An Edited LIfe by Anna Newton
I'm a little iffy on self-help books as I find most of the time them to be shallow or overly generic platitudes. There's no action...just talk about action in the abstract.
On the other side, I'm all in for organizing books, shows, vlogs, etc. I will follow professional organizers on instagram in a heartbeat. I love that crap. I have a whole "want to buy" list of organizing books. It's a (tidy) problem.
I got this book without knowing who Anna Newton was...but in fact, I'm familiar with her already. Her blog has come across my computer screen a few times. It's The Anna Edit. It's a lifestyle, travel, fashion etc. website curated by Anna Newton. While I enjoy some of the content (the organizing stuff really), I'm on the other end of the spectrum with fashion (I don't think neutrals make up more than 10% of my wardrobe) or makeup (no seriously...I love color and drama) or home decor (Anna likes a minimalist neutral theme). Her book fulfills me in ways the website cannot.
Title: An Edited Life: Simple Steps to Streamlining Your Life, at Work, and At Home
Author: Anna Newton
Page Number: 256 (hardcover)
Genre: nonfiction, self help, reference
Publisher: Quadrille Publishing, an imprint of Hardie Grant Books
Declutter every aspect of your life -- from your wardrobe to your phone-- with this realistic guide to getting neat and keeping things that way.
We've all tried to declutter, and given up halfway through, only to be haunted by a half-tidied cupboard for months at a time. Anna Newton knows that feeling too, and what's more, she's found a way to help. Lean how to make that digital detox last; how to craft a capsule wardrobe without a black blazer or skinny jeans, and above all, how to find the right amount of stuff for you, because we can't all be Marie Kondo, can we?
I'll be honest, this book doesn't really have anything "new." If you're already in deep with organizing or minimalist type lifestyle, you won't learn much here. This book is perfect for beginners or anyone who's just dipping a toe in and might feel overwhelmed. Anna breaks things down by subjects, then sub-subjects. It's great for that.
I think this book's positives come from being written by someone who is self-employed. If you work from home or are self-employed, hours or seasonal business will be different than a typical 9-to-5. I work from home most days, and it can get lonely and a bit demoralizing. Before the end times (i.e. the pandemic), I'd make an effort to go out. I might eat at off hours, grocery shop at off hours, do Pilates with retirees...but it cured by restlessness...especially if I had to pull odd hours to make the time difference work (my company was European based at the time). Anna talks a bit about how to structure your day in a better way than I do mine.
Who eats lunch at 3:30? Me. I do. There's no line and I can have any table I want.
Anna talks about mental health in regards to lifestyle and work. Budgeting, cleaning, wardrobe maintenance, and cooking.
The book is mostly text, although there are charts, graphs, how-tos, etc. The color scheme is stunning. I love the navy and gold cover. The inside print is black with a light green secondary color.
The only issue is the third color. It's the mint green color (as seen in the lower box, left page, above picture). On it's on, mint is a great color. I really like it to be honest. It's not working in the book though. It is hard to read. It's hard to read in the dark, in the dusk, and in the normal light (I tried all of them). So the little mint green boxes are difficult.
The book is visually pleasing though. Just, sometimes the lightest color is impossible.
The book is divided into three main sections. The first is "Life", which deals with topics like planning (agenda, digital, etc), budgeting, healthy habits, etc.
I thought the budgeting section was great. It's in GBP (pounds) but the idea is the same no matter what currency you use. Anna puts examples and lays out how to budget, how to allocate categories, and how to save money. I helped a number of my friends budget in college and I'm familiar with many methods. I like the "envelope method" for me. Except I don't use envelopes...it's all digital divided (with one account) where I divvy up the monthly budget into percentages. It changes all the time depending on if I'm saving money for a reason (ex: Invisalign, makeup, trips, presents, stock purchase) or in general (retirement, long term savings, emergency fund). I always give myself a "oh, why not" category for anything small, like a snickers, drinks with friends, book purchase, etc.).
The second section is "Work" and the third section is "Home." Home is full of organizing and cleaning tid-bits. Work dealt with topics like, healthy office habits, how to set up an at-home work station (something I'm working on), and how to deal with procrastination.
Anna's page on the book
Publisher downloads from the book (i.e. budgeting, capsule wardrobe, weekly planner, meal planner, fitness routine)
Interview with Anna for Fold Magazine
Youtube channel: below
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