Q + A with Molly Spratt and a Lesson in Bullet Journaling
J A N U A R Y 8 , 2 0 1 8
For many months I have lurked around Instagram, taking note of Legislative Director Molly Spratt's personal posts on bullet journaling throughout the year. I'm always impressed with how Texas Capitol staffers juggle all of their ever-changing tasks - this bullet journaling thing was a completely foreign idea to me and seems like an interesting take on mastering the to-do list.
I for one keep THREE separate journals or written agendas in addition to to my outlook and google calendars. Yes. Three. One large "work diary" that I record everything from my daily work life in (yes, like have a heart attack when you leave it in an Uber in Dever, everything) another larger calendar and planner for the various volunteer projects I work on - including this blog, and finally a third smaller notebook for personal to-dos that stays in my purse at all times. I'm not exactly proud of myself, but my name is Amy and I'm addicted to paper and lists.
So as you can imagine, I was ecstatic when Molly agreed to draft a post for Pink Granite on how journaling her days works for her. She specifically dives into a guide for those working around the Texas Capitol. I've broken this post into two sections for ease in navigation down the line.
We'll begin here with a brief Q & A with Molly about the nature of her work, how she became interested in policy and who she looks up to around the Capitol. If you don't know Miss Spratt she is a bright smile of a person, professional, savvy and one I imagine will be around quite some time if she so chooses. I'm so thrilled to be given the opportunity to learn from her today! Be sure to scroll to the bottom to view her complete guide to bullet journaling, or jump straight to that here.
Where do you work, what is your title and what does your job actually entail?
I am the Legislative Director for State Representative Dan Huberty. I am responsible for managing the Chairman's extensive legislative package. Last session, my focus was split between municipal annexation reform and public school finance. My responsibilities include drafting legislation, legal research, meeting with lobbyists, stakeholders, and constituents, managing casework, and advising the Chairman on potential and current legislation. Aside from serving as Rep. Huberty's Legislative Director, I also work with the House Committee on Public Education to help ensure that the committee runs smoothly.
How long have you been performing this work in office?
I have been working with Rep. Huberty since the beginning of the 83rd session (2013). I began as an un-paid, part-time intern, and I since worked my way up the chain. During the 84th Legislature, I served as a Legislative Aide, focusing on State Affairs and regulatory issues. I was promoted to LD in the fall leading up to the 85th Legislature.
"I really look up to the women around me..."
Where are you from?
I'm a Navy Brat, so the real answer is "nowhere." I spent my “formative” (read: awkward) years in a suburb of Atlanta: Marietta, Georgia, but I am lucky enough to have spent most of my years in Texas. I graduated high school from Clark High School in San Antonio. Then, when I moved to Austin for college, I stayed put, and I now call Austin, "home."
What did you study in college and where did you attend school?
I attended The University of Texas at Austin. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in French.
How did you get your start in policy OR politics?
My passion for policy began in high school, when I started on my Model United Nations ("MUN") team. We traveled the country, competing against students from all over the world. It was an absolute blast. As I transitioned into my college career, I got involved with Central Texas Model United Nations, a club where university students put on a conference for high school students, and TexMUN, the University's college-level competition team. Subsequently, it became well known to most of my friends outside of the MUN world that I was a policy-junkie.
Then, one evening in my sorority house, I heard an excited scream from across the hall. I ran over to see what was happening, and a friend of mine, Carolyn Webb, had just received her acceptance to go teach English in Japan. This meant she was vacating her internship at the Texas Capitol. After a few days, she approached me and asked if I would give her my resume, so that she could recommend me for her replacement. I obliged, applied, and got an internship with State Rep. Mark Shelton during the interim of the 82nd Legislature. I've been around ever since.
I've been in and around the Capitol now for over five years, and I have been lucky to have many mentors over the years. I really look up to the women around me; the two that really stick out in my mind are Maggie Irwin and Bonnie Bruce (find Pink Granite's interview with Bonnie here).
What is the most rewarding part of your current job? Biggest challenge?
The most rewarding part about my job is that I’m lucky enough to work on policy that I’m truly passionate about.
The biggest challenge of my job is that politics can get in the way of policy. It can be difficult to work day-in and day-out on a bill, just to watch it do a complete 180 in one of the chambers while I sit in my office, helpless. It's humbling, and it's often exercise in disappointment. However, there's always next session… or amendments.
"The most rewarding part about my job is that I’m lucky enough to work on policy that I’m truly passionate about."
You can have dinner with anyone, living or dead - who and why?
I'd love to share a meal (and a good bottle of wine) with Pablo Picasso. He depicted politics as an art form, and used his art as a form of commentary and involvement. Also, simply, he's one of my favorite artists.
What’s always in your bag during session?
My black book (duh) and my favorite pens, my apple watch, my badge, my keys, and my business cards.
Favorite place for a business lunch?
Cipollina. It's quiet.
Favorite place to get your news?
Favorite political TV show/movie?
12 Angry Men. (Does that count?)
Favorite social media apps?
Can I say Spotify? If not, Instagram.
If you weren’t in your current role you’d definitely be a ____________.
Finally, Molly has provided us her in-depth tips for staying organized during legislative session:
I've linked to the full post here, for easy in loading and for managing future navigation on the site. You can also click the image below for the full guide.
Thanks again to Molly for sharing her knowledge with Pink Granite readers. You can connect to Molly via LinkedIn here.
Also, be sure to visit the Bullet Journaling page linked above and enter to win your own copy of the Bullet Journal!