Is JD for *everything*? Or primarily files and folders?

Hi all,

JD newbie here… I’ve had a trial run organizing files at work and it’s going well so far. So well, in fact, that I’m more excited about doing it for my personal life as well (I keep the two very separate).

I’ve read all the website pages about notes and emails… my question is about the practical implementation of that.

For work it’s easy: clearly-defined projects, plus things that fall outside of projects but can easily be categorised. Emails and notes nearly always relate to something in my folder structure so I can easily apply the JD numbers there as well.

For my personal life I also have some obvious categories and projects, but I also have a ton of random notes and ephemeral stuff that only exists as notes, emails, bookmarks, whatever. If I think about including those in my structure, I need to look beyond what’s in my existing file structure.

Seems like I have three options:

  1. Build my JD system to accommodate my existing files. If I have a note or email that relates: great, number it too, but otherwise manage those as I always have with tags and keyword searches.
  2. Build my JD system to accommodate both files and things that live only in emails/notes, and accept that there will be gaps in my folder numbers for things that only live in notes/email. Use a well-defined index to figure out what is where.
  3. Stop using my notes app as an everything bucket and make more of an effort to save things in my JD filesystem where appropriate. The aim would then be to have my notes functioning more as described on the ‘keeping notes’ page, for short, supplementary information.

How are others managing this? Or is it a meta problem of my own creation?

If you have a well-oiled system for taking notes, I wouldn’t change it other than perhaps adding a JD number to the note title. If you think it’ll help.

If I want to do that in a non-disruptive way I’ll generally do it in square brackets at the end:

  • Title of my really great note [23.03]

This post might help with the ‘where to store these things’ question.

Your option 2. is where I’d be leaning. Use each technology for what it’s good at, and use my system to know where all the things are.