How to structure your 'decimals' between tasks, notes and files?


I am rethinking my JD structure a bit now, and there has been a recurring problem I can’t grapple with alone.

So… I decided to visit my lovely friends on the forum; the dilemma is this:

I need at most ten life buckets, some areas may need no files, some no notes, and some no tasks, and some with tasks may need no notes or files.

I don’t store many files, not at all. I work a lot with notes and tasks, though. But notes… they don’t need any folders, and I just use links, tags, MOCs, etc.

I also realised that, really… it would sort of be best if each thing, namely: notes, files, and tasks, had its own optimised version of decimals, but then, that defeats the purpose of having it consistent across everything!

Should I just be fine with, areas being almost completely empty in files? I don’t need ‘files’ about PKM or Productivity, this stuff lives in my notes and tasks.

It seems like… I just have to embrace some chaos. Fine, I’ll have ten digits for something that is almost empty, so empty it does not need categories… but decimals can be extended, so that’s not a problem!

Or, for instance: PKM and Productivity are best to separate in notes and tasks, of course, as areas but in files… they are intermingling… so I created 50-59 PKM & Productivity but then, it’s not really consistent… but is that really a problem now?

I think I’m trying to make it too organised and can’t embrace a little bit of chaos. But chaos is inevitable!

So, I’ll probably just let go on that perfectionism and if required, have 10 areas in files, and even 20 in my tasks, why not? If 50-59 PKM & Productivity can live together harmoniously within files, but in tasks, better not, I’ll just divide them up there!

And notes… I don’t need folders for notes. I may just create an entirely different JD structure than that of my files and tasks in my vault, I’ll just use three digits instead of two and… voila! (to organise my existing folders in vault a little bit better)

So, to summarise, what I think I’ll do (and I really really want your thoughts on this!)

  • Embrace some chaos and inconsistency by tailoring my needs for each ‘sphere’; my system is not so big that it can cause any real issues. (I most likely took ‘make it consistent and scaleable’ a little bit too much at face value).

  • Use J.D for files in files. (two digits)

  • Use J.D for notes in notes. (with three digits)

And overall, treat those three ‘spheres’ as intermingled, but, ultimately separate (notes, tasks, files.)

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I’m not 100% sure you meant to post this here on the Obsidian forum rather than the Johnny.Decimal forum, but here’s my take.

The J.D system is a numbering and structural scheme for folders. The J.D system is meant to help organize your files into folders.

The basic concept is that you have 10 buckets each with 10 buckets inside, and each of those have (up to) 100 “things” (or folders) in them. No more, but you can sure have fewer. The files themselves don’t get the AC.ID naming scheme, instead they get useful readable file names. Names like Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Essay.doc.

J.D should help you determine “Where do these files go?” not “What numbers do I have to add to this file?”

Each Area has 10 (X0-X9) available Categories, and each Category has 100 (.00-.99) available folders, or Unique IDs. I do find it unlikely that you will need 10x100=1,000 folders just for PKM & Productivity.

If you really are set on using the J.D system, try reading the main info page again, take its advice to start slowly and from the bottom up, and then see how it can integrate into your workflow in a way that alleviates friction rather than causing it.

J.D should really just be like a filing cabinet at your job, it isn’t your job.

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Thanks. This was meant to be posted here, although I might as well post it on the JD forum.

Clearly, I went overboard… I’ll use my JD as a filing system. It doesn’t have any utility inside notes and tasks for me. I was too fixated on following the rules.

Hey no worries.

Remember all of these things (Obsidian included) are meant to be tools, not prisons. As long as your system helps you accomplish what you need to do, it works. None of us need to understand it.

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