I didn’t see discussion of this in my read of the debate so I’ll throw this out there.
On one hand, hierarchy in your folder structure enables you to think about your information at different levels of abstraction. There is clearly value in this, hence the popularity of header levels and also collapsing bullets in outliners.
But not all organization issues have a clear direction for the nesting. Say for example you track Companies and Tax filings by year. Should you put the tax filings folder in a folder for each company or put each company folder in a folder for taxes by each year?. Or should you have folders for each in which you nest each company in which you nest each tax statetment? It isn’t clear what is the best parent child relationship.
Databases use an idea of a junction table for managing many to many relationships.
Maybe there is value in an idea of a Junction Folders.
Simple Example. Assign a number for each category:
(10) - Companies
(10.1) - IBM
(10.2) - Apple
(20) - Tax Filings
Now, create a new folder:
(10.1)(20) - IBM Tax Filings
In this folder, save each tax filing by year.
The use of periods can capture hierarchy while the use of parenthesis does not if hierarchy is not helpful for organizing the data. So, for example, IBM and Apple are subcategories of Company and that relationship can be captured with a period while Taxes and Company don’t have a single obvious parent, child relationship.
The ID is unique but also gives a sense of the abstracted layers (e.g. companies and taxes). So you can search by ID but also get some knowledge of contextual fit.
These are just some preliminary thoughts, inviting folks to chime in with criticism or extensions…