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Publisher's Summary

In today's world of exponentially increased communication and responsibility, yesterday's methods for staying on top just don't work. Veteran management consultant and trainer David Allen recognizes that "time management" is useless the minute your schedule is interrupted; "setting priorities" isn't relevant when your e-mail is down; "procrastination solutions" won't help if your goals aren't clear.

Allen's premise is simple: our ability to be productive is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve stress-free productivity and unleash our creative potential. He teaches us how to:

  • Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box empty.
  • Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations.
  • Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed.
  • Feel fine about what you're not doing.

    From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done has the potential to transform the way you work - and the way you experience work. At any level of implementation, David Allen's entertaining and thought-provoking advice shows you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

  • ©2002 David Allen, All Rights Reserved (P)2002 Simon & Schuster Inc., SOUND IDEAS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

    Critic Reviews

    "[Allen is] the personal productivity guru." (Fast Company)

    What members say

    Average Customer Ratings


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    • Overall
    • Rick
    • Newnan, GA, USA
    • 02-28-03

    Getting Things Done

    This is a fantastic book and the ideas are helpful, but the abridged version leaves out too many details. I also have the book, and have found that I must refer to it in order to get essential information that will allow me to implement the author's suggestions.

    245 of 247 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Liz
    • Ojai, CA, USA
    • 06-12-09

    GTD abridged vs unabridged

    The abridged version of GTD is missing chapters 7-11 of the book, if you do buy this version do also invest in the book, Getting Things Done. The unabridged version was just recorded in Oct of 08, it is the full version of the book and makes much more sense to the listener. Granted you cannot implement while you are listening in a car but very important information to have. I work for David Allen and wanted folks to have the correct information regarding differences in the two audiobooks.

    59 of 59 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Myron
    • Irvine, CA, USA
    • 12-16-03


    I like the material, but the author repeatedly refers the listener to important material in the "booklet that accompanies this tape." Audible really needs to make the booklet available for download in order to make this worthwhile.

    68 of 69 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    Very useful, not the most suitable on audiobook

    I was looking for some help on my organization. I think I found it with this book. The advice is useful, but most of all it all boils down to common sense. I found each and every item the most obvious thing to do. The value of the book is to organize the system so that there aren't any cracks. I yet have to move on to complete the weekly review every week, but even without that it's helped me organize quite a lot.

    This being said, I've read a few self-help books and I can't say that they shine best in audio format. You want to see the diagrams, the organization and the table of contents, you want to return to a section just to connect it it with another one. These are very easy to do with a book, but not so with audio. It is useful to listen to the book to "get the idea" first, but if you want to put the system in practice and need to refer to the book, it's best to have it in paper. I finally bought my copy. On the other hand, I don't think I would have gotten such an agreement with the system while reading on paper. Listening to it is more persuasive somehow, and I'm still glad I have the audiobook in my library.

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Brian
    • Denver, CO, USA
    • 09-26-07

    Get the Book

    I enjoyed this audio book but if you are really interested in implementing GTD you NEED to get the book. There are whole chapters left out of the audio version which tell you the details of how to actually put the system in place.

    The audio book is a nice addition to the book but not a substitute.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful

    • Overall

    Good, if you have no system. OK if you do.

    If you have no organizing system (franklin, palm, etc.)this book is great. It will help you to be more productive. If you already have a system such as a Franklin Planner then it's ok. This guy has taken A LOT from the Franklin-Covey system and tried to spin it. Personally, I like the Franklin System better becuase I am on the road 5 days a week and the Franklin system is mobile. Getting Things Done can help if you work in an office.
    I did take away several ideas from this book and combined them with my system. One of the most important was to write everything down that needs to be done. No matter how trivial it may seem. This includes items you need at the grcoery store, websites you want to visit, or researching a vacation. Allen explains that once it is on paper, it moves out of your brain and frees up space so you don't have recurring thoughts all day about the "stuff" that needs to be done or the stuff that you want to do.
    If you are hopelessly unorganized, this book will be a godsend for you. But if you really want to get organized, spend the extra cash and get the Franklin system.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Mark
    • San Francisco, CA, USA
    • 04-25-03

    Practical, straightforward, and effective

    I have read a few other books on personal organization habits and best practices and have found this to be the most useful and practical so far. As a busy product manager is a small startup company, I found myself feeling frequently feeling out of control and unable to focus my concentration with so many different projects, needs, requests, e-mails, voice mails going on at once. I have begun applying the system suggested by the author and have immediately noticed a tremendous reduction in "things slipping through the cracks," an improved ability to relax and concentrate on one thing at a time (since I'm no longer worrying about 100 things at a time), and feel I am making much better use of my time.

    The system the author suggests is so simple, it might be easy for some to dismiss it out of hand. But try it - you'll be amazed at the difference it makes for harried knowledge worker types. You might not actually get that much more done than you used to, but you'll feel much more confident, relaxed, focused, and likely to be working on what's most important.

    I also strongly suggest that people that are serious about changing their organizational habits invest in a personal digital assistant such as a Palm or PocketPC that can synchronize with Microsoft Outlook. This lets you enter things in either your organizer or your desktop PC (including dragging/dropping or cutting/pasting sections of e-mails into your reference files, project lists, task items, or calendar) and take them with you wherever you go. I've found this to be an important cornerstone of my new organization habits.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Joanna
    • Pooler, GA, USA
    • 07-14-04


    I am a company commander in the U.S. Army. I have information and issues coming at me from all directions all day long. I could not stay on top of all that had to be done. This book helped me finally get organized. Its the first book I've read that gave practical advice about organization and productivity rather than mere theoretical mumbo jumbo. I feel just as the book said I would--relaxed and in control. This book is worth its weight in gold.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Bradley
    • Alexandria, VA, USA
    • 06-28-05

    Practical organization seminar

    I found this audiblebook to be extremely helpful if you are struggling with organizing the clutter in your work and life. If you are looking for a practical way to change things and get a real grip on the things that have been hounding you in the back of your mind. Although the methods tend to be somewhat simplistic that you may think how do I make this work...I actually tried to implemeent many of his suggestions and my productivity went up while stress came down. It's definitely a great roadmap to customize to your individual needs. I highly recommend it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Grace
    • SHANGHAIChina
    • 07-26-03


    This book is amazing. It not only provides excellent, practicle tips but it's well written and extremely engaging. I thought that his discussion on why we feel bad when we don't get things done is especially illuminating because it helped me to understand how to achieve the "stress-free" aspect of productivity. As a young working woman who is about to have a baby, understanding how to get more done in less time with less stress is important to me, and this book has definitely helped me to achieve this goal.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    • Amazon Customer
    • 07-24-17

    excellent read

    brilliant action aimed book. great ideas for being better organized, productive and empowered . well done David .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
    • Performance
    • Story
    • Ms. Elizabeth A. Hearn
    • 11-18-17

    Very useful advice

    Overall I enjoyed this book. Initially I thought it was too much organisation and it felt overwhelming. I almost returned it but a friend had recommended it so I came back to it and listened with a more open mind. I realised it's based on being very thorough and consistent and the outcome is that you become very trustworthy both for yourself and others and get good at making decisions. Winner!