Advice on Personal System

I know the Workbook says to take a lot of time on thinking of your structure. I feel like I’m overthinking it. I’ve gone back and forth on a lot of Areas and Categories. Combining some, splitting others. Here’s what I’m thinking of so far, and would love any thoughts you all have.

00-09 System (only difference here is 02 is "How Tos" for me)
10-19 Adulting (Life Administration)
  11 Insurance
  12 House
  13 Car
  14 Career
  15 Finances
    15.x Taxes (I see this being a case where there are subfolders by tax year)
  16 Healthcare
  17 Wellness
20-29 Creative Endeavors
  21 Writing
  22 Piano
  23 Design
  24 Drawing
30-39 Learning
  31 Politics
  32 Philosophy
  33 Web Development
40-49 Leisure + Entertainment
  41 Travel
  42 TV, Movies, + YouTube
  43 Music
  44 Reading
  45 Video Games
50-59 Events
  51 Christmas
  52 Thanksgiving
  53 Birthdays
  54 Other
60-69 Gastronomy
  61 Recipes
  62 Gardening
  63 Foraging
  64 Vegetables
  65 Herbs
  66 Flowers
  67 Animals
  68 Wine
70-79 [Unused]
80-89 Technology
  81 Backups
  82 Security + Passwords
  83 Websites + Domains
  84 Email
90-99 People + Relationships
  91 Me
  92 [Spouse]
  93 [Child]
  94 Mom
  95 Family + Friends

I do Bullet Journaling in Bear and that would live outside of this system, but pretty much everything else lives in it. Plan to use it for physical files too.

I searched around for other topics here with other people’s examples to try to draw inspiration as well. Really appreciate everyone sharing their systems, it helps newbies like me work through things.

Hi there :slight_smile: I am new to JD and have spent a few days trying to organise my system and here is where I am.
So far I have come up with the following (bear in mind I am a mum, a homemaker type of mum and I love self development and learning. My work is in a separate Evernote account);

00 System( Inbox, someday etc)
10 Projects
20 Control Journal (inspired by Flylady)
30 Banking and Finances
40 Health, Care and Wellbeing (physical and mental)
50 Education (my previous education and children’s current education)
60 Jade’s Library of Knowledge (I have a notebook per book/course I take)

I like big folders and notebooks per thing. I have not numbered or ID’d the notebooks etc inside of these areas just yet as I am playing with the system.

I’m not familiar with Control Journal, but I’m looking it up!

I struggled a lot with thinking I had too broad of areas and categories, and then conversely thinking my areas and categories were too narrow. I admire the systems people have shared that are more concise, but my worry is individual IDs might hold too much (or require sub folders). Maybe I’m not fully understanding what IDs and their contents would look like. I’d love more examples of that from others.

An earlier division of Areas I had was something like this:

  • Making Money
  • Spending Money
  • Things I Have to Do
  • Things I Enjoy Doing
  • Things to Know

Sleeping on it (again), I kind of like that structure, but I also get into “what goes where?” paralysis.

Hi! Your structure looks really good. Instinctively I want to tell you to consolidate it a little bit just because you’ve used most of it and I like to leave a bit of room to grow.

But then I read through it and I think, yeah, okay, they all seem okay. So perhaps if I was to try to merge a few it’d be things like:

  • Healthcare and wellness. Two sides of the same coin?
  • The entire areas of creative endeavours and learning. They feel similar?
  • Events and people + relationships. Events usually involve people?

Also I wonder if technology needs its own area or if it couldn’t fit as a category in to your wonderfully named adulting area?

But really these are nit-picks. If you’ve given that system a whole bunch of thought already I think it shows, and I think it’ll serve you very well indeed.

And hello Jayde! Obviously there’s less detail here, but this feels like a good start. I’m also unfamiliar with control journal so not sure what would go in there.

This one feels a bit top-heavy on the areas. As in, I typically see banking and finances as a category within an area. But if you’re a homemaker mum maybe you spend a whole bunch of time on this and that’s fine for you.

Perhaps consider going with the common 10-19 Life admin/adulting and your banking, health and probably a few other areas you haven’t thought of yet (technology? home maintenance?) might find their way in there too.

I love Jade’s Library of Knowledge. Lucy came up with something similar last week as she developed her system for the workshop.

Keep us up to date with your progress please.

Appreciate the feedback! Funnily enough, all the points you brought up I have thought about and had at various times in the system. I did have Health + Wellness as an Area at one point, but that felt better as categories. I also did combine Creative Endeavors + Learning at one point. Still might go back to that. My concern was going over the 10 categories in that setup.

And I had Events under People. My backtrack there was thinking about something like Christmas for IDs. I track notes for Christmas each year: what food we’re making, new Christmas music I want to add to a playlist, gifts for people, etc. Is that something that should fall into a single ID? Or would there be IDs like Christmas Menus or maybe Christmas 2024 (which then contains said notes about menus, music, gifts)?

Love the system. Your description of how people normally “organize” their files is so spot on. A goal with this system is making it easy for my spouse to find things and figure things out should anything happen to me.

Those Christmas examples are an either/or for me. I don’t think it really matters as long as you can find what you’re looking for.

I’d never thought about this. I have a 1Password Emergency Kit and then I’ve tried to guide the unfortunate soul who has to use it with notes in 1Password itself. It’d be interesting to have a JD ‘landing spot’ for such emergencies…

I’m the one that does all the bills and such. I’m young, but I have a family history of Alzheimer’s, so I want to be prepared for the future, if needed. That’s why I switched 02 to How Tos instead of Notes. The Index and How Tos will hopefully be the entry points to figure out how to keep the lights on and deal with issues as they arise. If it’s not covered in those two categories, hopefully the rest of the system will be self evident to what’s where. I’m also preparing a printed document to store in our safe alongside my own 1Password Emergency Kit, to explain the system and how to find things in it.

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Hi :slight_smile: I am still struggling with this. I am quite new and moving from PARA. I like macro organisation and I have quite a lot of projects at the moment, while I’ve been doing PARA for almost a year, I still have lots of things to organise and projects to complete as we’ve lived in survival mode due to sickness for quite some time - routines are out of whack!
I wonder if once I am consistent and have a system in place where I am not constantly going through the folders and using information within them that it will become easier to narrow down.

My finances look like this…(not currently consistent in numbering as playing with the system a bit)

  1. Meta

  2. Money management -
    loan tracker
    debt tracker
    money in
    money out

  3. Banking information
    my banking information
    my 11 year old sons banking information
    my 4 year old daughters banking information,

  4. HMRC
    disability living allowance,
    child benefit,
    child maintenance.

  5. ADHOC Childcare expenses for daughter

  • childminder contract, receipts etc
  • afterschool club contract, receipts etc
  • play scheme holiday club contract, receipts etc
  1. Insurance
    Electric appliances
    Insurance documents

  2. Priority bills
    3 separate water accounts
    Gas and electric
    Council tax

  3. Subscriptions
    Sons bank account fee for children’s debit card banking
    to name a few!

  4. TV, phone, broadband and tv license

  5. work
    work from home allowance

national insurance

  1. school
    school trips/residential trips
    uniform costs
    cashless system so pay for school dinners etc online, need to keep track and keep log in details for this.

  2. my student loans.

I am an Evernote user :slight_smile:
(all personal info is password protected)

A control journal was created by Flylady - similar to areas of responsibility - focused more on homemaking; cleaning, routines etc.

Sorry another comment here haha! I use Evernote and Things 3 together and I often email attachments etc and Evernote does not allow you to copy and paste or merge pdfs, emails etc together. I would have to download, save and then add to Evernote then deleting from a folder? if that makes any sense haha!

In this case, I would stick with PARA. Firstly, because you have already familiarized yourself with it. Secondly, because it’s a system that I think is better suited to the dynamics that life is unfortunately imposing on you at the moment (“Projects”). - What you can add from J.D. is: No more than three levels deep, no more than 10 - 10 - 100 folders wide, file documents exclusively on the third level, number the three levels according to 11.11, possibly keep an index.

Translated with (free version)

Thanks for your reply :slight_smile:
I think I am currently doing a bit of PARA and JD?

I can’t go back to PARA fully, I find it restricting and do not want multiple folders in each letter for one thing such as finances. But at the same time I am feeling restricted by JD a little. Mostly I find the numbers tricky and not sure how to implement this system on each thing I use. I do love the idea, and might be able to go all in further down the line. For now, I will just keep organising macro and see where I end up. I have a stack currently dedicated to projects, each project in a folder, then all other areas have a separate stack. I like things to be together, so if my daughter’s childminder was 20.06 for example but her new holiday club was 20.13 it would really annoy me that they aren’t next to eachother. so I’m not sure. Will keep reading and learning here :slight_smile: do like some methods of PARA and JD, and other systems, maybe a mix of all the things will work. I am an aspiring researcher, writer, editor and professor and absolutely obsessed with learning…and a very homemakery kind of Mum so I just have so much information!!

I don’t understand this (perhaps because my english is not very good). Could you explain that? (Perhaps in there we will find the solution to your problem.)