If you practice any form of magic, you should be aware of the amount of learning such things require. We as humans are not the best at remembering off hand everything we read or do. Just as children at school need work books to keep track of notes and homework, we occultisms also need note books to help keep a record of what work we do, or simply what we are learning.
A Grimoire is such a working magical notebook and a valuable visual record of your learning and past workings or spells.
Also known as a book of shadows, or spell book, a well maintained personal journal will remind the user of important things they have studied and rites performed.
Choosing a book
There are no rules regarding what kind of book should be used for a grimoire, it simply is a matter of personal choice. Ideally it should be big enough to keep a working ledger of any work done, results obtained and information learned, so I recommend something like an A4 notebook, like the ones cheaply obtained from stationary stores. They are easily maintained and once full can be placed on your shelves and any subsequent volumes that follow will be of a similar format and size (They look a bit nicer too if they are uniform) It is totally up to you however, it is your book in the end, so if you choose a larger or smaller one, so be it. You are the one who will be using it.
You may feel the need to personalize your tome, to make it feel like yours. Do what you feel is right in its personalization by decorating it as see fit, things like covering the outside in something attractive, if you are creative you could cover the book in wallpaper, or a collage or even paint your own designs onto it and varnish it in. The choices are as endless as you can imagine. Make it yours.
Keep it secret
Like with any sort of diary, secrecy is key. You may put into the grimoire your innermost thoughts and feelings, as well as a record of what you have done, so it is best kept from prying eyes in case that those who are meant not to see, do not. Guard it and put it in a safe place when not in use in the event of something like that happening. keep it in the shadows as you do not want someone you have worked magick against finding out what you have done.
What do I put in it?
Typically, you would put a working record of anything magical you have done, learned or experienced. Try and keep it clean and tidy, and mark your entries with any date and time information so you know later on when you did them. A good idea when you are learning is write out any information you wish to commit to memory within it, there fore it will force you to rationalize the information again writing in your own words, do not just copy text or it may not go in your brain as well as processing it in your own way. Dreams and divination can also be cataloged too, this way you can refer back on them for the future.
Useful things you might want to include
magic is full of tables and charts that are hard to commit to memory so a useful idea is to include an appendix of these in the back. Things like planetary squares, correspondence tables, planetary hours, invoking and banishing pentagrams and hexagrams are a good thing to have, and usually can be hunted down form the net and printed out to be placed in your book, or alternately you could write them out , its up to you. It should not feel like you are cheating if you take this option, as it will save you tons of time in the long run.
I hope that this has helped some of you out there into getting your own grimoire for your studies. Its a great thing when years later you return to look back at what you were trying to learn and see where your at today!
Just remember, keep it hidden!