P.A.R.A Folder Structure

At the heart of Obsibrain's organizational system lies the renowned P.A.R.A. (Projects, Areas, Resources, Archives) method developed by Tiago Forte.

This structured approach helps you maintain a clean, efficient, and highly customizable workflow within your Obsidian environment.

Customizing the Folder Structure

The P.A.R.A. folder structure may not be suitable for everyone.

Some users may find the P.A.R.A. system highly beneficial, while others may prefer a more customized organizational approach.

With that in mind, Obsibrain provides the flexibility for you to tailor the folder structure to your specific needs. You can easily modify or replace the default folders to better align with your personal productivity system and workflow.

To access the folder structure settings, navigate to Obsibrain settings > Plugins > Obsibrain > Folder structure settings.

For every default folders 1-projects, 2-areas, 3-resources, 4-archives, you can either choose to keep them, to change their location by typing the full path to a new folder, or choose to regroup them under the same folder.

Example:

  • I can change the path to the notes folder to notes and change the path to the archives to notes/archives.

  • I don't plan to use the PARA folders so I can change all paths to my-notes.

Understanding the P.A.R.A. Hierarchy

As shown in Screen 1, the Obsibrain vault is divided into the following core folders:

  1. Projects: This is where you manage your active, goal-oriented projects.

  2. Areas: Represent the ongoing responsibilities and aspects of your life that require continuous attention (such as Relations, Finances, Health)

  3. Resources: Static reference materials that support your work and interests/hobbies (such as Drawing, Games, Cooking)

  4. Archives: Here, you can neatly move your completed/canceled projects and old notes. (A command is available to archive a particular page of your vault, more info below)

A great way to remember the differences between Areas and Resources:

  • Areas: ONGOING responsibilities that shape your life.

  • Resources: ONGOING/ON HOLD interests and hobbies that do not require constant attention.

The relationship between these folders, as illustrated in Screen 2 and Screen 3, demonstrates the hierarchical nature of the P.A.R.A. system. Your goals and projects are connected to the relevant areas of your life, which are in turn supported by the resources you've gathered.

Example of Areas and Resources

Understanding the difference between those 2 might be challenging and could lead to misunderstandings. One of the Obsibrain team members shared their personal preferences and system with us (Screen 4). At first glance, you can understand the main area of focus and their other hobbies that don't require constant attention.

Note: a Resource can become an Area and vice versa. Let's say you start to really want to improve at cooking and it has become an important area of your life since you now have kids, you cook for them, you cook on the weekends for the whole family, and you have a cooking YouTube channel. In this case, the Cooking resource can be moved under Areas.

Understanding P.A.R.A Metadatas

While navigating through the P.A.R.A templates and when you are first creating your first page, you'll see that each category comes with its own metadata, let's take the example of the Project Metadata:

Status: Current status of the project, can be either (case-sensitive) ongoing, on hold, completed, or canceled.

Priority: Current priority for this particular project, can be either (case-sensitive) high, medium or low.

Goal:The goal this project is linked to. It should be an internal link, start by typing [[Project Goals]] and you can get auto-completed for your linked page.

Deadline: Deadline for this particular project. Should respect this format: YYYY-MM-DD

Completed: Completion date for this particular project. Should respect this format: YYYY-MM-DD

Created: Date on which the project has been created. (read-only)

Modified: Date on which the project was last modified. (read-only)

Leveraging Obsidian's Capabilities

Obsibrain leverages Obsidian's powerful features to seamlessly implement the P.A.R.A. structure. You can easily navigate between the different folders, create new notes and files, and establish connections using Obsidian's linking capabilities.

Additionally, Obsibrain provides custom commands (Cmd + P to open commands palette), as shown in Screen 5. This ensures that your organizational system remains consistent and aligned with the Obsibrain template.

The Importance of Structure

The P.A.R.A. method is a fundamental part of the Obsibrain system, as it provides a clear and scalable framework for managing your productivity, knowledge, and life. By adhering to this structure, you can maintain a sense of order and clarity, even as your projects, areas, and resources evolve over time.

Archiving pages

As shown in screen 6, Obsibrain comes with a dedicated move to archives command that will let you archive a particular page if this meets certain criteria:

  • If it's a goal or a project page, the status should either be completed or canceled.

  • All the linked sub-projects and goals should have the status completed or canceled.

Can I customize the P.A.R.A. folder structure?

No, it's important to note that the P.A.R.A. folder structure in Obsibrain is an integral part of the template and its underlying scripts and automation. Modifying this structure could potentially break the functionality of the Obsibrain system and lead to various issues. Therefore, it is not recommended to customize the P.A.R.A. folders within the Obsibrain vault.

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