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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2014
When I first bought this book, I was worried for three reasons:

1- I thought it possible that it might be full of buzzwords and platitudes, like similar books I have come across.
2- I thought it might make unrealistic demands of me- I'm not superhuman.
3- I thought it might be hectoring in tone- I know I could be more productive and don't want to be made to feel guilty about it.

In actual fact, none of these things came to pass.

The book is written in a clear, accessible style, which actually makes you want to finish it and gets you excited about the tips contained in the upcoming chapters. All terms are explained fully and used to make points clearer, not to make the author seem clever.

It recognizes that we are all human and that we aren't expected to be perfect. Graham speaks about how in the past he wasn't good at some of the things he is advocating- he got better because he needed to for his work, and because he saw that it made a tangible difference. The book is realistic about how we procrastinate, are too hard on ourselves at certain points and probably let ourselves off too lightly at others.

It is extremely positive about the capacity of human beings to change the world around them and shows how productivity tools can help them to deepen the impact of what they do.

I am now really excited about putting some of the lessons the book advocates in place- so much so that at my annual appraisal I told my supervisor that one of my key training resources would be to use this book.

I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in working smarter, not harder and who wants to get a deeper insight into their own work practices and areas for improvement.
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on 4 April 2014
This book largely describes the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity system developed by David Allen. Although it acknowledges Allen's influence in parts, the level of innovation in content compared with GTD is fairly minimal, even if stylistically it's quite different. The book deserves credit for helping to further promote the system, for giving it some funky new clothes, and for adding some genuinely new ideas in terms of using modern apps and group management, but really the degree of plagiarism involved is almost-but-not-quite beyond the pale.
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on 10 January 2014
The main reason why I love this book is that it has had a real impact with positive results for me personally - both in my business and personal life. I read it over 6 months ago and many of the concepts are part of my lifestyle now - I don't even have to think or waste time about certain things. The book is a balanced mix of business, motivation and "how to" while not being too rigid that you can't adapt to suit your own situation. Read it,apply it and you will see for your self.
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on 21 February 2014
So for many years within the corporate world, I had literally been a slave to my inbox. I receive perhaps 250 emails a day, have a senior role which is about a lot more than dealing with emails all day and I got to the point that I couldn't see the wood for the trees. It was very stressful and I knew it was impacting my effectiveness and decision-making.

After doing a Coaching qualification, I realised there had to be another way (there always is!) and I searched on Amazon for a book to read on my holiday to try and bring some order back to my life. Stumbled across this book, thought the reviews looked a bit too good to be true, but ever the optimist, bought it anyway.

Within half an hour of starting the book, I was literally itching to get logged on and stuck into that email file. The book is written in a style that is real and felt so resonant to my challenges that it was like the author was in my head! It's all very straightforward, with quite a directive style (for those of us who need telling that what we are doing at the moment just isn't working!) with a lovely balance of humour. It all seemed very do-able and indeed it was - after returning from holiday and half a day sorting my email folders with lots of coffee and biscuits I have never looked bad. Now I know what I'm doing, nothing escapes me and I'm totally in control of the information flying into my inbox all day. Its very freeing and has massively helped me.

If you'd asked me 18 months ago if buying a book about managing emails could have such an impact, I would have laughed. I mean, how ridiculous! But its no small thing to say this book has changed my life and now I buy it for everyone in my team as its a secret I just want to share with the world!
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on 20 June 2016
As soon as you can drown out the author's nonsensical ninja waffle, you can enjoy picking out specific chapters that deal with your specific needs.

I mean I would not recommend you sit down for an hour and force feed yourself the author's fantastical imagination, as he explains one time managing technique as a child would explain astro physics.

Ignore his waffling, and you'll see a handful of gems in his book. Write down summarized versions of the chapters you want to focus on and try one idea at a time. Hopefully, I saved you from wasting away hours, and you can focus on being more productive.

Overall, worthwhile read. Productivity Ninja has a lot of great techniques to use primarily for office workers, however the techniques can be used by students, and anyone else wanting to be more productive and efficient.
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on 19 June 2015
Been around the block with regards to productivity and systems. Have to say this book, to me, just regurgitates a lot of concepts that are more detailed in other books. Nothing new to my mind, just cherry picking the best bits from productivity systems that have been around for years. If you are new to this topic then it's a decent overview. But to my mind doesn't bring anything new to the table.
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on 26 September 2014
I really enjoyed the book. Attention management and tools to help in a clear and useful layout. Refreshingly does not have a one theory fits all problems. Road testing in the real world seems to be working - at least for me.
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on 1 January 2015
I have read loads of management / productivity books, but have rarely been able to implement any of the strategies or techniques. This book is the exception. I cant say that I have used it all, but the strategies for managing emails (getting inbox to zero) really works for me. If nothing else, this is worth the price of the book.
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on 23 April 2014
What's so refreshing about this book is the author does not claim guru-status or preach. It's practical, accessible advice for mere mortals.

I especially like the transformation of time management into a more healthy and realistic aim, that of attention management.

A great read and one worth making time for.
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on 22 February 2014
A lot of this book feels pretty familiar, and indeed the author admits that he has learned from the best. But it isn't just a rehash of GTD or 7 Habits, it synthesises a lot of the best bits of many other authors' thinking in productivity and life management and adds some interesting spin of his own. The sections about workflow and checklists are very useful and the checklist stuff is a very pragmatic approach to stuff which David Allen doesn't really spend much detail on. Useful, even if not entirely original throughout.
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