If you are familiar with our journals, you would know about our Inspiration Board. These pages, meant to document your favourite films, songs, books, places, and words to live by, are not there only for your record but also for your reference.
As its name indicates, the Inspiration Board serves to inspire. Although it’s only a couple of pages, we hope that it could give you a spark whenever you need it.
Now imagine that, but a whole book! So here we are, introducing you to the idea of keeping a Commonplace Book, but—
What is a Commonplace Book?
Similar to the concept of an Inspiration Board, the Commonplace Book is a journal that includes anything and everything that resonates with you.
However, unlike a normal journal that is more often than not used for inquisitive thoughts or chronological notes, a Commonplace Book acts as a central storage space in its own vacuum.
So it performs like the Inspiration Board but instead of a couple of pages, you get to use the space of the entire book to archive little tidbits that you may find to be useful when doing anything creative in the future.
Anything from ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations, social media posts, podcast tidbits, to writing down earlier conversations, life experiences, and significant moments, can be written down to be looked up for later.
The point is to have just a singular place to return to whenever you need a little push.
The Ins and Outs of a Commonplace Book
Generally, there are no rules when it comes to creating a Commonplace Book. There are however, suggestions that would keep it organised and accessible.
For one, it is advisable to only record what you deem to be the most important. This may be subjective but the whole point of the Commonplace Book is somewhat of a treasure trove. Only the most valuable things get to be recorded in there.
Next, these inspiration nuggets should only be written down in the most concise way possible. If it’s a sentence that stood out to you, pick exactly the phrase that moves you. If it’s a song, pick the exact lyrics or a screengrab of the film.
That way, when you refer back to the book, you can immediately understand and rediscover what was so special about it.
There is no need to rely on your memory for context which not only saves time but energy. If you spend too long trying to remember why you wrote it, it has already failed to serve its purpose.
Your Personal Inspiration Generator
After that, all you have to do is review it regularly. When you go through them enough, you would eventually start to put two and two and viola! You would have birthed an original idea.
If you keep this up long enough, just by having a Commonplace Book would encourage you to be more critical in your material consumption.
You will naturally develop an eye to catch what stands out to you and it may even become a way for you to seek out perspective and information.
The whole point of a Commonplace Book is to act as a visual representation of what goes on in your mind. In that sense, it’s almost like a visual mind map!
All in all, we hope you found this introduction helpful and that we taught you something new! Feel free to create your own and remember: don’t pressure yourself to create The Perfect Commonplace Book.
After all, there are no systems or rules, so just do whatever that makes sense to you!
Do you have a Commonplace Book? Send us a picture @mosseryco on Instagram so that we can share it with the world!
Thank you to @cosuffeeshi for her lovely artwork!