Commonplace book

Date created: 2022-07-06

A lot of creatives pre-computer used these as a combination of study notebook/personal journal/sketchpad for new ideas.

Tools like Obsidian can be thought of as digital versions of the commonplace book. When it works the best, it is a private space to work out ideas and problems before we share them with others.

Popularized in a previous period of information overload, the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the commonplace book was more than a diary or journal of personal reflections. It was a learning tool that the educated class used to understand a rapidly changing world and their place in it. (Location 234)

Sounds like some central figures in Stoicism used idea notebooks as well, from The Daily Stoic newsletter:

keeping kinds of notebooks on important subjects (what the Greeks called hupomnemata), which must be reread from time to time so as to re-actualize their contents.