Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #107: Digital Planning with Bright Method Creator and Time Management Expert Kelly Nolan

August 15, 2022

Show Notes!

I loved getting to chat with Kelly Nolan in today’s ep, who has transitioned from litigator to time management expert. She shares her favorite digital tools and introduces her unique methods in this episode. I was really inspired by her and I think you will be too!

(I also mention the Hobonichi Preview in the intro — it has been fun to follow along, and today’s Mina Perhonen designs are lovely.)


I got everything done on my list except for write out Q4 goals — so will take some time (perhaps during A’s ballet class?) to work on that tonight.

Much to my surprise, I did greatly enjoy Top Gun: Maverick. I should not have been surprised though because you guys never steer me wrong — thank you to the commenters who encouraged me to give it a try!

On the negative side, I ended up with a crushing migraine that came on during the movie, and we had to go straight home where I medicated and sat in the dark for a miserable 45 minutes until the medication kicked in. I am happy to report that I did finally score a migraine specialist appointment, and it’s this week. So, good timing I guess.

Booking a low key date night for right after a family trip is something I learned from some of you (readers!) and — headache aside — I have to say it is wonderful.

I took our Summer Calendar off of the fridge where it has lived since Memorial Day. I feel like I might as well share it now that no one can use it to track our whereabouts to the day 🙂

I will have to think about a fall version!

Operation BUN went fairly well. I did order a donut but tomorrow’s bun will be freestyle because it will not be here yet.

not too bad

Happy Monday. This week promises to be a bit insane – wish us luck!


  • Reply Irene August 15, 2022 at 7:17 am

    Oh no, I am so sorry. I absolutely can’t watch a movie in theater without getting a migraine. It’s super sad and makes my husband bummed. He often makes that his guy activity

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 15, 2022 at 8:47 am

      Mine was brewing before I went and I should have medicated then … so I don’t blame top gun but it definitely didn’t help!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 15, 2022 at 10:12 am

    Bummer about the migraine but that is a good idea to have a date after a vacation with the kids. We really need to get back to going on dates. We didn’t during the pandemic and then bedtime was such a gong show for our oldest that I feared having a babysitter would be a disaster. We saw some college friends yesterday and one said several times that she would love to babysit so we probably need to take her up on that. Her daughter is 11 so the little kids years are far enough in her rear view mirror that hanging out with a toddler is very appealing to her.

    I enjoyed the episode on digital planning. I have to think about how I could better use my digital calendars. I wish that I could access the google platform from work but we aren’t able to for security reasons. So my work and personal calendars are so disjointed. Which maybe that is a good thing because it gives me some separation. I use a paper planner and almost nothing work-related ends up there, besides notes from meetings. But I like the task calendar/planner she mentioned so I need to explore that option in Outlook.

  • Reply Amanda August 15, 2022 at 10:59 am

    I hope you are feeling better soon. It amazes me how much you are able to get done on weekend days (yesterday’s list + today’s report). Do you have any hacks/tricks? I have two boys similar ages to C&G and while it is so much easier now than when they were little, we often end up spending hours outdoors to expend their energy (and it is also something I don’t mind doing). I love the quality time, but there is often a lot still left undone by Sunday evening. I’m fortunate to have a partner and feel like we spend much of the weekend trading off, with a couple of hours planned as a family both days.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 15, 2022 at 12:27 pm

      I let them entertain themselves (including screens) for most weekend afternoons and try not to care of the house gets super messy in the process 🙂

  • Reply Meg August 15, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    Can you link the summer calendar/planner?

  • Reply Emma August 15, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Snap and rolls are also great for bun-making!

  • Reply Meri Paterson August 16, 2022 at 12:41 am

    I look forward to listening! ‘Mina Perhonen’ is Finnish for ‘I Butterfly’. I haven’t seen the design but guessing it features butterflies! 🙂

  • Reply Jenny August 16, 2022 at 11:58 am

    I really enjoyed this conversation with Kelly Nolan. I use a mix of digital and paper but putting a lot on the digital calendars really resonated with me. I also felt a special kinship as we are another lawyer-physician household! Would be interested to hear her on Best of Both Worlds as well.

  • Reply Elissa August 21, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Question if you don’t mind answering. Any different between ordering directly from Hobonichi site vs jetpens?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 21, 2022 at 3:22 pm

      Hobonichi site sometimes sells out of certain covers and usually comes faster than jetpens plus you get a cool free pen and usually another gift with order. I love jetpens but ordering from the hobo site every year is so much fun!

  • Reply Thursday, 08.25.22 | A Life Well Done August 25, 2022 at 9:13 am

    […] You can get to the referenced podcast HERE. […]

  • Reply Amy September 22, 2022 at 1:54 am

    I love that you had Kelly Nolan on the show! I did her group course in January and it has changed my life. Getting ALL my mental load stuff onto the calendar as recurring tasks showed me that my expectations for what I could get done in a day were objectively impossible!

    I still use a paper planner! I use my digital calendar as a reference to write out my daily schedule in my Full Focus planner. Writing it out helps me mentally process my day and catch little conflicts. But the “source of truth” are the various digital calendars that I share with my family (and my parents who help with child care).

    Being able to reliably coordinate schedule info with multiple family members means that it’s no longer my job to tell everyone what’s happening when — and has led to a more equitable division of labor in our household. 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 22, 2022 at 6:10 am

      that’s awesome!!! love hearing this.

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