PARA Megathread

PARA Megathread

TL;DR The official Johnny.Decimal stance is to not combine PARA and JD, because they are “different ideas with fundamentally different structures”.

What is PARA?


The PARA Method is a part of Tiago Forte’s system of building a second brain (BASB). It consists of four categories to “encompass your entire life”: Projects, Areas, Resources and Archives.

Differences with JD

  • In PARA folders/topic are constantly moved, mostly between projects and archives. But also between areas, resources and archives. In JD files are mostly not moved and given a static ID.
  • In PARA the folder structure is two levels deep Projects/Project-1. With static top-level folders (Projects, Areas, Resources, Archives) and no structure in the second level. The JD system has more structure and static ID’s (20-29 Household/20 Finance/20.02 Invoices)



  • Projects are nice (osau). But PARA adapted this from GTD and JD (13.01) can also accommodate for this.
  • Different levels of actionability (Hopsakee). But this can be done in calendar and tasks.
  • PARA can be used as an in-between when converting to JD (ellane).


  • PARA and JD are competing frameworks (Johhny.Decimal, norseman).
  • The distinction between areas and resources is not always clear (norseman).
  • The top level folders are rigid and the sub-levels are totally free and unstructured (osau).
  • File/folder moving is not workable most of the time (osau, Hopsakee).


People who have combined principles of JD and PARA. You can try these and adapt to your own need, but keep the philosophy in mind (11.04).

This is all a waste of time if it doesn’t help you find things quicker, more reliably and with less stress than you can today.
Nothing else matters.

  • bogenschlag combines JD + PARA to make PARP (Projects, Areas, Resources and Personal).
  • Roman made version of JD, PARA and GTD. Switching to AC.ID-PRO.
  • jdm uses PARA in his 1 area for his personal life. He uses A/CAT resulting in 1 Personal/110 Projects.
  • norseman still uses projects, which exist as categories in certain areas of life.
  • There are also JD structures with a separate folder for projects (rusty). This splits the areas and resources from PARA into different JD areas.
  • If you do not do this, you have a structure like that of Luca Franceschini. He has the standard PARA top-levels, with three-number categories under there. It looks like 2 Areas/201 Finances/ 201.01 Bank account. He made his own specification on lucafrance/luca-decimal.

This is a living thread. Feedback, questions or posts I’ve missed are welcome.


:pray: Thank you! This is a terrific idea.

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Nice summary! :+1:

I don’t think that P.A.R.A and J.D. treats projects the same though, and I don’t think that the way J.D. prescribes projects matches the P.A.R.A way. They are very different in scope, and I, personally, wouldn’t try to map either to the other. If you go P.A.R.A. to J.D. there is too much overhead. If you go from J.D. to P.A.R.A. there is not enough room. I like the idea that Johnny wrote that a P.A.R.A project is more an ID.

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