Storing notes inside the file folder

What is your workflow for updating the index?

Do you have one device - like a tablet that you hold it at. Or do you rely on web synch over many devices.

What about entry? Are you super dilligent - i.e. send an email from a work comp that can’t synchronize maybe the index - and immediately update the index on a separate device? Or somehow process it later?

Do it immediately. I have Bear everywhere, always available. (My BIGCO laptop is a Mac.)

In fact do it before creating a new email folder, for example. I have to — how would I know what number to use otherwise?

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Right. :slight_smile:

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Hey, Johnny:

Two more questions regarding this?

First: storing non-note files. So let’s say you will have a note 23.14 Project cost calculation

This note will say it’s a floor renovation cost calculation for you garden veranda :slight_smile:

I thought from the original explanation of your system that this’d be a directory - that might contain 3 files: a spreadsheet calculating the cost, a picture of the current veranda floor, and let’s say a presentation you need to pitch this to your wife - I know ridiculous, but from a corporate standpoint - in a corp environment you might easily have these three documents.


  • would this really be so? I.e. a numbered directory (I’ll get to the directory vs note below) and non-numbered documents in it?
  • or would you nowadays lean more towards:
    23.14 the note
    23.15 the spreadsheet
    23.16 the picture
    23.17 the presentation
    all numberd and thus named?
  • in either case - the note itself you’d have tagged in Bear as mentioned by you above. What about the documents - where do you have them - this’d be your home computer. So you’d still have the JD directory/subdirectory structure somewhere for these documents?

Now - it seems evident that for the documents themselves - not notes it’s beneficial to structure into the directory format right? And what about versioning in either of the above two alternatives? This is mostly appropriate for a corp mode - but I often work with documents that I send back and forth to my colleagues - we can have higher tens of revisions - and I want to usually keep dated versions of changes.

So - for the non-numbered document structure - there’d be:

DIR 20-29
SUB 23
SUB 23.14

and then:
2023-01-15 spreadsheet v1.xls
2023-01-17 spreadsheet v2.xls

Now - if your experience indicates all numbered documents is more beneficial - what would it be?

DIR 20-29
SUB 23

and then:
23.15 2023-01-15 spreadsheet v1.xls
23.16 the picture
23.17 2023-01-15 the presentation v1.ppt
23.18 2023-01-17 spreadsheet v2.xls

23.15 2023-01-15 spreadsheet v1.xls
23.15 2023-01-17 spreadsheet v2.xls
23.16 the picture
23.17 2023-01-15 the presentation v1.ppt

Or some other way? What’s your take on this?

It seems to me the numbered dir with documents in it is better from the point of view - if I have tens of revisions of documents - I’m gonna run out of numbers, unless I choose the last option of keeping the number same for all versions. But then the directory - if it’s all in one directory as in the last option - will be huge, not good.

So the first option - having each number its own dir is better from this perspective - then however I’m thinking it might be beneficial to have the numbers in the file names of the spreadsheet etc. also. But your experience might indicate otherwise.

Also - as in the first example - is it beneficial to keep different-character files in the same directory, i.e. a presentation, spreadsheet, and picture.

Your thoughts and experience will be much appreciated here :slight_smile: It’ll definitely help me think about it.

Yes, this option.

Yes, folder 23.14 would exist in my structure and would contain those files.

For versions, one of the ‘exceptions to the rules’ that I allow is the creation of an ‘archive’ folder within a JD folder. So then you’d have:

└── 20-29 Personal projects/
    └── 23 Home renovations/
        └── 23.14 New garden verandah/
            ├── archive/
            │   ├── Calculations v1.xlsx
            │   ├── Calculations v2.xlsx
            │   ├── Calculations v3.xlsx
            │   ├── Presentation v1.ppt
            │   └── Presentation v2.ppt
            ├── Calculations v4.xlsx
            ├── Presentation v3.ppt
            └── Picture.jpg

In this case, build a new garden verandah is the task, which is equivalent to a JD ID assuming the project doesn’t grow too large.

I made an analogy elsewhere on this forum:

For me, a project is a large activity with many many activities. A task is just something I have to do that might have half a dozen activities.

Building a new house is a project. Painting the garage (that’s already attached to your existing house) is a task.

I guess it depends how fancy the verandah is going to be, whether you’re getting builders involved, whether it involves structural change to the house. That sounds like a project. Or are you just going to the hardware store and buying some wood and coming home that afternoon and putting it together? That’s a task. :upside_down_face:

As long as you can find the files you need without stress it does not matter.

You might also, if it’s helpful, have notes related to the project. Your note might look like this.

23.14 Build a new verandah

  • Location: files in file system.

Building material notes

  • I looked in the store and the marine ply seems like better value than the pine. $4/metre vs. $15/metre and easier to work with.
  • Product code for the marine ply is 0341-331.
  • The guy in the store said they were getting stock on Tuesday.

Colour notes

  • Spoke to Lucy, she prefers Pantone #145.
  • There’s a sample in the drawer in the garage.

…and so on.

Thanks for the tips. :slight_smile:

So: how would you go about it in my system - having the structure as directories in Obsidian? Would you have the path:

20-29 Personal projects/23 Home renovations/23.14 New garden verandah/23.14 Build a new

Also - in case of PRO.AC.ID do you think it’s beneficial to have the full number on the last directory and file thus:

200-299 Personal projects/203 Home renovations/30-39 Technical data/34 Drawings/203.34.14 New garden verandah/203.34.14 Build a new

or is it better like:

200-299 Personal projects/203 Home renovations/30-39 Technical data/34 Drawings/203.34.14 New garden verandah/Build a new


20-29 Personal projects/23 Home renovations/23.14 New garden verandah/
Build a new

It seems beneficial to have the full number in the name of the note - but then it’s also duplicated in the directory name.

Also - about file system structure. If you implemented the separate multiple directory structure idea - having a separate directory for files of some type for storing specific files: it seems to make sense only in some cases - but I see, how you’d have let’s say “videos” and “photos” etc directory - and it these have the files referenced in your notes. Would you reduplicate the full JD path in these directories?

I.e. you might have 300-399 Personal stuff/324 Motocross/40-49 Technical aspects/45 Steering Column/324.45.38 Reinforcement/324.45.38 Steering column reinforcement

which would refer to some phenomenal video documentary “Steering and the art of motocross riding.mkv”. This video would be in videos. Would you have it in:

/videos/324 Motocross/40-49 Technical aspects/45 Steering Column/324.45.38 Reinforcement/Steering and the art of motocross riding.mkv

It is logically clean - but most of the subdirectories from the main JD system will never be found in /videos/

Or would you just put it as:

/videos/324.45.38 Reinforcement/Steering and the art of motocross riding.mkv


/videos/324.45.38 Steering and the art of motocross riding.mkv

What’s your thoughts on this? :slight_smile:

So, I’ve been experimenting with the individual variants of the above :slight_smile:

For videos, it seems:

/videos/324 Motocross/324.45.38 Steering and the art of motocross riding. mkv

…is the most sensible.

For the directories, I’m leaning towards:

200-299 Personal projects/203 Home renovations/30-39 Technical data/34 Drawings/203.34.14 New garden verandah/203.34.14 Build a new

…but not sure yet.

I’d love to read your thoughts on the above - especially what’s the best for directory/file naming based on your experience.

My general rule for when to put the JD ID in the file name itself is to do it when it will help you within whichever application you usually open the file.

So for example, when I’m viewing PDFs — say it’s my travel insurance certificate — I’d typically navigate to the folder first in my file system, then find the thing (probably 101.16.ID) and then double click to open; vs. opening Preview, the PDF application, and using the menu there to open. I just don’t do that with PDFs.

In this case having the ID in the file name is no benefit so I typically don’t bother. (Not that it would hurt. I’m just lazy.)

Whereas at work when I have Excel documents, I often go to the application first. Or it’s already open. So now I’m using the File > Recent menu or equivalent, and it’s here that I find having the IDs in the name really helps. I can scan that list of recent files, my eye leads me to the correct file based on its category or whatever, and I open it directly.

I find this scanning a list of recent files by number vs. name to be easier on my brain.

The other case where this is extremely useful is detailed in Numbers in file names: now officially endorsed.

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Thanks for this :slight_smile:

Any thoughts on the above idea of a separate file system for videos for instance?

Do you still see the benefit in maintaining a full subdirectory structure in it? Or is it easier to just have the PRO directories - as above with motocross - and then all the videos, properly named, in it?

I think this is a very strong point - I had a gut feeling, sort of along these lines, as to why it’d be beneficial - for having the numbers in the filenames too, for files of this kind.

Unless they’re on a separate volume – like a larger storage device? – I’m not sure why you’d do this?

If they’re on a separate volume and you don’t have too many then I don’t see a problem with this:

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Could you give an example please? What does the not contain?

The minimum is literally just a note with a title. No contents at all.

I add a hashtag, because Bear builds a nice sidebar from them, and I tell myself where the item is, because see above re: multiple computers at work.

Most notes also contain some actual notes. The note is both the index entry, and a note. I had to scroll quite far down to find the ‘blank’ note that I’ve included here. So this one is only an index entry at the moment, created just to reserve a number so that I could create a folder in Outlook.

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This gives my an idea. I’m thinking about creating an obsidian vault that is just going to store my JD index thanks for the idea!

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How do you track areas and categories through notes?

An excellent question that I’ll have to answer next week, sorry. Because it reveals gaps in my system that I’m working around, that I need to fix. And I’m travelling all weekend, we have a wedding interstate.

I’ve bookmarked this for next week so I don’t forget.

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Quick answer if you want to get moving: this is why the ?0 numbers are reserved.

10.00 is the note that defines area 10-19. It’s the note at the very ‘top’ of the 10-19 hierarchy.

36.00 is the note that defines category 36.

Not perfect – how do you define category 10? – but it’ll work.

Thanks. This makes sense.