Top critical review
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Five stars for the author but only two for the publisher!
on 24 March 2015
Since it was first published in 2001, David Allen's Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential self-help guides available. Now David has carried out what he calls "a sort of rewrite" retyping the original manuscript and identifying where the language and content was incomplete, outdated or not the best for keeping the book relevant for the future. Two new chapters have been added plus a very useful glossary of GTD terms. But the fundamental principles and core techniques are unchanged.
Let me get the big gripe out of the way first. The publishers have missed a great opportunity to improve the format and layout of the book - it still looks more like a novel (telling a story) than a manual (telling you what to actually do). Also the proof-reading could have been better. The names of the steps of the workflow have been chnaged in the text but not in the diagrams and some text has actually been incorrectly deleted.
The Kindle (and iBooks) versions are little better than page scans of the paper book so you get the annoying inserted quotations getting in the way (and sometimes falling off the page) and the sections headings sometimes being orphaned off the page. If you were formatting a book in Microsoft Word you wouldn't be making this elementary type of error! And, worse, some of the text from the original is actually MISSING - not edited out - just MISSING!
The 2015 edition has a new cover with David (now minus his tie) and his name the same size as the book's title as he is probably as well-known now as the book. Inside it tells us that he lives in Amsterdam in the Netherlands where he moved to from California, lock, stock and well, wife and dog (Kathryn and Susie!)
There is a foreword by James Fallows of The Atlantic. David then provides an Introduction to the Revised Edition. The main book contents then start with the Welcome to Getting Things Done. The main body of the book still consists of three parts. Part One is The Art of Getting Things Done and comprises three chapters. Part Two is Practicing Stress-Free Productivity in seven chapters. Some of these chapters have slight title changes as the Five Phases (collect, process, organise, review, do) from the first edition are now Five Steps (capture, clarify, organise, reflect, engage). Part Three now has five chapters, the two new ones covering GTD and Cognitive Science and The Path of GTD Mastery. The Conclusion follows and there is a useful glossary of GTD terms.
Subject to the publishers correcting the errors (and possibly improving the formatting) then I'd recommend it as the best, comprehensive, introduction, explanation and practice manual for GTD.