My approach to JD with 50% of P.A.R.A. (Projects and Areas in Google Drive and Notion)

Hello everyone.

I’m in the process of organizing my folders, files and notes and thought I’d share what I’ve done with the community. Maybe someone can give some good advice or find something useful for themselves. To be honest, I’ve already spent about a month on what I have between projects and personal stuff.

A bit about the ecosystem.

All my files are stored on Google Drive. I decided to switch from Dropbox (which I’d been using for 10 years) because I needed a convenient way to create and store text files and spreadsheets. I immediately gave up using MS Word/Excel because I often need to share files with others. And at the same time, it was a great opportunity to review and delete all the unnecessary things that had accumulated over the years of using Dropbox (which is ≈ 850 GB of information).

I was looking for a place to store my notes for a long time and finally decided on Notion — I really like the ability to create databases and link information.

For day-to-day tasks, I use OmniFocus and put things in there for a week after regularly checking the list of current projects.

All this month I’ve been trying to somehow link Johnny.Decimals and P.A.R.A. by Tiago Forte. I’m now leaning more towards JD and decided to abandon the four root folder structure from P.A.R.A. I’m left with PROJECTS and AREAS. Everything that was supposed to go in the RESOURCES folder will be split between the PROJECTS and AREAS folders.

The root structure looks like this:


PROJECTS is where I put all my projects — work, freelance, personal, and home projects (like a refreshing home renovation). My work projects are client projects, so the first question was how to divide it all up so there would be enough folders (99 is obviously not going to be enough based on past experience). I decided to add a letter to the file names (the first letter of the client’s name). I found this idea in one of Johnny’s videos.

In each client folder, there is a folder with an index of 00, which contains static materials such as logos, fonts, etc. It looks like this:

_Client [XNN] ← template folder
AICSA [A02] [A01]
Atmosphere Development [A03]
Beat Group [B01]
Clother [C01]
DreamFest [D02]
   D02.00 Assets
   D02.01 DF24
   D02.02 DF24 Identity
   D02.03 DF24 Venue
   D02.04 DF24 Temporary Poster
   D02.05 DF24 Artist Presentation
     01_Client Input
   D02.06 DF24 Sponsorship Proposal
     01_Client Input
             Document fonts
   D02.07 DF24 Merch
   D02.08 DF24 Signage
Dukkan [D01]
Gettapp [G01]
Home LLC [H01]
Kibrit Tech [K01]
Sea Breeze [S01]
TerraStruc [T01]
Triangle Consulting [T02]

The numbering in the project folder is for sorting purposes only and does not affect file naming.

And this is how projects look in Notion. I use the same names throughout.

Now to the AREAS folder. Everything is simpler here. I tried to follow the JD principles as much as possible. The main problem was to find a structure that suits me — I have a lot of different interests and a lot of information on different topics. While I was thinking about how to structure everything, I realized that some things and interests can be left out, because I don’t use this information much.

It looks like this:

10-19 Life Administration
      11 Finances
         11.01 Home Budget
         11.02 Loans
         11.03 Kids Education
      12 Private
         12.01 Documents
         12.02 CV
         12.03 Green Card
         12.04 Canada
      13 Health
         13.01 Fitness
         13.02 Yoga & Meditations
      14 Ecosystem
         14.01 Software
         14.02 Server Administration
      15 Family
         15.01 General
         15.02 Spouse
         15.03 Kids
         15.04 Parents
      16 Home and Environment
20-29 Leisure and Recreation
      21 Travel and Exploration
         21.01 Amsterdam, Mar 2023
         21.02 London, Jun 2023
         21.03 Istanbul, Sep, 2023
      22 Hiking
         22.01 Bazarduzu, Aug 2022
         22.02 Heydar-Ataturk, Aug 2022
      23 Activities
         23.01 Encounter
         23.02 Dungeons & Dragons
30-39 Relationships
      31 Family
         31.01 Spouse
         31.02 Kids
      32 Parents & Siblings
         32.01 Parents
         32.02 Sister
      33 Friends
40-49 Learning and Growth
      41 Books
         41.01 Design
         41.02 Architecture
         41.03 City Planning
      42 Courses & Webinars
         42.01 BHSAD Intensive, Jan 2013
         42.02 Ermolaev Intensive, Feb 2015
      43 Personal Development
50-59 Static
      51 Assets
         51.01 Guidelines
         51.02 Mockups
         51.03 Omnifocus Icons
         51.05 Metro Maps
      52 Templates & Checklists
         52.01 Presentation Templates
60-69 Photo Archive
      61 Personal Photos
         61.01 Document Photos
         61.02 Portraits
         61.03 Misc Photos
      62 Family Photos
      63 Travel Photos
         63.01 Amsterdam, Mar 2016
         63.02 London, Apr 2008

What remains to be done:

  • Finalize the AREAS folder (I’m a terrible perfectionist sometimes and spend a lot of time planning);
  • Move the AREAS folder structure to Notion;
  • Migrate all necessary materials from the Dropbox archives.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

1 Like

I forgot to write what to do if one of the clients runs out of space, i.e. 99 projects will be done (yes, this can also happen and has even happened).

In this case I create another client folder with the same name but with a different index.

For example:

DreamFest [D02]
Drones & Machines [D03]
DreamFest [D04]

This can also be done if, for example, you do an event for the same client every year. It is convenient to divide these events and, if necessary, give the client a folder with all the materials (well, in case).

Hi there. This is a really interesting approach. I don’t have much to add other than that I love how people mesh these systems together and adapt them for their own use.

Thanks for sharing this. It gives me an idea … gonna create a sticky post at the top of this forum category with links to stuff like this so they don’t get lost over time. (Ping @fjgenieter)


Yes, let’s do this!!