Hey friends,

let's chat about an oldie but a goodie today - the Commonplace Book. Doesn't ring a bell? No worries, that's what we're here for. Essentially, it's a place to dump all your brainy bits and bobs - insights, notes, quotes, you name it. And though it may sound a bit old school, it's something I think could benefit us all, even in this digital age.

The Charm of an Old-Fashioned Concept

Common placing, as the cool kids (read: Renaissance kids) used to call it, was all the rage back in the day. Intellectual giants like da Vinci and Newton were jotting down their ideas, and trust me, if it's good enough for them, it's probably good enough for us. There's something inherently satisfying about following in their footsteps, don't you think?

But why bother, you might ask? Here's the thing - the act of writing down information helps improve recall and comprehension. There's a certain mental engagement that comes with the act of writing that's hard to replicate on a digital platform. Even in our fast-paced digital world, there's merit in slowing down and engaging with our thoughts in a tangible way.

What's more, the Commonplace Book can act as a canvas for your thoughts, providing a physical space to log and explore your ideas. This practice promotes deep thinking and could very well be the starting point for your next big breakthrough.

Your Brain's External Hard Drive

Think about it this way - a Commonplace Book is like an external hard drive for your brain. Sounds pretty cool, right? In our digital age, we're constantly bombarded with information. It's easy to lose track of all the insightful ideas or nuggets of wisdom that cross our path.

Having a dedicated place to store these gems allows us to retrieve and engage with them whenever we like. It's the equivalent of having a candid chat with your past self, reminding you of the lessons you've learned and the insights you've gained over time.

No more of those 'I know I read that somewhere...' moments. Instead, you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, ready to be revisited and applied in new contexts.

Unleashing Creativity and Reflection

The real beauty of the Commonplace Book, in my opinion, lies in its potential to inspire creativity and reflection. It's not just about storing information, but about drawing connections between seemingly unrelated ideas.

By revisiting your past thoughts and ideas, you may uncover links and insights that you overlooked the first time round. This 'connecting of dots' often fuels creativity, leading to fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.

It's an incredible tool for promoting self-reflection and personal growth too. By looking back on your past entries, you get a glimpse into your past mindset, interests, and ideas. This can provide a fascinating insight into your intellectual growth and development over time.


So there we have it - the humble Commonplace Book, a simple yet powerful tool for boosting productivity, creativity, and learning. It’s not just a nod to our intellectual past, but a tool tailored for our digital present and future.

Here's what you can do to bring this ancient practice into your daily life:

  1. Start your own Commonplace Book - choose a medium that suits you, be it pen and paper or a digital note-taking app.
  2. Regularly update your Commonplace Book with interesting ideas, insights, and experiences.
  3. Take time to review your entries regularly - you never know what new connections or ideas might emerge.

Remember, the Commonplace Book is more than just a notebook or an app. It’s your personal intellectual playground - a space to capture ideas, explore connections, and let your creativity run wild.

Until next time,


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Last Update: July 31, 2023