Some time ago, I received this beautiful pocket Moleskine Limited Edition with the map from The Hobbit and I treasured it for years because I couldn’t find the “perfect” way to use it. I didn’t want to use it for my day-to-day tasks and notes (bullet journaling) because I wanted to be able to have a purpose for flipping through the pages in the future as well. I didn’t want to use it as a personal journal because my entries tend to be very stream of consciousness heavy and I never go back re-read them. So, it stayed in my closet until I decided to copy my friend Maria and jot down a perpetual calendar of Middle-earth events.
I was very excited about it. I decided to keep it very simple and use a ballpoint pen (hence my crappy handwriting) since the Moleskine paper doesn’t handle fountain pen ink very well, but also to remove the pressure to have the most Instagram-worthy pages ever. However, once I was finished, the pages used were only 46 and I had no idea on how to use the rest of the notebook. Another year passed and my Moleskine remained unused in my desk drawer until a couple of months ago when I finished my thesis.
Suddenly, a huge sense of relief made me want to start studying again the things that passionate me the most, so I decided to turn my Moleskine in a Tolkien-themed Commonplace Book.
This is something I always wanted to do because I wanted to get back into the First and Second Age to dust off my knowledge about the events before the release of the upcoming Amazon TV show.
I decided to simply number the even pages (so lazy, I know!) and create a simple index at the end (bullet journal style), not the typical index by topic/letter you’d find in a proper Commonplace Book.
When I start a new entry, I usually add a simple title or keyword at the top left corner and frame it to make it stand out more. Then, I write my notes in bullet form or copy some quotes from books and articles. I usually write in English in my notebook but sometimes I write in Italian too, but there isn’t a specific rule in my mind.
This is not a proper academic research, so I don’t have a bibliography at the end of the book nor correctly formatted citations, it’s basically a “just for myself” notebook to keep my notes and thoughts somehow organized. So far, I’m really enjoying it and I’m planning to use the other pocket Moleskine Limited Edition I have in the same way, once this one will be finished. It would be nice to build a small library of pocket Commonplace Books!