A commonplace book is a collection of wisdom - things learned through experience. This collection is primarily for my own benefit, and is probably less wise than I realise.


This section is for tentative wisdom.

  • To clean out a junk drawer, remove the contents and put it in a box. Only when you’ve used one of the items in the box twice is it allowed to live in the drawer again. After a month, pitch or donate the remaining contents—or move the precious or useful stuff to deeper storage. But, yeah, you should probably just pitch it. (Merlin)
  • Chesterton’s Fence (Merlin)


  • Keep moving and get out of the way. (Thanks, John)
  • Two is one and one is none. (Thanks, CGP Grey)
  • Photos of people make better memories than photos of places.
  • Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance. Ignorance is more likely to be unwitting error than stupidity. But sometimes people are dicks. Don’t be a dick.
  • If you’re feeling gloomy inexplicably, drink a large glass of water. Sometimes, it’s just dehydration.
  • Compliment children on something they can see too. “I like your unicorn boots.”
  • Related: Works for adults too.
  • When somebody says something that makes you angry, don’t respond immediately, but do respond. Unless it’s on the internet.
  • Sometimes rules and deadlines are negotiable. To find out which ones, ask.