Friday, February 22, 2013
The Commonplace Book
I'm not trying to be misanthropic -- really -- but I just don't have the time to consume my information delivered in video format, especially not when I read and absorb printed material so quickly and completely. That's why, this year, I finally started a commonplace book.
A commonplace book is somewhat akin to a journal, except that it isn't attempting to be a coherent narrative. Rather, it is a collection of bits of information, perhaps newspaper articles, quotes, and facts that don't fit into any other place.
Thomas Jefferson kept a commonplace book, as did many others of his era. If it is good enough for Mr. Jefferson, it is good enough for me.
I am using mine (yes, you see a blank page here, because I'm not nuts enough to show you all of my secrets!) to collect quotes and facts that I want to remember but that I don't want to start an entire file for. For example, we have a favorite room at our favorite destination resort, and I don't want to resign this little reminder to a file that I would have to dig out next year. So, it is one of the first things I wrote in my book.
Or, I've been investigating the ingredients and properties of some OTC remedies. Eventually, I might want to pull all this research together to help me make purchase decisions, but right now I'm just jotting down facts as I learn them and accessing these as I go.
So far, I've been keeping my book for almost two months, and I have about three pages of such information, along with quotes and ideas I've cut out of other sources. I find that it is fun to read through when I'm trying to gain inspiration for the day. And it is a great reminder that not everything has to be organized into discrete little files that are kept on the computer or in a file drawer.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 4:35 PM