Editor’s note: This is a follow-up to Jen’s article about her Commonplace book. Read the original here.
I’ve had some logistical questions as to how to get started with a commonplace book. For those who were intrigued but have not one extra second to ask, here are the details:
Why don’t you combine this with your day planner?
You can do anything your heart desires.
My calendar (in bullet journal form) is a messy work in progress full of scratched-out notes with arrows moving appointments around, and I usually have spilled something on it by the end of the week. I want this to be something I go back and read for fun. I’ve even considered creating sections so that if I’m discouraged I can go read quotes that I felt would encourage me. Or a comical or an ironic section. I do have five pages of Ray Bradbury that I managed to keep together.
Do you really write every day?
Not every day. I do write 3-4 days a week. YMMV-Your Mileage May Vary. I like to have some quiet time and that doesn’t happen every day. I give myself about twenty minutes to make a new entry. I would write every day if I had the time and something worth writing.
What do you need to actually get started?
A notebook and something to write with. Really. That is all. I had the extra time and money right now to go all fancy pants with this – but that is not the point. A spiral notebook and a pencil will do just as well.
Where do I get those gel pens?
I’m pretty sure that mine are from Target. I found this Fiskars Gel Pen 48-Piece Value Set
on Amazon. They look about the same.
What notebook do you use?
When I first started my book I went with my go-to favorite, a Moleskine Classic Notebook,
I still use the Moleskine for my bullet journal. It is flexible, lightweight, and fits in my purse. Since I keep a journal as well as a commonplace book I wanted them to look differently.
It has nothing to do with the fact that I like buying notebooks. Why would you think that?
I went in search of a hardcover journal that was more heirloom quality. I love the idea of writing in a hardcover book, and I found exactly the right thing at Lee Valley:
The Everyman’s Journal It is 400 pages and has an index section in the front.
Where can I see more commonplace books?
Here is a link to all the boards I could find on Pinterest. There are some pretty inspiring examples listed there. Have fun tumbling down the rabbit hole!
Jen N. – Jen has spent her time homeschooling her five children since 2001. She has read over 5,000 books aloud. A fan of all things geeky, she calls her children her horcruxes — each one has a talent for something she might have pursued herself. Jen and her husband have created a family of quirky, creative people that they are thrilled to launch out into the world. With the three oldest graduated, Jen now has time on her hands and has started a blog: www.recreationalscholar.wordpress.com