Archive for September 24, 2013

Is There a Difference Between a Personal Concierge and a Personal Assistant?

personal-assistant-service1-300x226A Personal Concierge is a trusted individual who basically achieves lifestyle management for their clients. We are problem-solvers who know how to get anything done, quickly and professionally. People want/need things done but just don’t have the time and are willing to pay someone to get these services done for them effectively and efficiently so that they can focus on more significant issues in their lives such as their career or being able to spend more time with their family. Some need help decluttering and organizing while others can manage those tasks but can’t manage the abundance of errands and/or waiting for contractors, etc.

According to Sara-Ann Kasner, president and founder of the National Concierge Association, “The concierge business is exploding right now. There has been tremendous growth”.

A Personal Assistant or PA is one who assists in daily business and personal tasks relating to that business. He/she will provide services to manage their employer’s requests; one who assists in daily business or personal tasks for their employer whether it be an administrative assignment or life management tasks, including running errands or other activities. Frequently, they will be asked to pick-up cleaning, make vacation plans, pick-up children from school, etc. This position is great for those who love to be on the go, and hate glaring at a computer screen all day. It is not unusual for a Personal Assistant to help high-level executives with day-to-day operations and the navigation of their schedule.

A Personal Assistant usually works for one person and may be available to them 24 hours per day. A Personal Concierge will have a number of clients who they provide services for weekly, a few hours at a time. It is more likely that a Personal Concierge will deal less with office work and more with helping manage personal lives, although there are certainly requests for administrative services, especially in home offices.



The Birth of Judie Kaplan Personal Concierge

I liken the reinvention of this time in my life to rebirth. While recuperating from a serious surgery with time to ponder my future, I had an epiphany while speaking with my elder son. He was sharing with me the need to overhaul his closet; to declutter and organize. It occurred to me that not only could I assist him with this task but that I could also be of benefit to others as this was a marketable skill that I possessed. Keeping that in mind, I decided to reinvent myself and open a personal concierge business after spending 35 years in the healthcare industry as a healthcare administrator. I purchased a book, the bible for the Personal Concierge industry, “Fab Job Guide to Become a Personal Concierge” and the rest is history. At 69 years old, I incorporated my selected name, Judie Kaplan Personal Concierge, and from there, I relentlessly did what it took to grow my business. Extensive marketing, joining organizations, learning and entrenching myself in social media and the like, volunteering, having a website built and later even blogging have demonstrated skills that even astonished me. The list goes on and on. With no real experience, the education was hands-on which made it even more rewarding.

I now have a viable business, one and a half years later, serving Westchester County. My mission is to help make life easier for people and give them a sense of independence. I aspire to be readily available to meet the demand of my clients and to ease their time burden with reliability, discretion and caring.

I invite you to visit my website,, to further learn of the services that I provide.

I have never felt more fulfilled and content. My life has a purpose! Helping folks who are aging-in-place; providing lifestyle management for the busy two- income family or single parent are the most rewarding moments of my being!

Thank you to my son who unknowingly turned me into a new person.


Are you Ready for Back-to-School?


Hopefully you have had a restorative summer and are prepared for back-to-school. For most parents, the new school year involves changes in routine and adjustments, sometimes one or both are challenging.

The goal is to ensure that life runs as smoothly as possible. Below are a few back to school organizing tips that might resonate with you.

Your school calendar placed in a central location is a good start. Incorporate that into your work calendar so that planning is made easy. This can then be transferred onto a shared calendar online so that “everyone is on the same page”. Jot down all the meetings, back-to-school nights, sports schedules/events, etc. Anything that is going to impact you and/or your family should be written down. Do this as soon as possible!

Schedule vacations and time off. Once you have had the chance to examine the school holidays, early dismissals, school trips, etc. that affect you, put in your time-off requests. Those times are commonly requested by other working parents so you want to make certain that you get your request in as soon as possible.

Stock up on extra supplies so that you don’t have to make mad dashes after a long day at work for that report cover that you child needs for the next day.

Provide back-up lunch money. Stick money in your child’s backpack in the beginning of the school year so that in the event that he/she forgot their lunchbox, they have the option of buying lunch.

Clear the clutter. It’s always a good idea to check your child’s backpack every day or so and purge school papers. If something is important, save it and file it. If not, toss it.

Place a bin by the door for necessary items for that day i.e. gym shoes, instrument on music day, show-and-tell items, snacks, clothing, etc.

Family conference. A ten minute meeting once a week is an ideal manner in which to share the plans for the week so that there are no schedule clashes. Discuss who has what going on!

Savor your children and have a wonderful, safe school year!