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on 12 February 2018
This is the best Self-Help Productivity book ever written. Well, I think so and I’ve been using it for 13 years. It has had such a profound impact on my working life that to this day, it is a part of my daily practice. I have the GTD apps on my phones and tablets, and it is a default webpage I load automatically in my browser. The greatest fear we have when we’re dealing with so many projects or issues or people is that item that we forget because we’re maxed out with everything else that’s flying at us. We need to get it out of our heads and into a trusted system so we can function clearly – today’s modern technology makes this easier. Plug for Toodledo.

I have read the typical time management books and if I hear the ‘big rocks first’ story one more time I’ll hurl one of them at someone. What struck home with me in this book was the recognition of things constantly coming our way throughout the day and more than probably from our bosses, or customers who don’t take kindly to being considered a small rock and deferred. This book, therefore, deals with a very pragmatic and defined workflow for managing things we need to get done and understanding the priority. The workflow proffered here is 1. Collect 2. Process 3. Organise 4. Review. Which he covers in great detail.

The book is well written with a style that is easy to read and provides margin notes and images where appropriate. He tends to use bullet points and flowcharts which help illustrate important concepts. If you can take on-board just some of his concepts you’ll notice the difference immediately.
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on 7 August 2017
While the overall concept of GTD is as solid and useful as anyone could ask for, there simply is no amount of money you can pay me to finish this book: the concept is repeated ad nauseum chapter after chapter, giving the reader minute instructions on how to implement GTD in daily life. It's main problem is also that it completely ignores the multitude of digital tools and smartphone apps we have been using the last 10+ years. Instead, the author meticulously instructs you how to put pen to paper and keep track of all your projects and to-dos. No thanks! The book also lacks any abstract reflection on how to realize what actually needs to get done. It should be pretty obvious that GTD is nearly worthless if you place equal importance on everything life throws at you and if you don't know why you want to get things done in the first place. I hope you don't fall for the nice layout and the promising title and waste any time reading a book that could easily be written and explained on one or two pages.
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on 12 February 2015
Once I started to read this I couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the first chapter because it seemed that David knew exactly what the issues are for me. I see myself as quite a productive person. I'm always looking for ways to increase my productivity, get more done in less time. So some of what David was sharing I understood but for one thing - that our brains were meant for processing and not for holding information. What a revelation this was for me. I started to implement some of the small stuff as I read through the book. Just a few days after finishing the book I am still successfully managing a zero email policy across 4 different email accounts. I've been dumping stuff from my brain and already experiencing what it's like to have free space between my ears again. I'm now ready to go through the book again implementing his strategies systematically as he teaches. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to decrease their feeling of overwhelm.
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on 3 June 2013
Allen takes a collection of very simple concepts and puts them together to form a larger system which he calls "GTD". The GTD system in it's entirity does feel a little complicated at first read but I would definitely say this is one of those books which needs to be read over a few times to understand it properly. In the first part of the book he explains the system in brief and goes on into more detail about each concept in the later chapters. This makes it feel like there is a bit of repetition at times but I think he is just trying to reinforce the message. There are lots of great quotes and inspirational messages dotted around the book to help get you into the right mindset.

I don't think this system is for everyone. You can dip in and out and learn some 'tricks' as he calls it but to really get the best out of the system you would need to be very disciplined and committed. Also, I think level of benefit would depends on the job you do or how busy your life is.

On the one hand, this is a 250 page book about making lists. On the other, a clever system system which could change your life (well, in the getting organised sense anyway). His methods have become widely used and he seems to be well respected in the field of time management / consultancy (check him out further on you tube) so he must be doing something right.

Me, well I'm still working on it.
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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2011
This is apparrently a classic on time / task managment, and that is probably true as the principles have been presented in other books e.g Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Outlook 2007 to Get Organized & Stay Organized: Using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to Get Organized and Stay Organized (Inside Out) which I read a few years ago.

So the approach presented in the book were familiar to me and I think pretty sound. I don't claim to follow them slavishly, but they certainly influence the way I work, and are useful.

However the detail of the implementation in the book is aging, with much talk of paper folders, files etc, with only a nod to email and electronic files show it's age.

My advice would be to find a more up to date book that uses the same methods such as the one mentioned above.
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on 18 February 2015
I am a bit of a GTD evangelist. I buy this book for friends and colleagues whenever they show stress about email overload or work management. David Allen shows clearly how to brain dump and organise information so that you get more from your working day and have less stress about the data and "stuff" you have to manage and carry around. It is worth the time it takes to "learn" the system so that you have more time in your day to do the useful, value adding, creative things that give you satisfaction.
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on 10 January 2011
I just finished reading this book and I could not have imagined how life-changing it was going to be. It has given me a totally new perspective and has made me realize where my procrastination comes from. If you always have list of 'pendings' and 'to-dos' that you copy at your agenda from one day (or week) to another... if you always have the intention of checking-off things from your list and for some reason you don't manage to do it... if you realize that your 'phychic RAM' is always full of commitments of various importance levels (from changing the light bulb in the bedroom to managing your financials or searching for a new job)and you end up feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities that eventually steel your relaxed state of mind... then you should read this. D. Allen presents a very straight-forward methodology of 5 steps in order to deal with the vast amount of information, commitments and urgents of today's life, which although at first sight it seems elaborated common sense, believe me it will change your life and your mind state. By implementing this you will manage to achieve the 'mind like water' state and finally realize how very successful managers with very restricted time get to handle silmutaneously so many things and so successfully, without losing their relazed state of mind. Because, as the writer puts it, the greatest myth is that lack of time is the biggest problem, when it actually has to do with how you organise your life. Final note: this book is not only addressed to professionals, but also to people who want to organise better their personal stuff (or 'open loops'), as he mentions.
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on 11 October 2015
Changed my life. Honestly! I was muddled and stressed at work due to a massive workload. David Allen is a organisational guru. The methods are logical but do need learning. Not a five minute fix but it is worth spending a bit of time on this. I listened to the CD on my way to work as well. I became so organised it took a huge weight off my mind. My challenging boss could bounce into the office asking for information and I knew where I could find it straight away - an impressive jump from frantically shuffling paper for half an hour in a panic. Highly recommend it.
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on 26 January 2015
This book was recommended to me by a work colleague and it is worth every penny and more. I thought it was very practical, no waffle, straight to the point. I was familiar with many of the strategies presented but did not have the final piece of information to use them properly. I am a list maker and found myself nodding when the questions were asked: Do you....? and the reasons why these had not worked. Then followed step by step instructions showing where the failures lay and how to (easily) stop that happening. All pretty much common sense when you think about it but I feel I have saved a lot of time and potentially costly mistakes by reading this book. I have recommend this book to others.
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on 25 August 2009
Well, a lot have been said about this book, the author and the methodology (GTD).
I think it is important to have the book to see all the details behind the ideas, the webs or the tools available about GTD can not provide you the whole background. I bought the book after trying some tools and I found it very interesting and it's easy to read.

There are no miracles here, if you are not an organized person you'll fail to follow any methodology, but even in that case some of the recommendations of the book can be useful. If you can put enough will to follow the methodology I really think it can be a life changer and you can actually release yourself from the horrible stress of having to rely in your mind for all your pending task.

I consider myself a very productive person, involved in a lot of activities, and so far I've been able to rely on informal ways of managing the "stuff" (as it's called in the book), but either because I have more and more or because I'm getting old I'm decided to follow the methodology and I already have the feeling that this can improve my productive in an impressive way.

I also found GTD much more actionable and useful that some other techniques that I've seen in time management courses.

So a very good book that describes a very good methodology, but, again, you still have to make decisions and prioritize your "stuff". Nobody can do it for you.
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