Integrating note-taking with the index

I’ve been a long-time Johnny Decimal fan and have recently revamped my system after working through the both the workbook and the workshop, which are fantastic. I know that there’s still a lot in the works in terms of advanced topics, which is probably what I’m looking for (and eagerly awaiting!).

But in the meantime, I need some help thinking through how to integrate note-taking into the index – I know that the index primarily helps you figure out where things are (e.g., the example Johnny uses about an emergency trip before another planned trip to Vietnam), but otherwise many of the notes can be blank. I really like this approach that Johnny mentions in terms of storing fleeting ideas that might be helpful down the line – i.e., jotting down things like phone numbers, paint colors, etc. in the index note for the project you’re working on, but I’m struggling to think through how I might use the index for other kinds of note-taking, since the system I have right now is cordoned off into a specific area (i.e., 50-59 Notes, with some nominal categories like 50 Meeting notes, 50.01 [Name of person or group]). It seems that it makes the most sense to keep things you need to remember in the index note, but I struggle with thinking through how to manage my digital garden / Zettelkasten / trove of thoughts and notes from all corners of my life other than sequestering it into a specific notebook which is separate from the index (see ideas here, here, and here).

The solutions I’ve seen so far in the forum basically have the notebook / garden / ZK living in those sequestered folders, but I feel like there has to be some way to make it so that the note system is in one vault (to use Obsidian’s language, since that’s where I keep my index and personal notebooks now).

This was a bit rambly since I’m not sure how to articulate the problem I’m facing more clearly yet, and I’m still trying to figure out how to make jd work for academic purposes (I’m a faculty member trying to hustle for tenure and teach, etc). Any feedback / examples for how you’ve integrated your broader notetaking practice with your index would be greatly appreciated!

Welcome. You will find a number of academics on this site - I am one as well. I’ve been using JD for about six months now. In addition to my file systems (on various clouds), I use Obsidian and DevonThink as my main tools.

I have my index and some notes with JD ID’s in a single obsidian vault. I also keep daily notes there.

I have a separate vault, which is very much a work in progress, which is a zettlekasten/commonplace book, for things not currently associated with a JD ID. I expect over time that some of these might “mature” into finding their way into a JD ID.

I have two JD “systems” - one for academic and professional work, and another for home and consulting work. If you look at my postings, I’ve shared the structure for my academic and professional work system,

JD was talking about having some sort of followup session to get a better understanding of the needs of those of us in academia.

Moving this to its own thread. See you there if you’re interested.