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PBOK Organization

Getting your house in order and reducing the confusion gives you more control over your life. Personal organization some how releases or frees you to operate more effectively.
Larry King

When organizing your digital personal book of knowledge (PBOK) there are four mechanisms for organizing the notes. These organizational structures are based on Obsidian but should apply to any digital note-taking application

Folder structure

The first organizational mechanism is folder structures. Folder structures should be used sparingly. The real strength of a digital note take system is seeing how different notes are related. Seeing these relationships helps to form new data and new understandings.

That being said, using folder structures to separate major groupings of notes can add value to a PBOK. A good rule of thumb is that all the notes in a folder are directly related to a single topic with a single focus. Having the folder structure allows searching with filtering by that folder.

Naming conventions

The file name for notes can also denote organization. File names can be prefixed with text that identifies where the file belongs or what type of information is in the file.

Indexes of information notes can have a prefix of MOC (Map of Content) or can have three digits such as 100. The three digits is an organization that takes inspiration from the Dewey decimal system used in libraries.


Links can be used to link different related notes together. Parent notes can link to child notes that have more detailed information. Links can be used in index notes to create an index to a whole set of notes.


Tags can be used to categorize the contents of notes. A note can have multiple tags and therefore belong to multiple categories. It is important to make sure you use a consistent set of tags for your notes. The consistency does not have to come at the beginning, over time you can change the tags on a note as you form a more definitive taxonomy of tags.

In a future post, I will share some rules for determining which organization tool to use.

Live the Adventure


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