Goals Work

Content creating & Day #2/7

February 6, 2020

I have never thought of my writing here as ‘content creation’. But I was listening to a podcast which featured a blogger who has leveraged her blog into $$$, and she said something like:

“You have to create content that helps people. No one is going to want to read your online diary.”

I am very much thrilled that many of you HAVE chosen to essentially follow my online diary! But I also wonder if perhaps I should be doing some more how-to types of posts. I feel like I do some, but not all that many.

I know there have been recent requests for some more childcare-related tips (and there IS a BOBW episode coming up on this topic). I also feel like I need to organize (ironic?) my planning content, which is plentiful but all over the place!

I don’t think I want to turn this blog into a clickbait machine, but perhaps I could do one more ‘shareable/useful’ article weekly. Something to think about. Topic suggestions are welcome 🙂

CALL REPORT (brief because I “slept in” until 5:20 and I still want to get 3 miles in!)

Hours worked: 8:30 – 5:15 with 60 minutes of “home from work” types of things. So only 7.75 hours.

Calls outside of work ours: One at 6:29 pm (which is not really outside of work hours, but I’ll count it since I was home); one at 10:29 which thankfully was a 49 second conversation (literally; just checked my phone) with a nurse in the hospital about an inpatient and I fell immediately back asleep.

Grade: C because I just felt very stressed and my coping mechanisms were to eat extra junk (perhaps this related to the lack of sleep the night before?) and scroll. At least I didn’t click through any of the online shopping I was pondering 🙂 And I was a little salty/complain-y around the office without a lot of good reason. (Not to the patents though; don’t worry!)

On paper, the day wasn’t that busy, but it felt fragmented and the patents were ones that needed a lot of teaching and face-time care (so not quick).

New consults: 2 (one I did as outpatient), follow ups 3, outpatients 1 (SUCH low numbers why was I busy?!)

Time data:

With kids: 4 hours (2 AM + 2 PM)

Exercising: 0.5 hours

“Relaxing”: 0.75h in morning, 0.25 at lunchtime, 0.5 in PM = 1.5 hours

Asleep: 8.25 hours, THANK GOODNESS.


  • Reply Kristen February 6, 2020 at 6:50 am

    On topic of the content… for me, what you provide and write here is extremely helpful, educational and entertaining. For you, or a blog runner, I can see where writing articles that are easier to “link back to” help numbers and revenue and all of the blog things i know nothing about. Thanks for what you do here. I’ll be reading!

  • Reply askateachermom February 6, 2020 at 7:28 am

    To be honest, I’m really stick of the “how to” blogs. I find yours more helpful because I can read about what an actual working mom/person does rather than just what they say they do. It’s nice to see the things that work really well for you, and the things you still struggle with (scrolling for example). I’m trying to avoid scrolling at night too. I’ve been plugging my phone in across the room so I’m more likely to go to my book in my bed. Its working so far, so hopefully I’ll keep it up.

  • Reply Mel February 6, 2020 at 7:33 am

    I WANT to read your diary! 😂 I miss all the old school “day in the life” bloggers. I don’t need more “5 ways to make your kids eat vegetables” content. But show me what a typical day looks like.

    • Reply LEE February 6, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      There’s something really creepy about those monetized influencer blogs. I’m close to unfollowing my long-time favorite book blog, because it’s become such a machine of “content.”

  • Reply Mckenzie February 6, 2020 at 8:14 am

    I agree. I like reading the normal, everyday, trying to figure it out kind of posts. There are lots of “this is how your ideal should work” things to read. There aren’t very many, “this is what I did when life wasn’t perfect.”

  • Reply Krista February 6, 2020 at 8:39 am

    I agree with the other comments. Unless you want to make the blog into something that makes you money and for that to be driving force behind it, stick with what you’re doing. It’s so much more interesting than what the “content creators” put out there. Those a dime a dozen and don’t ever feel nearly as real.

  • Reply Gwinne February 6, 2020 at 8:41 am

    I actually appreciate that this space is like an online diary. I tend to be turned off by bloggers pretending their life experience qualifies them for anything else but sharing.

  • Reply Hannah N. February 6, 2020 at 8:55 am

    I like reading your online diary! I feel like it’s much more relatable when it’s less curated. I definitely have other blogs/instagrams that I follow that are ALL about curated content and I completely see that it’s an actual job that should generate compensation but do appreciate your blog!

  • Reply Marthe February 6, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Your online diary is so helpful 🙂

  • Reply Omdg February 6, 2020 at 9:20 am

    The fact this is more of a diary than “content” if what is actually helpful to me. There is helpful content, but largely I feel less alone. Not sure how you market “community” but to me, that is the real value of blogging.

    • Reply KGC February 6, 2020 at 9:24 am

      Add my vote for liking your diary-like format. I think OMDG also articulated well my feeling of largely feeling less alone.

      • Reply KGC February 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

        Okay but something that I just thought of (which may be covered in a childcare podcast episode) for which I DO need a how-to is…how to start using childcare regularly? You and Laura are convincing me that maybe I need more regular help (like a few hours after work most days a week) but I have no idea where to start. What are reasonable expectations? How much to pay if there’s more than just watching kids (laundry? Dishes?)? How do I even decide what I think would be helpful? (Right now i have no clue, I just know that I’m stressed about getting it all done).

    • Reply Jessica February 6, 2020 at 10:08 am

      This comment perfectly states how I feel as well. <3 I could never have said it so concisely. Thanks OMDG.

    • Reply Ana February 6, 2020 at 11:12 am

      I agree 100% with this. And highly polished “content” that is designed to be clickable, sharable, etc… turns me off. Its not authentic and I don’t read blogs necessarily for “advice”—if I want advice I can search for something at that time. I read for the voice of the blogger, and the community!

  • Reply Allison February 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been reading theshubox since before A! Which is kindof crazy. I have two kids now and I love reading your online “diary,” I feel like I get good tips from it too. Managing weekends, playdates, balancing work, heck, even what you make for dinner – those are all things that give me good ideas. I miss the now “old school” blogging!

  • Reply Kaye February 6, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Agree! I think the blogger/ podcaster you quoted is missing the fact that an online diary CAN be content that helps people too! It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I think your blog style is so attractive to people because it is easy and fun to read, resonates with other people in a similar stage of life and still offers loads of wonderful nuggets of helpful content in a more natural, authentic way. I don’t think people come to your blog looking for a formal “article style” blog post- we like what you’re doing!

  • Reply Katie February 6, 2020 at 9:40 am

    I actually have stopped reading blogs that have moved more toward “content.” I’m always surprised to hear that those get more reads— they seem forced and some of the content seems weak or regurgitated. I love your blog and it is one of the few I still read.

  • Reply Jen February 6, 2020 at 10:12 am

    I think that blogger is wrong – it’s not that no one will read your diary, it’s that it’s hard to monetize it. And I hope you don’t change this space in order to make more money off of it. I have had to stop reading many previously much-loved blogs because in the past few years they’ve pivoted to constantly trying to sell me courses or a bunch of cheap crap on Amazon.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 6, 2020 at 10:37 am

      I definitely don’t want to sell out!! So don’t worry. I just felt like “oh, am I doing it wrong?”. But then again I guess very important to remember what my goals are …

  • Reply Priyanka February 6, 2020 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been reading your blog since 2008 and I come back each day for the authenticity, the ups and downs. Please keep doing what you are, it is helpful to read a day in the life that has actual struggles and not a fabricated timeline of the day to keep the audience engaged.

  • Reply Jordan February 6, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Echoing everyone else here – keep the online diary! I love reading about people’s *actual* lives. Way more useful.

  • Reply Elisabeth February 6, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Someone mentioned authenticity, and I think that’s what’s great about your content – it’s relatable and helps day-to-day challenges and delights in context.
    I 100% agree that some of the content producers/influencers are hard to read these days. Every post looks perfect and they all seem to link to sponsored items of some form or another.
    Keep on keeping it real!

  • Reply Danielle February 6, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I find your blog so incredibly helpful! Over the years (pre A!) you’ve helped me get organized in ways that have helped my career and household. You even helped with inspiring me to make time for physical activity even though our preferences for types of exercise are totally different!

    I also think I benefit from reading a personal blog from someone who, aside from a love of paper planners, doesn’t have much in common with me. I don’t have kids, my career is low key in comparison, I’m in a totally different part of the US, and I don’t run. Yet I’ve been faithfully reading for YEARS!

    Also, awkward to admit…….. I deal with extreme medical anxiety and reading this blog has helped me humanize doctors. Which for me has been helpful.

  • Reply Amanda February 6, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I think it may have felt fragmented because you are on call. I work a call schedule and there is something unsettling about never knowing when/if you will be needed at any moment.

    For topic ideas, routines are always great. I also solo parent often, and especially on weekends. It is helpful to see how someone else makes it work. You recently did a post on routines that are working which was interesting.

    I even saw the high percentage of days you workout and have now adopted the same practice, increasing from 3 to 5-6 per week. This is beneficial for my entire family. 🙂

  • Reply Jenn N February 6, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    I feel compelled to comment today like so many others have! I DO want to read your online diary (and I think you might possibly enjoy that too – thinking of lagliv for example, whose blog you got me hooked on). I’m not really interested in “how to” blogs at all. Yours is one of only three or four that I read regularly, and what interests me is the day to day details: the routines, the meal planning, the exercising, the weekend recaps. I think you fill the space in your little corner of the blogosphere quite perfectly. 🙂

    • Reply Jordan February 6, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Completely agree! I really only read your blog and Lagliv these days. I follow a few “influencers” on Instagram but that’s it. I love your perspective on so many things: planning, organizing, career/life balance, motherhood, finances, etc.

  • Reply Tamara Cohen February 6, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    I rarely visit the blogs that have shifted to more “how to” content. Love your blog the way it is!

  • Reply Lily February 6, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog – I will always be grateful you introduced me to the hobonichi! And I think my barre and paleo days were influenced by you (I loved bar method so much but it’s not available where I live now and it wasnt good for some injuries I have; I’m still paleo-ish and often AIP-ish)

  • Reply Anne February 6, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    +1 on not turning into an influencer. I found your blog from the running, and have stayed because of the “content” that you provide in such a relatable way.

    Also, thank you for continuing to blog. I despise podcasts as a medium, just does not work for me and I’ve found all my favorite bloggers are giving up on writing in favor of only recording podcasts. So while I won’t listen to you (or anyone else), I love to read your words!

  • Reply Taryn February 6, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    I personally think that this IS content creation and I love reading it! The “day in the life” posts are far more interesting to me than many clickbait articles. I find your honesty to be very refreshing and your planning tips are really helpful. As long as you keep blogging, I’ll be reading 🙂

  • Reply Katie February 7, 2020 at 7:06 am

    I’m echoing what everyone said! I have learned more about planning from your blog than anywhere else.

  • Reply Lou February 7, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Agree with all the above! You are an ‘influencer’ and a ‘content creator’ by virtue of your authenticity. I’ve rediscovered paper planning after years of fighting with doing it on google / reminders for years. I’ve read books because you’ve enjoyed them, I’ve listened to podcasts too – and I wouldn’t if there weren’t a clear authentic human behind these recommendations!
    I’m in the UK, I’m a swimmer not a runner, an ED doc not a paediatrician, but I have 3 kids and many of the same struggles – your blog has given me so many ideas! And I love the insight into the intersection between medicine and parenting lives in the US.

  • Reply Liv February 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Hey Sarah, I came to your blog after listening to best of both worlds. About content creating, I actually quite like your diary-like content vs. clickbait how to articles that drown the internet. Your content IS HELPFUL by sharing what a regular day is like and everyday thought!

  • Reply Rachel February 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    One more chiming in to say, don’t change! I found your blog after you and Laura started your podcast and it’s probably my favorite! So many others just feel fake in a way that I don’t even want to bother reading. But yours is authentic and helpful!!

  • Reply ahealthyslice February 11, 2020 at 7:16 am

    I might be the only differing opinion here, but I’m going to put my two cents in anyway 😉

    First of all, I love your “content” and reading your thoughts on things from finances to childcare, etc. However, yours is one of the few I still check regularly because I just don’t have time like I used to to keep up with diary style blogs and have stopped reading most of them that are just a diary.

    I think a few bloggers have done a great job at combining the two styles- a bit about day to day life but with an underlying topic for the post. Example: a crazy Thursday + my favorite dinner topping sauce. (Ok that’s a terrible example, haha, but a little bit of a life story but with a purpose- a favorite sauce idea to try!). I still click on those, but the ones that are just “here’s what we did yesterday” I skip over.

    I’ve gone through my own growing pains over the past year or so trying to find the right style for me and am just now starting to get to what feels right (I was too day to day then too SEO focused, but now am finding a good combo I think) and what is realistic and sustainable (as homeschooling the kids doesn’t allow for much time during the day to work on blog stuff).

    Like I said though, I clearly enjoy what you’re doing because I keep coming back, but I also know there might be more goals at play than just writing a daily diary (like wanting to help people by sharing your expertise, attract other people that you might be able to help with your knowledge, and yes, even the terrible “make a few bucks goal as well”- which for the record I don’t think is terrible at all).

    Anyway, I’ll save the rest of this for the day we’re finally able to meet for coffee 🙂

  • Reply coco April 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    i agree with all the commenters. those how to blog posts are so not authentic. I’ve been old reader of your blog, glad to be back. you just inspire me to get back to “online diary” 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you!!

  • Reply Pavithra March 4, 2022 at 4:41 am

    Love your online diary! Esp because you are so honest about the bad times too ( a lot of blogs tend to airbrush over the tough times or talk about it long after it has happened) and how you are thinking through some of the issues , it feels like we are in it with you up to finally seeing it resolved. I think while you dont spell it out as a how to post, we readers get a lot of tips and ideas

  • Reply RKK April 15, 2022 at 6:09 pm

    Just chiming in to say, if you did so more ‘content’, you might post less? You mentioned that one of the reasons you keep this blog going is that it is a relatively easy and time-contained activity. Coming up with a content post once a week might decrease that.

    Also – as others have said – I love your ability to be real, in real time. Your challenges with your career (stay? Go?), With real estate, with fitting in your priorities like working out, mirror my own and I like to know we are all going through similar things. But at the same time you are immensely productive and positive, which I love!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 16, 2022 at 5:02 pm

      thank you!!!

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