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Focus on Commonplace Book

I’m still finishing writing my book and I’m now on the final straight before I hand it over to the publishers which is both exciting and nerve-wracking too. As source material I’ve been using my grandfather’s commonplace book which he kept as a World War II prisoner of war and I thought I’d share the benefits of keeping one with you.


So what is a commonplace book? It’s like a literary version of a mood board, highly personal and reflecting unique insights and perspectives of interest to you. It’s a way of recording and highlighting what you deem most important in life.


Though it resembles a diary or journal, where you detail your own daily thoughts, feelings or experiences, a commonplace book is where you capture practical information that informs your view of the world. An excellent example of a commonplace book is Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Have you read it? If you haven’t, I highly recommend you do as it still holds great value and relevance to today.


Start the lifelong practice of keeping your own commonplace scrapbook in which to retain snippets of seemingly disconnected information, but which together help you to make sense of the world, your thoughts and your purposeful intentions. Collect thoughts, sayings, ideas and concepts assembled from various sources that have particular meaning and resonance for you.


You may want to treat yourself to a special book purely dedicated to capturing all the inspiring photographs or images, key learnings from books you’ve read, seminars, conferences, conversations or perhaps beautiful poetry or prose that resonates with you.


You never know, in 80 years’ time someone in your family might use it as source material for a book too!


Focus on Commonplace! Focus on WHY!

ACTION POINT - What do you deem most important in life? Keep a commonplace book and you’ll soon know the answer!

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