I love the idea of JD and want to apply it to my ‘second brain’ in Obsidian. I have gone back and forth on how to properly format my files/notes and wanted some insight from the community before changing everything again.
However, I am using a three-digit system instead of the traditional two-digit system. Almost everything else in the vault would be fine under a two-digit system, aside from my ‘Library’ folder, which is organized similarly to the Dewey Decimal system and needs countless more folders inside of it. It is also easier for me to work with three-digit starting initial numbers over two-digits.
I was not sure how to format my folder structure effectively so I apologize if this is too difficult to read. Here is my current structure:
> 000 Meta
>> (Note) Atlas of System
>> (Note) Decimal Index
> 010 Templates
> 020 Attachments
> 030 Tools
> 040 Garden
>> 041 Seeds
>> 042 Trees
> 100 Journal
>> 101 Daily Notes
>>> 101.1 2023
>> 102 Dreams
>>> 102.1 2023
> 110 People
>> 111 Partner
>> 111.1 General
>> 112 Family
>>> 112.1 Immediate Family
>>>> (Note) Father
>>>> (Note) Mother
>>> 112.2 XX1 Family
>>> 112.3 XX2 Family
>>> 112.4 XX3 Family
>> 113 Friends
>> 114 People of Interest
>> 115 Animals
> 120 Tracking
> 130 Productivity
> 140 Genealogy
>> 141 Ancestors
>> 142 Family Tree
So without going through each folder, you may start to see my problem… I am struggling to put notes into JD folders. Some are fine such as the structure for 112 Family, as each note for a family member is going into a JD folder. However, categories like 141 Ancestors do not have a JD folder for notes to go into.
I am not exactly sure what I should be doing. Originally, I didn’t have the folders go by 10s but instead just go in order (So, 010 Templates would change to 001 Templates). This would give me more JD folders as time went on but folders with already existing JD folders (such as 112.1 Immediate Family) would then turn into three decimals, which I do not want many of.
I would love some feedback!
Perhaps not much of a feedback, but; I look at JD as a framework for organising digital information so that I know where things are across systems and apps I use.
In your example I would have had 140 Genealogy as 14 Genealogy and then Ancestors just as a folder within that. Maybe have it as 14-1 Ancestors. The point is that whenever I have a note or document on my ancestors I know that is goes into 10 P… / 14 G… / 14-1 A… - And that is for me the beauty of JD.
No need to get too focused on two or three digits, or how many levels you want digits (I only use two). Within your Ancestors folder, just create notes and folders as needed. JD for me is knowing where to put things and where to find things. But this is just how I use JD in my system.
@norseman So you would have folders deeper than two levels, but stop naming them with Johnny.Decimal numbers?
As a (not ideal) example, you would have
Yes, that is how I would have done it. For the first two levels, the numbers usually stick and I know right away where things are. Under for example ancestors, numbers really have no value for me. This is just my preference of course.
I’m going on a similar journey with Obsidian right now and I found it helpful to sort of map out how I want to talk to my second brain first: Input (random note, meeting, presentation) → Area of Development (process:process category, skill:skill category, etc.)/Project → Output (reference note within the system, project document, etc.).
This allows me to understand and see the journey of my thought process, allowing for an end result, while still being able to, at least at a high level, use a Johnny Decimal system to keep things organized.
Section 1 in my attached image is what the flow looks like, as a whole, with an Example of my game projects being used in the bottom left hand corner.
Section 2 is my structure in Obsidian (Please note the numbering has not been updated and every subfolder is starting at 10).
This allows my 20 Area of Development to contain buckets for more developed notes before they are connected to more finished notes associated with a final resource or project as seen in Section 3. I can have infinite notes and rely on my note’s zettlekasten’s properties to create the appropriate connections, which I show in Section 4.
tl;dr: do you want your system to support the development of your second brain or group your process together with your final output? I believe answering this will help you structure your system.