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1c3 - Building relationships with folders

Last updated Aug 15, 2023

The death of folders has been greatly exaggerated.

# The drawbacks of being “folder dominant”

When folders, links, and tags are balanced, they form the ultimate knowledge-building trio.

# Ways to use folders

Here is an incomplete list to help us think about how we might want to use folders in our link-based PKM systems.

# A folder for daily notes

You may find several good reasons to capture thoughts in a daily note that is “timestamped” with something like 2024-01-31. After doing this over 100 or 1000 times, you may decide that a dedicated folder for timestamped notes is worth having.

#  Folders for projects

If your goal is to manage projects, folders are great — maybe even ideal. You might decide that you want your projects to be actively walled-off from the rest of your notes. But once projects are completed, you will need to take the extra steps of reformulating any good stuff into your main digital library.

# Folder for an inbox (or seedbox)

Another possible use for a folder is as a temporary inbox, or “incubation” folder. Just make sure you treat this folder as a temporary staging ground—to be deleted or assimilated with the Borg- er, I mean, your main-brain-frame. Otherwise, that inbox folder can get awfully crufty. 

# Folders for special files

You might want to have folders to keep your Images, PDFs, and other files better organized.

# Folders for “very clearly defined” types of notes

You might want to use folders for “very clearly defined” notes. For example, things like: Images, People, and Quotes. You don’t have to use these folders; you could just add their contents into the main vault; but you might find it keeps things slightly more tidy.

# Folders for your sources

If you want to have a special folder for People, you may also see value in having a special folder for Sources (all the things written by other people). 

# Folders for your MOCs and datascopes

Maybe you really want to have a single place to view your most important structural notes in a familiar and comforting folder structure. 

# Folders to clearly define what you share with others

Depending on your needs and technical abilities, you can use folders to organize the notes you share publicly, versus the notes you want to keep private. A good example of sharing a folder publicly is the  LYT Kit, which is just a subfolder in my main PKM folder. 

# Folders for private notes

Keeping private notes private is crucial. You may choose to use folders to separate private information like finances, medical information, and private journaling.

Structure has to be earned!

If you find yourself thinking more than once that, “a folder would be perfect here,” then that’s your cue to try one out, and see if it can earn a long-term role.