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on March 6, 2016
In this revised edition of his classic bestseller, David Allen seems to suffer from the same problem many successful people do, though unemployed and retired people seem to, as well - they have so much free time on their hands that they forget the rest of us don't! If someone's turning to a book on time-management, I'm just guessing that the person may be stressed and overloaded - given this, would it be possible to just get to the point?! Ironically, this book on "getting down to work" fails to do that very thing, with the author spending chapter-upon-chapter conversing on all manner of things - how the world is changing so quickly! how busy people are these days! - and how successful his book has become. Maybe you have time for all that - I don't, and found myself super-frustrated, wishing the author had included a "Jump right in" point, which would allow readers to get started on the concepts right away. Don't get me wrong - there are valuable concepts in the book, but my God! you'll work to find them in the updated edition, where the "good stuff" is buried under all sorts of meandering thoughts.

I already owned the earlier version of this, which I recall was shorter and more to-the-point; I ordered this hoping for updates, but unfortunately most of what's been added are the "fluff" chapters the other critical reviews refer to. Wish I hadn't bought it as a Kindle since I don't think it can be "returned," otherwise, I would. If you're ready to get down to work and see changes, I recommend Neil Fiore's The Now Habit - otherwise, book the few days off of work you'll need to wade through the first chapters of the new-though-not-improved version of Getting Things Done.
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on May 25, 2004
Being raised by an ADD father and a depressed mother left my siblings and I without a lot of social skills, not the least of which relate to productivity. Years ago one of my sisters asked me what I wanted out of life. My answer was simple: to be able to do something just because I decide to do it.
For decades I have studied everything I could get my hands on regarding self-improvement. Silva Mind Control, Insight, Maxwell Smaltz, NLP, countless books, tapes, seminars. Most of these left me thinking, "Well, if I could get myself to do those things, I wouldn't need your stupid book/tape/seminar."
I spoke frequently with my siblings about this, noting to them that successful people do things and think about things differently than unsuccessful people but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what that difference was.
NLP has been a big boost but nothing has matched the power of GTD to transform my life. This is the skill that sets people apart. It builds confidence, it clears the mind, it clears the backlog of projects that have piled up over the years.
For the first few weeks implementing this system I was actually on a emotional high. It was so exciting to have a simple, workable system that truly does what it claims to do. My wife and I have been working this system for a couple of months and have literally transformed ourselves using it.
My siblings are using it to great advantage also and I'm starting to share it at work. I am so grateful for this book and the opportunities it has opened up for a whole generation of under-achievers in my family. Words cannot adequately express my appreciation.
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on April 27, 2016
This book presents some very simple, yet powerful organizational tips. Even if you don't employ the full GTD method, you'll still find value in the tips presented. David Allen does a thorough job at showing you his method. Walking away from this book, I implemented a complete paper-based system that works for me. The concepts he presents are complete: whenever someone challenges any part of my system, there is always a logical reason in the book. Everything is intentional, thought out, and functional in GTD.

On the downside, this book is poorly typeset. There is no consistency in headers, emphasized text, paragraph layout, sizing. It almost makes my eyes sore flipping page-to-page. Occasionally, the wording in the book is difficult to process, too. I had a hard time understanding some paragraphs due to David Allen's style of writing.
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on February 27, 2005
David Allen is considered to be one the top five Management consultants in North America according to a Forbes article. I now understand why.
The basic concepts in his book are simple enough and are represented by a flow chart, but there are so many other golden nuggets of "best practice" information within this book that you have to study it to get them all. I've read the book and listened to his second (audio) book "Ready for anything" four times in a row just to reinforce the great points within this book.
The result of implimenting his structure of workflow has suprisingly allowed me to act with more freedom and creativity in my job and a reduction in stress. I can even find stuff easily since setting up my folders and buying a label making machine (his recommendation).
He's really on to something big with his "next action" thinking approach (chapter 11) and his two-minute rule.
One of the best books I've read in the last three years.
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on January 19, 2004
The Summary
Bottom line, read this book! Act on this book, its not as daunting as it sounds. Spending 2 days setting up this system could prove the most valuable thing you do! Make a resolution to get things done! It really is worth following the advice, even the small things which seem irrelevant i.e. buying an automatic labeler; it really does help when you want to file something! If you are a procrastinator you NEED to read this book, it will explain to why you have had so much stress in your life. Also for all those people out there who consider themselves creative and hence feel that time management and organizational system aren't for them because they fear it will stifle their creativity, well read this book and try it!! I really feel more creative since I got all this unimportant stuff out of mind!!
The Why
OK All procrastinators out there, this book really works! Let me tell you a little about myself and then you might understand why this book has been so important to me. I am a world class procrastinator, or should I say was! I had every excuse in the book for why I felt time management systems, to do lists, organization methods just don't work. I am a creative guy and I always felt that getting organized would some how decrease my creative thoughts and ideas. Some of my best ideas came from the mess of papers and books around my study and I thought if I got organized that this would somehow stifle my creativity. The other aspect that always held me back was I didn't want to waste lots of time implementing a system and then just keep maintaining the system and not have time to do the "real" work. Even though I have all these excuses, I knew deep down they were just excuses. I could not work out why I had such a barrier to these systems. I have looked at and half heartedly tried many different systems, Franklin Covey, Time Manager, I have many different organizers and PDA's that I just don't use. I didn't realize it until I read this book, but a lot of my fear stemmed from that I always felt that there was so much that these systems wouldn't catch and I would lose ideas. Most systems don't seem to cope well with unstructured ideas, thoughts, magazine articles etc... And they don't seem to mesh electronic information and paper based information. I wasn't interested in just another system that managed my schedule and to do lists, I needed something that would cope with the way that I worked and wouldn't stifle my creativity! Getting Things Done! Managed to develop a system that incorporated everything and I felt that things weren't getting lost! Wow! It feels good!
The How
I committed to read it and start taking action on January 1st (like all good procrastinators, New Years resolutions are plentiful and always ambitious. We all have good intentions!). Well this is a resolution that I kept. I first worked through my home office and piled up everything that needed to be looked at into the "In Basket" (or pile(s) as it turned out). It took half the floor space in my study. I had purchased the labeling system; I had files, file drawers, staplers, paper clips etc... I had it all together, and I started processing. I finally had all my work papers processed. I then started in on my work email; I had a backlog going back to Nov 2002. By the time I had finished I had my Inbox down to zero!! It took 14 hours! I had purchased the Outlook Add-on that helped me setup my Outlook Folders and it even gives you an easy toolbar to process all new email. My next task was processing all Non-work stuff, which included all creative projects. This took another 8 hours over 2 days, but I finally got it processed, filed away and task lists setup! I have only been back at work for a week, but I have kept processing all incoming messages and with a little work I have kept my email inbox empty and I have all the important tasks and projects setup. This is a major accomplishment! It really has freed my mind to concentrate on creative projects, be able to tackle my work better. My worst fear of being organized has not been realized, actually the direct opposite, I have had more creative ideas since I started than I had before! My mind is clear and free to roam! It feels amazing to know everything you are supposed to be doing (and also to know everything you don't need to be doing), and it's amazing to know that something is captured and even if I don't do this now, I have an action to do it; this means my mind doesn't feel shackled.
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on February 19, 2016
Bought it cause GF lost the copy her boss lent her. She says it's not a bad book. Interesting ideas but perhaps time consuming to implement them.
I guess the idea is that once you implement them it can help you greatly. But by the time you finish setting everything up you'll be retiring.
I guess you can pick and choose what you want to implement.
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on December 19, 2007
I used to be all over the place. My desk was a mess, papers piling upon books piling upon stacks of scribbled notes. My desktop PC had icons covering the whole screen with documents and using the search feature in Windows to find a document was the only way I could find anything.

Then I discovered GTD. Within two weeks of applying the system, my life has completely transformed. Result? I was able to literally increase my productivity in my personal life and career by at least 5 fold.

I am not a naturally very organized person so this was a godsend. Before this I tried Franklin Covey, Brian Tracy and Anthonny Robbins Time Management stuff and none of it has worked for me.

This is the only system that has worked for me consistently, that fits the natural process of organizing.
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on June 2, 2015
A series of life adjustments to turn you into a getting things done machine. I really liked some of the small adjustments that were recommended like ensuring every item has a next action or the two minute rule. Some of the examples chosen rubbed me the wrong way, like checking your email while you are "watching" your children. It would be really interesting to see a version for developers.
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on November 1, 2012
"Mind like water." Yeah, that's what I'm going for. I've never been organized in all aspects of my life and David Allen's process of Getting Things Done has put me on that path. So much stuff that I kept in my "psychic RAM" is now downloaded and in an external system--oh, and everything else in my open-loops too. This frees my mind to be more zen-like and creative. "What's the next action?" If you read this book, you'll always have the answer close at hand.
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on February 26, 2016
While most ideas in this book are OK, I find a hard time reading it. The writing style is poor, and I am constantly annoyed thinking how some parts could be written half the size.

He talks about how the brain naturally works, yet the book lacks images and simplicity, and is unnaturally organized and written. In that sense, it destroys its own main idea...

Also, I think a purpose is a WHAT , not a WHY . A vision is WHY, not a WHAT.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish it, what a torture to read though...this could've been so much better!
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