PARA is described as "A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information". PARA stands for Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archive, and was was developed by Tiago Forte as an attempt at the "perfect organizational system". Forte describes such a system as simple, flexible, modular, actionable, universal, outcome-oriented and oppotunistic.
Projects are short, specific, goal-oriented series of tasks that have a clear ending. Examples of projects include finishing a homework assignment, finalizing a report, and giving a presentation.
Every project belongs to a certain Area, which is a larger space of work, with no clear ending. For example, publishing an essay is a project, while Writing is an area. While Area's don't have goals, we can establish standards that we seek to maintain.
Resources contain the results of research, storing the reference material for projects. These are sorted by topic or themes, and can be thought of as containers to notes on a certain subject of on-going interest.
The archive is for items from the above three categories that have become inactive, and no longer need to crowd your working space.
PARA is built for longevity as well as productivity. By focusing on specific bite-sized projects, we develop a rhythm of work in which we feel we are accomplishing things, which gives us motivation to continue. Similarly, by establishing standards and tracking our performance relative to these standards, we can be aware of our consistency and endurance.