Using SN with Tiago Forte's PARA hierarchy

I’ve been a big fan of Tiago Forte’s PARA system of organizing notes. I’m curious if anyone here is using PARA with SN? Based on the founder’s philosophy, each note should be valuable in and of itself…which makes a ton of sense. We also should move away from a heavy “file/folder” based concept. If I follow this, then Project, Area, Resources and Archive shouldn’t really be “folders” that stand on their own. I’m struggling with how to reconcile this with the SN system. OR, maybe PARA isn’t a good fit for the SN atomic note concept, and I should shift to more of a mentality of more organic notes. Thoughts?

I think Supernotes is a great fit for PARA. I have priority cards for areas, projects, and categories of resources (People, Places, Books, etc).

Then I use the multi-parent hierarchy to apply cards to the areas, projects, or resources where they make sense. So a card covering a weekly team meeting might be added to an area card for the team, any cards for projects that were discussed, and resource cards for each person attending.

Chuck that’s great! The idea of applying a weekly team meeting card to multiple parents (project + team + resource) is brilliant. I could really see that enhancing my workflow! Thanks for sharing.
Are your “priority cards” just sitting there at the top of your stack by themselves? Or do you use them in some way?

Hello! Recently, I came across the PARA method and have been attempting to use it with Supernotes. Given the multi-parent feature and Outline, I believe it is an ideal fit for this method.

However, I am encountering some difficulties in applying it. For instance, if I have a note containing a Python code snippet, should it be categorized under:

  • Project: “100 Days of Python”
  • Area: “Coding”
  • Resource: “Udemy - 100 Days of Python”

Would this categorization be correct or should I only apply it to the resource?

Hi isaiur,

You might get better advice posting to a PARA forum (They have a Circle community, or there are Reddit communities). But I can give you my take after having gone through the PARA courses. Based on my experience, and what I understand of Tiago’s system, you should only apply it to one place, not multiple places.

I would suggest that you think of it this way: If the Python Code Snippet is relevant to a current active project you are working on, then it should go in project. If it’s not, but it’s an area of intensive research & interest, then it should go in the area. If it’s more of a general resource that you may use someday but isn’t relevant to current work, then it would go under Resource.

I like to think of Projects > Areas > Resources as most actionable > least actionable. For me, projects are things I’m working on right now that have a defined end date (for example are you using that Python Code Snippet for a work or school project?). Areas are things that I reference a lot, but not a specific project…such as home maintenance, car maintenance, research in my field of expertise at work. Resources is almost like a “catalog” or link library, it’s vast and diverse and extends to almost every area of interest that I may have but isn’t as intensive or immediately actionable. If you look at Tiago’s screenshots of his setup, Resources looks like a catch-all of sorts of all his various interests. For me personally, I have things like Music, politics, movies, recipes, and things like that.

The last thing I’ll say is, Tiago Forte is a big fan of flexibility of the system…it’s designed to serve you, not the other way around. So I suggest doing whatever makes the most sense for your brain and will help you find that bit of information later when you need it.

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PARA is designed for a folders and files approach to note taking, where a file can only be in one folder at a time.

With Supernotes, we’re not restricted to that way of thinking, and I’d advise against artificially restricting your system in the same way.

In my Input, Insights, and Output based approach to top-level notes, an individual atomic note can appear in all three top-level branches of my notes tree. For example, if I read an insight in a book then I’d track that via a parent link to the Insights note for that book under the Input branch. But the same note would also appear under one, or more, relevant topics under the top-level Insights note (e.g. Habits and Psychology). Plus, the same note could also appear under Output, if I’ve used it in a published piece of work.

This approach makes it easy to see where an idea came from, which topics it’s related to, and if I’ve already written/spoken about it. As far as I’m aware, PARA’s “single parent/folder” approach doesn’t let you do that.

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Thank you so much @maurelius and @JamesT! Now that I’m having a better overview I think a combo with Zettelkasten and ‘Linking your thinking” and a base out of PARA would be best for me.
As you say it have to work for me and doesn’t have to be 100% the principle which should fit all of us.

The :fire: of Supernotes is definitely the bi-directional linking and having more parents for one child - this is what I need for law and for coding-projects.

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