About Exceptional EA

Welcome to Exceptional EA

I publish Exceptional EA as a resource for administrative professionals – one that’s read in more than a hundred countries. I also write for Lucy Brazier’s Executive Secretary Magazine and the International Association of Administrative Professionals’ (IAAP’s) IAAP Edge. You’re not an admin. professional, but you turn to Exceptional EA for travel, food or other inspiration? You’re in good company, and you are also welcome here. Click here for our Privacy policy.

Keyboard Copyright Shelagh DonnellyWhy aspire to being less than exceptional?
Not many aim for average but, in the absence of thoughtful focus, that’s what can happen. I launched Exceptional EA in summer 2013 as a resource for administrative professionals who strive to perform at a high level. Based in Vancouver, Canada, I write for an impressive and international following.

Shelagh circa 1990Who is Exceptional EA?
 My name is Shelagh Donnelly, and you can learn more about me by clicking here. Although I’ve been promoted from the role of EA to another management position, I write from more than a couple of decades’ experience. In fact, I was refining my administrative skills years before this photo was taken – and it’s sheer coincidence that those dark locks are now primarily silver, as you’ll see on my About page. 


Real people, and real careers – That’s right. In my Real Careers feature, I interview high performing admin. professionals from around the globe, and they share career strategies and glimpses into their worlds. If you’re interested in time management, career growth or professional associations and networks, you’ll want to read each new interview.

Follow the Real Careers drop-down menu to hear from counterparts in 23 countries to date: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mauritius, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, the USA and Wales. See how your worlds compare.

Travel the world with me – There’s much more to life than work, isn’t there? I love to travel, and share my experiences.  

Count on image-rich hotel reviews and articles that are helpful for both corporate and personal travel planning.

Explore stories and tips by country under the Travel drop-down menu.



Develop your career – and do what you love. What can you find in the Your Career section of my site? Plenty. I pay attention to soft and hard skills.  You’ll find articles on goal setting, speaking truth to power, elevating the quality of your minutes, technical skills and more.

PomodoroOn my Tech page, you’ll find snapshot introductions to a number of apps. Check the drop-down options for social media insights, including recommendations from a panel of Real Career alumni. 


Yerba Buena Gardens San Fran Copyright Shelagh DonnellyDaily doses of inspiration  Mondays through Fridays, and featuring photography from my travels and the ridiculously gorgeous city I call home, I bring you quotes – sometimes seriously reflective, and sometimes downright silly.


Watermelon Salad Copyright Shelagh DonnellyFood – Looking for a new recipe for that weekend brunch you’ll host, a week day meal or a healthy lunch to bring to the office? Check the drop-down menus under the Food section under the Down Time tab above. We even have an electronic Christmas Cookie Exchange, with readers in different countries contributing recipes.

Leisure, Lifestyle Copyright Shelagh DonnellyLeisure – Books, products I find friendly from an environmental perspective, public markets, and simply living well. Check out my thoughts, under the Down Time  section.


Weekend Polls – Ever wonder how your experiences compare with those of peers around the corner or around the globe? I open additional channels of communication. With my Weekend Polls, published on Thursdays, readers have the weekend to contribute their perspectives. I publish results each Tuesday.

Not Your Mother's Workplace Copyright Shelagh DonnellyThe role of the admin. professional is evolving, and this is not your mother’s (or your grandmother’s) workplace – While high performing individuals have always taken pride in their work,  women and men are increasingly identifying administrative roles as portable professions of choice. If you’re dedicated to lifelong learning and professional development, you’ve found the right resource.

Filter what you read, and apply it to your particular circumstances.  There is no single approach that will suit every individual, situation or culture, and so it’s up to you to be discerning. Assess which concepts do and don’t align with your circumstances and then discard those that don’t resonate. Adapt and incorporate ideas that are appropriate and pragmatic for you and your career.

How to Subscribe to Exceptional EA

You can subscribe directly from the upper right section of this screen to receive email notifications of new articles covering career development, technology tips, travel planning and life outside the office.

If you like your updates via social media, join those who follow Exceptional EA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as we explore a broad range of topics and insights that will form a key element of your ongoing professional development. 

Where else is Exceptional EA Read?

Readers have turned to Exceptional EA from 143 countries, including  … Aland Islands, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbajan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary,  Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Latvia,  Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Swaziland, Sweden,  Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Ukraine, Uruguay, US Virgin Islands, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, Wales, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe


%d bloggers like this: