Commonplace Journals

A commonplace book is a personal compilation of knowledge, ideas, quotations, and observations collected by an individual. It is a notebook or journal where one gathers and organizes information from various sources for future reference and reflection.  They are more like a database than a diary. In the past many people used commonplace books as a way to order their ideas and make them easy to refer back to. Each entry was classified and ordered by subject and category- making them a useful way for scientists and scholars to take notes.

Here are the key characteristics and purposes of a commonplace book:

  1. Collection of Knowledge: A commonplace book serves as a repository for recording and storing information. It can include passages from books, articles, poems, speeches, or any other written material that the person finds interesting, insightful, or valuable. The aim is to capture and preserve knowledge that can be revisited and utilized later.

  2. Personal Reflection: In addition to collecting external knowledge, a commonplace book often incorporates the individual's own reflections, thoughts, and insights. It becomes a space for personal commentary, annotations, and connections made by the person recording the information. This allows for a deeper engagement with the material and encourages critical thinking.

  3. Organization and Categorization: Commonplace books are typically organized thematically or by topic. The person creating the book categorizes the collected material to facilitate easy retrieval and reference. They may use sections, headings, or indexing systems to structure the content according to their own preferences and needs.

  4. Inspiration and Creativity: Commonplace books can serve as a source of inspiration and creativity. By gathering a wide range of ideas, quotes, and observations in one place, individuals can draw connections, spark new insights, and generate original thoughts. It becomes a resource that stimulates intellectual curiosity and fuels creative thinking.

  5. Personal Intellectual Journey: A commonplace book is not merely a passive collection of information. It is a record of an individual's intellectual journey, reflecting their interests, influences, and personal growth. As the book evolves over time, it becomes a reflection of the person's evolving thoughts, ideas, and worldview.

Overall, a commonplace book is a tool for knowledge management, self-reflection, and intellectual exploration. It encourages individuals to actively engage with ideas, curate their own sources of inspiration, and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Thanks to the vast range of materials we have at our disposal every journal we make is unique - no two are ever the same.

BONUS BAG! Every Commonplace Journal is supplied in a hand printed cotton book bag!