How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book” | Thought Catalog

I think this is the way with the topic of note-taking and commonplace books.  Most of the references via Google are the same old dross about the Cornell Method and arguments for why a blog is a commonplace, then sometimes you stumble across pure gems like this Ryan Holiday article.

Reading this article gave me a chance to fully geek out about notetaking and commonplacing, and – like flicking through a good commonplace book – has my mind spinning with ideas for posts, my own note-taking and possible business ideas.

This is well worth a read.


Some of the greatest men and women in history have kept these books. Marcus Aurelius kept one–which more or less became the Meditations. Petrarch kept one. Montaigne, who invented the essay, …

Source: How And Why To Keep A “Commonplace Book” | Thought Catalog


Jack Bauer and Bob Whipple – handy links & thoughts

A good think about commonplace books is that they are easy to Google, considering hardly anything is written about them.

I found a good excerpt from Bob Whipple, describing his thoughts about commonplace books – you can find it here:

  • “commonplace books are blank books in which genteel men and eventually women wrote down, and in some instances transformed, selections from their reading that they thought particularly interesting or significant” Lockridge (2001)

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