Founder/Director of modern stationary brand, An Organised Life, Beck Wadworth may just be ANZ’s most organised woman. We speak openly about the challenges of 2020, sustaining creativity under stress, and the art of the To Do list.

M+E: Firstly, tell us a little bit about the conception of An Organised Life, what inspired you to launch in the category of stationary?

BW: I always relied on a diary, year after year to write down my important dates, lists and goals. When I moved to Sydney, I wanted a diary – however I couldn’t find one that was functional yet had an element of style to compliment my monochrome and minimalistic aesthetic. I realised there was a gap in the market and this was when An Organised Life was born. From there I designed my first diary, found a printer and bookbinder, produced just 300 diaries and started on my marketing and PR Plan! They sold out in three weeks, and there was no turning back.

M+E: Have you always been a super organised human?

BW: Yes, both my parents are really organised so I must get it from them! Being organised just makes life easier in my eyes.  It’s something I’ve always valued and prioritised.

M+E: With many of us now working from home, how important is it to keep an organised environment – from diary to desk and broader home environment – in order to promote proactivity and creative thinking?

BW: I live by the motto, a clear space = a clear mind. I love working in a space that is inspiring yet functional and organised.  Where everything has a place. I think it’s important to create a space where everything is easily accessible, and to create a small (big or small) area where you feel happy, motivated and in a good headspace.

Everyone’s WFH set ups would have been different this year and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the most difference in terms of motivating and inspiring creative thinkers. For example, a candle scent, a playlist, greenery, natural light – the sun soaking through – a beautiful piece of artwork or furniture.

In terms of productivity – a daily to-do list is an absolute must.


“At the end of each day, pack up your workspace, put everything back in its place, write your to-do list for the following day and prioritise it. This routine will allow you to feel prepped and prepared for the following day, allowing you to move from work mode into personal mode with ease."

M+E: 2020 has definitely thrown some curveballs, for many, stress and change burdening creative thinking and the capacity to maintain drive and motivation (especially for our Victorian friends!). What advice can you provide around counteracting this through home/office choices – how do you suggest we sustain drive and creative thinking in challenging times?

BW: I think now more than ever, it’s important to focus on health and wellbeing. Focusing on these areas of your life, naturally has a flow-on effect to your drive, productive energy, workflow and creativity. Making sure you get outside for some fresh air, a sunrise or a sunset, moving your body, nourishing and nurturing inside and out, talking to loved ones, journaling, listening to music, cooking. All those things in life that fill your tank.

It’s also important to draw a clear boundary between work life and personal life, especially when you’re working from home. At the end of each day, pack up your workspace, put everything back in its place, write your to-do list for the following day and prioritise it. This routine will allow you to feel prepped and prepared for the following day, allowing you to move from work mode into personal mode with ease.

In terms of creativity and sustaining drive, I suggest embracing your creative waves, leaning on your support network, setting clear direction and focus for each day/week, and knowing when you need to take a break, go for a walk or step away and reflect – review and refocus.

M+E: We have no doubt you have a generous list of short, and long-term goals. As we move towards a new year, what advice can you give us around realistic goal setting – importantly, to sustain positivity and proactivity throughout the year?

BW: Goal planning is such an incredible way to set focus for the next 12+ months. It gives you direction, and allows you to strive towards those big and small dreams.

However, in order to achieve your goals, it’s really important to create an action plan of how you can do this. To look at what support you need, what roadblocks you might face, what stepping-stones you need to set in place and tick off along the way, and more. This is one of our favourite features in our 2021 diaries. We have created a really thorough Goal Planning section that takes you through the process of setting goals, step-by-step. Giving you the tools needed to actually achieve your 2021 goals.

M+E: Do you have any goals set for 2021 yet?

BW: I do! I have set out my personal, professional and financial goals, however I always utilise the summer break to really nut these out in detail and create a proper action plan.

M+E: What is one thing you have learned about yourself – both personally and professionally – in 2020?

BW: In all honesty, 2020 has been my hardest year personally, but one of my best professionally! It’s been a year that has taught me that I have an inner strength I didn’t know I had. It’s taught me to look for the positives in every situation, and the importance of living a balanced life.

M+E: How did you sustain motivation and connectivity throughout the AOL office and broader community with the impact of COVID

BW: The hardest part this year (as a team) was the fact that I was physically removed from the office, being in New Zealand, while the team are all in our Sydney HQ. Prior to Covid-19, I worked in Auckland for three weeks and then Sydney for one week, on rotation. However, as a team, we adapted quickly and had clear goals and visions. We have utilised Zoom to facilitate catch ups and creative brainstorming, and have made sure to celebrate successes along the way – big and small – to maintain team morale, motivation and creativity.

As a community, we decided as a team early on, that we wanted to really look after our beautiful An Organised Life community. We worked extremely hard to create helpful and informative content around WFH, productivity, journaling, managing a team remotely, organisation (and much more) in the hopes it would help our community to push through such a challenging time.

M+E: Talk to us about To Do lists – how important are they to sustaining success on a daily and more long-term scale? And do you write one every morning?

BW: To-do lists are one of the most effective ways to organise your life. It’s all about prioritising and working through your list in a methodical way. We have an in depth debrief on this topic HERE

I write my own to-do list every single evening before I finish my working day. I go through it and prioritise my top three MIT’s (most important tasks), before dividing my to-do list into AM and PM.

M+E: What is your AOL diary of choice?

BW: I love a day per page layout. My go-to favourite is the A4 Daily Planner – I love lots of room!

M+E: Album/artist currently on repeat?

BW: I constantly love Fleetwood Mac, but most recently I’ve been listening to lots of Leon Bridges, Khruangbin, Father John Misty, Ravenna and Bill Withers.

Follow @beckwadworth | @anorganisedlife