So far, we’ve mostly thought about using this system as somewhere to keep your files.
But what if you didn’t always have to write things in a Word document or create an Excel spreadsheet? What if you had a place that you could store quick notes and know that you could find them again?
Become ludicrously efficient
What I’m about to show you is probably my favourite use of the Johnny.Decimal system.
Start using this at work and watch your productivity go through the roof.
What, and why?
22.02 Office lease example from the previous page. It’s great that we can store those documents in a place where we can find them again, but there’s probably stuff related to the lease that you don’t have in a document anywhere.
What was the phone number of the lawyer that you used? The reference number of the bank transaction when you paid the deposit? Maybe a list of stuff you still need to do to complete the job?
You could store that stuff in a Word document, but that would be a hideous waste of time. Word takes ages to open, and it’s really hard to search through all of your Word docs simultaneously.
Instead, just use a note. If your index is your notes app the note already exists. Just type words in it.
Thanks, Captain Obvious
“Well obviously, I already write notes”, I hear you saying.
You do, but if you’re at work they’re probably in Microsoft OneNote and OneNote is rubbish.
You type words in there and you might as well not have bothered because you can never find them again.
The power of the filter
Imagine this when you have hundreds of notes. You can instantly filter to show only those notes related to a specific category by typing three characters.
It doesn’t matter what the titles of those notes are, because they’re categorised by number already.
Of course you can combine this with the standard text search that your notes app provides. This allows you to narrow down your notes instantly.
Say you have notes referring to ‘client XYZ’ all through your system (as well as notes about your other clients), but you only want to see ‘any contract stuff related to client XYZ’. Just search for
This is your ‘second brain’
You’ll find all sorts of elaborate schemes online explaining how to build your ‘second brain’ so that you can remember things.
I’ll save you the time: create a notes system that allows you to store things so that you can find them again.