Meet PS Planning Ambassador:  Rosie O’Neill

Combining a passion for color and a quest to create the ultimate candy shop, Rosie O’Neill and her husband Josh, co-founded Sugarfina.  Sugarfina is a luxury candy boutique filled with artisanal candies that are packed to perfection for gifting or a little self-indulgence.  Although her day may sound sweet, filled with taste-testing and creating beautiful new gummies, Rosie manages many different roles at work and at home ensuring all runs smoothly.  With purposeful planning, goal setting and organizing, Rosie was able to turn her dream into a thriving business with over 25 boutiques across the country and develop exclusive partnerships with major retailers including Paper Source!

See our interview with Rosie below for more on how she plans for both work and family.

What does your process for planning look like?

Running a business can be very stressful and tiring, so my first priority when planning is to plan for balance.  This means carving out time for things like exercise, vacation, desk time and work-from-home days.  Taking care of yourself is one of the first things to fall by the wayside, so it’s important to prioritize that time and protect it! 

I also like to set aside time for strategizing and brainstorming with my team, whether it’s an all-day offsite meeting or a 3-hour working session. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks, but those strategic sessions are where we get our biggest breakthroughs and our best ideas.  I try to put these meetings on the calendar several weeks or even months in advance to make sure they don’t get moved or interrupted.


Are you better at short-term planning or long-term planning? Why?

A little bit of both.  I enjoy the immediate satisfaction that comes from checking off a weekly to-do list, but I also like to map out the big goals for the year and make sure I don’t lose sight of them.  Sometimes the volume of things we need to accomplish is overwhelming, so I’m a big fan of breaking things up into smaller parts and scheduling them out over the coming months.


What did you like about the calendar or planner you chose?

I’m endlessly inspired by color, so this Paint Chip Calendar is my dream!  When I was a kid, I used to hang out in the paint aisle at Home Depot collecting paint chips and using them for arts and crafts. Today I collect things based on their color and keep a sort of object-based Pantone library in my work cabinet.  People are always amused when we’re talking about a packaging idea and I’ll exclaim, “I have the perfect color for that!” and then run to my cabinet to retrieve a tube of toothpaste I found in Italy that’s the perfect shade of lavender.  Color is my life, so this calendar soothes me and makes me very happy.

While planning, what “view” do you prefer: month at a glance, day at a glance or week at a glance? Why?

I travel a lot so it’s important to look at the full week, otherwise I might have a flight the next day and forget to pack.  I can’t look at a full month as it’s too overwhelming – there’s just too much to do and I want to crawl in bed and hide.  The weekly view is the perfect balance.


How do you accessorize your planner?  Is it for personal style or functionality/productivity?

I’m a minimalist, so I like my calendar clean and simple.  My one indulgence is colored Sharpies. I like to color code various activities depending on whether it’s travel (red), creative (purple), work (blue), personal (green) or family time (orange). 


What was your favorite part about back to school shopping growing up?

I loved sharpening brand new pencils.  I still do, and I don’t even use pencils, but I have this weird habit of collecting them. There’s something so nostalgic about the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil – it takes me straight back to grade school.


What office accessories are essential in a meeting?

My iPhone because it’s an all-in-one tool – calculator, notepad, camera, display screen, search engine, calendar, email, and more.  Plus I have a tendency to lose whatever I’m carrying, so the fewer things I can carry the better!


Do you have any organization hacks or tricks you can share?

Block off time on your calendar for yourself, because if you don’t set aside that time, someone or something will take it.  For me, that means blocking off quiet time in the morning where I have an uninterrupted period to catch up on tasks and prepare for the day.  I live by the mantra “eat a frog for breakfast” which means doing your most dreaded/icky task first.  If you can cross that one thing off your list, the rest of the day feels a lot easier.


Would it be more chaotic losing your calendar for your personal/home life or work life? Why?

Definitely work life!  I’m usually fully booked with calls and meetings from 8am-6pm.  If I lost my calendar and missed a meeting, the chaos of trying to rebook the meeting would be huge.  My family is a lot more understanding if I forget something.


What would your ideal desk and work space look like?

My ideal work space would be completely empty except for a few pretty desk accessories and a nice-smelling candle.  I’m not a fan of paper. I don’t save anything, and if I write notes I try to transfer them to a to-do list or a digital file as quickly as I can.  My brain functions best when the space around me is clean and wide open.



The 2018-2019 Paint Chip calendar was featured in this post and you can find it here.  You can also click here to learn more about all of our Planner Ambassadors.