22.00.0043: Started re-organising system D85

At the start of the year I declared ‘organisational bankruptcy’.[1] I haven’t had time to do anything about it since then (recording the workshop is a full-time job), but I started today.

My scope statement is up.

In scope

  • Anything to do with the running of Johnny.Decimal as a business.
  • Specifically I’m going to bring 30-39 Coruscade over from my personal system. That’s the company that the business operates under.

Out of scope

  • Anything that is 100% website related. I have a separate system for that, D01 johnnydecimal.com.
    • You’re looking at that system: it’s what gives structure to the site.
    • But if we create non-text content that then gets published on the site – a video, say – that’s not in D01. That’s part of D85.

And here’s the first bunch of Post-its. These have come from the things I’ve done over the last week, which I’ve been writing down.

Next up I’ll go through our file system and get everything represented there on the wall.

Note that I’m doing 20-29 Discovery (ref. workbook/workshop) by myself, but when it comes to 30-39 Build your areas & categories I’ll do that with Lucy as this is a system that we both use.

Of course if she also discovers some stuff and sticks it on the wall, that’s cool.

It’ll all be documented

Here at the very least, and I expect we’ll do some videos for the YouTube channel.

  1. Which, to be explicit, means ‘my own system is a mess and needs to be started over’. Financially we’re okay, though we’d be better if you gave us money okthx. :wink: ↩︎

Today’s post is a follow-up.

Howcome Johnny is disorganised?

13/31 daily posts as part of WeblogPoMo2024. Expect (and forgive) more words and less editing.

Yesterday I repeated something that I first said at the start of the year: some of my own systems are disorganised.

So here I am, this guy with a site and a blog, and my stuff’s a mess. Seems odd. Why should you trust anything I say?

I didn’t take my own advice

The simplest explanation is that, in this instance, I didn’t take my own advice.

I quit my job a year ago and that’s when this system, D85 Johnny.Decimal business, started.

I didn’t really know what I was doing; there was no plan. So I just knocked something together out of necessity. The system just evolved.

And, to be clear, it’s not a bad system. It works. We’re here, working, and we can find things. I just know that it can be a lot better.

I hadn’t written my own advice

It would have been hard to follow the step-by-step procedures that I outline in the workbook because I hadn’t written it yet!

So that’s not a bad excuse.

Also, working it out is instructive

I don’t pretend to have a perfect solution to all of this. My thoughts are evolving; the Johnny.Decimal system evolves; and the very nature of the work that we do evolves.

I’m just listening to Cal Newport’s latest podcast. He’s giving a rundown of the state of productivity advice since the ’90s.

There’s the ‘sage advice and optimism’ era of Stephen Covey, then the ‘productivity pr0n’ era, defined by David Allen’s Getting Things Done® and Merlin Mann’s site 43 Folders.

Then in the late 2000s we got sick of working so much and we move in to the era of ‘lifestyle design’, defined by Tim Ferris’ The 4-hour Workweek.

And that’s where I’m up to. The point is, this stuff shifts. Whether it needs to or not, who knows. Is it all a fad? To some extent. Is it generational? Probably a bit of that.

So I’m trying to think about the type of system that I want Johnny.Decimal to be. I don’t actually see myself as a ‘PKM’ nerd. I’d like to help normal people — who have no idea what that acronym means and don’t care — to be more organised.

Because we have no option these days. In the late 2000s you could plausibly get by without using a computer all day. Then they invented the iPhone and everything changed.

So now you have to use a computer, for essentially everything, whether you want to or not. I’d like to find a way to navigate that fact without burdening the world with yet more procedures; without it having to be your hobby.

Most people don’t have a deep passion for knowledge management. They just want to know where they saved that receipt when the thing breaks.

Anyway. A work in progress.