PRO.AC.ID middle way?

Hello JD community,

TL;DR: Is there a system between AC.ID and PRO.AC.ID?

I’m new to the JD system and right now in the “Think on it for a week” phase.
My use case is organizing personal and work files. My personal files and work files from non-primary employments (side gigs) fits in the AC.ID-system (for now), whereas my primary employment files requires its own AC.ID-system because of the complexity.

Initially I thought no problem, I’ll just keep the systems separated, but on second thought that’s not possible if I want to use the system other places i.e. mail and searching in the filesystem.

Then I should use the multi-project PRO.AC.ID right? The thing is the system just becomes “too big” - increasing by a 100-fold. I’ll never utilize more than maybe 15 projects (like 101-114.AC.ID) when getting a new primary employment maybe every 2-5-10 years.

On the top of my head I was thinking about using P.AC.ID using just one (or 2) letters? Like A.23.03, C.14.98, X.23.15 etc.
I agree with xxx.AC.ID not adding semantic value to the system, but what if the letters were used the same way as numbers (i.e. without meaning)?
Also I feel like I’d remember project F (F.AC.ID) or employment Y (Y.AC.ID) better than project 581 or employment 863.
I also believe that projects/employments are more “different” than areas and categories thereby earning the right to a special notation, if that makes sense.

Does anyone have some thoughts on systems between AC.ID and PRO.AC.ID?


Other thread:

Why not just have your personal and work as two separate areas? So 10-19 Personal and 20-29 or even 20-39 Work?

If I squeeze all my files into a single AC.ID-system the areas will become categories, and categories will be merged into IDs.
The problems will be:

  • In some categories I can project that I’ll reach 100 IDs within a year or two
  • I’ll loose some organization because the merged IDs are too different to be in the same folder
  • I have 4 employers at the moment, and I get a new one each 2-4 years which challenges the 10.10.100-limit

I’ve tried translating my use case with just some examples:

10-19 Personal
   11 Important documents
      11.01 Important thing 1
   12 Finance
      12.01 Finance stuff 2021
   13 Home
      13.01 House buy
      13.02 Car project
20-29 Work 1
   21 Personel
      21.01 Hire 2021
      21.02 Employee XX 
      21.03 Hire 2022
      21.04 Employee XX (salary 2021)
   22 Intelligence
      22.01 Big subject
      22.02 Small subject
   23 Operations
   24 Logistics
   25 Communications
   26 Training <-- Merged "Courses", "Workshops", "Training", "Lectures", "Activities" etc. (messy and too small)
      26.01 Course 1 2021
      26.02 Workshop 1 2021
      26.03 Training 1
      26.04 Big activity 1 2021
      26.05 Lecture 1 2021
   27 Finance
   28 Plans       <--- "Cases", "Taskings" and "Plans" merged into one category (messy and too small)
      28.01 Plan 1
      28.02 Tasking 1
      28.03 Plan 2
      28.04 Case 1
30-39 Work 2
   31 Finance
   32 Contract 1
      32.01 Client A <--- "Client A" only gets an ID, but actually needs categories like "Assignments", "Documentation", "Homepage" etc.
      32.02 Client B <--- Same for "Client B" 
   33 Contract 2 <-- Mixing all stuff in one category like "Documents", "Activities", "Cases" etc.
      33.01 Documents
      33.02 Activity 1
40-49 Work 3
50-59 Development
60-69 Work 4 <--- I'll run out of areas soon when getting new work every 2-4 years. 

I’m having the same issue, both at home and at work (I showed J.D to my boss and he seems to like it). It seems in both case I struggle with an inbetween situation: a bit too much for AC.ID (high temptation to create subfolders) and a bit too few to mandate PRO.AC.ID (empty categories).

I’ve been tempted to erect a rule like “if you need more than 100 similar items, stuff them a level down”, but how do I manage those case when those items need sub-folders?

If going for PRO.AC.ID, does the general stuff go into a 100-1xx PRO category (at work: team management, finance, hiring, holidays, etc.) and the rest are proper projects? I can envison splitting our projects in different bigger categories, because we have different kind of team activities… But then I even wonder if those projects can accomodate a 99 items span? I mean, in a few years, we’re going to run out of available items, because we have some quick projects (and lots of them during the year), and some bigger ones, advancing more slowly.

I’m tempted to replace PRO by YEAR, but then we have multi-year projects (but that could be the year they started, so it’s fine… until you realize that it’s not a project identifier, it’s just a year. Oh damn!)

Help :slight_smile:

So I almost ended up using my modified JD-system (P.AC.ID), but during the preparation phase I realized I didn’t need more layers, I needed more items . Too many layers (3 layers with P.AC.ID/PRO.AC.ID) just complicated things since the added layer often was unnecessary.
Then I considered using hex-numbers like 1F.FB, but it was not very intuitive.
So in the end I went with “JD classic” (AC.ID) and I’m implementing now which is a huge task.
I really hope John is right when he writes:

“What happens when I get to 99?”
You never will


I hope too! I have that mindmap open on my computer where I refine the structure. I think I optimized it quite a lot now (at least he was right when saying we should think it through during at least a week! :wink: ) I created some intermediaite Categories within Areas that make sense and will allow to split projects through them… Finger crossed, implementation hasn’t been launched yet, it’s still time to change! :smiley:

I think in this situation you definitely want PRO.AC.ID.

For sure. And just one project should cover all of this. 100 Company administration or whatever.

You have 1,000 project numbers available. If you used a new number every week it would take you 20 years to run out. Not gonna happen.

That said, I do sometimes have a category where tiny projects or one-offs go. In my old system I had that within 10-19 Administration/19 One-offs. But when I think about it now, that’s the sort of thing that can probably be handled within your overall company project. If it’s a one-off to do with staffing, put it in your staffing category there.

If you really do have a lot of these tiny projects and they really are their own thing, think carefully about where they go. I can see them getting lost easily. Perhaps one project per year’s worth of tiny projects, and then do what you can do organise within there? Or just organise by date if you think that’ll allow you to find them again in the future?

Might be worth gathering a bunch of these smaller projects and just doing the old “design your JD structure” technique on them. Write them all on sticky notes, stick them on a wall, move them around until the natural categories appear?

Remember, the secondary purpose of JD is having a neat folder structure. The primary purpose is allowing you to find things again in the future with zero/low-friction. Neat is lovely, but pointless if you still can’t find anything. :slight_smile:

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Let us know how this goes!

I’ve set up the folder structures (only AC so far) and put all my unsorted files in an “Unsorted” folder - I have 165.000+ files so I think most will end up in “90-99 Archive” :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
My data is “fast moving” but most importantly (spare)time is sparse, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever get these unsorted folders sorted
Primary work stuff is implemented and it’s a blast! I haven’t put [AC.ID] in email subjects though and I don’t think I will - it’s too intrusive and it can only be used on send email. Work email goes into [AC.ID]-folders and Personal stuff in [AC]-folders.
I dread sorting my Photos.
I’ve done my index using Minder and preparations started before I started this thread (I think “1 week” preparation must be full-time) :slightly_smiling_face:
Thank you for sharing your system and taking the time to run the website and forum. Cheers from Denmark :denmark: and merry christmas :christmas_tree:

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