On Archival Materials, Education, and "Areas" that have lost relevancy

From the workbook

In your home life, you might have categories that you rarely touch. You might have archives of material from your childhood. This is okay.

Something about this does not compute to me. Looking at my documents folder, a lot of space is taken up by old school documents, so when making a new system I’m naturally thinking about how to categorize them.

Many examples of JD systems I’ve seen wind up with categories that look something like…

30-39 Education
|___ 31 English 101
      |____ 31.01 Classnotes September 8
      |____ 31.02 Assignment 1

But this just can’t possibly work, right? What kind of person takes a maximum of 10 classes in their entire life? What about after you graduate, will you keep giving that top-level primacy to the classes you took ages ago, never to be altered again?

You can’t just archive the class after it’s done, because then all your numbers that referenced it will stop making sense.

You could squish a whole course into a single item, call it 30-39 Knowledge Base/31 Formal Education/31.08 English 101 or something, but now you’ve lost most of the strength of the indexing system, a whole six months of effort is squished into a single “thing” that can be referenced elsewhere with no more specificity than its entirety, not to mention how egregiously it will probably break the “no subfolders” rule.

So what is to be done? How have others handled these issues?

On this broader subject, see the long-running thread re: organising academic stuff.

This speaks to this ‘organising academic classes’ issue. In your example there you wouldn’t have an entire category dedicated to 31 English 101. This remains an issue to be solved; ref. other thread.

It’s been a looooonnng time since I’ve studied anything but my gut feel is that this would be okay. The more I do this the more I expand what a single ID can contain.

This rule has been relaxed to ‘avoid creating subfolders’. In some situations I now think that subfolders are fine.

Regarding the un-archivability of JD.

You can sort by date modified for folders at the category level to surface frequently used IDs — this doesnt completely solve the issue of having a past folder live there forever but it helps.

Another approach could be to hide the folder, which on Mac is pretty easy How to hide folders and files on Mac for privacy

Which hides it for day to day things, but is still there quite easily when needed.