The Filing Cabinet and The Attic

My personal files are all over the place, so you can understand my attraction to J.D. Before I go too crazy, I wanted to think through my two primary file trees:

First is my “Filing Cabinet”. This is used for recent, current, reference, or other files I want “near to hand”. Things like bank statements, current tax year files, templates, software licenses, etc.

Second is “The Attic”, which is used for putting stuff away “for good”. These files are things I want to keep, but don’t want cluttering up search results or otherwise getting in my way. But, I want to be able to get at them if needed. They can be less organized than the Filing Cabinet simply because I rarely look there and when I do it’s often via search (using FoxTrot Pro).

J.D. has me wondering if I just find a way to combine them. The biggest hurdle is that The Attic is on an external drive and the Filing Cabinet is on the internal. I like it this way because the backup routine is different and I’m not weighed down by a bunch of local files I almost never use.

I’d like to avoid creating a bunch of symlinks because that way lies madness, in my experience.

If I do split them, is it 2 “projects”? e.g. “100 Filing Cabinet” and “200 The Attic” ?

Happy to hear how others might approach this.

If they are on two separate drives, then your access for one is /users/jbaty/00-09 Meta/ and for the other one it would be /media/externaldrive/00-09 Meta/ - right? This is the way I would see it on a Mac.

If that would still be confusing for a search, then yeah - stick a 1 or a 2 in front of all the numbers, but stay with the 10/10/100 limits. Or you could insert A for Attic and FC for Filing Cabinet somewhere in the folder names?

An interesting use-case, the split drives does add an extra level of thought here. I really like the names, they make a lot of sense.

Given that the Attic is likely to be accessed infrequently, and when you do go there I’m guessing you’re looking for a specific thing for a specific reason, quite deliberately, I don’t think you’re going to need those extra numbers.

Their purpose is to disambiguate two systems that co-exist. Two projects that are on the same machine that you’re working on right now. I do that at work and it’s vital.

Here, I don’t think it’s necessary. Would the numbers provide any benefit? Probably not. Are you better off without them? Probably.

Think about it like “will a Spotlight search for something in the Filing Cabinet be confused by the same numbers in the Attic?”. I don’t think it will, right? Does Spotlight remember an external drive when it’s not attached? Or “if I see a number in a text note, will I be confused about whether it relates to something in the FC or the Attic?”. If the answer might ever be yes, you need to disambiguate.

I think you’re right, files in The Attic won’t really benefit from the additional number. I started using FoxTrot for search, and use a completely separate search index with that so I can leave The Attic out of I know it’s not in there. Thanks. Still noodling on this, but your reply helps.

Someday in the future, when you move 40.01 2021 Receipts from the Filing Cabinet to The Attic, will it keep that entire folder name? I don’t know if that helps decide what (if any) numbers go in The Attic now, but I do think it makes sense to keep the Filing Cabinet and The Attic physically separate because their backup routines are different.

I could see The Attic having its own 40-49 Receipts folder but with only old things in it. The Attic will instantly not be neat and tidy if most of it is non-J.D and it suddenly gets a J.D-identified folder moved into it. But it may not be neat and tidy now so it doesn’t matter! :slight_smile:

I also agree that symlinks = madness. This is a case where I think dumber is better.