Practical or Pretty – What’s your Style?

As a creative person, I love to make things pretty and beautiful and shabby chic and ethereal and… oh wait, I have work to do. Ah yes, life is busy; and so, reality sets in once again.
~ Do you feel the need to get everything done?
~ But you also want to have a little enjoyment in the process?
~ Have you purchased that amazing planner that is so popular?
~ Have you always wanted to make a bullet journal?
~ Do you have the goal of combining color and fun with your daily life?
~ Is it possible to combine them?

Do you have to choose either-or?

Who ever said we have to choose between practical or pretty? Why can’t we have both?! Purchased planners used to be so boring – all business and no fun. In the past few years, though, beautiful planners are available everywhere. Perhaps you have tried different products through the years as I have. This was my problem…

The amazing planners in beautiful notebooks were awesome – but they were so large that I kept them at home on my desk. So then, if a friend called while I was at work to make plans, I couldn’t because I had no idea what my schedule was for the next month because my planner was at home. I realized I needed a smaller planner that I could carry with me.

There are plenty of smaller-sized planners available on the market to choose from. But every one that I tried didn’t suit my needs for one reason or another. Some were monthly views but I wanted the weekday view. Perhaps there was enough space for the weekday planning, but not enough for the weekend. And so, the search went on year after year until I came across the bullet journal system.

Oh so practical

Ryder Carroll created this method which is all about making lists of what you need to do and then checking off the tasks as you accomplish them. It includes an index, a monthly log and a future log as well. His website is and has a wealth of valuable information.

What I found however, was that it still didn’t quite fit what I needed. The index was overwhelming to me, so the first 2 years I didn’t use it at all. The future planning he used just didn’t work for me; and of course, his style is so very practical that it just wasn’t pretty at all. As a creative person, where is the fun in that?!

Oh so pretty

But then I found Kara Benz of “”. She puts the beautiful into all things bullet journal, and has expanded on this method for we creative types. If you have the interest and the time to create gorgeous spreads in your bullet journal/planner, her website has fabulous layouts that will inspire you for sure, as do plenty of other bullet journal blogs. Yet again, I have things to do, places to go, and people to see. So, I have chosen a combination between the original bullet journal and the beauty of all the options that Kara and others create. Its the perfect balance for me between practical and pretty!

The combination I found

As you may be aware, I use Moleskine Cahier Journals with the grid or “squared” pages. What I love about using the Moleskine notebooks for my bullet journal system is that they can be customized to fit exactly what you need with your lifestyle. And probably the best part, is that you can change it any time you need if you have a busy time of life, such as a wedding or a new job with a different schedule. No worries – you can change the format to fit those new needs. You can’t do that with a purchased pre-printed planner.

So, if you want to get your daily activities in order; the best place to start is to ask yourself a few questions:
~ What are my needs for getting activities organized:
daily, weekly, monthly? All three?
~ Do I want practical? Do I want pretty? Do I want both?
~ Portable? Or leave on my desk at home?
~ How much time & creativity do I want to put into this?
~ How much time & creativity do I realistically have to put into this?

Once you have thought through this, you can move forward with getting your daily life in order. If you choose the portable style to carry with you as I have, you can search “bullet journal” or the shortened version “bujo”, or “travelers notebooks” and you will find all sorts of examples and ideas to review. Be aware though, there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming.

So what’s your style?

As I’ve mentioned, I started my bujo journey in 2016 and have kept it rather consistent to date. My method has worked great for me, although it is not as fancy or beautiful as many others I love to see. But it works for me and that is the ultimate goal. You’ll need to decide what your needs are – and what your realities are – so that you will follow through this time. So what’s your style – are you totally practical – or totally pretty – or a combination of both?

Be sure to read the next post that shares my method of bullet journaling that includes three Moleskine journal inserts in a cover, commonly referred to as a traveler notebook.
I never leave home without it! Hopefully, you will find that perfect method that works great for you, day by day, for the rest of your days.

Similar Posts


  1. Miss you and your store. So helpful with kindness and knowledge!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *