Using JD in a Digital Garden

Apologies if my post here rambles — I’m short on editing time, so I just put down my first ideas. I don’t necessarily have any good ideas for solutions to the problems we’re discussing, but I can comment with my own experiences. These are interesting problems!

Any reader who is good at crime puzzles will have noticed the smoking gun. I have already split my main Obisidan vault into two

Definitely a hard problem to solve. I think it’s hard not to duplicate information in some way or another if you want to publish writing on your website. But it sounds like the system you already have set up with Obsidian is pretty slick and streamlined already. Could this be a “ain’t broken, don’t fix it” area? I know for myself, I get sucked into all these big ideas about cool systems and web servers and all these shiny toys, but after I get it out of my system, I usually think I would have been better off with the status quo and would have done some more actually interesting stuff with that time. But that’s just me.


Family document management

I’m surprised you use Zotero for that. For me, it would seem the filesystem (JD-conformant lol) would be a better choice. But if it works then that’s what’s important. I use Zotero for all my citations for my MBA and all my ebooks (and all 9.6GB of attachments).

You mention Calibre, which is a great program, but for one reason or another I don’t really like it much, so I only use it for converting ebooks and for deDRMing my Kindle books. Once they’re converted, they go into Zotero in their appropriate folder. I should note that my Zotero folders as of yet are out of scope for my JD system. Maybe they’ll go into my Knowledge one someday, but I don’t feel any strong need to go down that rabbit hole quite yet. I have a feeling that for my needs, the notes for the Knowledge system could probably fit just fine in my main JD system.

Currently, I have an area in my JD system 50-59 Personal/55 Document where my database files and Zotero etc. files go. It looks like this:

55 Document/
├── 55.01 Calibre
├── 55.02 Zotero
├── 55.03 Johnny.Decimal
├── 55.04 Google Drive download
└── 55.06 Sheet music

I took this idea from @_FJ’s post “My System per 2023-11-09” where he has 80-89 MediaData/81 Document. I thought about using the same area, but I was certain that other media types like music and pictures were clearly out of scope for me, so I just took that category and stuck it in my Personal area. My music is already well managed by beets, and my pictures by Darktable. (For my pictures I just wrote a script to rename files based on date, and I use Darktable to create subfolders with a descriptive name of location or purpose per shooting session in each year’s folder.)

I should mention that I don’t use Zotero’s paid storage service. Instead, I sync Zotero’s storage directory to my phone and my Raspberry Pi with Syncthing.

Sorting knowledge

Taxonomy is hard and that’s what we’re dealing with. … If I’m writing, I’m writing about the game, not the game and format x.

I agree. I think the JD system’s strength is in the limitations on depth. A shallow depth makes you make choices about what’s important and it helps in pruning the folder tree. With a shallow tree, you have a lot of leaves on each branch, but with a deep tree, your branches risk looking anemic. The information is all the same, nonetheless.

Photography an area of study or part of a hobby. If a hobby, then why is Cross-stitch not an area of study.

I’ve seen Johnny suggest on other posts in this forum that perhaps this is a sign that these areas or categories are candidates for merging. The whole point is to help find your stuff, so it’s best to eliminate as much ambiguity as possible by removing or combining similar choices.