Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #37: Digital Organizing & More with Kelsey Wharton from the Girl Next Door Podcast!

April 5, 2021

I had the pleasure of chatting with Kelsey Wharton for today’s episode! You might know Kelsey from the Girl Next Door Podcast, her wonderful blog Rising * Shining, or perhaps even her latest project — a monthlong audioblog project!

I have admired Kelsey’s organization abilities for quite some time now, including her ability to remain calm and unruffled in the thick of toddler parenting — as well as quite a long stint of homeschool/parenting in Arizona during the pandemic.

Topics covered during the episode:

Digital task management, including Google Keep + Todoist

Grocery / meal planning optimizing! Below is an action shot of her method!


Gmail organization (detailed post of hers here)

Kelsey’s favorite mini-highlighters

I hope you enjoy the episode! Q&A coming up for next week, so feel free to get your audio questions in (use the button below!)

This week’s episode sponsor is Plans and Possibilities, a printable planner shop providing planner packs to organize every area of your life. Use code Best50 for 50% off any planner purchase!


  • Reply Amanda April 5, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    This was great, I love Kelsey! I have a gmail tip for making space. Click into your search bar and you’ll see a little arrow on the right that will open a window that gives you more search options. Under size put greater than 10-20MB and you can also restrict it to older emails. If you have old emails with large attachments it’s a quick way to free up some room. 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 6, 2021 at 7:44 am

      thank you — super helpful! I may share on the pod as well 🙂

    • Reply Anne April 6, 2021 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks for sharing this tip Amanda! I just did this and made a lot of room!

      Very good episode Sarah. Had to listen twice to catch all the good tips 🙂

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns April 6, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Loved hearing from Kelsey as I am also a big fan of her podcast! I haven’t used any of the aps she uses to keep track of things. I use my notes ap but can see the benefit of the others!

    This is planner adjacent but I would be curious to hear from someone who is an expert at organizing digital photos! I was inspired by a happier podcast to go through prior years photos on Google photos. The happier hack was to search each day in Google photos, so today you’d go through all the April 6 photos of past years. That was a little too frequent for me so instead, each month I go through prior years months, so this month I went through all the April photos, going back to 2013 when I started using Google photos. I also go through the prior month’s photos and that will be my approach going forward. I end up deleting hundreds of photos. You take so dang many duplicates when you have young kids in your quest to get a good photo! Next I need to go through videos but that is going to be more work so I might do the daily hack for that in 2022! But I am curious what others do to keep their digital photos from getting out of control!!

    • Reply Kelsey April 6, 2021 at 8:59 am

      Hi Lisa! I didn’t talk about photo organization on the ep but I have a system that works for me. I create an album for each calendar year and then throughout the year (about monthly) add favorite photos to the album. Then at the end of the year I create a photo book suing Blurb. I know this doesn’t address your question about “cleaning up” photos but it does get your favorite photos all in one spot so they aren’t cluttered by duplicates, etc. But an idea to address the clean up is from the Lazy Genius that she learned from someone else is that at the end of each day go through the photos you took that day and clean them up – it’s called the daily delete. I have been doing this somewhat consistently this year so far and it’s great.

      I have thought that I should schedule a few photo tidying sessions and put on a favorite show and just go through and delete photos…could even be fun to do a group Zoom with friends who are doing the same thing! I love the deleting hack you are already doing and maybe I’ll use that for my tidying sessions. Good luck!

      And would also love to hear from a photo organization expert in the future!

      Here’s my blog post on my family photo book system:

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 6, 2021 at 9:58 am

      Haha my digital photo organization hack: make physical photobooks, auto upload to google photos (mostly to save videos – not easily put into photobooks!), and then stop caring too much about keeping it all perfectly organized 🙂

    • Reply Meghan April 6, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      Lisa, check out Miss Freddy. She’s a digital photo organizer, and I was first introduced to her on episode 41 of the 10 Things to Tell You podcast, “10 Tips to organize your photos with Miss Freddy.” She has a way of making photo organization not sound completely overwhelming!

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns April 8, 2021 at 8:41 pm

        Thank you! I will check her out! I do make monthly favorite albums which I use to make annual photo books and our calendar. But now that Google will charge if you get above a set storage level, I’m more motivated to clean up my photos!!

  • Reply CBS April 6, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Loved the episode! My advice is to pay the 2 bucks for storage. I had started going through photos and videos and big emails and then realised it was one of the few problems in life that money could solve.

  • Reply Alyce April 6, 2021 at 9:22 am

    I don’t know if this is just me, but the episode isn’t showing up in Apple Podcasts.

  • Reply Margaret C April 6, 2021 at 10:16 am

    A Gmail trick I love that you didn’t mention is the ‘snooze’ feature. Hit the little clock button up above the messages and you can snooze until a specified date. Email letting you know camp registrations opens in 2 weeks? Snooze it until then. Replied to your work colleague that you would get back with them at the end of the quarter? snooze it until then. The email will magically appear back in your inbox as unread on that date. I used to create calander items for reminders for stuff like this but now I just use snooze.

  • Reply Lori C April 8, 2021 at 9:33 am

    This was such a great episode! I love the paper grocery list, but the clipboard just brings it to a whole new level. I never thought of that! i used to use paper lists but I would end up with this folded crumpled paper that I would press on the grocery cart bar, or my wallet, to try to write on… it was a disaster! I am totally stealing this idea.

    I would love to have Kelsey back. I am a paper planner but I love digital “hacks” that I can pair alongside my paper system.

  • Reply Week In the Life & Mom Uber – Girl Next Door Podcast February 26, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    […] Best Laid Plans featuring Kelsey as a guest […]

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