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on 28 February 2015
Recommended by my boss and well worth the read. Great service and fast delivery
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on 15 February 2005
I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, and having moved to two new parishes 18 months ago -- working within a team, but now with extra responsibilities -- I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by my workload: chaplaincy work, parish work, diocesan, and provincial work, not to mention my own personal projects. I was feeling paralyzed with fear much of the time about how much I needed to do.
I did use a PDA (a Psion 5mx) and MS Outlook 2003, and I synchronized them regularly. My filing is clear and consistent -- both on my PC and in my filing cabinet and folders. But somehow my system was still breaking down.
This book helped me in four areas:
1) Rationalize my COLLECTION POINTS -- I had 28!! I now have 6.
2) Rearrange my TASK CATEGORIES -- I used to have one category per project. Now I have adopted Sally's Strategic Next Action categories and it works brilliantly. I was sceptical and a little afraid before I did it, but kept reminding myself to persevere. I'm glad I did. I now track my Meaningful Objectives and Supporting Projects for both Church and Personal within my Outlook/Psion.
3) DOWNLOAD MY HEAD -- I was carrying 81 to-dos when I did this exercise in the book. I felt so much more relaxed once I got everything into Outlook. And because I sync my Psion I have my to do list with me at all times, and can immediately add tasks to it, to process later when I get home.
4) Move tasks to the CALENDAR -- I didn't know you could do that, and of course, it makes perfect sense to do that. Now I get stuff done!
I'm sure I have a long way to go yet, but this book has helped me no end. I've now recommended this book to my Mum, who has as many collection points are there are surfaces in her kitchen!
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on 18 December 2004
Having worked my way through a number of "productivity" books, I can heartily say that this is the best and most practical one that I have read and the only one that I have found easy to implement. The methods described are almost exactly the same as In David Allen's "Getting Things Done", however, the style is refreshing and most importantly for me, MS Outlook is integrated into your time management strategy.
If you use Outlook for your e mail, appointments and tasks, this is the book for you. It takes you step by step in setting up a time management system in Outlook that really works (Without the need to purchase an expensive addin - unlike "Getting Things Done").
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on 22 June 2007
Bit of a cliche, but if you work in an office and find the your life slipping away, then this book just might change your life.

Although very american (the title, objectives etc) this book succeeds beacause it's been written by a real consultant who has advised real people. All the tips are excellent and the process that the author outlines really can help make your workload easier to manage.

After reading this book I am recommending to all my colleagues.
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on 26 January 2007
A contradiction?

Despite the above reviewer's comments, if you have a complex life juggling home and work (who hasn't?), and multiple projects/delegates, then read this book.

Why? If you have read Getting Things Done and thought how tedious/too detailed the system Dave Allen describes is, then Sally McGhee takes the system, simplifies it and uses Outlook as the core of the GTD system.

The advantages of this system are clear: 1) Everything is in Outlook 2) It turns Outlook into an overview/planning system and 3) it clears your mind by putting it into Outlook.

I agree with the above author that the flow of the book is disjointed, but persevere and get to the end as it discusses the key tool for this system at the end (prioritising and planning), which seems to be illogical but has a sense to it as you need to know all your tasks/meetings before you prioritise and plan.

Overall, a practical application of GTD to a common piece of software with good dose of practicality, but it could have flowed better.
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on 7 August 2005
I recommend you consider 'Getting Things Done' before this book. There are some glaring gaps such as the section on getting your in basket to empty. In this book there is about one page on this, in GTD there are 20! I felt completly out on a limb once I'd taken all the advice to fill my in basket and then found little in the way of advice on emptying it.
I would say in it's defence that it goes into more depth when using outlook than GTD but then you would hope so, given the book's title!
I wrote to the author to give my feedback and she explained that the section had been taken out at Microsoft's behest to make the book smaller - not very helpful if you're looking for a holistic system to organise your life!
By all means get this as an expansion on GTD - but it's not a complete substitute.
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on 11 February 2007
If you were to try to implement Getting Things Done using only the features available in Outlook, this would be a good book. If you haven't read Getting Things Done, this is a worthwhile introduction.

However I stopped reading in chapter 7, where the suggested method of hierarchically organising all your objectives, projects and tasks by manually inserting headings and subsections into the bodies of the tasks - well it just looked labourius to the point of undoable. And that's the point - plain Outlook just isn't up to the job. I'm trialling the add-in instead, and it looks a sight easier - in fact that's the point, you need something that does the chores for you instead of having to internalise the procedures till they become second nature.

Or am I just lazy?
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on 21 April 2006
Having read both "Getting Things Done" by Dave Allen and Take "Back Your Life Using Outlook", I found that Sally McGhee's approach to Task Management is a lot easier to work with than Dave Allens - albeit they are very similar in concept.

I like in particular her explanation and discussion and the way she uses Outlook to manage the realationships between Meaningful Objectives, Supporting Projects and Significant Next Actions.

If you are using Outlook for email, calender and task management, and lets face it many of us do, this book illustrates a practical way of implementing a day to day personal management system that can provide huge personal productivity gains.

If you are a Dave Allen fan, then use this book to implement GTD in Outlook rather than the "using outlook" pamphlet that is available from GTD and the outrageously complicated (it screwed up my Outlook big time)Outlook Add In from an associated company of GTD.
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on 7 April 2006
I read this book after reading David Allen's Getting Things Done.
Sally takes the ideas from GTD, distorts them slightly and maps them to Outlook; however she fails to notice that a task in Outlook can have multiple categories, which makes tracking via project, and doing via context very easy. If you've read GTD, this one doesn't add much more value.
There are some tips in there for the Outlook novice, and I do like the dashboard idea, plus the concept of adding objectives as tasks in an .Objective category. (i.e. it's not all bad...)
Andy.
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on 15 January 2006
Such a simple concept which is in essence - "Make a list of things to do" "Decide when and how to do them"
Explained in such away as to make anyone dizzy, the book is the most poorly organised I think I have ever seen. The author never wanting to use a sentence to describe something when a page of words will do.
If you really treasure your time please do not waste any of it with this book.
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