Using a Commonplace Book to Incubate Ideas—The Power of “Zero Drafts”

Of the many benefits of keeping a commonplace book, the one I find most powerful is allowing ideas to simmer, develop, and build  over time. In a masterful post, Tony Schwartz describes this as incubation—a crucial stage in creative thinking: The second stage of creativity begins when we walk away from a problem, typically because our… Continue reading Using a Commonplace Book to Incubate Ideas—The Power of “Zero Drafts”

Extend Your Mind and Memory With a Commonplace Book

There’s a cool word in German for commonplace book — zettelkasten, which means “card index” or “slip box.” Christian Tietze wrote a book about using a zettelkasten, which he defines as “a device to extend your mind and memory so you can work with texts efficiently and never forget things again.” Today zettelkasten refers to any system—digital or paper-based—used for… Continue reading Extend Your Mind and Memory With a Commonplace Book

Journey Notes—More Lists to Enrich Your Commonplace Book

After posting that lists of many kinds can become vital elements of your commonplace book, I remembered one of my favorite books—JourneyNotes: Writing for Recovery and Spiritual Growth by Richard Solly and Roseann Lloyd. Though out of print, it’s a shining gem. Maybe your local library or used book store has a copy. JourneyNotes includes… Continue reading Journey Notes—More Lists to Enrich Your Commonplace Book