GSD // SUZANNE HALL OF THE CHALKBOARD MAG

suzanne hall - the chalkboard mag - gsd - get shit done

SUZANNE HALL // Editorial and Creative Director for The Chalkboard Mag

The Chalkboard is an online magazine devoted to all things wellness. Launched by the creators of Pressed Juicery, the site brings you the best in wellness lifestyle insights, healthy recipes, natural beauty ideas and toxin-free living. Their goal is to inspire you to live well. They believe everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn. Their features focus on everyone from health experts to style stars, food bloggers to their own juice cleanse customers. 

What does a typical day look like for you?
My day usually starts with warm lemon water, green juice and coffee and ends with a good glass of wine, but, in between those sips — anything goes!  As much as I love to create systems and order, I also dislike ruts and routines. Thankfully, our coverage of dozens of topics, brands and personalities in any given week means there is always plenty of variety in my day. On any given morning, I could be visiting a chef in their kitchen, shooting a designer’s home or rifling through our beauty closet to pull natural products for a round-up. We move at a pretty brisk pace around here, so we’re also careful to make time for relaxing walks around our sunny Santa Monica neighborhood and little trips to the health food store on our corner for kombucha, kale chips and giant bars of dark chocolate!
After hours, which can be rare (it’s far too easy as a creative to take your work home with you!) I make time for walks to the beach or a local yoga class. I’m trying to carve out more time to cook, but I also love to try the endless new array of restaurants here in LA. I try and reserve the end of the night for creative work that is non-work related.
What parts of your work do you love?
I love so much of it and I’m grateful for that! Our content mix is such a thrill for me personally: insights from holistic health experts, shoots at home with tastemakers, practical guidelines for living well and the best in natural beauty. Managing our editorial content is always interesting to our team — our content mix is really our life.
suzanne hall - the chalkboard mag - gsd - get shit done
What parts of your work do you dislike?
Although our content is always interesting — it’s overwhelming too! There are so many fascinating things happening in the world of natural health and wellness. So many small artisans, farms and brands that blow me away every day. All said and done, my email box is like a treadmill that’s difficult to get off. Keeping up with the content juggle can definitely be wearing. Another dislike: anytime I have to cross the 405 highway before nine or after 4pm.
What things do you have to do that you didn’t realize going into being the editor of The Chalkboard?
I was part of the small team that founded The Chalkboard, which is part of Pressed Juicery. In the beginning, The Chalkboard was intended to be especially useful for Pressed Juicery’s juice and juice cleanse customers. I don’t think any of us realized just how useful it would become to folks all over the place who are interested in wellness in all it’s forms! Green juice is such a gateway to a more healthy lifestyle.
What are some interesting things people probably don’t know behind the scenes of The Chalkboard?
That The Chalkboard is a part of Pressed Juicery! The Chalkboard offices are inside Pressed Juicery’s LA headquarters. Unlike most online magazines, we’ve got a whir of juice activity happening around us, which can be quite fun — our office is always stocked with a ton of juices (my favorite is Citrus 1, spicy lemonade) and new flavor tastings happen regularly.
What type of calendar do you keep?
I use Google Calendar for my day-to-day schedule, both personal and professional, I find that’s easiest, and another online calendar for our editorial schedule. I keep timers and event/shoot notes on my iPhone and iPad.
How do you plan out your calendar?
Our editorial calendar is a living organism always in flux. Story leads can come out of nowhere and make it quickly into the mix or be planned out months in advance. We’re always shifting our stories so that they fit together in the best way.
suzanne hall - the chalkboard mag - gsd - get shit done
How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?
Sometimes it seems as though my to-do list is tackling me. I keep a weekly to-do list with me in a notebook, along with a daily priorities notepad that helps to keep me focused as I juggle emails and pending content. I have a thing about processing incoming emails almost immediately — within the hour if I’m at my desk, otherwise they get lost in the fray. I also love to throw a few priorities into my Google calendar for the next day when something can’t be handled immediately.
How do you attack your never-ending email? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
I try to cc my team when possible for support, skip the inessential — which can be tough: there are so many fascinating pitches that come our way — but it’s a survival tactic. And I always star emails if there is important unfinished business in them so that I can review that batch in a snap.
Any tactics you use to manage your staff and keep them happy?
Our team is small, but incredible. Like me, they all find our content genuinely interesting, which helps! We love to lunch at local spots like Milo and Olive, visit a few spas nearby like ShapeHouse and take mini-breaks to get some sun when mornings get extra crazy. Humor is always useful too — sometimes we catch ourselves deep in conversation about a superfood or the best colonic in LA and can’t help but laugh at ourselves.
What is your process and/or work strategy? Anything that you have found that works for you?
I like to move at a fast pace. A phrase I refer to often is ‘just touch it once’ — if I read an email, I respond — provide interview questions, request assets, whatever the need may be, right away. If I schedule a meeting, I make notes for that meeting right there and then. It clears up a lot of mental clutter for me and I can move on without simply elongating my to-do list as the day goes on.
suzanne hall - the chalkboard mag - gsd - get shit done
Do you have any rituals or routines you do?
Nothing out of the ordinary. Green juice and coffee are definitely a part of my daily rhythm, plus a cocktail of whatever Chinese herbs and superfoods I’m eating from day-to-day. Usually a series of shots: alkaline minerals, adaptogeic herbs, probiotics and raw apple cider vinegar.
How do you GSD at home?
I love to plan and make lists — but I’ve also learned the value of tackling just a few emotionally high-value tasks immediately without killing it with list-making. It’s amazing how many high-value small tasks you can accomplish in 20 minutes when you set your mind to it: schedule a friend date, fix your mani, a couple of vinyasa flows, order new stationery and kiss your husband — major accomplishments!
Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?
The power of subtraction — getting rid of the inessential. There are only so many hours in the day, so you’ve got to invest your time wisely.
APPS — Instagram addict. I sometimes post 4 times a day which is super-annoying. Because of said over-listing and over-calendaring I avoid additional apps and org tools like the plague!

WEBSITES — The Chalkboard, of course. I love following my favorite sites and people on Instagram. On Pinterest, anything from Kinfolk to Cereal Mag, food52, C Magazine, Spirit Beauty Lounge.

GADGETS/TECH — iPad. iPhone. Love notebooks by Moleskine and Sugar Paper. Japanese stationery and kitchen accessories as desk accessories.
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GSD (get shit done): A weekly column featuring busy business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and CEOs and how they get shit done. Meg also writes articles with helpful ways to get shit done. Tell us how you GSD on twitter by tagging #GSD and @megbiram.