Every day, we consume a substantial amount of information, whether actively or passively. This often becomes overwhelmingly intense and can lead us to become excessively consumed by our thoughts. One of the ways that I’ve found that best manage my goals, projects, as well as all of the different things that I’m learning is the PARA method. If you’re curious about how to build your own digital knowledge management system using the PARA method. Keep reading.
One of my favorite apps in the entire world is Notion! I’ve been using Notion since late 2019 but Notion started to really click for me when I saw this video by Marie Poulin. As someone who is multi-passionate and has tons of ideas I’ve found the PARA method to help me stay better organized, increased my productivity, and help me remain focused on my goals. Here’s a walk-through of how I have my Notion Space organized for my business using the PARA method.
The PARA Method Explained
The PARA method is a renowned and widely used technique for organizing digital information. Developed by Tiago Forte, a productivity expert and founder of Forte Labs, this methodology has been instrumental in guiding people to build a second brain. Creating a second brain proves to be an efficient method for managing new information, staying ahead of work tasks, and achieving goals.
The PARA method, which represents Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archives, underlines the concept that all information can find an organization within these categories. By doing so, users can easily categorize and retrieve information when needed. Additionally, the PARA method emphasizes the importance of regularly reviewing information to ensure that it remains relevant and useful. The PARA method is a great way to level up your productivity.
How do you use the PARA system?
While you can use the PARA method in any digital system (computer files, Google Drive, etc.) I use it primarily in Notion. Before using it, I had a lot of my information scattered everywhere in Notion without any real system. Thanks to the PARA method, I’ve organized all my information in Notion, enabling me to have a clear view of tasks that require completion and make prompt decisions. Building my second brain in Notion makes it easier for me and my team to collaborate which allows us to move more efficiently and think creatively.
The PARA method is broken down into four major areas:
- Projects: ideas that have a defined beginning and end date (e.g.: Marketing Campaign, Client Project)
- Areas: Overarching themes that you’re constantly focusing on or responsible for (e.g.: Marketing, Finances, Operations)
- Resources: Articles, posts, and notes, that can help you complete a project or can be relevant to a particular area (e.g.: a blog post or notes from a meeting)
- Archives: Things that you don’t need anymore but might be relevant later (e.g.: completed projects or old areas)
Utilizing the PARA method allows me to overcome the overwhelming feeling of the information I consume. Instead, I start asking myself questions like:
- What are the areas that I’m currently focusing on
- What projects am I currently working on?
- How can this article help me work towards any of my project goals?
- Is this article really that relevant?
Implementing the PARA Method in Notion
If you’re looking to get a full walk-through of how I implement the PARA method in Notion, I invite you to check out my YouTube video for a more comprehensive view, but here’s how I implement the PARA method in Notion:
My projects section is all things that will have a start and end date. In my projects section, I break down my current tasks into bite-sized chunks, enabling me to concentrate on my immediate objectives and accomplish what I intend.
My areas section house the major themes that attribute to my business. These are the things that are constantly ongoing and have various streams of work attributed to them. Your Areas section should be things that have no start or end date just different focuses within my business that will constantly need attention.
My resources section contains different notes and links from the learnings that I find on the internet. With these learnings, I’m able to attribute them to other Projects or Focus Areas within my business.
Your archived section usually contains things that you may want to look at later but are inactive. For me, rather than have a dedicated archive section, I have an archived section for each of the different parts of the PARA method by adding different views. For me, this helps me keep the data there as well as any other notes or todos that I may have added within the properties.
The PARA method is one of the methods that I absolutely swear by to better organize my digital life as well as stay on top of my goals and commitments. If you require help in achieving better digital organization, I encourage you to explore and purchase my Notion templates.