J.D accross multiple platforms

Hi guys,

I came across the J.D system through Jackson Dame’s newsletter, and have to say I’m intrigued! :slight_smile: I’ve been looking for a method to organise all of my stuff for a while, and love rigorous, structured approaches like this.

One thing that’s preventing me from getting started however, is that I’m wondering how to integrate all the different platforms and tools I use to capture and store thoughts/inspiration/experiments/etc.

For example, I’m planning on buying a house, and so have been making calculations/financial plans in a Google spreadsheet, collecting bits of design inspiration on Pinterest, saving PDF’s provided by the estate agents of houses I’ve visited in my Finder (Mac), sharing some documents with my girlfriend through Google Drive, yadda yadda yadda :wink: Not to mention paper-based design ideas or sketches…

So basically, my question is: how would you go about consolidating the info stored across all of these platforms, tools and media? I’ve been thinking about storing as much as possible in folders on my Mac or in the cloud, even images from Pinterest, but this perhaps defeats the purpose of such tools.

I’m curious to hear any thoughts on this!



Good questions! I’m curious about this as well. One immediately useful side effect of the J.D numbers I’ve found is that I can so easily add a reference to my other notes (mostly in Emacs). So a Journal entry in Emacs might include “23.14” or whatever. And that’s all I need in order to jump to the related folder in the Finder (I use Alfred to make that easy).

For email, a nice feature of HEY.com for email is that I can easily rename email subjects that I receive and add any relevant J.D numbers for reference. I’m experimenting with this also. So much to think about!

My first thought is to use some form of cloud sync. That way all your documents/files are in the same folder structure on all platforms.

Good questions indeed, and there’s a bit of a similar chat going on over in Discord. I’ll be lazy and copy-paste a bunch of stuff here.

The questions

@BirdysManMBA So I love the idea of Johnny Decimal. The biggest implementation struggle I’ve had is how to apply it to cross software i.e. slack channels to file folders. Especially in a collaborative sense for a small company

@ajusa were you able to come up with a good way to show an index? I feel like I remember seeing a few prototypes you had floating around on the blog

The answer

What software do you have access to at work? Could you use Airtable or something like that? (I have to use SharePoint and it sucks.)

My current recommendation is just plain text. Make it look like the system in this post — basically just indent correctly until things line up nice.

The software I’m building will basically do this, but will allow you to link out to other locations, it’ll help you add new numbers (by doing it for you rather than you having to look up the next free ID), it’ll help you search, it’ll allow you to keep notes & to-dos right in your index.

The problem is that many work environments don’t have a good place to share a text document. I’ve had success with SharePoint lists, strangely enough the previous version was much better. Then Microsoft updated it and now it’s a bit crap.

I just built a Windows-folder-structure-to-SharePoint-wiki-index function last weekend that I’ll share. But it’s really janky.

I haven’t worked much in corporate environments, but the only other options I can think of are generating an image that represents the index, or a static HTML file. I think sharepoint might have support for viewing a self contained HTML page? You could have it be somewhat interactive there.

My system shouldn’t restrict where you keep things or what tools or sites you use. But this is where an index is critical, and this demonstrates why really nicely.

First, the solution. And this is the endorsed-by-JD, will-be-supported-by-software format. Do this:

10-19 Area whatever
   11 Category you-know-what
   11.01 My item in one place
   - Location: Pinterest[1]
   11.02 My item in another place
   - Location: Google Drive
   11.03 One more item
   - Location: MacBook/~

[1]: And you’ll be able to [markdown](URL here) format links here so that they become clickable.

You could also leave yourself a note against any item.

   11.04 My item
   - Note: Whatever I want to remember.

Basically after any item you can enter - [Key]: [Value] and that’ll be valid.


SharePoint has a terrible wiki which does the job. It’s awful, so the thing I knocked up last weekend just generates the HTML for you and you paste it directly in ‘as source’.

I’l start a new thread specifically for ‘JD file formatting ideas’ so it’s tidy and find-able. Please hold.

Here it is.

This is one of the biggest questions/challenges I’ve been having, but also I think one of the strengths of the J.D system. Like @johnnydecimal says here:

I think we should use all the tools and platforms we need for what they’re good at (images, pins, file storage, PDFs, Google spreadsheets) and use the J.D index to tie it all together.

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Just started using this system, super thankful I found it, and so far it is working nicely. I love how quickly my brain remembers the numbers. The two things that I use the most are a note taking app and cloud storage for docs/pdfs/photos.

Right now I am using Evernote and Apple’s Files, but switching cloud storage to Google Drive because I use Google Doc/Sheets. But running into issues with the same system in two places.

I am toying with the idea of using Notion as a combined JD System. Of course I want to see what @johnnydecimal is working on before I go all in. Anyone else in here using Notion for this?

edit: My other idea is to use Evernote for this. Powerful search feature and I plays well with Google Drive. Basically I can just dump files in google drive and make a note in Evernote with a proper J.D. file name and structure. Here is my current EN setup.

I wouldn’t hold your breath! Haha. I’m moving pretty slowly. I’m not a developer by trade – though I do work in IT – so I’ve had to teach myself JavaScript and React. That’s still a bit of a work-in-progress.

This forum has given me extra motivation though, and a few months back I started working Tue-Fri so I could take Mondays for JD. That’s making me move a little quicker but the reality is, well, I’m kinda lazy.

Very interested to hear how others manage their systems. It’s all serving as inspiration and input to the thing I’m putting together.

I have been through 2020, I can wait for anything! :laughing:

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I’m going to answer you question with a question.

I wonder if leveraging Hook for macOS might be one-such solution?

This is a :brain: :dash: so it may not be helpful.

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I mentioned Hook in another thread as well. I finally gave it a thorough test after hearing Luc on the MPU podcast. The fact that they added code to make it work with an obscure 3rd party Fastmail client, just because I brought it up, well - that’s a level of dev responsiveness that is rare!

You can definitely link to almost any web app because Hook is very URL-based. This includes local url’s like fmail:// or file:// - here are some links for further reading about Hook:

Mac app compatibility

Hook showcases

Linking and Contextual Computing - David Sparks

Data Linkability and Why it Matters

Ooooh wow, I think Hook might be the greatest tool I’d never heard of. Couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw how powerful it could be!

Using Hook links, you could code a simple index.html to act as your Index file, a little something like the attached image. Allows for a clearer visual structure (at least for me), and could live as a pinned tab in my browser, so I can get to it easily.

Haven’t yet dug in to the answers to my original question, but just this part has got me excited already!


Interesting. This is similar to what I’ve built at work to get over the shortcomings of our toolset there. Let us know how this works out please, cool idea. I like the simplicity.

I haven’t tested it massively in anger, but I believe Hook links work across multiple devices - so if you are using two macs, the Hook links should resolve across both… I think!

Quick follow up for Apple users. You can create a shared link from pages/numbers/keynote and drop it in your Evernote. It’s ugly but it will open the document up right on your computer and you can continue with your work.

In the past if I dropped a pages files or a word file into Evernote it would download it. A second copy. Now I can have a link to just open it just like when you add a google doc to an Evernote note.

This also works with pdfs in the Files app.

Again my reason behind this is to have one place where I can store and recall all of my notes, web clips, docs, pdfs, etc. Using Evernotes powerful search feature + JD system = File Mangement Bliss.

EDIT: Just downloaded Hook. Yeah this is much better. Doesn’t work with Evernote but plays nicely with Bear and Apple Notes. Hmmmm

have you read through this thread? Seems like it did work for awhile…

Ah, thank you for this.