First steps with JD

Hi everyone, I’ve just started to use this system to organize my desktop.
Before this I was using another system, which is called the PARA method. Basically you divide things in 4 folders Projects, Areas of responsibility, Resources and Archive.
My problem with PARA is that it lacks consistency, e.g. Projects and Areas of responsibility are very hard to distinguish.
When I started brainstorming on the new system I realized that AC.ID was not enough because I needed a folder for every subject I have at university.
So I moved to PRO.AC.ID.
Now I have two project folders (more or less “public life” vs “private life”) and things are starting to work.
My question is: does the id name individual files or folders?

Hey there! Good to have you here, hope we can help.

The ID numbers folders. Typically within there you don’t need to number files, though some do. See this post for more discussion.

Ah, and this post.

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Thank you for your answer!
Now I have a follow-up question though.
What is better between PRO.AC.ID and AC.ID?
e.g.
10-19 University > 10 First year > 10.01 Constitutional law > files
100-199 University > 100 First year > 10-19 Constitutional law > 10 First semester > 10.01 The government > files
The problem is I have things that fits well in the AC.ID and others which need more space

EDIT if AC.ID should have only two folders, why do I have three of them?

Johnny can answer but I was initially confused too. I think “2 layers deep” means 3 folders and only 2 clicks to open to your deepest folder.

But then I wondered if projects are added, does that make it 3 layers deep?

Yeah with projects you have 3 layers. But if you’ve structured your system so that you’re always in and out of projects all day long you’ve probably done it wrong.

Always prefer AC.ID if you can manage it. I ran my whole life for 10 years on AC.ID. Now I use PRO.AC.ID at work, but I’m in a single project 90% of the time. It does add overhead: use carefully.

Prefer the first.

You probably don’t need the extra layer of organisation that 10 First semester gets you here. Because your JD IDs will sort by creation time, all of the first semester stuff is going to group together naturally anyway.

Definitely one of the “standard systems” that I need to add to some sort of catalogue is a university or similar course…

I looked at JD a few years ago, but could not really see the advantage of it for a home user, so I walked away. Then recently someone mention it, so I decided to take another look since I do like to have a sensible organization of my folders and files, which was not quite the case.

I don’t know why but is suddenly clicked with me, so without much ado I decided to apply the system. Wow, what an eye opener.

It forced me to come up with the best Areas and Categories for my use case. Next, there were quite a few files I had to think about carefully where they really belonged. For folders with many files I had to also decided on a usable, logical file naming system.

The only condition driving this was: ease to find the files. Using a powerful search tool, like e.g. Everything, is fine, but one cannot always remember the correct file name, or even a word in a file name.

What does puzzle me a bit is the use of an index. The objective of JD is the ease to find files. As JD is a location system, similar to book shelves in a library, and if you have a good working system, why would you need an index? It requires maintenance, and, if you have a large collection of files with regular additions, removals, changes, the index can become very cumbersome.

For project work? That is not the primary objective of JD though, is it?

See my response here.

But also while I’m here, here’s another example from just normal daily life: travel booking. When I used to go places :frowning_face: I very often had a folder full of travel emails in my inbox but I didn’t bother making a folder in my file system. But then sometimes I did. So I might have had:

Email? File system?
16.01 First trip :white_check_mark: :x:
16.02 2nd… :white_check_mark: :x:
16.03 3rd… :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
16.04 4th… :x: :white_check_mark:

So yeah, for some people an index might not be absolutely required but you’ll just need to be careful.

Gotcha. Your table shows that it is important to have the discipline to be consistent: i.e. like you were for your 3rd and to some extent 4th trip.