On the eve of the new year, we are already starting to plan for the next one. We are thinking about new goals, long-term and short-term. We start training, eating more properly. We enrich everyday life with fresh practices and small rituals that help us in every segment of life. Female entrepreneurs are a great inspiration in all of this. One of them is Dunja Tadić, founder of Women's Roknik. She shared with us the little secrets of her success, as well as good organization and life balance, which are crucial for that success.
Your story is an excellent example of how to use your situation for inspiration, start a career, and dare we say - the whole movement - because more than 150 thousand women have used your calendars so far (correct us if we're wrong :)). How did that happen?
Now the number of these women is even higher and it makes me really happy. That schedule was created, as I like to say, from the soul and heart, created at a time when I was personally in a difficult life situation. It was created when I needed motivation and encouragement to get started and do something to change things when they were not good.
At the time when I made it, I sat down at the table and put out of my head everything that I imagined that a motivating diary should have in it, without Googling and additional inspiration from some similar products. It was created when nothing similar existed in our country, and in the world maybe 2 or 3 brands were doing something along these lines.
It became an instant hit in the first year, and after that each new release became more and more important to me. One, because women liked him, and two, because for years it was my only source of income. If it weren't for that schedule, I would probably have closed the company a long time ago. I think that the women somehow recognized all this, they connected in a beautiful and strange way with that calendar and that's where we are today.
You often emphasize that the women themselves tell you what kind of planner they would like, and you listen to them. Which planners were created precisely as a direct response to the wishes and needs of your users?
Only the Women's Diary was created due to my personal needs, we later refined and changed it according to what women sent us as their feedback , but let's say the Diary for pregnant women was created exactly as a direct response to the needs of customers. When we realized that they wanted such a diary, we asked them what exactly they wanted, we paid two moms who reviewed and read all the forums for pregnant women and moms, and thus we additionally got super valuable information about what exactly women want from that diary.
The business diary was created in the same way, we were contacted by women who needed a beautiful and motivating diary like Women's, but bigger and a bit more "serious", or let's say the Focus planner, which we did in cooperation with the Faculty of Philosophy, the department for psychology - women are our wrote that they need a planner as motivation to achieve their goals.
Can we say that good organization is a skill? How did you learn to organize yourself? What are the basic "settings" of good planning?
I agree, good organization is a skill and can be mastered. There are many techniques that help better productivity and organization, but I would single out one thing, the most important in my opinion.
Your scheduler is your boss and you just have to listen. If you yourself wrote down what you want and then what you have to do in order to achieve what you want - by not respecting what is written down, you are not respecting and not listening to yourself.
The planner itself as a planner is not a magic wand if there is only a "letter on paper" inside, all the methods will not help you if you do not open that planner every day and follow what you yourself wrote in it. I myself had situations when I forgot something, missed an appointment or didn't do something on the "to do" list... And it happened to me if I didn't open the planner. 😊
What does Dunja's planner or schedule look like? Are there colors, stickers? How many do you fill in one year?
My planners are probably one of the most colorful. 😊 I use a lot of stickers, this kind of planning relaxes, entertains and motivates me to open and use the planner. I love different pens and markers so I have a pencil case that I always carry with me.
I use 3-4 planners a year. Feminine is always with me, I don't separate from him and he is my "brain". In addition to the Women's Planner, I always use a Focus planner for specific goals, a Business one for meetings and projects, and I always have an Inspire me one for ideas and sketching future projects. Let's say I always take that Inspire me planner on vacation.
Can we perhaps say that there is a style of filling in the schedule and that the personality of the person who uses it can even be recognized by it?
Yes! Definitely. You have people who write very neatly and "don't cross" the lines, everything is often written with the same pen, and I can immediately tell that this person is a "logician". For example, my lawyer friend fills out the planner like that.
Then, there are a lot of women who simply do not plan every day, and sometimes they are burdened by the planner with dates because they are annoyed by the blank pages that they do not use because they are limited by dates. We created the Inspire me planner for such types.
There are a lot of people like me, real addicts of planners and stickers who vent on the pages, paste, draw, write everything that comes to mind. But for me, the most beautiful planner is always from Ana, the designer who designs all our planners – a pure work of art made of stickers, thumbnails, handwriting...
The new year is around the corner, and it traditionally carries the symbolism of a new beginning. And the freshly printed planner is a symbol of a kind of restart. What advice would you give to all those who struggle with procrastination? How to plan good planning?
This period is always reserved for new plans and new promises to yourself. And there's something about that rustling of pages and the smell of a fresh planner that simply entices you to write and plan new beginnings.
The first tip may not be specifically about planning, but more about understanding what we really want out of life. What do you want, where are you going... who do you want to be and what do you want to achieve in a year, two, five... Summing up and honestly thinking about the year that is behind us. If I've learned to change something - whether it's being better organized or achieving some concrete goals - then let's see what it is and how to achieve what I want.
Procrastination is something that happens to all of us and a trap that we all fall into from time to time. When we realize that we start putting things off and we know what we want, then we can see what it's like to win. There are a lot of methods and techniques to overcome procrastination, we recently made an ebook on that very topic and that's another piece of advice. Google, read and search for methods that will help you fight procrastination. It is important not to fall into a vicious circle and postpone day after day doing either what you have to do or what you want to do in order to get to where you want to be.
Through your work, you deal with a whole range of activities and every day is special in some way. You learn a lot, you navigate your team, and at the same time you try to anticipate the new needs of users and provide a superior experience from purchase to use. Apart from writing down and monitoring your own "external memory", what helps you in everyday life?
Working on myself, education and many techniques that have been an integral part of my everyday life for years help me the most. I meditate almost every day, I find time for myself and relaxation, I hang out with people from whom I learn and people who inspire and relax me. I have learned from experience that if my head is not clear, if my energy level is not satisfactory - there is no schedule that will help me function well. It also helps me a lot that I enjoy my work and creating schedules, and I consider myself really lucky to be doing a job that I love.
They say that a happy life requires a dose of spontaneity. Do you agree and what does it look like for you?
This is not something I have always known. It took me years to realize how much truth there is in this statement. That spontaneity is very necessary. In the last few years, for example, I enjoy taking an unplanned day off , or deciding to go on a trip without first thinking and predicting whether I will be able to go on that trip because of the many obligations I have. I did that just recently, I read an email with an invitation for a yoga wellness weekend on Fruška Gora and instantly bought a ticket.
Sometimes I decide something spontaneously in my work - and it usually turns out well. And the other day, for example, I took my list of goals for this year and just crossed out everything that was causing me pressure at that moment when I thought about everything that I should do and take to achieve it in the next few weeks until the end of the year.
I think I felt better than if I had achieved them in the end. It was a wonderful liberating feeling. Sometimes it's perfectly fine to just BE...
Photos: Planner Boutique / Dunja Tadić