Just a provisional heads-up, a wary recommendation: a new edition of this productivity book is due out on 17 March. Getting Things Done was a giant success of a book that fostered a near-cult of GTD fans as they call themselves. It’s also directly helped me and I talk about it a lot in my own The Blank Screen. But in some ways it was rubbish.
Chiefly two ways. First, it was sometimes hard to get through the corporate-speak writing style. But, second, it was severely out of date. It was only written in 2001 but it’s Victorian with how it believes you can only do work emails at work. Was it ever thus? Really?
So I was excited when I heard a new edition is coming. That excitement has been tempered a bit by an interview I heard with author David Allen. I don’t know, but if he’s updated anything, it doesn’t sound like they are the core ideas. He spoke of a Palm Pilot as the ideal device for us, for instance. If you haven’t heard of that, take this as a sign that he’s talking rubbish. If you have heard of it, you know you’re not trading in your iPhone just yet.
However, a fuller blurb has been released on Amazon that says encouraging things like a claim that this is a total rewrite.
So fingers crossed I’ll be recommending the new Getting Things Done book. Right now the Kindle edition has been made available for pre-order at £6.99. Don’t accidentally order the paperback: the version of that online now is still the ancient first version.
In the meantime, here’s that Amazon publishers’ blurb:
Since it was first published in David Allen’s Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business titles of its era, and the book on personal organisation. ‘GTD’ has become shorthand for an entire way of approaching the professional and personal tasks everyone faces in life, and has spawned an entire culture of websites, organisational tools, seminars, and offshoots.
For this revised and updated edition, David Allen has rewritten the book from start to finish, tweaking his classic text with new tools and technologies, and adding material that will make the book evergreen for the coming decades. Also new is a glossary of GTD terms; The GTD Path of Mastership – a description of what Allen has learned and is now teaching regarding the lifelong craft of integrating these practices, to the end-game of the capability of dealing with anything in life, by getting control and focus; and a section on the cognitive science research that validates GTD principles