Hello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…
A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?
Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.
There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information. Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events. (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.
Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.
My Commonplace Notebook
So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.
My Thoughts and Outcome
So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.
Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT
Do you have a way to organize your notes?
Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?