A Renaissance Practice For The Modern Information World: How To Start A Commonplace Practice To Organise Your Thoughts & Build Your Knowledge

How I Use Tana as My Commonplace Book To Unlock Everyday Wisdom

Ev Chapman
6 min readDec 24, 2023

I have been a collector of things that inspire me since I first starting cutting out photos from Dolly magazines in the 90’s and filling them in a big filing cabinet my parents bought for me.

And I’ve continued the practice in one shape or another for years and years. In journals, filing cabinets & finally digitally.

I didn’t know this was called commonplacing until a few years ago. But as soon as I read about the concept of a commonplace book it resonated deeply.

A commonplace book is a place you collect anything that you personally find interesting from ideas, quotes, observations, information, facts, drawings, insights or anything else.

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Anything you come across in life that sparks you, you collect into your commonplace book.

They were immensely popular in the Renaissance and the 19th century when there were lots of new ideas in the world.

In our modern world with almost endless information I think a commonplace book practice is essential for everyone…



Ev Chapman

Founder The ✨Spark Method™ & Tana Fast Track // Turn Your Personal Knowledge Into Powerful Ideas that increase your income, opportunities & authority.