juliancanderson

  • Now
  • Bookshelf
  • Notes

Reorganizing My Life Using The PARA Method


Introduction to The PARA Method

The PARA System was introduced by Thiago Forte. It is a method to organise informations that will enter your life. It consists of 4 things:

Projects

Projects are series of tasks with deadlines.

Areas

Areas are activities to be maintained overtime.

Resources

Resources are topic / theme of ongoing interests.

Archives

Archives are inactive items from the other 3.


You can read more about it here https://fortelabs.co/blog/para/


How My System Looks before PARA

My system was very messy. I usually put everything in random places from my files, notes, and todos. And because of that I found it hard to find them when I wanted to. Beside my messy systems I don't integrate every single one of them between my apps. So some things will be on my todolist app and some things will be on my notes app. It was a disaster.

Where did I put those important links for work?

Where did I put those books recommendation?

Where did I put those notes?

It was really hard to answer these questions.

How can I be productive when I couldn't retrieve informations when I wanted to? That was the moment when I realized that I need to change my own system.


Why Did I Choose PARA?

I discovered PARA from people that I admired from Twitter and that was the moment I got interested in it. Then I did a research on it and I found the idea of building a second brain is really interesting.

I tend to forget most of the things that I have learned. I love to read but it seems really hard to regain those informations from books that I have read. I thought that by building a second brain it will also help me to fix this kind of problem.

Lastly, I think that this PARA method is really simple and straightforward so I can implement this straight away and incrementally improve on it.


My Early Struggle with PARA

Because of my old messy systems, it was hard to group files, notes, etc into the PARA system. So when I first implemented the PARA method into my current system I need to filter out everything and put it in place. It was a struggle and it took a lot of time. I don't want to do this all over again so I made sure that everything was in its place.

I also messed up my understanding of Projects, Areas, and Resources. I misplaced a lot of things and ended up confused. I had a call with Dan Shipper about it and he helped me to understand it better. To be honest I still misplace stuff up until now. I guess that is a part of learning.

It was hard to sync everything at first between my notes and todos. This happened because I keep my notes separated from my todos. I need to find a way to sync them. It is still an ongoing process for me.


My Current System after PARA

My current setup consists of Roam, Apple Notes, Notion, and Things3. Each app has their own limitation so I had to combine everything and integrate them together.

I know some people put their todo list on their notes or maybe even Roam. I find that using a separate todo app is better so I use Things3 to keep track of my daily todo and also my goals either yearly or monthly.

I use Roam and Apple Notes to keep up with my thoughts and the things I am currently interested in. I think both of them is the best way for me to put all of my Resources.

I mainly use Notion to have all of my thoughts curated.


These are my thoughts and experiences from using the PARA Method. I am still doing experiments with the system and it will improve overtime. It is better to start than chasing perfection.

Dan Shipper wrote a beautiful article about it and here are some quotes from it.

To be clear, you can build your hut using Notion, Roam, Evernote or a plaintext editor with grep. The tools themselves are not the problem. The problem is how we use them. We shouldn’t feel like we have to make large, cumbersome, and expansive systems that try to accommodate every use case all at once. Instead, we should be making simple systems that we can live inside of. By living inside of them we can fix flaws as they come up, and get on with our day.

If you have any questions or feedback you can reach me out on Twitter.

You can subscribe for future posts here.

I won't send you any spam. You can unsubscribe at any time.

© 2020 | email | @juliancanderson