What about my Johnny decimal level is alphabetical

I am struggling.

My items at the Johnny decimal level are alphabetical
They are project names, app names, names of companies etc etc

How can I keep them alphabetical and still use Johnny decimal??


Easy! Just assign numbers to things, in the order that you create them, and put them after the item.

So you keep your structure alphabetical and still get to assign a number.

Eighth thing you create [00.08]
Fifth thing you create [00.05]
First thing you create [00.01]
Fourth thing you create [00.04]
Ninth thing you create [00.09]
Second thing you create [00.02]
Seventh thing you create [00.07]
Sixth thing you create [00.06]
Third thing you create [00.03]
…and so on

(I like putting the numbers in [brackets] because I think it makes them more searchable, and it makes it clear in my mind that they’re not part of the folder name, but this is totally optional.)

Clear on that Johnny! Thanks for the guidance!

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Hi, I’m curious why you feel that putting numbers in brackets makes them more searchable. Is it because you don’t have any other files with brackets at the start?

Just curious. I like finding ways to make items more searchable. Houdahspot has transformed my Mac use (I hated Finder), so if I can make files more findeable, I’m all for it. :slight_smile:

I think it just makes it really clear to me that this is a JD number. Which is a bit odd I guess, I mean it looks like one and what else is it going to be? But when you’re searching your entire digital life, it’s not unreasonable to think that 12.34 might appear elsewhere. Could be a value in a .csv you downloaded from your bank, part of a phone number, whatever.

Whereas I feel [12.34] is much more unique. I’m constraining the start and end of my search.

It just feels neater to me, somehow. So then why don’t I use the brackets when the number is at the start of a folder or filename, then? I dunno. Perhaps in that scenario I know I’m almost always getting to that file/folder via the hierarchy of the file structure? :man_shrugging:

See also: how I use the brackets in my email subject.

In my notes app (Obsidian) I have started using nested tags to record the JD number. In a way, the JD system seems analogous to nested tags but with a defined structure that makes it easier to organize and find things.

Thanks. I started putting brackets on my numbers. It does feel different to the eye when looking at it. It also makes a huge difference in the Mac. Searching with the brackets really narrows Finder’s findings.

I’ve also been adding the brackets to my emails, as you suggest. That’s been super helpful to search for emails afterwards. And, I actually had 1 client already ask me for the numbers I’ve given to his cases, so he can number his files in his computer in the same way I do. :joy:

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