Sunday, January 28, 2018

Commonplace Books


Is anyone else like me and keeps a Commonplace Book? I have been keeping information in this way for as long as I remember but only recently found out that there is a name for this sometimes obsessive notetaking of ever expanding knowledge. 

Traditionally the Commonplace Book is a place to compile information and knowledge usually inspired by reading or viewing.  Historically there is a similar tome called a Silva Rerum or “forest of things” which was kept by noble families in Poland and Lithuania.  These multi-generational chronicles were most common in the 16th to 18th century. 

Though in the past the content was more formal and centred around knowledge these days Commonplace Books can be used for all sorts of lists, mindmaps and information.  I usually use a moleskine notebook and add pictures and drawings to my eclectic collection of knowledge.  I most often start with a quote from a book and just let the information and knowledge bloom from that.  People use different notebooks, files, card systems and even programs like OneNote to collect their knowledge and information.  I always add personal thoughts on the knowledge I collate and sometimes the psychology of what I discover.  

My Commonplace books are invaluable to my writing and are a source of continued information and inspiration.