“A commonplace book is a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life and didactic pursuits.” —Ryan Holiday
Keep inspirational items in a place where you can review them often.
A common practice among nearly all creative pros I admire is that they are great collectors of inspiration. They clip things from magazines, have a repository of screenshots on their desktop, or keep a text file (or even boxes of index cards) full of quotes for future use. This repository is called a “commonplace book”, and in some form it’s been practiced for centuries by some of the most recognized creatives, scientists, and leaders.
The benefits of a commonplace book are countless. It provides something to peruse when you are in need of inspiration. It reminds you of old ideas that weren’t quite right at the moment, but might be ready for primetime now. And, it is a kind of record of your creative and intellectual curiosity over time.
Whether you choose to do it digitally (I do) or physically, start keeping a commonplace book. Add to it whenever you come across something that piques your interest or that inspires you. Keep your own fragments of ideas inside of it, especially if they aren’t quite ready to be seen by the world. Then, make it a practice to review your commonplace book regularly to spark new insights.
We learn in the context of what we already know. We create in the context of what has already inspired us.
Question: What should you add to your commonplace book today?