Getting Things Done – book (half) recommendation

It’s one of the strangest books I’ve ever read yet I can see, I can clearly see, how so many of the things I do to stay productive either came from this book or were confirmed for me, were oddly validated.

Getting Things Done (UK edition, US edition) is a self-help book by David Allen. The strange things first: it was written in 2001 and you will be amazed how long ago that seems. (Example: Allen talks a lot about how, for instance, you obviously can’t access the internet unless you’re in your office. It’s practically Victorian.) Also, it feels as if Allen is focusing on office workers and people who may do fantastic things but aren’t the kind of messy-minded creatives that writers are.

So I remember reading this and rather translating it on the fly. The very last thing he says is that you should wait three months and then re-read the book. He promises it will seem like a completely different thing. I did that. It did. The second time through, it was rubbish.

But the ideas. Next Action comes from David Allen: the idea that you can break down a mountain of a job by listing just what the one very next thing you can or you have to do is.

OmniFocus works with this Getting Things Done system – the cool kids call it GTD and it actually is a cult – though you don’t have to use Allen’s techniques to get a lot out of that software. David Allen doesn’t: I believe he prefers a paper-based system. Strange how I’m not surprised.

But if I can’t recommending it entirely, I do recommend it fairly wholeheartedly. How about this? Go to Amazon UK or Amazon US and use the Look Inside feature to read a few pages and see what you think.

There is also an official site for David Allen that you might like.

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