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About Us

Julie Daniel founded Personal Best in 2001 as a consultancy and training company specialising in people development. Since then the company has grown to become a team of three expert trainers and coaches and now exclusively offers its own unique brand of personal productivity training that works.

We are based in Ashford, Surrey. We specialise in the field of personal productivity, with clients ranging from large businesses to the staff and proprietors of small and medium-sized businesses and to private individuals funding their own development.

Many of our clients see our courses as a springboard for business or career enhancement, enabling people to improve their work performance and keep a clearer mind, while avoiding traditional problems such as stress and burnout. Our approach is both intellectually robust and very practical, as we address the overarching concepts and principles of productivity, desirable behaviours and habits, and the choice and set-up of equipment.

What else sets us apart?

  • A range of person-to-person learning formats using world-class methods
  • Small company flexibility in meeting clients' real needs
  • The physical proximity we offer to many of our clients
  • Our trainers' and coaches' significant background in the world of work
  • Deep knowledge of a range of relevant technology
  • Expertise in relating personal productivity to other major themes of business thinking

To discuss how Personal Best can enhance your or your team's productivity, please do get in touch.


Julie first became interested in personal productivity training in 1999 when she was working for a major investment bank as a senior manager with responsibility for executive development across Europe. The rumour was that there was a 'time management guru' in the US doing things that actually worked. That man was David Allen and Julie invited him over to the London office. There began a fruitful partnership.

Meanwhile, Julie introduced her husband, James, to David's methods and James tried them out for himself. Seems that not only did they work for busy investment bankers, they worked for project management professionals too.

In 2001 David Allen's book Getting Things Done was published. In the same year, Personal Best was founded offering a range of people development services, and later that year Julie was trained and accredited to coach GTD (as the Getting Things Done approach became known). Demand grew steadily to the point where GTD became Personal Best's exclusive focus. Having also been trained and accredited by the David Allen Company, James then joined Personal Best as a GTD coach. Personal Best went on to deliver GTD training and coaching in the UK until late 2008.

The Personal Best team has grown as demand for our training has increased: in 2006 Vanessa Kettner joined the company as a productivity coach.

Personal Best has been an independent business since 2008 and we now deliver our own unique brand of personal productivity training that works, inspired by the principles of GTD and incorporating our own learning methods honed by our experience of working with some of the most effective people and most prestigious organisations in the UK and abroad. We love to work in a face-to-face format but since the pandemic, we also offer our workshops and coaching online so we can use whichever formats work best for our clients.

Almost all of our business comes by word of mouth referral as clients spread the word about the huge improvements they have seen from working with us, both individually and organisationally.

To date Personal Best has served clients in government, education and the charity sector as well as major businesses in many parts of the private sector including:

  • retail financial services

  • investment banking

  • consultancy

  • oil & gas exploration

  • property

  • private equity

  • insurance

  • hi-tech manufacturing

  • law

  • travel

  • telecoms

  • executive recruitment

  • media

  • retail

  • utilities

We have also worked with a wide variety of individuals and small business owners who work with us as a way to equip themselves for bigger and better things to come.