The Inside Out Philosophy

You don’t have to change who you are to become organized.


Inside Out Vs. Outside In

Cookie-cutter approaches to productivity and organization don't work. They're too rigid. People are unique and complex; each individual requires a unique system to organize their unique world. When people try to organize from the outside in—with strict rules and a limited set of tools—they end up feeling even more frustrated than before. A truly productive and fulfilling life is made possible when you design day-to-day systems around your personality, natural habits, and goals.

An Inside Out approach starts with an in-depth analysis to understand your goals, challenges and history. Then it's time to assess your current systems to understand what's working, what's not and why. Finally, you design a customized plan of action to achieve your goals. 

Want to learn how to build your own life from the Inside Out? Start by picking up one of Julie's books!

INside Out Principles

The Inside Out philosophy is based on the profoundly simple idea that an effective approach to organization and time management begins with the individual. Here are the implications of that idea that became the tenets of Julie’s groundbreaking and enduring philosophy.

  • Each person is an individual with a unique contribution to make.
  • Organized systems can bring out your unique contribution, while disorder can prevent you from making it.
  • Organizing systems involve life skills many of us are not taught.
  • Everybody is organized in some aspect of their lives. Recognize where you are organized and start there.
  • Never fix what isn't broken. It's important to accurately identify what you want and what's getting in your way.
  • Always start in the place with the least difficulty and the highest potential impact. We are all motivated by a sense of accomplishment!

Julie uses Inside Out principles in her speaking engagements, corporate training workshops, coaching clinics, and work with private clients.

The Inside Out story

Inside Out emerged out of decades of work in the trenches of people's everyday lives. As America’s Organizing Queen submerged herself in the worlds of diverse clients—from Type A executives and high-profile celebrities to free-spirited teenagers and stressed-out parents—she saw that every person faced a unique set of overwhelming challenges. 

Many clients had begun to believe there was something wrong with them. Why else would they still struggle with something as “basic” as organizing their desk? Others believed they must be lacking the perfect tool or, more often, enough willpower.

Julie’s method is the best I’ve seen for getting from the amorphous goals to the daily to do’s on a calendar.
— Angela Hoxsey, House in Order

Through hundreds of unique stories, a single pattern emerged: Every person was struggling to build a system that worked for them. Julie saw the need to articulate a solution to the problem of disorganization that was easy to understand, simple to implement, and flexible enough to address the endless variations in goals and challenges that people work with everyday. 

This kind of challenge could only be answered by a collaboration between right- and left-brain thinking, a fusion of psychological insights and practical skills. Long before life coaches became ubiquitous, before corporations started talking about “wellness” at weekly meetings, Julie saw the need for a holistic approach to creating order in our lives.

After incubating for 15 years, the Julie’s philosophy was first articulated in Organizing from the Inside Out, originally published in 1998. Two years later, Time Management from the Inside Out proved that the very same principles could create organized schedules and a better relationship with time. Julie has since used the Inside Out philosophy to effectively address a range of topics in the workplace and at home, from productivity and leadership to work-life balance and parenting.

Interested in telling the Inside Out story? Contact us to interview Julie or check out past press.