PARA Part 4: Setup Guide

This article is a guide for getting started with PARA, an organizational system for your digital life.

Here’s the 5-step process I recommend you follow:

Step 1: Move existing files to a new folder called “Archive [date]” (with today’s date)
Step 2: Create folders for each of your current projects
Step 3: Move all the project folders into a new folder called “Projects”

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The Weekly Review is an Operating System

In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen calls the Weekly Review the “Master Key to GTD.” He claims it is the single most critical habit one must adopt to capture open loops, manage commitments on an ongoing basis, and maintain a “mind like water.” Yet it is also the most difficult habit to maintain….

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Mood as Extrapolation Engine: Using Emotions to Generate Momentum

I believe that moods (or less colloquially, states of mind) can be used not just defensively, making the best of whatever mood you’re in (as I described in Productivity for Precious Snowflakes). They can also be used offensively, to proactively create the conditions for rapid acceleration and value creation. Let’s begin with a simple question:…

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PARA Part 2: Operations Manual

Last month I published The P.A.R.A. Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information. It describes a simple, lightweight, yet extremely flexible system for organizing any type of digital information across any platform.

The feedback I’ve gotten has been so phenomenal, I’ve made implementing P.A.R.A. the first unit of my upcoming online bootcamp, Building a Second Brain (BASB). It will be the foundation on which the rest of the course is built.

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Getting Things Done + Personal Knowledge Management

An Integrated Total Life Management System By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. One of the key insights of Getting Things Done, the book on personal productivity by David Allen that spawned the worldwide movement known as GTD, was that…

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The Throughput of Learning

Learning in the 21st century is not about acquiring more information, knowledge, or even insights. The goal is to maximize the throughput of invalidated assumptions. But you have to get there one step at a time. When you first start learning, early in life, there is a bottleneck in the amount of information you have…

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The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information

Imagine for a moment the perfect organizational system. One that supported and enhanced the work you do, telling you exactly where to put a piece of information, and exactly where to find it when you needed it.

This system would have to be:

universal, encompassing any conceivable kind of information from any source
flexible, able to work with any project or activity you take on, now and in the future

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Bending the Curves of Productivity

Originally published on the Evernote blog To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. Consider a typical working session of a couple hours. You set aside the time, silence your phone, and clear your desk, determined to finish some Work of Real Value. We know that time…

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Meta-Skills, Macro-Laws, and the Power of Constraints

Nearly every science-fiction novel seems to agree on one thing: in the future, work will be indistinguishable from art. Such wide agreement suggests that work is far more than a means of income generation. Even in a robot servant utopia, with all our practical needs taken care of, human work will still have a purpose….

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A Conversation with David Allen on Quantifying Productivity

By Tiago Forte of Forte Labs To learn more, check out our online bootcamp on Personal Knowledge Management, Building a Second Brain. I recently had the privilege of joining David Allen on his members-only In Conversation podcast. This is the only public place you can listen to it (1 hour, download available): Our main subject…

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