This Deceivingly Simple Digital Filing Method Is the Time-Saver I Need

You can set up the PARA method across all your platforms in 30 minutes flat

Charlotte Grysolle
Published in
5 min readJul 30, 2021


Source: Unsplash

I recently wrote a post on my favourite apps and tools and noticed a lot of interest in my mention of the PARA method, the digital filing system I have been using for my personal and professional life.

Most people, myself included until a couple of months ago, don’t really have a filing system to speak of. Sure, I’d create folders and subfolders, but I wouldn’t put much thought into the structure.

For me, this made it hard to remember where I put certain documents and would often take me a long time to find what I am looking for (if I could find it at all). As we move more and more of our lives online, it’s a good idea to have some basic systems that make you (feel more) organized and efficient.

That’s where the PARA method comes in. It’s deceivingly simple, but that’s what makes it so powerful. And what’s even better — it’ll take you less than 30 minutes to set it up.

Let’s jump in.

What is PARA?

The PARA method was developed by Tiago Forte, a productivity expert and the founder of Building A Second Brain. He’s all about creating systems that will help you get the most out of your digital life. He believes that our focus should always be on creating output — not just hoarding information.

PARA stands for Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archive.

The idea is that you save each piece of digital information into one of these categories, using the same four-category filing system across all your platforms. This helps not only with deciding where to place information but, more importantly: where to find it again.

How is this different from regular folders and subfolders? The difference is that instead of organising according to standard categories, you’re organising in order of actionability — from most active (Projects) to least active (Archive). This creates focus and clarity on priorities, avoiding getting bogged down by endless folders that are not relevant at the moment.



Charlotte Grysolle
Writer for

Exploring the neuroscience and psychology behind focus, motivation and mental resilience. 🤸‍♀️ More on