“Teaching is performed in generosity; learning is accomplished in joy.” -Louise Cowan, PhD

Kaitlyn Willy

About Commonplace Books


Commonplace books are a tradition dating back to Ancient Rome (really, to Ancient Greece). A commonplace book is a book where your store quotes, ideas, and tidbits in order to save them for later. This tradition originated because even literate people in the ancient world often could not afford to buy their own books and when they wanted to save something to use again later, they would need to write it down. 


As a writer, I find it especially helpful to have collections of quotes and excerpts from books I have loved in a common place for inspiration. 


Articles about Commonplace Books


Rather than writing my own article, I recommend these articles for more information about commonplace books and how to keep them. 


"How and Why to Keep a 'Commonplace Book'" by Ryan Holiday (Thought Catalogue)

Commonplace Books from Assumption College

Commonplace Books: A Personal Record of Learning and Self-Development from Hub Pages

Commonplace Book by Richard Nordquist (About Education)

How to use One Note to Create your Commonplace Book by Ludvig Sunström

How to Keep a Digital Commonplace by Ludvig Sunström

My Commonplace Book and Why Everyone Should Keep One by Dolly Garland
Everyone Should Keep A Commonplace Book: Great Tips From People Who Do by Ryan Holiday (Thought Catalogue)

Keeping a Commonplace Book (Toasted Cheese)


My Commonplace Book


While I keep my commonplace book on notecards and in various notebooks (not very common-placed, I know, but i'm a notebook junkie), here are some samples from my commonplace book.