In the planning community, pretty planners are everywhere. Beautiful art, enticing designs, creative layouts... you name it. But why put all that time into making a planner pretty? I'll give you a hint - it's not all about getting likes on social media. There's actually a very good reason!

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  1. just don’t listen to them……. you do you …. if it makes you happy …. do it. I love your work. Art is healing and relaxing. Some of the same people might watch TV for hours everyday….. ART is so much better! Have a great day!

  2. Where can I find this bullet journal that allows you to watercolor on the pages? Is it all watercolor paper? I read your article but don’t see a link or name anywhere, but my apologies if I missed it.


  3. Thank you, Shelby! Such beautiful watercolors and spreads for even more inspo. A veritable feast for the eyes. In this post you’ve further liberated my desire to combine productivity and creativity. Bonus: highly share-worthy photos of my BuJo. Even as a novice you help my BuJo look like I’m already more practiced.

    Also, I’m *really* enjoying the bundle with the Botanical Living planner. I just started your Brush Lettering course really early this morning. At 3:30am on a beautiful Seattle SNOW DAY (8” and counting!) with the pellet stove, Aurelia, warming up the whole houseboat.

    Feeling pretty cozy while creating cozy looking pretty-pretties.



    Q: Do you have a hashtag for your community that we can use when sharing? Is #LittleCoffeeFox okay? Or..?

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the bundle, Maleah! You sound like you’ve got possibly the coziest setup for lettering imaginable, so jealous!

      There isn’t a particular hashtag for the community, but #littlecoffeefox ought to do the trick ❤️

      Enjoy your lettering and lovely snowy weather!

  4. I have a decades-long history of writing important appointments in my calendar and then failing to open the calendar and look at it. That’s what it boils down to, for me as well as for you: a planner works for me if I am drawn to it, if opening it up makes me happy. I’m still working out how to make that happen consistently, and haven’t got it down yet. (Stickers? highlighting?) Sometimes I get a spread that really looks nice, sometimes I don’t. But the planner needs to make me smile or I won’t keep using it, so it’s worth the time.

    1. You’ve hit the nail on the head! Not every spread is going to be amazing, but every effort made towards making a planner a pleasant experience is worth it ?

  5. Hi

    Love the post. 3 hours over the month isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things people spend longer each month watching their favourite ( or even not so favourite!) programmes on the TV! You may even find the productivity gains are greater than the three hours you put in – I get a lot more done when I have a good list and a clear overview of my priorities which a planner clearly helps with. I would say if it what keeps you using it then it is a good investment if prevents you from getting on with it then it isn’t – sounds like you are clearly in the first camp!

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      I agree, Emma! When my journal is organized and has something that’s visually attractive I am definitely more apt to use it.

  6. I love everything that you said in the article! I just started following your blog weeks ago n been gaining so much inspiration on bullet journaling! Thank you so much

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      Glad to you you here Salzy!!

  7. This is exactly why the bullet journal works for me! I think of it as creative organization.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:


  8. Susan Lambrix says:

    This is a wonderful blog. I just signed up and skimmed through it. I think this is perfect. I have spent the past few months going all over IG looking at all kinds of planners. The artwork was totally intimidating. I gave up on the TN. Long story short, I really want to journal. I’ve journaled all my life but now want to make it look more appealing for those who read it someday. I’ve decided not be intimidated by anything. I can do what I can do but I can get so many ideas here. I bought a Leuchruum (spelling?) as I’ve finally realized it is best for me. I’m excited and can’t wait to read your blog and see of what you do
    Susan Lambrix

  9. Lacey Sutton says:

    Love this post, and plan on sharing it 🙂 Back in late March I found myself drifting away from the bujo, and then in May I stopped using it entirely. Trying to get back on the horse, so this is a good reminder about WHY I wanted to do it in the first place. For now I’m going to drop pretty in favor of just…doing it, but I started this to have a creative outlet, not just an organizer. Thanks again!

    1. I’m so glad you like the post, Lacey! I’m glad you’re picking it back up again 🙂 It can be tough after an absence, so I think it’s a great idea to keep things simple while you get back into the habit. There’s no need to rush back in and get overwhelmed! Sometimes it’s best to focus on the basics and slowly add in fun creative stuff to get your creative juices flowing again. Good luck as you jump back in!

  10. Great post Shelby! I finally have a little time off this summer and I’m looking forward to trying some of your watercolor techniques. Your blog is consistently one I look forward to! ???? Keep up the good work! -Tana

  11. I totally agree. We all have a finite amount of time, and should use it how we wish. For some, that’s decorating a planner – for others .. it’s whatever they want (which might not be as much fun 🙂 I personally don’t decorate my planner – but I’ve been keeping a quote journal with a weekly quote and that’s proving to be surprisingly helpful in keeping me on track, and fun to decorate – staying on track is easier when you’re looking at something pretty in your face every day.

  12. I’m so glad you wrote this, it’s nice to have someone express what I’ve been feeling. I’m going to put more art in my journal now, I’m still figuring layouts that work for me too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this post, Denise! I feel very strongly about this. I know that if I feel weirdly apologetic about spending so much time making my journal pretty, then there’s others out there too. And it needs to be said! Everyone’s journal is personal and effective in its own way, and that needs to be celebrated 🙂

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