I am in awe of the powerful simplicity of the Dewey Decimal system. In ten* general categories, Dewey developed a way to organize all the books in a library. There is a code and platform whereby any librarian can find you any book — or you can even find it yourself — by following a few numbers.
I think Dewey was the precursor to Google. Both systems took vast amounts of data and organized it in such a way that people could find things; they could determine a topic and then see what was included in that subject. Dewey did it with the first level of classification; technology allowed Google to take it deeper into the content level.
If libraries would have organized by author or title, researchers would have been running all over looking for books. With Dewey, I can go to one section of the library and see all that there is to offer on that subject. I found books to use with the class I am teaching by looking in that section even though I did not start out by searching them.
I think it is this beautiful intersection of organized yet spontaneous that makes the Dewey Decimal system work. We don’t want to have to specify everything we are looking for, yet we want to find everything we have identified.
Try to organize your life like Dewey: with some core pillars that are unchanging, but allowing for a little bit of exploration as well.
*The 10 Dewey Decimal System Categories:
000 Computers, Information and General Works
100 Philosophy & Psychology
300 Social Sciences
900 History & Geography