Tracey Lefroy started Cranmore Home in 2010. She threw open the doors of her first pop up shop and began her incredible journey into fusing the worlds of country Australia and Australian designer and luxury gifts, home wares and clothing. Now, Cranmore home has evolved from that first pop up to consulting, events planning and one very beautiful online store. Traceys clever and careful curation in her work is especially evident in the Cranmore online store and may have come from her interesting background including travel via a Nuffield Scholarship, her work in Agribusiness and her strong desire to furnish her farmhouse with the best in Australian design. With three very cute children under five, her own small business and farm duties to tend to, Tracey is busy but organised. Read on to find out how she keeps herself organised!
Hello Tracy! My what a beautiful home you have!!
1. If you had an eighth day in your week, what would you do with it?
Wow, the answer to that one would be different each time you asked me! Today, the answer would be SLEEP. My very beautiful, very loving and very ‘attached’ son has been unwell this week so I have seriously not slept since Monday… sleep would be my friend. Ordinarily though, my eighth day would look something like this – my little family all heading out to Jurien Bay for a whole day of family time. This would mean a family bike-ride in the morning – we do the full dorky family thing – Ollie in the bike trailer behind my husband’s bike, Henry on his bike and Evie in the baby seat on my bike. Can you picture it?! Then the afternoon all kids would nap at the same time as Kristin and enjoyed a lazy afternoon.
2. When it comes to getting organised, paper or digital?
I am a combination gal – I like to write down my ideas as they come so that I don’t lose them in the busyness of the day. When it comes to organising myself I am definitely digital – my calendar syncs with my husband’s and we just find that this is the best way to organise our work and home lives alike.
Bec, Cranmore Home Events Manager and my go-to girl, and I email everything to each other. It means there are never any misunderstandings about delegation or getting tasks completed.
At the Cranmore Home office we also have a very comprehensive wall calendar. We are so lucky in that we are getting asked to ‘Pop Up’ at a lot of different towns throughout WA, plus add in our Events Management service covering weddings, parties (dare I say it?) anything, Wedding Gift Registry Service, our June Winter Workshop and our Interior Styling service and… well we need the wall calendar so that we know how each month is going to pan out.
Bec and I love being busy but we also like to to be super organised so that there is no stress associated with that ‘busy’.
3. What is your favourite thing to do when you have some down time?
Do you know, and this is embarrassing, but I am so cliched in that I adore my career, I love working with Bec who is also one of my best friends and I love the time that I spend with my husband and family. Down time for me is not actually that much of an issue as I am a boringly happy person in my everyday life. That said, I am a lover of being outside. Be that wandering across our farm, Cranmore Park, or walking along the beach at Jurien Bay. I find that being outdoors is my downtime, my inspiration for interiors and my restorative time.
4. How would you break down your week?
Were I to break down my week, I have two days per week which are devoted to Cranmore Home with the kids in daycare and me in my office space in my hometown Moora.
So… to put it into percentages…
20% office time for CH: product sourcing, packing+wrapping, invoicing, consulting on interiors, marketing, planning… shallI I go on? 🙂
50% being a ‘mum’ of three kids under six adventuring through the day with lego, dinosaurs, monsters and trampoline-jumping
20% in the garden and house – I am planting out all of my winter veggies at the moment so am loving this cool autumnal weather
10% farm work… my other ‘happy place’ walking behind a mob of sheep with kids in tow, checking troughs, even just helping out with moving machinery to new paddocks…
5. What keeps you inspired, motivated and on track?
Gosh, I am so inspired by life itself!
I am constantly re-evaluating my business and it’s direction. I think that keeping motivated is almost self-perpetuating when you are you lucky enough to find your passion and make it your career. My issue is not so much staying inspired and motivated but rather being able to turn-off!
My main motivation comes from the artisans which whom I am lucky enough to work. Chatting with the beautiful artisans was the inspiration for the forthcoming Winter Workshops where we have six artisans coming up to Cranmore Park farm to share their skills in workshops. It is the one time I wish I didn’t run Cranmore Home so that I could participate in the workshops!
6. What does your workspace look like?
You guys might have had this before – it’s what I like to call a *pinch me moment*. It usually comes about when something happens that you just can’t believe. Sometimes it might even make you speechless. This is one of those moments for me. I have had the absolutely pleasure of interviewing the inspiring Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge. Grace is based in Brooklyn and started the site in 2004. She’s got an incredible background and has written for some big institutions including In Style, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Post and so many more. Grace also runs the D*S Biz Lady Series which I have personally drawn heavily from for inspiration and insider tips. For someone who has over 168,000+ Facebook fans and 117,000+ followers on Instagram, I am very lucky to have stolen some of Grace’s time and even learn about how she organises her time – some strategies that I’ve adopted immediately as I was so inspired.
Everyone, meet Grace – Hello Grace!
1. How do you organise your day?
I do the bulk of my work between 9am and 2pm. I spend about 2 hours in the morning answering and sending emails, then I write posts for another 2-3 hours. I take a good lunch break and then usually get out for a quick walk with my dog, Hope. Then I work for another hour or two and try to do a bit of house work like tidying up, doing dishes (which I never do the same night as we eat, I’m terrible about that) and then maybe dropping off or picking up laundry. Around 5 or 6 pm my wife and I like to take a long walk with Hope and that usually signifies the end of the work day for me. Sometimes I go back online around 8pm to do another hour or two of work, but I’m getting better at getting it all done during the work day now.
2. Do you prefer to use digital or paper to organise your time?
All digital, all the time. I like to declutter and consolidate as much as possible and keeping it allll on a laptop does that for me. It also ensures I get multiple reminders about meetings, etc. – which I need.
3. What products do you use to organise your time?
I live off of Gmail, WordPress and my favorite app- Boomerang. It’s revolutionized the way I interact with email, which is a huge part of my job. (I’d like to agree with Grace here – Boomerang has just become my most favourite App for getting the most out of email! – Kelsie)
4. If you had an eighth day in your week, what would you spend it doing?
1/2 getting ahead on work for the week ahead and 1/2 being with my family and getting outside.
5. What inspires and motivates you to keep doing what you love)?
I truly love what I do and love that, while it comes with tough times, I appreciate and am grateful for the flexibility my schedule has. It allows me to get out and enjoy the city I live in more than other jobs I’ve had and I love that I can work hard but still have time to relax and explore where I live, too.
6. What does your workspace look like?
Anyone else have some series workplace/studio envy!?
I’ve been obsessed with TMOD ever since I found some of their incredibly innovative scratchy party invitations which I used for my 21st birthday. The invites went out to my guests and not only did they get invited to a birthday but they got the thrill of revealing part of the card themselves – a mysterious surprise and invite all in one! TMOD has been around for over 7 years now and their work is continually evolving and pushing boundaries. The team consists of Georgie and Milenka and they state that their aim “is to design without constraints” which results in creative products using interesting designs and materials. The best part about their products is that they always make you feel something, they write that their products “trigger emotions, transport feelings and create memories” which couldn’t be more true. Every time I see particular cards that I’ve gifted I am instantly transported to those times and to memories with loved ones. I couldn’t be more happy to share with you an interview today with Milenka about how she gets organised.
The TMOD team and their gorgeous animal mask cards!
1. What do you use to get organised: Paper or Digital? (Please feel free to mention specific products!)
We usually use paper – notebooks by Decomposition
Visually online we use Pinterest or our calendars and more!
2. What is something you do every week that helps you feel creative, inspired and/or motivated?
Surfing and yoga
3. If you had an eighth day in your week, what would you spend it doing?
Making fun things for the home and studio. DIY projects. Can’t get enough of making and a whole day set aside would be great!
4. What does your average Monday look like?
We start mondays with a swim at the beach and then the two of us meet at our local cafe for a WIP / planning / brainstorming sessions before the rest of the team get to the studio.Then we have a team brainstorm and then break up into our individual roles. Lunchtime we chop up fresh veggies from our gardens and make a salad to share and sit in the park next to our studio. Then back to work and yoga at night to finish the day.
5. What is your favourite organisational tool?
Chalkboard Paint. We paint all the walls in our studio with our coloured chalkboard paint!
6. What does your workspace look like?
K Gets Organised would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at TMOD and Milenka for her time and for answering the Get Organised series questions! Inspiring to read all about the daily rituals and habits of the group that has inspired me so much on my own design journey. Thank you!
Jasmine Dowling is a graphic designer and fashion blogger based in Brisbane. She is one of the new, young creatives that is taking social media by storm and crafting a brand that is beautifully simple while being instantly recognisable – from her black ink quotes to her (free!) 2014 calendar. Her ink based typography just feels right and certainly shows an element of being hand made that causes me personally to connect really strongly with her messages. She’s currently selling her white ink on black card range titled the “Luna Collection” and has created it to help her deal with “a lot of negatives of the world of the internet and [her] work getting lost and reproduced”. Jasmine Dowling recently gave me some of her time to answer a couple of questions about how the designer stays organised.
Jasmine herself in one of her latest blog posts!
1) Do you use digital or paper to plan and organise your time?
I normally just scribble a lot on random scraps of paper lying around. I feel if I get too organised with it I write down things that aren’t important and waste time.
2) What does your average Saturday look like?
My Saturdays normally either consist of trying to get a little bit of a sleep in then maybe going out and enjoying some granola somewhere with Michael. Since I freelance and work part-time I normally also spend most of the day catching up on emails and doing a little bit of creating for freelance clients. Then in the noon Michael and I will spend an hour or so shooting an outfit for the week if we haven’t already. My nights are then spent normally watching a scary documentary or movies.
3) What do you do when you have some ‘me time’/’down time’?
I love to have a long shower because I think it is one place you can get away from everything, or I just put the ear phones in and flick through magazines.
4) What do you find helps you keep (or get) organised?
Not much keeps me organised – I am quite a chaotic creator in that sense. I just leave the really important things around me and discard the not-so important things to the side. I also use the flagging function on my emails a lot because often they get lost on me. I also just use the good old list method, it helps stop me from getting over whelmed.
5) What products have you used that help you get organised or plan?
Again I normally just use scrap paper or I have a note book next to me that I jot things down on. I do use the calendar that I created for key dates and deadlines, but it don’t use it for big details. I always buy a diary at the start of the year but a month in I discard it because I get bored of it.
6) What does your work space look like?
Beautiful space Jasmine!
K Gets Organised would like to thank Jasmine for her time and for being a part of the GET ORGANISED series!
I have a confession to make. I have an addiction. It’s not one of those scary ones that results in me filling my house with things but in a similar way, it does involve me wanting to fill my desk and all of my storage space with craft goodies. Because of this unruly desire, I always find myself drawn to and buying gorgeous things like magazines that help me learn more about the craft world and what the latest and greatest is without having to buy an entire store worth of things every quarter!).
My favourite craft publication lately is *bespoke* magazine. It is a quarterly publication, “a collection of artisan interviews, handmade products, indie business inspiration and creative craft projects” whose mission statement includes wanting “to share handmade and creative goodness from talented creatives of Australia and New Zealand with the wider community and the world”. Could there be anything better!?
The editor team at the moment consists of the lovely Robyn and Elle. I asked the editor Robyn Kyberd to share with me how she makes such an inspiring project come to life every quarter and how she organises her busy schedule. From the *bespoke* website, Robyn is described as “a creative business consultant, website developer, systems analyst and marketing strategist. She gets excited about creative entrepreneurs and creative business development, and has a serious love for design of all kinds and has an amazement of all things handmade”.
I personally found this interview so rewarding and learnt so much about just how much work goes into our creative projects. Read on to be absolutely blown away!
The superwoman herself, Robyn!
1) What is something that you do as a habit, i.e.: every week or every month, that helps you stay organised?
I am all about organisation and efficiency, so with many different projects, businesses and ideas going on, including family and personal commitments, I have a number of things on hand to keep me organised. Some of these include:
- I write to-do lists pretty much daily with the smaller things that need to be done, with a list of the bigger things to-do (like major projects, events and ideas) and dates written on the whiteboard in the office. Writing it down on pretty paper, or to-do designed notepads, I find, makes list making (and completing) even more fun. Using coloured pens to write down the icky jobs you’ve been putting off or to cross off jobs once they are done, is also more satisfying!
- Within the office I have multiple filing cabinets, trays, folders and shelves which allow me to keep all of the paperwork and products organised and easily accessible should I need them. Pretty and colourful folders are great – they make filing a little less arduous.
- My inbox is divided into different accounts and folders to manage the amount of content coming through. It makes it easier to track incoming orders, submissions, client work and collaborative conversations this way.
- In my inbox, I flag all orders that come in, and tick them as complete once I’ve been to the post office so that I know that they have left the office.
- At the start of each month I track my online marketing and social media stats to keep me on-track and focused within the business. Every few months I address the business plan to again keep me focused and organised within the business. At the end of each month I also do all of the accounts and filing. I believe, that just knowing where your business and your cash flow is at every month, keeps you organised. You then know what you need to get done in the coming month/s to achieve your goals.
- I also use the end of the month to take back-ups of websites, e-commerce sales data, newsletter lists etc. These downloads can often run in the background whilst I am doing other things.
My number one rule-of-thumb for organisation is to set your personal deadline at least 2-3 days ahead (more if you can) of the absolute deadline. If there is a project deadline, I will schedule it in the diary/whiteboard and move it forward to allow for a) other projects at the time, b) new projects that come up, c) delays – which could include the children or I being sick for a few days, communication delays, changes in project scope, contractors etc., and d) family/personal commitments.
2) Do you use a planner to organise your days, weeks and/or months?
I do have a large whiteboard planner in the office to plan out the months of the year, but I also use a diary/notebook, my email program calendar, a wall calendar, and the fridge to keep notes on what’s on and what’s coming up.
For the business blog and social media I use a post planner to schedule release of content so that when I have some time, or I am in the mood, I can get a whole lot of online content completed in advance. This is particularly useful around magazine production time, so that the business can carry on as normal online, whilst I am busy offline.
Within the business there is a guide of what types of content to release on specific days, such as newsletters on Mondays and creative collection blog posts on Wednesdays. Setting even minor things like this helps organise the rest of the business as you can plan around the activities set for particular times/days.
3) Describe how you spend a usual Sunday or describe the last one you had.
Sundays usually involve family lunches or dinners, and a lot of planning for the week ahead. Sunday nights I am usually getting some work done as Mondays tend to bring a few curve-balls my way that throw out the plans for the week.
4) Which side are you on: digital or paper?
I’m on both. I live for digital, but print is amazing. I spend so much of my time in front of screens that when it comes to recreational or educational activities like reading, it needs to be in print. Online there is a million things happening, and I have a load of browsers and tabs open at any one time doing 5 different tasks (often distracted by other cool links I find along the way) that I find if I see something in print, on nice paper, I stop and actually read the content. I appreciate it more. I have downloaded so many digital books and courses etc. (paid and free) and so often they go unread. If I had received the same content in print, I no doubt would have read it. I know that the satisfaction of receiving the printed *bespoke* magazines from the press gives such an amazing feeling inside compared to when the digital issue is released.
I do like to be eco-conscious though when it comes to paper so all of the menial images and documents I need are stored digitally, but the things I want to enjoy and go back to, I like to have in print. Print is much better for my inspiration board too. I know I can go to Pinterest and be inspired by all of the beautiful things there, but if it’s in in print and stuck to the board or wall in the office, I can see it every day to be inspired before I even turn the computer on.
5) What is your favourite thing to do when you have some down time, alone time or me time?
It would be Pinterest (which is sort of still work for me, but I find it so much fun!), building awesome structures from Architecture Lego, spending time with my family, reading about interior designs and decorating projects, playing pool or watching trashy TV. I am also learning to crochet this year… well that’s the plan anyway. I’ve started… it just depends on workloads and how much sleep I want to get 😉
6) Finally, what does your workspace look like?
A snapshot of Robyns wall!
A snapshot of the desk!
We’d like to thank Robyn for allowing us to peak inside her world and for providing us with such incredible detail about her organisational practices – thank you so much!
Welcome to Part 1 of our GET ORGANISED series. In this series, KGO will be interviewing some of the people that inspire us; we want to find out what their secret is – how do they squeeze being amazing, successful people into their day plus organise their fun, interesting and unique lives? We want to know (and we want you to know too)!
Everyone has routines and strategies that are different; everyone has a ritual which can be an incredibly personal part of our lives. I’m particularly interested in organisation because a) my aim is to help people organise themselves, b) I love organising my own time and using new products/strategies to do so and c) I recently read an incredible book called Daily Rituals that explores all of the incredible rituals and habits of some incredibly famous, successful and interesting people from our history.
I really hope that these interviews and the incredible people behind them inspire you to harness your own rituals because the way we each operate is unique – as unique as our finger prints. For some, working with paper is best and for others any planning is absolutely painful – and that’s were the magic happens. When we each find our strength or preference, we can really use it to our advantage. I also hope that through these pieces you learn more about these fantastic people, learn more about organisation and also that you find a little sparkle of inspiration!
This interview features Claire Trolio of We Love Perth and Ruck Rover General Store. We managed to steal some time from the lovely Claire and asked her some important questions about how she organises her time.
The lovely Claire! Looking beautiful – as always.
1. What is something you do every week that is stable, constant and exciting?
In the winter I watch footy! Yep. It’s the best way for me to completely get away from all responsibilities and have some proper downtime with my sister and my mum. And I love it.
In the warmer months, once a week my husband and sit outside on our deck and have little barbecues for just the two of us, sharing a bottle of wine. Sometimes it’s more than once a week!
2. What is your favourite thing that you do when you have some down time to yourself?
I have a cup of tea and do a cryptic crossword.
3. What do you use to organise your time?
I have a brown leather Filofax with day-per-page sheets inside that I buy from a woman in Sydney. They are off-white, recycled pages with brown lines and times on them, and they’re very nice! My time is then broken down into half hour blocks, and if I don’t write something in here I promptly forget about it. I colour code everything I put in there and I even have a colour for hanging with friends and family – I think it’s important to have a very balanced rainbow in my diary, and therefore a well rounded life!
I am also constantly writing to-do lists. These are always hand written, though I do have a pretty iPhone app as well, in case I’m walking to work and I think of something. It’s a bit easier than getting out the paper and pen in the middle of the street!
4. If you had an eighth day during the week – what would you spend it doing?
Ahhhhh if only! It would definitely be a computer free day. I’d like to say something fun and exciting, but in reality I would probably spend it doing little tasks that you never get around to doing. Mending clothes (which I enjoy), filing (I hate filing, but I have so much to file!), organising my life.
5. Describe what you do on a Tuesday (an average Tuesday – or the last one we had).
Generally I pop around and see my sister and my nieces first thing in the morning. I normally work in my shop on a Tuesday so I spend time doing the banking, posting orders and running errands before opening at 11. After I knock off there is usually a show to check out for We Love Perth, which means a lot of variety! It might be the latest Black Swan State Theatre Company production, or a new show at The Blue Room Theatre, a contemporary music gig at a pub or the ballet at His Majesty’s!
6. What does your workspace look like?
This is Claire’s workspace – at her kitchen bench
If you know of anyone that we should interview about how they organise their time, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
KGO would like to thank Claire for her time, honesty and humour – and for allowing us a sneaky peak into her life. Thanks Claire!