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The PARA system

The PARA system

The PARA system is a new method for organizing your digital files. It was developed by Tiago Forte, author of the book ‘Building a Second Brain’.

PARA stands for 

  • Projects: a series of tasks linked to a goal, with a deadline.
  • Areas: a sphere of activity with a standard to be maintained over time.
  • Resources: a topic or theme of ongoing interest.
  • Archive: inactive items from the other three categories.

Feeling overwhelmed by your organisational systems on your computer all comes down to folders. The PARA system helps your workflow by organising and stacking folders in a particular way.


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Applying PARA

Applying PARA

As an exercise, create four folders on your computer and number them.

  1. Projects and Pending: This is where your projects live. It could be clients, team initiatives, or divided sections of your workload.
  2. Areas of Interest: This is a pile of things that never end, such as an infinitely-expanding folder called "Photos" or hobbies.
  3. Research Material. These are worth keeping, such as articles to "read later", resources, or "important discoveries."
  4. Archives. The stuff you're not currently using but want to keep around.


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What PARA means for you

What PARA means for you

  • The way you ingest information might change. You'll see materials, digital and others, less as loose elements and more as items that can be used and filed.
  • The way you plot your projects and structure your days might change. Your project folders will be prepped, waiting for you to dive in.
  • Adhering to this system can give you a refreshing sense of direction.


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