Commonplace Books (or commonplaces) were books created and implemented by the Natural Philosophers during the Seventeenth Century to document thoughts, ideas, epiphanies and inspirations, phrases, etc. Commonplace Books were not diaries or journals; often times these books were filled with sketches and writing with no discernible order. Among the more well known people who used Commonplacing were English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, Charles Darwin, Francis Bacon and H.P. Lovecraft. As the use of these Commonplace Books became more prevalent, their popularity began to spread and make it's way into main stream culture of the Eighteenth Century.
With this popularity, Commonplace Books began to be published as periodicals. The most well know of these was Enquire Within Upon Everything, which began printing in 1856 and lasted through 126 editions until it ceased in 1976. One of these copies made it's way into the hands of two mathematicians during there time in England in the 1950's. This couples son, Tim Berners-Lee went on to work at CERN in the 1980's. While he was at CERN he proposed a project that would help with inter-agency communication. He named this project ENQUIRE after the book he so much admired in his childhood for it's organizational qualities. ENQUIRE was re-iterated and re-named a couple of more times before becoming the World Wide Web. What we now know as the Internet is the largest and most complex example of Commonplacing.