I mentioned I would share more details about my CNP (Creative Necessities Pouch) in my last post which featured an updated look at my Filofax.  These two items play a big part in my time management.  You might be wondering how a cutesy owl pouch filled with essential items such as a Hello Kitty 6-Color pen and a plethora of fun stickers might be so important in terms of time management.  I have said this before and I’ll say it again (and again and again): Find what works for you!  People may find your means unnecessary, trivial, silly, fancy, plain, excessive, minimalistic, etc.  The list can go on indefinitely about all of the faults people will find with you and how you do things in your life.  The truth is that it really doesn’t matter what others may think, because if it works for you, then it works, period.  I also have a habit of reiterating that what works for me may not work for you.  Sharing our differences, big or small, is what community is all about, because it is in learning by example that we figure out what we like and don’t like and what we need and don’t need.  For me, a big part of time management involves brainstorming, planning, jotting lists, and making notes.  All of this interests me a lot more when I can approach these tasks in a way that speaks to me creatively.  As it turns out, I’ve found that having a cute owl pouch with a 6-color Hello Kitty pen and colorful owl stickers suits me.  In keeping with my sharing is caring motto, here is a more in-depth look at said owl pouch and its contents.

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The Owls Accessory Pouch was actually a gift from a subscriber last year.  She found it at Barnes & Noble.  Sadly, the exact pattern is no longer available online (you might still be able to find it in stores), but I’ve found similar pouches with the exact same measurements other places.  I even have a few Jonathan Adler ones I picked up at Barnes & Noble that I keep different journals in.  I find the 7″ x 10″ pouch is the perfect size for my CNP, because my favorite Moleskine Large Volante Notebooks and Cahier Notebooks fit perfectly inside as well as other small office supplies and creative necessities.

OJ|OLJ 5:2:2013_2

As for the CNP contents, there’s a few general note-taking and list-making tools I keep on hand.  There are also some less “practical” ones, but they are no less useful to me.  I keep a 5″ x 8″ Ampad Writing Pad and Large Moleskine Cahier Notebook (top left) for the aforementioned notes and lists.  I apologize that I cannot remember where I found that large rubber band that I have around the Cahier Notebook.  I thought I purchased it at The Container Store, but I couldn’t find it online.  I use it to keep the notebook and the loose papers I have tucked inside it intact.

I have a spare Filofax A5 Ruler, as I love making charts and lists with dividers, as well as a black ink ballpoint pen, a fine-tipped Sharpie, and the ever creatively necessary 6-Color Hello Kitty Pen (top right).  I like being able to make lists and notes with different colors and this one allows me to do so without having six additional pens.  I also keep a Toddy Gear Smart Cloth for easy device cleaning and some extra cash, since I’ve taken to traveling with my CNP and like to have money stashed here and there just in case.

I’m a bit of a sticky note/flag junkie (if you’ve seen my recent Desk Drawer Organization video, you’ll know this already), and like to keep a nice variety on hand in my CNP for anytime and any purpose (bottom left).  Post-it’s is my favorite sticky note brand!  I also have a few Oli Magnetic Paper Clips I found at The Container Store.  These come in handy in a pinch when traveling as well!

Last but not least, STICKERS!  It’s the little things, you know?  I’ve been an avid sticker collector since I was a wee little one.  I honestly don’t think you can ever be too old for stickers.  I don’t believe you can be too old for anything so long as you’re not hurting anyone by your actions.  I use stickers in my notes, on my calendar, on snail mail, cards and gifts.  There’s nothing like a cute sticker to jazz up anything on paper!  No, they’re not essential to making lists.  Really, all one needs to take notes is a pen and some paper.  Why not add some colorful ink, a few bright sticky notes, and a cute sticker or two if it brings you joy?

It’s all about what motivates you.  Finding a way to be productive and use your mind is part of the human experience.  Some people, like my husband Don, for example, don’t need CNP‘s filled with note-taking supplies to get the juices flowing.  He prefers a large whiteboard with different color dry erase markers.  It is a Creative Necessity to him, because it keeps him motivated and on top of the things he’d like to accomplish.  I use the term “necessity” loosely here.  Is it essential to our existence to have colorful dry erase markers or owl stickers?  Of course not!  Are they important tools in our creative processes?  Why, yes!  When I find something that helps me stay focused in a creative way, I stick with it no matter what someone else might think.  Being creative is a necessary way of living life to its fullest for me.  What do you use to help fuel your creativity and focus?  I’d love to know if you care to share!

*I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post.  All opinions are my own.*



39 thoughts on “My CNP”

  1. Jen,
    I know you get a lot of ugliness thrown at you, but I really don’t think you should be so defensive in your blog posts. By doing so it almost sounds like it gives people who question or criticize you some credibility. You don’t have to defend yourself. Just be you and do things the way work for you. People are always going to either be ugly or just simply have differing opinions but the important thing is to focus on what works for you and ignore everything else.

    1. You hit it right on the head. I’ve notice that lately.She would make some comments as to what others been saying on her youtube page.I know its been getting really ugly on youtube I hope for her to keep a peaceful mind on her blog.Really no need to be defensive.

    2. WOW! I was DEFENDING Jen. I was simply saying that she DOES NOT need to defend herself in her blog posts to the people that judge her. She should simply ignore them. I am shocked by Bella’s vulgar and rage filled response. I am also very saddened to see that Jen would approve such a comment. Especially in response to someone who was trying to defend her. In my opinion it says a lot about Jen and I think it is best that I part ways from her blog and channels. A lot can be said about a person by the company they keep and if Jen thinks this type of comment is appropriate, I am out of here.

      1. It’s hard to decide what comments should be approved. I don’t like to censor people and generally choose to only not approve those with vulgar and unnecessary language. I’m sorry if you were offended by my decision to allow this comment through.

  2. Jen, Enjoyed the post on your owl bag and the filofax. You have made it easier to give myself permission to be a little childlike and buy stickers and markers and cute little bags. These are small things that give me such joy everytime I look at them. when I ordered my Lilly Pulitzer planner I agonized over not having the pockets and binder access but it was the beauty in the color and pictures that won me over. I may not use forever but I enjoy it everyday I look at the summer pictures it brightens my day. You and Don are something I look forward to every evening on you tube, keep the vlogs coming. God Bless!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I love the CNP, in fact I have my own version in my purse at all times! You definitely gave me some ideas of how I can improve it!

  4. Completely agree with you Jen! What works for you..trial and error is the way I realize what works for me best and the realization has really saved me more time to be more productive. We constantly gain inspiration from around us and then see what we can implement in our lives or what we don’t need. I feel bad every time you have to repeat these things but I guess you have to, otherwise someone new will find something to be critical of. We really must start appreciating everyone’s uniqueness..quirks, style etc. Stickers and colored pens just make the world a better place in my opinion..why live dull.

  5. Love it!!! Like you, I work best by getting my thoughts organzied by making lists, brainstorming etc. I think I learn/problem solve best by writing things down. I also agree 100% that it is even better if your supplies are cute and fun! I pretty much love all school/office supplies. I have a notebook in the same cute owl print as your pouch! and like you, I am a sticker addict! How can you not love them?? Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love your CNP! I use colorful pens, different shaped sticky notes, stickers, and pretty stationary for my time management too. You’re right, if something like this motivates you to stay on track with planning your life or time management, then you should by all means use it! 🙂

  7. Thank you for such an informative post! I recently started adopting a new healthy lifestyle and I love to research and write down things. I had so many pieces of paper in my purse so I started to carry around a 5×8 spiral notebook with me. But the same day I found this blog I realized how unorganized my little notebook was. I had to go through all the pages to find anything. I just never thought there would be a way to “organize” a small notebook. When I saw your Project Management notebook I thought…THATS WHAT I NEED!…So off to Staples I go to pick up a new notebook and all the fun organizational goodies…think I will even pick up some make them seem so fun!

  8. Gotta love stickers! Jen: I am 34 and have two master’s degrees and have asked for stickers for Mother’s day! I remember getting in trouble with my parents as a kid for putting stickers directly on my bedroom wall. Speaking of stickers, I have heard from your vlogs before that you enjoy doing collages. I recently got a Smash book from Michael’s (they have them at Target now too) and have had a really great time using it. Thanks for all you share!

  9. Hey Jen
    I’m almost 40 and love every thing stationary, I don’t feel grown up or ’40’ at all. I always considered myself to be super organised but I have to admit, I am not as nearly organised as you. My busy job is creative (out of my house at 7am and not back til 7pm at night all week..) but If I was at home during the week I would probably be constantly reorganising things..I enjoy it……plus it de-stresses me..

    Happy blogging!
    Sam x

    1. Yes, you can always find them at Target; if you’re searching for them, look for “file bands” (I have a couple in my drawer too!). I love them for keeping composition books closed. I also found a few in a small display at Michael’s (Hello Kitty).

  10. Love the idea & the post. I’ve done something similar for when I travel & put together a small cosmetic bag that has mini, small or compact versions of basic office supplies. The bag takes up very little space & doesn’t weigh very much but provides me with scissors, tape, stapler & staples, sticky notes, highlighters, sharpies & even a one hole punch when I need or want them while traveling. I’ve stapled receipts together at the end of the day, taped a torn map together, stuck a note on the door reminding me to take something I wouldn’t ordinarily take out of the room, cut tags off of a suviner & highlighted an address & directions in a brochure all without having to go to the front desk of the hotel or the nearest drugstore to buy tape, a highligter or whatever it is I need/want. I find I use at least one item from the bag every trip which to me makes it worth keeping stocked & packing it.

  11. Off Topic…got my Christmas card the other day and was so thrilled. Love it! And it was a nice surprise. Tell Don he is doing a great job with his cooking videos and of course I am always excited to see a new one of yours, Jen. You guys are a great pair. Sometimes I realize I have a huge smile on my face when watching your videos or laugh out loud watching your videos. They are a bright spot in my day. With thanks to the both of you, and Winnie too, who looked adorable in her rain slicker!

  12. I loved this post and the corresponding video. I realized that I have a ‘CNP’ that I keep similar supplies in. Mine is a zippered note pad. I went out and added a few more assecories and it is perfect for me. Maybe a bit bulkier then yours, but it makes me happy. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I really enjoy your videos!

  13. Hi, Jen!
    I know I will never be as organized as you, but you do have some wonderful tips & ideas that I have implemented in my life as well as my 2 teenagers. I love ephemera…stickers, postits, scrapbook paper, etc. AND all things that go with it (pens & markers galore)!
    I also have a walking pharmacy and other pouches to tame my ginormous purse I call Bathilda 🙂
    Keep posting these helpful hints via Youtube & your site…they do make inspire us!
    God Bless!

  14. Amen, Jen! Do whatever works for you! I, too, work better & more creatively if my surroundings/tools are aesthetically pleasing. Otherwise I find it difficult to concentrate or brainstorm at my creative best. I’ve also found I’m at my creative best with a little music playing softly in the background or when in a group, brainstorming all sorts of random ideas. Hearing other’s ideas sparks new & exciting ideas in me. So thank goodness we are all different, have unique perspectives, as that can only make us richer & more creative! Kudos to your unique & wonderful self & for sharing with us so freely.

  15. I absolutely love this! I carry something similar to work, but I’ll be making some tweaks thanks to you 🙂 I often find that I’m most creative at work or on a plane, so I really get lots of use out of mine. Can’t wait to update my CNP!!!

  16. I <3 this post by the way, Jen!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!! You have definitely inspired me to become more organized 😀
    By the way, I'm a little behind on your vlogs and I was wondering when your SIL Emily's baby is due and if a name has been chosen? Will you be vlogging on that day?
    Thanks again

    1. She’s due tomorrow (May 12)! No name yet but narrowed down to a few & we’ll see what gets picked! 🙂

      1. I just purchased the pen and pencil set and was wondering the same thing. The B&N website indicates that the lead used is 2b. Upon some research I found that 2b refers to the lead hardness (2b being a softer lead, resulting in darker color).

        My question is, what is the thickness of the lead you are using?
        .5, .7, .9, etc?

  17. This is so funny! I just came across you last week – as I am in desparate need of organization. I watched your original to-do list video and came up with my own methods this weekend. Came up on my own with the idea to use the 6 color pen and stickers as well – just like you! (Actually, though, my pen has about 12 colors… 🙂 ). Enjoying catching up with you & getting to know you. And I’ll be shopping at your same Container Store, so maybe I’ll see you there!

  18. Jen I LOVE your site and your You Tube page. I am addicted to all of your organizing tips and anything to do with your filofax! Thank you so much and keep it up!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Hi! I’ve been a fan for a few years since I came across your previous website and youtube channels. I find your posts/blogs/vlogs very inspirational! I am a teacher and try to be organized, and I also love the artsy side of things! I need color and images to motivate me and most office supplies are rather drab. I am glad there are places online that allow us to share our ideas and find new products. Keep up the good work!

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