How to Use the Johnny Decimal System for Organising Project Notes

Developed by Johnnie Royal, this system provides a simple and efficient method for categorizing and retrieving your notes.

How to Use the Johnny Decimal System for Organising Project Notes

Are you a knowledge worker struggling to keep your notes organized? Do you find yourself spending precious time searching for important information amidst a sea of disarray? If so, the Johnny Decimal System may be just the solution you need. Developed by Johnnie Royal, this system provides a simple and efficient method for categorizing and retrieving your notes. In this article, we will explore how you can effectively implement the Johnny Decimal System to streamline your note-taking process.

Understanding the Basics

The Johnny Decimal System is based on the concept of assigning numbers to categories and subcategories. Each category represents a broad topic, while subcategories delve deeper into specific subjects within that category. By organizing your notes using this numerical system, you can easily locate and access information when needed.

Setting Up Your Categories

To begin using the Johnny Decimal System, you must first establish your own set of categories. These categories should reflect the areas of knowledge that are relevant to your work. Consider the different aspects of your job or projects and create categories accordingly.

Once you have identified your categories, assign each one a three-digit number. For example, if you work in marketing, you might assign the number 100 to Marketing Strategy and 200 to Market Research. This numbering scheme allows for easy expansion as new categories emerge.

Creating Subcategories

Within each category, subcategories provide further organization and granularity. Subcategories are assigned two-digit numbers that follow the main category’s three-digit number. For instance, under Marketing Strategy (100), you could have 110 for Content Marketing and 120 for Social Media Strategy.

It’s important to note that subcategories should always be created within their respective categories. This hierarchical structure ensures a logical flow of information retrieval.

Applying the Johnny Decimal System

Now that you have established your categories and subcategories, it’s time to put them into action. Here are some practical tips for utilizing the Johnny Decimal System effectively:

  1. Consistency is key: Ensure that you consistently apply the numerical system to all your notes. This will make it easier to navigate and locate specific information later on.
  2. Use descriptive titles: When creating new notes, give them clear and descriptive titles. This will help you quickly identify the content without having to rely solely on the assigned numbers.
  3. Tagging and labeling: Consider using tags or labels within your note-taking software to further enhance organization. Tags can be used to highlight specific themes or keywords that span across different categories.
  4. Regular maintenance: Periodically review and update your categories and subcategories as your knowledge base expands. This will ensure that your system remains relevant and adaptable to your evolving needs.
  5. Backup and synchronization: Make sure to back up your notes regularly and synchronize them across devices. This will prevent any loss of data and enable seamless access from anywhere.

Benefits of the Johnny Decimal System

Implementing the Johnny Decimal System offers several advantages for knowledge workers:

  • Efficient retrieval: The systematic numbering system allows for quick and efficient retrieval of information, saving valuable time in searching for specific notes.
  • Flexible structure: The hierarchical structure of categories and subcategories provides flexibility for organizing a wide range of topics, accommodating both broad and specific areas of interest.
  • Scalability: As your knowledge grows, the Johnny Decimal System can easily expand to incorporate new categories and subcategories without disrupting the existing organizational framework.
  • Consistent organization: By adhering to a standardized system, you ensure that all your notes follow a consistent organizational structure, making it easier to maintain order even as new information is added.


In conclusion, the Johnny Decimal System is a powerful tool for knowledge workers seeking an effective method of organizing their notes. By implementing this system, you can bring order to your digital or physical note-taking process, ensuring easy accessibility and efficient retrieval of information. So why not give it a try? Start implementing the Johnny Decimal System today and experience the benefits of organized knowledge at your fingertips.

Note: The Johnny Decimal System is a concept developed by Johnnie Royal. For more information, please visit