spoiled when it comes to nice places you can go for a walk.”

Climbing – “I do enjoy going climbing. I have taken up rock climbing, indoor rock climbing, which is really good fun. I hadn’t done that before, and then I had a go with some friends, and it’s one of the most challenging things ever, mentally, physically, but it’s just brilliant. It’s a bit of adrenaline rush, it’s exhilarating, it’s challenging because you’re using physical muscles that you don’t normally use. Yes, fantastic, definitely recommend that. That’s really good fun.”

Learning “I thrive on learning new things. My main skill is that kind of creative bit and that needs feeding all the time, and constantly coming up with new ideas and feeding off that sort of stuff, so I really love books. I wanted to read thirty books last year. I read nineteen, so I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time very pleased, because I read some really cracking books. I have set a goal of thirty books to read this year.

Switching Off on a ‘Bad’ Day – “If it’s a bad day where everything is going wrong and it’s all a bit of a nightmare, if there’s nothing that is majorly, majorly, ‘Life will end if this doesn’t get done today’, in which case if there is that, then I will try and get that one thing done, and then I will write off the rest of the day and go and have a bath or have a nap or just get out and go for a walk or go get my daughter and then do food. It’s like physically switching off a switch in your head to say, ‘I am no longer going to think about anything to do with work until tomorrow, and then I will have a really good day and I’m going to get up early and I’m going to make a plan and I’m going to stick to that plan, we’re going to get these things done, and then it’s all going to be awesome’. Sometimes you’ve just got to write off the day, because it could be emotional reasons, it could be for whatever, ones that are outside of your control and your awareness.”

Dealing with Overwhelm – “There’s days where there’s so much to do and it feels literally overwhelming to the point that you kind of feel you can’t even express how overwhelmed you feel. It’s like it’s physically trying to burst out of your body. I get it in my chest. I feel like something wants to burst out of my chest, like in ‘Aliens’, but I can’t get it out.”

On those sorts of days, unfortunately, often the case is that actually the only way through is to work through it, because the only way to clear the overwhelm and the stuff that needs doing is to actually get that stuff off your to do list. On those sorts of days, even though there are often days when you really don’t feel like it because you feel so overwhelmed, I have to tell myself there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and when it gets to 7:00 tonight or whatever, I am going to stop, but until that point, I am going to work and I am going to focus and I am going to get this done and I’m not going to get distracted”

Being Consciously Grateful – “It was one of those days where all the way through the day, you were thinking, ‘This is one of those days. This is a really good day. This is a day where I’m consciously grateful for the day at multiple times in the day, but I am a big practicer of being consciously grateful, so I guess that’s a bit of a habit, as well.”

To Contact Sophie

“For people who like the idea of gratitude and positivity and think they would like a little bit more of that in their lives, I have got my free gratitude challenge, which is basically you get an e-mail every day for thirty days and you can join my lovely little gratitude group on Facebook, which we basically just write in there things that we’re grateful for every day. It’s a really positive, lovely thing, so if you’re feeling a little bit down in the dumps or uninspired, that’s a really nice thing. That’s

If you go to, then you can find on there lots of free stuff. There’s a time management download, which is a little eBook with all the top tips for time management, I’ve got a “Getting Started with Social Media” freebie in there. There’s blogs, there’s Podcasts, there’s all sorts of stuff. There’s loads of great, free stuff, and there’s also obviously lots of other little online workshops and bits and pieces they can find in there to work with me

If you would like to find out more about working with me, then you can find pretty much all of it on Brand Kitchen, whether it be one-to-one group stuff or online workshops or the freebies.

Tweet: “I’m a bit of a stationery nut. I love it. I’m very proud to admit that I’m a stationery-oholic” @sophiejewry

Tweet: “I’m very conscious of catching up on my sleep, because if I’m tired, I just don’t function as well.” @sophiejewry

Tweet: “I think that everything you learn gives you extra insights and experiences that help you help others better”


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