Just starting, cant choose between including projects or keeping it simple :D

Hi all

first of all thanks so much @johnnydecimal for all your hard work and sharing this.

i am not very technical and am trying to understand and decide how to start

i am an academic so don’t have a million projects but do have thousands of .md notes in many areas such as tech, home, work etc.

some of these overall categories have many sub levels and also in the academic world i often have to have multiple levels:


so im quite confused :slight_smile: in the “Classic” AC-ID it seems like i would not be able to get the salary sub folders since it dosent go so deep? am i correct?

the projects option seems like an over kill but maybe that the only route to follow?

any tips would be great!

thx so much

Hi! And thanks for the kind words. :blush:

I would try to stay simple and see how you go. For 10 years all of my life was in a simple AC.ID structure. In fact most of it still is, and a few major projects have their own PRO.AC.ID.

I’ve got something like:

10-19 Personal
   11 Process // this is a catch-all ‘stuff to do’
   12 People & orgs
   13 Financial
      // so your pay notes, tax returns etc. go here
   14 Knowledge & data
   15 Technical
   16 Travel
   17 Entertainment
   18 House & home
20-29 [was used, is now free]
30-39 ACME Inc. // not my real company name
   31 Process
   32 People & orgs
   33 Financial
   34 Contracts
   35 Technical
   36 Travel

So 30-39 encompasses my company and my job. (I’m an IT contractor, so I have my own registered business through which I bill my customers.)

And notice how I’ve kept the numbers the same where possible, but I needed 34 for Contracts.

And then 40-49 onwards are for other areas of my life, e.g. I’m also a marriage celebrant (just for fun) so that goes in one of them, etc.

Honestly I think most regular people can manage in a structure similar to this. Remember if you have a whole bunch of notes related to one thing they can share a number. Like if you’ve got 33.11 Salary monthly, that doesn’t just mean you can only have one thing in there. You can have a whole bunch of stuff in there and you’re still going to be able to find what you’re after because you’re already in a really specific place.

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Could you please provide a glimpse on the inner structure of 11? It’s not clear to me how you handle that so called “process”. Thank you very much!

Welcome! I don’t have a process folder, but I have a “Random” folder. In that one, I save things that aren’t super personal to me, but don’t really fit other categories. I don’t have many things saved in it, as I try to save in the other categories. This is more of a “catch all” for my non-work related items.

Hope that helps a little bit.

List item

I could have called it “11 Random things to do”, really.

Get a new passport. Ship an electronic piano from the UK to Australia. Register for the Brexit postal vote. Appeal a fine.

This seems to come close to the projects as I know them from GTD: All projects with a specific goal, end date (possibly self-agreed) and several next action. There are quickly 5 such projects per month, for which it needs a directory. This means that the 99 possible ID in AC 11 will be used up in 1.6 years. How do you solve this problem? Would PRO.AC.ID then have to be applied?

I was wondering just yesterday about a different issue whether there’s any problem just going from AC.99 to AC.100, 101, …

That number is just an index. I don’t think it impacts anything if it grows over 100 (but see warning below).

A lot of my thinking a few years ago assumed that I was going to build software to help people manage their numbers. I would have to make decisions when building that software, e.g. ‘the ID can never be greater than 99’. Because when you build software you must have some sort of spec.

But the more I see on this forum the more I realise that the JD idea as documented on the website is just a starter. All sorts of people have all sorts of needs. Need more than 99 IDs in a category? Do it!

My concern would be that you end up with a ‘dumping ground’ of hundreds of items and now you can’t find anything again. That’s the whole point of the system, to help you find things later. So you should think about that first. Are these things all really ‘random’? Can’t they fit inside a category somewhere?

That is a good point, Thank you, Johnny.

Hey Johnny,

For your few major projects with their own PRO.AC.ID, the AC categories are different than your regular AC.ID structure right? That is to say, are they basically separate systems? (that’s the impression I get from reading the “Multiple-project systems” page.)

I have a few projects that are the top level of organization for me, I ended up just using a 2 letter abbreviation for each project, followed by a mostly standard AC.ID (the areas are the same across all projects, but individual categories can vary depending on the project.)

BTW Thanks for all your content on this site!

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Correct, separate systems. But if you can identify patterns for re-use, it generally helps to do so. (But don’t fall in to the trap of perceived neatness vs. actual usefulness, which I do sometimes.)

Two letters will work for projects, I started with a three-letter thing myself. Whatever works! Glad the system helps. :handshake:

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