We’ve created areas containing categories and in those categories we have Johnny.Decimal numbers. We’re now ready to hold our actual things.
This is where your stuff lives. This is where you keep your spreadsheets and your Word documents and your scanned receipts and your notes and references and emails and whatever else you keep in your system.
Neatness is the key. If things are neat, you know where they are.
We save our stuff in our Johnny.Decimal folders.
Never ever do this
A very important note: you may not store things anywhere other than in a folder with a full Johnny.Decimal number.
That means you're not allowed to just dump a file in the
10-19 Finance folder...
...or in the
11 Tax returns category folder.
The important finance document must relate to something!
Find what category that something is, and if it doesn't exist, create it. Then create a new Johnny.Decimal number inside that category, and store your document there.
Nothing is more than two levels deep
You must not create a folder inside a Johnny.Decimal folder.
If you do, you’ve created chaos. You might think that this is innocent enough – you might even wonder how else you would do it.
"Surely you don't have to create separate Johnny.Decimal numbers and folders for each of those things?", you're thinking.
Well of course you do.
Those artefacts don’t live in isolation. They’re part of your business and they deserve their own home. You know what happens otherwise – a year later, someone wants a picture from that photo shoot, but nobody remembers where it is because it’s buried in this un-numbered folder.
There are of course exceptions to this rule, which we’ll get to.
This costs you real money
You lose stuff. You spend ridiculous amounts of time finding stuff. You duplicate stuff. Or you look stupid because you use stuff that is out of date.