David Allen knows what he is talking about when it comes to the art of getting things done, and it shows in his book. The information is amazing, indeed it could seriously be called life-changing. However, the biggest issue with this audiobook is the fact that it is an audiobook. This is a guide, a textbook, and a checklist, among other things. Step-by-step instructions and charts/graphs are not nearly as effective as spoken word as in paper form. This is a wonderful book, and anyone who is interested in GTD should consider this the cornerstone of their efforts. If you want this as an audiobook for convenience or another reason you will not be disappointed, but do yourself a favor and re-read it in physical form, you will get far more out of it.
My new boss lauded the "project based" approach of this author so I started listening on the way to work. What a difference. Previously, I had emails trailing down for pages and pages. After using the suggestions for three different buckets, I'm back on top of it. My next task is to tame the paper beast and get it working for me.
I am a big believer in GTD. However, listening to this on a 600 mile trip nearly caused an accident. It is so boring without the illustrations, that I nearly drove off the road. Get the abridged version or buy it in paperback.
SciFi and Business Productivity
This is not really a motivational book. It is practical and usable information for organizing and processing the mental clutter for your corporate and home life. Some of it feels outdated since it was written in 2002 and focuses heavily on the world of paper files, email, and mentions older programs. But, he is pretty clear though that you need to use the system that you'll actually use. I manage nicely with an iPhone and the 2Do app with minimal paper (though he did convince me to set up and use my file drawer anyway.) The base information is timeless and easily applied to modern programs.
Like many books of this nature it has about 5 minutes of principles and spends hours explaining how and why to apply it. Don't be discouraged by this. It takes about halfway through the book to figure out that having a simple and usable method for organizing your life is far better than the way that most of us wing it or rush from fire to fire. I've been applying this and it's started to lift the crushing weight of my to do list and let me focus on being productive.
Also check out the gtdtimes website for lots of free info.
I read David Allen's book and then got the audiobook. I have been using the Getting Things Done (GTD) system for the last year and it has done exactly as advertised. I am more in control of my tasks and my stress has been reduced.
I first noticed this book while standing in line to board a plane. I asked the guy, "Is it any good?" He looked me dead in the eye and gave an emphatic, "Oh yeah." I have to agree. It really is a "MUST READ" book for anyone serious about communicating ideas.
Content covers the gap between I know I should be more organized and stuff actually getting done. A must how to book for those who know they should but don't know exactly in detail how to make it happen. He also gives ways to measure your progress that assure you aren't just doing frustrating busy work. This book should be required reading for life.
This book basically covers a system, or series of systems a person could use to organize and complete tasks. It shows you how to create lists of everything that you have to do, and figure out which is the most important thing to come next.
I think the best part of the book is that it teaches you to write things down when you realize you have to do them, so that you aren't wasting mental energy thinking about them. You also have to develop a habit of going back to your list and going "what's next?" when you have free time to do it, but otherwise you don't find yourself every trying to remember things or forgetting things, so you are free to focus completely on what you are doing.
It's also pretty complex, as the system has to be adjusted for different types of work and lifestyles, but he sortof explains it as someone who has tried everything with different people and has seen what works for them.
In Getting Things Done there are a couple of really nice little gems on how to organise your life and get more out of it. Unfortunately it's a bit like trying to find needles in a haystack to get these gems. To get to these gems you need to go through a lot of useless, outdated trivia and repetition. I still gave it a three star rating because the tips I am using are helpful. I'd recommend getting the abridged version though; you'll get to the gems faster.
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
This book has been out a long time, and there is not a lot that I can add to other reviews. It presents a straight-forward method for eliminating the clutter, interruptions, and mindless thinking that plague so many of us in the modern world.
The book is a little dated, but the principles are timeless, do not let that be a deterrent to reading it. However, if Mr. Allen wanted to do a revised version with a focus more on email and current tools for implementing the system, it would be welcome.
This book is all about process and it has a lot of lists and tools, so it would probably be a good idea to buy an electronic or hard copy print version with it.