The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 12 – Developing Systems to Work Smarter, Save Money & Live Better with Sarah Oates

Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by 15 Comments

Editorial Note: We may earn a commission when you visit links on our website.
The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 12 – Developing Systems to Work Smarter, Save Money & Live Better with Sarah Oates
Blog / Community / The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 12 – Developing Systems to Work Smarter, Save Money & Live Better with Sarah Oates
Play Button

In this episode of Divi Nation, the official Divi podcast, I sat down with Sarah Oates, our very first guest from Australia! Sarah is a web designer who over the years has had to develop certain systems, habits, rituals, and the like to optimize both her work and life. We talk about the necessity of these systems for freelancers and how someone might go about developing the right ones for themselves.

Divi Nation Episode 12: Developing Systems to Work Smarter, Save Money & Live Better with Sarah Oates


Sarah is a talented and hard working freelance web designer with a great story. Being drawn to design and the web through related work and interests it gradually became the primary passion and pursuit of her professional life. The transition wasn’t easy, of course, with two kids and two jobs to contend with but after pushing through those challenges she has gained valuable experience and insight to share with the whole community. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Also, if you’d like to make sure you can easily watch or listen to future episodes of Divi Nation, please take a moment and use one of the subscription options we’ve provided below.

Subscribe To Our Youtube Channel

All Subscription Options:

This Week in WordPress 10

In this edition of This Week in WordPress, guest host Sarah Oates and I talk about getting things done, artificial intelligent personal assistants, and making room for serendipity in a busy schedule.

Developing Systems to Work Smarter, Save Money & Live Better with Sarah Oates

In this Divi Nation interview, I sat down with web designer Sarah Oates to talk about the habits, rituals, and systems she’s developed and implemented over the years to work smarter, save money, and live better.

The book I mentioned and recommended is called The Power of Full Engagement. It’s all about maximizing your energy to get more done in less time. It’s a great read and I couldn’t recommend it higher.

Divi Quick Tip: How to Create Modules That Overlap Sections

In this Divi Quick Tip we show you how to create a module that appears to overlap two sections. This is perfect for achieving that “broken grid” effect and adding another level of novelty to a Divi built page.

Use the code below to follow along:

.section-overlap:before {
.cta-overlap {

Production Notes

As always, below is the list of the software and gear used to create Divi Nation.

I spent a great deal of time this last week with my H6 zoom and its boom attachment, trying to get the best sound quality out of them. I spent just as much time after that in Adobe Audition looking for the best combination of audio effects and processes to apply to the recordings I made.

For that particular mic the best settings on the H6 ended up being a lo cut filter of 115Hz, a vocal compression, and RAW file recording at 48kHz/24bit. In Adobe Audition I then applied a parametric equalizer, normalization, dynamic compression, and vocal enhancement.

In the end I think the sound quality of the scenes in front of the backdrop are actually much better than they were before, but still not up to the level of quality I’d like. As a result we’ve made the decision to get a new mic. Specifically, the Rode NTG4 PLUS Shotgun Mic.

Since I record these episodes at least a week in advance, I’m happy to report that I’ve already received the new mic and run several sound tests with it. The audio quality is a big step up and I can’t wait to share the results with you in episodes 14 & 15.

If you have any production related thoughts or questions, please feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below. I love to talk shop 🙂

Nominate Our Next Co-Host!

We are looking for Divi enthusiasts to co-host Divi Nation each week. If you are interested in sharing your experience with the Divi community, be sure to submit your application below so that we can get in touch! Or, if there is someone else you’d like to see featured on the show, please take a moment to nominate them so that we can reach out to them.

Apply/Nominate a Divi Nation Co-Host


Want To Build Better WordPress Websites? Start Here! 👇

Take the first step towards a better website.

Get Started
Premade Layouts

Check Out These Related Posts

Divi Community Update: Q1 2024

Divi Community Update: Q1 2024

Posted on April 11, 2024 in Community

Happy Spring, DiviFam! 🌷 It’s been a while since I updated our Divi community with meetup happenings, so get ready to be turbo-updated. From Mega Meetups to your friendly Divi DFW regularly scheduled virtual meetups, a lot has happened. Our Divi community is buzzing with excitement and...

View Full Post
Divi Goes to WordCamp Asia 2024 (Community Update)

Divi Goes to WordCamp Asia 2024 (Community Update)

Posted on March 24, 2024 in Community

It’s Tuesday afternoon local time, and I’m sitting in the coolest coffee shop in Taipei, reflecting on the week. This was my first WordCamp Asia and my first time in the continent of Asia. Now, this was not my first WordCamp. In fact, this was my 52nd. 😳 But being it was my first...

View Full Post


  1. Another great podcast! I am really going to pay more attention to my routines moving forward in 2016. Thanks for sharing Sarah.

    • Thanks Tammy 🙂

  2. Best podcast episode so far. Sarah is inspiration and present practical topics in light way. I like all podcast episodes, conception and the way you do it Nathan. Keep up good work.
    Thank you.

    • Wow, thanks Gaura 🙂 So glad to make your top list.

    • Thanks Gaura!

  3. Sarah, I really enjoyed your podcast. I admire your intelligence and gusto.

    I started learning web design with Dreamweaver years ago to make sites for my small business. I made one site, and then was ready to give up making sites due to the amount of heartache and time and effort it took to make a site back in 2010.

    In 2012, an acquaintance told me about WordPress and I started looking around, trying to understand the scope of what it would take to make another site. Was with iTh*mes for a year, and thank them for helping me get my head around all needed to put up a quality site.

    Like you, I investigated a ton of themes, etc. I got G*nesis themes lifetime membership, and tried the basic theme, but it was too hard to modify. iTh*emes got me investigating the word “builder,” and so I encountered elegantthemes in January, 2015.

    When Divi 2.4 came out, I was astounded at the power and beauty of it.

    I went back to the man who’d first told me about WordPress and told him he changed my life with that one word, WordPress.

    I can’t imagine using anything other than Divi for my future projects. I see a bright future using Divi to help my businesses, and others! Thank you.

    • Thanks Jeffrey. Its such a big journey isn’t it. Funny how many different ways so many of us have made our way to using Divi. Glad to hear you’re back in the design game 🙂

  4. Nathan,

    I second Paul’s enthusiastic response!!! I’ve been Divi Nation bingeing for the last week and just now got through all or your podcasts. I listen while I do the dishes, NOW how am I going to get the dishes done??? Only once a week 🙁

    I’m delighted and stunned and blessed and empowered by the guests and topics you’ve been putting together. It is exactly the information I need…I’ve been a dedicated DIVI user for my web design business for a year now and had no idea there were facebook groups or classes or marketplaces. I knew that DIVI was special and dropped Joomla as soon as I finished my first wordpress site with it, but it just gets better and better.

    The support, the blog, the community. Big shout out to the entire operation. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m so so thankful. I think I have a glimpse of the big picture, yet I’m still blown away by the resources for the cost.

    Your podcast is also my first podcast experience. I’ve been so inspired by your presentations and the information that I went hunting for others thinking I’d been missing out. But yours is absolutely the best…nothing else compares. Thank you thank you!

    Question: is the book you recommended: “The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal” ?


    • I’m so with you Melissa, love getting to listen each week and will be missing it a lot over the Christmas break!

    • Hey Melissa, thank you so much. I’m so glad you like the show and it’s something you look forward to. I’m honored 🙂 And yes, that’s the book!

  5. Thanks Nathan and Sarah!

    I want to second Paul’s comment about how valuable this podcast is and how much it has helped me as I develop my own business. It is the one thing I receive in my inbox that I make sure I watch every week!

    In the online design/marketing space there are so many plastic-y ‘experts’ that turn me off and your guests (and you!) seem very authentic and approachable. Just real people who have figured some stuff out. I can really relate to your experiences and am learning a ton.

    It was inspiring to hear Sarah’s journey as a self-taught designer. I have a background in non-profits too and have been grateful for the many opportunities to learn out of sheer necessity.

    Looking forward to more 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth! Yeah I cut my teeth in production work and design at a non-profit too. When the need is great things get done one way or another and a lot of learning happens, haha.

  6. Hey Nathan,

    Absolutely fantastic podcast. The whole journey of your guests is just fantastic. It’s not about Divi, it’s about people like me that just happen to use Divi.

    The podcast is 100% helping my own business and gives me a motivational boost every week. We are blessed to work in such a fantastic and exciting industry, but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut from time to time. Listening to the stories and ideas is so great.

    Sarah – Huge respect balancing your time and spinning all those plates while running your business and forcing through those processes. That’s my theme for 2015… processes.

    Good job the both of you. And all the past guests too.

    I’d pay for this podcast – it’s that good.


    • Thanks Paul. 🙂 I certainly don’t always get the balance right, but I just keep on chopping and changing my methods as I go striving to get it a little better along the way. Can’t wait to see what new processes I come across in 2016!

    • Hey Paul, thank you very much for the kind words. I’ll continue to work hard on the podcast every week 🙂

Leave A Reply

Comments are reviewed and must adhere to our comments policy.

Get Started With Divi