A commonplace book for inspiration

How I use a commonplace journal to compile notes on books I am reading.

I LOVE to read. It is my primary source of gaining information on almost everything. But as much as I love learning from books, I hate writing in them or highlighting them. I have no real reason for it other than I just don’t like it.

Years ago, I read a blog post from a Mormon woman who kept a journal for Scripture that stood out to her. She indexed the verses by topic and had a table of contents in the beginning. She called it a “commonplace book” — a commonplace to compile everything. For whatever reason, the idea struck a chord with me and I have since kept a journal of notes from books and blog posts.


I tend to start new things with enthusiasm only to have them die out over time. Not this time. Currently, there are 4 years worth of notes in that book, and I love it. It is just about full, and when I buy a new one, I will definitely take my time and organize it a little better. I started my commonplace book on a whim — not expecting it to last this long — so I didn’t put as much thought into it. Even still, I love this notebook.

I love that I can quickly find notes on a particular topic. I also love that it chronicles my season of life by what I have read. I don’t keep a regular journal. This is the only one I have and use regularly. I like to believe that someday I will give it to my daughter when she is a young mother; that the writing of many authors will be the encouragement to her that it is to me.

As I mentioned, my commonplace book is not as pretty or planned out as I would have liked, so please disregard that part as you look at the photos.

I have a table of contents in the front, by subject mostly, but sometimes by book title. It makes finding encouragement or wisdom easy when I need it the most.

Table of contents on my commonplace book


The rest of the book is mostly just quotes and notes copied out of books. In the back, I have a gratitude list and some notes on parenting strategies that have worked for me. That is pretty much it. Simple, but very important to me.



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2 comments on “A commonplace book for inspiration”

  1. I LOVE this idea, surprise, surprise! All your ideas are lovely! 🙂
    And, I just added “The Lifegiving Home” to my amazon wish list…and I have the same pens. 🙂

    1. We have similar, and very good taste! Also, you will LOVE the Lifegiving Home, it is seriously full of good ideas and wisdom!

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