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Let’s get on to the decimal. We have a category — let’s say 22 Contracts — and we want to store some things there.

We create a Johnny.Decimal number by adding a decimal point to our category, and starting at number .01.

We start at .01 and not just .1 because of the way that computers sort files. Also it’s more consistent, and consistency is elegant.


Now we just decide what we’re keeping there and give it a nice name.

22.01 Cleaning contract

Later, we need to store another contract. What to do? Just use the next number.

22.02 Office lease

That was easy

You create a full Johnny.Decimal number by choosing a category and looking for the next available number after the decimal.

The thing to remember here is that the number after the decimal has no meaning whatsoever: we just start at .01 and work our way up.

“What happens when I get to 99?”

You never will. And if you do, the category you defined was almost certainly too broad. Split it up.

Give your Johnny.Decimal items simple names

This system lets us give concise names to things, because we already know from the number which category they’re in.

I created 22.01 Cleaning contract because it’s short and reads well, but you could have gone with 22.01 Cleaning if you’d preferred. You’re already in a folder called Contracts.

Everything that starts with 22 is a contract.