Johnny.Decimal

Last modified on December 15, 2020

When we saved each factor on paper, organised of us had this stuff referred to as submitting cabinets. They saved all of their paperwork in them in a structured blueprint so they may perchance perchance collect them once more.

Now these identical of us retailer all of their recordsdata in arbitrarily named folders on their firm’s shared stress and shock why they may have the ability to’t collect the remainder.

No one can collect the remainder to any extent further

Thousands of emails. Hundreds of recordsdata. File buildings created on a whim and 6 layers deep. Duplicated prepare materials, misplaced prepare materials. We thought search would impact us from this nightmare, however we had been sinister.

The frustration I request in organisations is palpable. The time and power wasted is not seemingly.


There are a couple of core concepts, and so they additionally’re so uncomplicated you’ll shock why you haven’t considered them earlier than.

It’s value stating at this level that all of here is free, and it’s conceivable to implement it with out any further instruments.

Step 1: Divide each factor in to 10 issues

  1. Exercise each factor it's useful to organise and kind it in to, at most, ten monumental buckets.
  2. Be apparent that the buckets are unambiguously assorted.
  3. Set a label on every bucket.

This forces you to neighborhood issues considerably broadly, however that’s the aim.

We title these buckets your areas. An dwelling might perchance effectively maybe be Finance.

Step 2: In every dwelling, divide in ten once more

Wade by the use of every bucket and repeat the approach. This creates your classes.

A category internal the Finance dwelling might perchance effectively maybe be Tax Returns.

Now we personal ten areas which safe ten classes every. That’s 100 classes on the very most. It’s not seemingly you'll discontinue up with 100 classes.

Categories are the primary

What’s a category? It’s salubrious a assortment of stuff. Book drafts. Lumber forwards and backwards itineraries. Lease agreements. Take a take a look at research. Contracts. Any create of labor you discontinue can become a category.

The function is that you simply simply’ve outlined these classes, every of which
is contained internal a broader dwelling. You discontinue this everytime you blueprint up your
system, which we’ll salvage to presently.

We give every class a quantity

Be conscious they’re grouped in tens, so our first ten classes will seemingly be numbers 10-19 and to allow them to all be linked to every assorted.

Let’s bellow 10-19 is our Finance dwelling. Class 11 might perchance effectively maybe be Tax returns, 12 Payroll, and so forth.

From this we all know that 42 also can not be a finance-linked class. Right here is the power of the system: the place you absolutely should not hassle trying to get your hands on your information.


A Johnny.Decimal quantity seems love this:

42.1812.0363.17

They’re brief, memorable, and also can even be spoken out loud. They’re persistently two digits, a decimal level, and two extra digits.

Say it love “forty-two eighteen” or “twelve dot oh-three”.

Sooner than the decimal: class

The decimal level is there to interrupt the quantity up, however extra importantly to remind you that the quantity earlier than the decimal is the precious portion. It’s the category.

The class tells you which of them dwelling it’s in, as a consequence of all areas start with the identical quantity. If your class begins with the digit 1, that’s one factor to discontinue with Finance.

At a glance, what the quantity includes. You’ll be astonished at what variety of of your class numbers you bear in mind.

After the decimal: ID

The quantity after the decimal is salubrious a counter. We title it the ID: it begins at .01 and might improve with every factor you're making.

In these examples, 42.18 is the 18th factor you’ve saved on your 42 class.

The third factor you’ve saved on your 12 Payroll class might perchance effectively maybe be 12.03 Payroll schedule 2018.

The ID doesn’t personal any relevance to the merchandise itself – bear in mind, it’s salubrious a counter.


Many, many causes.

Organise your recordsdata

Primarily the apparent devour of Johnny.Decimal is in organising your folder setting up.

A screenshot of a macOS Finder window, showing an organised, nested folder structure.

Right here is a folder setting up for a little bit firm. (The reasoning on the assistance of the folder naming setting up will seemingly be defined later.)

Conception how we personal 4 areas, every with a couple of classes. None of the areas or classes overlap. There’s most interesting one location the remainder can ever be.

Even everytime you weren’t conscious of this folder setting up, you’d be prepared to look out your approach to the gross sales proposals listing.

Nothing is greater than two clicks away

The largest restriction of the system is that you’re not allowed to make any folders internal a Johnny.Decimal folder.

This vogue that you simply simply’ll by no means salvage misplaced in layers upon layers of folders. It moreover makes you're making considerably explicit folders for the whole thing, ensuring which you'll be able to persistently collect what that you simply simply'll need to.

Sing of us the place issues are

“Hey Kristy, the place can I collect the payroll schedule?”
“Twelve dot oh-three.”

Thanks, Kristy.

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