Difficulties wrapping my head about layers and depth in my system

Hi Decimals,

I have been breaking my head about if I can use the Johnny Decimal system, because currently my folders are deeeeeeeep. That’s right. Not two layers, but eight in extreme cases. Two layers is maybe too flat for me and I would like to go down three in some cases.

Here is an example of an EP I have recorded with my band Ask My Bull. One of the song titles of the EP is Techno Pigeon:


  1. How it is
  • 10 Music
    • 11 Music Projects
      • 11.01 Manchester
        • 11.01.01 Ask My Bull
          • Music
            • Recordings
              • Studio
                • New EP
                  • Techno Pigeon
                    • Item 1

  1. How I could imagine trimming it down a little bit more
  • 10 Music
    • 11 Music Projects
      • 11.01 Ask My Bull
        • 11.01.01 Recordings
          • New EP
            • Techno Pigeon
              • Item 1

Option 2 is still is too deep, but I can’t imagine making the folder structure any more flat, as I would end up with too many items in the same folder.

Do you have any advice on how to tackle this?

This feels like you need multiple projects?

I met @joel.d the other week and we were discussing the whole multiple projects approach. The site is in the middle of a rebuild — hoping to have it up within a few weeks — and this is one page that’s getting a massive overhaul.

I currently use a variation on the PRO.AC.ID system. I’ve replaced PRO being 3 digits with a letter-digit-digit scheme. L43 is a project, for example. (Also I’m not starting at 01, I’m just making up a number that resonates for that project.)

So that’s one option. If you browse here lots of people use a 3-digit scheme nested down their tree. It feels to me that those people are also PARA users but that might not be accurate.

The thing that @joel.d got me thinking about was an extension of the two-digit category. So rather than having 100 categories, from 00 through 99, expand that to 3 digits and now you have a thousand, 000 through 999.

Group these in to areas at the top level however you like (though I’d probably still stick to increments of 10).

So now you can give your band a bunch of categories: 130-139 Ask My Bull. You’ve got a thousand to play with, you can go a bit crazy.

All a bit sketchy, sorry. I’ll form this better with some solid examples when I re-do that page. I’ll post on the site when the refresh goes live. Hope that gives you something to think about.


I just realised that these approaches are fundamentally different in one key way. The PRO.AC.ID thing ends up with a 3-level hierarchy.

Expanding AC to 1,000 does not. But it achieves basically the same goal.

I think ultimately this is just a matter of preference?