Ultra-simple system to organize your documents and workflow.
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CHANGELOG.md
README.md

README.md

SUPERFOLDER

Boost productivity and reduce stress by organizing your documents and workflow with an ultra-simple system loosely inspired in GTD, Todo.txt (notes on TXT files), OBTF (One Big Text File), Bullet journal (notes on paper), index cards, Inbox and Desktop zero.

So, how can you start?

TLDR:


How to organize your (digital) documents

'Every document belongs to a project'.

Container:

  • superfolder: YOUR NAME

      First of all create a folder in a partition of your disk.
      ALL your stuff will be stored here.
    
  • main folders: PROJECT STATUS

      Inside your superfolder there are 3 folders:
    
      INBOX (folder to put new documents until deciding what to do with them)
      CURRENT (folder to store your active projects)
      ARCHIVE (folder to store your dormant projects)
    

Project folders:

#bundle @project .subproject -folders

  • bundle of projects (derived from twitter hashtag): #

      Inside CURRENT and ARCHIVE folders you put #bundles of projects:
      e.g: #large investor
    
  • project (derived from twitter mention): @

      Inside #bundle folders you put @projects:
      e.g: @house in portugal    
    
  • subproject (derived from OO programming): .

      Inside #bundles or @project folders you put @project.subprojects:
      e.g: @house in portugal.building permit
    
  • storage folder: -

      Inside @project.subprojects you put -storage folders:
      e.g: -drawings
      e.g: -drawings-plans
    

Naming:

  • when reasonable reduce unnecessary nesting by merging folders:

      Prefer: @house in portugal.building permit
      Instead of: @house in portugal / .building permit
    
      Prefer: -drawings-details-wall
      Instead of: -drawings / -details / -wall
    
  • name your files using a system that fits you 1. Hints:

      Use spaces or other naming style:
      e.g. using spaces: #large investor@house in portugal
      e.g. using camelCase: #largeInvestor@houseInPortugal
    
      Enclose folder's name to mark it as private: [ ]
      e.g: [#personal]
    
      Use a prefix for standard / boilerplate files: $
      e.g: $curriculum+A007
    
      Use a prefix for temporary files: _
      e.g: _tempFile 
    
  • but don't use these symbols for regular naming: # @ . - + $ % { } [ ] _

  • great free tool for batch renaming.


Archiving:

  • archive files using BranchVer (each version adds a change on data): + branch . progress
  • archive releases of (sub)projects using SemVer (each version adds a change on data): + major . minor . patch

How to navigate through your documents:

  • you only need two permanent desktop shortcuts to navigate through your documents:

      Shortcut to INBOX folder
      Shortcut to CURRENT folder
    
      A shortcut to archive is not needed, only dormant projects are there.
    
  • and/or a launcher-file finder 2.


How to organize your workflow

'Managing a workflow consists on managing a collection of inputs'.

  • 3 plain text files on a cloud synced folder 3 and a paper notebook collect all inputs:

    • actionable inputs (todos) are managed in one text file and one paper notebook: calendar and now.
    • non-actionable inputs are managed in two text files: references and notes. Few long notes are easier to manage than many short notes. See them as flat wikis and use text editor's built-in search for navigation 4.
  • todos listed in the calendar text file have a due date: ( )

      Dates are inserted before the task description (allowing chronological sorting):
      
      e.g. inserting a scheduled date: (year-month-day=hour)
      (2017-11-29=9h) Doctor appointment
    
      e.g. inserting a trigger/fuzzy date: (date >>)
      (2017-03-10 >>) Waiting for client feedback after this date
    
      e.g. inserting a deadline date: (date <<)
      (2017-10-22 <<) Pay electricity bill until this date
    
      e.g. without knowing the due date: (soon) or (someday)
      (soon) Call Mom
      (someday) Bungee jumping with friends
    
  • resuming (check also screenshots):

      on a cloud synced folder - 3 text files:
          Notes (collection of thoughts)
          References (collection of bookmarks)
          Calendar (collection of todos that can/must wait)
    
      on a paper notebook:
          Now (collection of todos to be done ASAP)
    

Screenshots:

  • calendar file on Sublime text editor. 5

superfolder-workflow-screenshot

  • YAML on references file for readability and future data serialization.

superfolder-workflow-screenshot-2


TLDR:

'What does this stuff solve?'

Naming system:

  • prediction (with acceptable accuracy) of filenames and where they are stored.
    A file finder 2 is great when you remember the filename but less useful when you don't.
  • transmission of project folders with all project files and a predictable structure.

Workflow management:

  • simple solution: use your favorite text editor and cloud, a paper notebook and almost no syntax. Minimum overhead.
  • practical solution: mix the good parts of many workflow management approaches.
  • future data exchange and serialization: YAML notation saved as TXT files.

'Possible painpoint?'

This system is not smartphone oriented. That's not even an issue for me but it might be for you.

'Is this the truth?'

Probably not but I don't know nothing that works better. I test new options and 'tree shake' existent ones agressively.


Notes:
1 - e.g: relevant naming system for architects.
2 - after having tried most options for Windows (win+type, Keypirinha, Everything, Cerebro, Wox, Zazu, Launchy, FARR), I'm using Listary Lite.
Pros: Launch and file search without external software, low memory usage (less than 40k on win7), fast and configurable. Cons: No calculator function.

3 - Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
4 - hint: on Sublime press Ctrl+Shift+F to search all your notes.
5 - hint: on Sublime press F9 (or F5 on Mac) to sort dates.


Creative Commons License
SUPERFOLDER by Enio Ferreira is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.