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Commonplace Book

A commonplace book is a type of personal journal that people use to document interesting quotes, thoughts, and information. This practice has been around since the Renaissance and helps individuals collect and reflect on knowledge over time. Commonplace books can serve many purposes such as collecting quotes, personal reflections, learning and memory, creative inspiration, categorization, and indexing. Even famous figures like Locke and Newton kept commonplace books to record their thoughts. Today, digital tools make it possible to continue this tradition by allowing individuals to collect personal knowledge and inspiration in a similar manner.

Why keep a diary...

One of my few prized possessions is this 70-page autobiographical book by my great-grandfather who was born in 1902 and was a farmer in France. Only a few copies were printed.

His chapter titles are truly amazing, each is about 1-2 pages:

  • I saw the beginning of electrification
  • I saw the first cars
  • I saw the first airplanes
  • I smoked my first cigarette at 7 years old
  • I saw a total solar eclipse
  • The telephone
  • 1914: The war
  • I had the Spanish flu etc

kepano (@kepano) August 17, 2023