By Kate Frachon

Dani DiPirro, Founder of Positively Present, Answers “What’s In Your Bag?”


Tell us who you are and what you do. Hi! I’m Dani DiPirro, author, illustrator, and founder of PositivelyPresent.com. Since 2009, I’ve dedicated myself to helping people around the world (and myself!) live more positive, present, and self-loving lives. It started out as a simple personal growth blog and has since blossomed into books, planners, […]

Tell us who you are and what you do.

Hi! I’m Dani DiPirro, author, illustrator, and founder of PositivelyPresent.com. Since 2009, I’ve dedicated myself to helping people around the world (and myself!) live more positive, present, and self-loving lives. It started out as a simple personal growth blog and has since blossomed into books, planners, workbooks, and even a design business, where I use my skills as a graphic designer and illustrator to help my clients create uplifting content.

What are some must-haves that you carry in your bag?

When it comes to my bag, my must-haves are mostly digital devices — my iPhone, iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil come with me almost everywhere, just in case inspiration strikes! I also make sure to have my wallet, a Baggu bag on hand for any impromptu purchases, my Elsa Peretti keychain (that I received for my sixteenth birthday and miraculously still have!), a Maybelline Baby Lips (for my inner child), and usually whatever book I’m reading (currently: David Sedaris’s Theft By Finding). I typically have some sort of flair on my bag, too, like this Dog Mom pin by Five15!

What has been the proudest moment of your career?

The proudest moment of my career was certainly the day I signed my first book deal for The Positively Present Guide to Life. Since the day learned to write, I knew I wanted to be a writer and to sign that contract and know that a life-long dream was coming true was certainly one of the proudest moments I’ve experienced. Being featured in ELLE magazine as “Coach of the Month” was pretty high up on the list, too!  

Do you have a favorite outfit or accessory that you wear when you want to feel confident or successful?

Since I work from home and spend about 90% of my time in sweatpants, any time I put on a pair of regular pants, I feel pretty damn confident. But if I’m meeting with a client (or really trying to boost my mood!), I’ll get extra fancy and put on a blazer. A blazer always says “business” and it somehow makes even my t-shirt-and-jeans vibe seem more pulled together.  

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

If I could give my younger self career advice it would be this: don’t ignore your creative impulses. Writing has always been my passion — and perhaps even what I best at — but since launching Positively Present and taking some design courses, I’ve realized that my creativity expands well beyond that.

For years (even as I was working as a designer and illustrator!), I didn’t consider myself an artist because I hadn’t gone to school for it (I studied English in undergrad and Gender in graduate school). But the further along I get in my career, the more I realize that the path isn’t a straight line. Creativity is fluid and if you’re using creativity in one skillset, you might find you have additional talents elsewhere. It took me a while to be open to the idea that I didn’t have to just be a writer.

What’s one of your favorite techniques for getting things done?

For me, getting things done is all about lists. I seriously don’t know how people who aren’t list-keepers do it. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it for sure. Plus, there is something so satisfying about checking something off once you’ve completed the task. (I use GoodNotes on my iPad so I have everything saved digitally, but also have the joy that comes with writing — and crossing off! — a physical list).

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

The best career advice I’ve ever received goes hand-in-hand with the career advice I’d give my younger self: don’t limit yourself. You might be really great at one thing, but that doesn’t have to be the only thing you do.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given many creative opportunities early on in my career when I didn’t have much experience (like helping to design the Spark Planner — the precursor to Ink+Volt — and the Every Day Matters diary), and through those opportunities I was able to experience the benefits of taking the advice I’d received, staying open to new things and pushing myself outside of my writing comfort zone.