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Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life Paperback – Dec 29 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 Reprint edition (Dec 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780143116622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143116622
  • ASIN: 0143116622
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


About the Author

David Allen is president of The David Allen Company and has more than twenty years experience as a consultant and executive coach for such organizations as Microsoft, the Ford Foundation, L.L.Bean, and the World Bank. His work has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, Atlantic Monthly, O, and many other publications.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Making It All Work helps those who've read and applied GTD to their lives understand how to maximize the usefulness. Covers the vertical (runway, 10000 ft, etc) better than GTD.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you are looking for a deeper understanding of GTD March 2 2009
By JLA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started using GTD about two years ago after carrying around a Franklin Covey planner for several years. I struggled to stick with the Franklin Covey system in a fast-paced job where priorities shifted frequently.

GTD, in contrast, is a much more practical system that encompasses every aspect of personal work flow. Unlike my experience with Franklin Covey, it has stuck. It works beautifully.

Over time, I've come to appreciate that successful implementation of GTD is really more about habits of the mind than clever systems for managing lists and files. The concepts in GTD may seem like common sense, but applying that common sense systematically and comprehensively can be a long journey.

"Making it All Work" dives deeper into the subtleties of those mental habits. It has sharpened my GTD implementation, and given me even greater respect for the elegance, simplicity, and power of Allen's system.

The book also goes into much greater detail on the horizons of focus, something that most people don't pay a lot of attention to until they have been working with GTD for a while. I suspect that many GTD "veterans" will find this to be the real value of the book.

GTD is not "hard," as one reviewer wrote. It is actually very simple. Changing mental habits so that one is always asking "is this actionable," "what is the successful outcome," and "what is the next action" takes time and persistence, but it is not very difficult.

If you are new to GTD, put this book on your wish list and order "Getting Things Done" first. Try implementing the system for a few months, paying attention to the elements of the system that seem to come less naturally to you, and THEN order Making it All Work. I don't think that you will regret it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I got real value by identifying what is important to me at the higher levels Aug. 22 2009
By Daniel Mundy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The second half of this book - "Getting Perspective" - is where I found real value. David talks about identifying everything that is important to you at the different "horizons" in your life.

These horizons include things like "areas of responsibility", "goals & objectives", "vision" and "principles & purpose". After reading and applying the first GTD book you will already have your day-to-day projects and actions under control. The thing is that you need "perspective" to allow yourself to work on the important stuff, rather than getting carried away just doing "busy work".

So, from time to time, you review the things that are important to you on a higher level. This triggers thinking and generates new projects (with associated actions) helping you take steps toward achieving your goals/dreams/etc.

Some negative reviews here may be based on the first half of the book - "Getting Control" - which is definitely just a rehash of the first book. I guess they had to do that for people who have picked it up without having read the first GTD book. Stick with it, the second half more than makes up for it.

If I can offer a suggestion: Install a mind-mapping tool like xmind or freemind (free) and jot down any ideas that pop into your head as you read. By the time I finished this book I had all of my responsibilities, goals, vision, purpose & principles mapped out - it really is a great feeling!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life making Aug. 24 2009
By Braden Chase - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've never liked the term "life changing." It always seemed cliché and inaccurate. Many people who have read this book (and the others) call it life changing.

I prefer to call it life making. The principles outlined in this book (and the others) allow you to make your life. Your own life. The life that you choose because you psyche (as David puts it) is free. Free to think, reason, decide and do what ever you want. You can say no because you don't want to do it not because you would have a nervous breakdown if you did.

I recommend this book (and the others) to anyone who wants a better life. If you do what he says, it will help, no matter what, where, or when. It ALL works.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advanced Course: Not for the First-Timers Nov. 30 2009
By Joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Making It All Work" (MIAW) is an advanced look at the techniques taught in David Allen's book "Getting Things Done" (GTD). I recommend reading GTD first. If you have already read it, MIAW is a very intense look at the techniques. Think of it as a graduate school course. Nine years after GTD hit the scene, Allen now has a many real life examples to share and delves deeper into the why's of the system that is a worldwide phenomenon.
It's a great book, worth reading but only after you've started using the GTD methodology.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No new insights in 10 years? Jan. 19 2010
By Scott716 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The original GTD was great because it gave tons of tips to stay organized: determining next actions and keeping them listed by project and context, setting up a tickler file, etc.. This new book is vague, doesn't contain any new tips, and talks about planning at the "10,000 foot level" "20,000 foot level" etc. just like the Stephen Covey books that GTD originally got away from. The original GTD was full of useful everyday tips to stay organized; this book is full of puffery without any discernible tip that will improve my workday. I'm left wondering what David Allen and his company have learned during the past 10 years they've been giving workshops about GTD to probably 10,000 or more people and coaching professionals on staying organized -- couldn't they have found some new nuggets about how to stay organized? Couldn't they have profiled specific people or professions that have put GTD into practice and customized it for their needs? There are probably enough tips alone submitted by GTD fans on [...] forums to make a new book! I was completely disappointed by this book. I kept leafing through it looking for insights I could use and there weren't any I could find.

I'm left literally thinking that David Allen wrote this book to keep his publishers happy or to keep his consulting firm going, to "stay relevant."

Save your money, in my opinion -- just buy the original Getting Things Done