About Agenda and PARA

I have been studying PARA recently and feel that Agenda is particularly suitable for this task. It not only has a comprehensive note taking function, but also has linkage with calendar and other data. Is there a best practice case for implementing PARA in Agenda without relying on third parties or shortcuts?


I am not familiar with PARA, but it sounds like a methodology that you could discuss with other Agenda users in the Talk section of this site. That is often used for sharing experiences. I recommend just reposting this there in Talk.

I agree with Drew. Probably best to discuss this with other community members. It looks like you will be breaking new ground here, but surely someone else is doing this. I did search through Tiago’s official website for information but he doesn’t mention it. I seem to recall seeing someone on YouTube running the traps on this, but a search just turns up a lot of Spanish YouTube videos.

I hadn’t heard of PARA before – is The PARA Method: The Simple System for Organizing Your Digital Life in Seconds the home page? Sound very interesting indeed. If you create a forum discussion about it, please post a link to it here so it won’t go unnoticed!

Old thread mentioning PARA here Anybody using Johnny.Decimal in Agenda? - #10 by christian.bogen

I have a feeling there are others, but it’s not an easy term to search!

FWIW, I implemented the PARA structure in my Agenda database today, introducing an additional level “D” (for domain) at the top of the hierarchy as I prefer to keep my private and two different business contexts separate. So I use Agenda categories for my three different “domains”, and below each “domain” I have the four PARA items “projects”, “areas”, “resources” and “archives” as Agenda sub-categories, which may include Agenda projects either directly or in sub-sub-categories. It is nice that Agenda doesn’t seem to limit how deep sub-categories may be nested, so in case the need for sub-sub-sub-categories and so forth should arise I could use these too.

To me the #1 benefit is that stuff that isn’t immediately needed in a certain context or situation can be easily hidden away – clutter leeches attention and energy, so it has to be minimized however much possible. In fact I already found my Agenda database looked too cluttered, and the fact that Agenda projects are meant to encompass everything related to a project in a single file, even older stuff, gives me the feeling of losing grip as project files get so big that I don’t feel in control anymore. Being able to move “done” stuff out of Agenda projects into the PARA “archives” section, where they are out of sight, seems to provide a relief.

And the #2 benefit of PARA is that it is so easy to store stuff away and then find it again later because it is always simple and clear where it belongs. Gives a feeling of grip, too.

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I was searching for a system, which isn’t cluttered by tons of categories. Now I have the categories Projects, Areas, Resources and Archives. I have one project as an Inbox, which I can use with a shortcut to capture information, which might be useful or which I want to remember. There I can use Siri to dictate a new note. In the evening I go through my notes to check them.
I was thinking about sorting all my files within Agenda, but that‘s not what Agenda is made for. And links to files don’t work on iOS and MacOS. So I created the same structure in my documents folder.
I am still not sure, if the timeline methodology doesn’t get in the way for information which doesn’t need a date, but is important. Therefore I use an overview note, which I pin at the top.

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Personally I’m not a big fan of all the “second brain” hype, but here is a link to a LOT of info regarding note taking from Andy Matuschak who’s researched the topic for many years.

§Note-writing systems