According to tiago forte, an area of responsibility, is a “sphere of activity with a standard to be maintained over time.” It is different from a Project by its lack of a deadline and a Goal. Instead of a goal, it requires a standard that has to be maintained. This standard is maintained through projects or Habits (see Starting a habit is a project). When an area is reduced into sub-areas (Divide areas into sub-areas for easier tracking) and projects, it is connected to individual tasks and, therefore, the present moment.
Why do we have to divide our life into areas? Are projects not sufficient? Areas are mini life purposes. They are a form of convergence tool that creates meaning out of a divergent set of projects. Without areas, it is difficult to make sense of the significance of projects. Even without an overarching life purpose, we can generate the feeling of direction and progress when we at least know that we are maintaining and optimizing life areas that are relevant for our growth (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be used as life areas).
In PARA, the notes or materials related to an area should be things you most probably won’t be sharing. If there are materials to be shared, they should be placed in Resources.
For Tiago, an area’s standard does not have to be articulated clearly in writing like a goal. Instead, one can check if this standard is not met simply through intuition or a feeling of uneasiness. However, An area’s standard can be articulated and there are benefits for doing so.
Forte, T. (2017). The PARA Method: A Universal System for Organizing Digital Information. https://fortelabs.co/blog/para/