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Birth of the Most Organised Mother Diary

Alison Deary’s need to organise her life and family resulted in a solution that’s helped people from all walks get on top of theirs through Most Organised Mother Diary.

Nadine Todd




Vital Stats

Two of the most basic and effective start-up tips are ‘do what you know’ and ‘solve a need’. First, because you don’t want to be venturing into completely unknown territory; and second, if it drives you crazy and you’re looking for a solution, chances are, there are other people out there just like you, who are looking for the same solution.

When Alison Deary launched Most Organised Mother Diary in 2010, she ticked both those boxes.

“I’ve always been a very organised person, but five men at home seriously put that to the test,” she says.

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“All four of my boys were in different schools at the time – pre-primary, primary, high-school and college – and keeping their schedules straight was becoming a full-time job. I needed everything in one diary – kids, work and goal setting.”

Like any true entrepreneur, Deary found that what she was looking for didn’t exist, and so she created her own.

Getting organised

“I had a very clear system: I needed space to set up all the information I’d need for the year, including ID numbers, cell numbers, PUK numbers, birthdays, even when each of the kids got sick. Any information I’d need to fill in forms.

“I then needed a goals page, and an area where I could plan high priority but low urgency tasks – the tasks that often get ignored because of more pressing, but less important tasks.

“A third section is to reflect on the previous year – what worked and what didn’t? What should I be taking into the new year?

“I would then review my priorities on a month by month basis, so I needed an opening page at the beginning of each month with any goals or tasks that had to be completed that month. This is separate from daily to-do lists. I’ve found that if you include your top priorities in your daily to-do lists, they get ignored in favour of the simpler and more urgent tasks, and they just end up getting rewritten into each new list, and never completed.

“Finally, I wanted follow-up blocks throughout the month – what have I actioned that I need feedback for before I can continue?” Having established what she needed her yearly planner to look like, Deary created her own.

wonderfully organised women Journals

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Turning a solution into a business

At the time, Deary had sold her book-keeping business and invested in a start-up. Unfortunately, the business faced a number of challenges, and liquidated within a year.

“I needed a plan, and quickly. I reviewed my expertise, my background and what I had at my disposal – and realised that I’d inadvertently created an incredible product for myself that other mothers would find useful: My diary. I had experience in running a business, and I was determined to make a go of it.”

As with any start-up, there were challenges. Diaries are traditionally viewed as freebies from corporates, so Deary has had to convince her target market to spend money on a superior product. She also decided to monetise through advertising revenue in addition to cover sales, although the lead times associated with advertising sales has meant going to print later than she would like.

Matching products to needs

Over the past five years, the business has grown, and her products have diversified, largely because she’s paying close attention to what people need.

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“At first, I created A4 planners, because that’s what I used. I very quickly got feedback from mothers that they needed A5 planners with time slots, so the following year I introduced these.”

Deary has also recognised that mothers, women who aren’t mothers, entrepreneurs and students all have different organisational needs, and so she’s created different planners to match their specific requirements under the ‘Sorted’ trademark.

“We also have plans to develop an app, because people are either paper-based or electronic, and I want to tap into all aspects of the market,” says Deary, as she continues on her quest to help the world become more organised, reach its goals, and be a little less stressed in the process.

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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