Top critical review
66 people found this helpful
There's way better out there...
on April 8, 2010
First, in full disclosure I am a GTD nut, I follow David Allen's system pretty rigorously. That said, I do read most books I can find on organization simply because it is an interesting hobby of mine, and a lot of my acquaintances come to me for advice on getting organized.
The issues I have with the book:
1. Distracting format. I don't really need song lyrics in little blurbs to help me connect with the text better. Some of these lyrics are obscure and it is unclear how they relate to the text.
2. Way too much personal content. Look, it sounds like the author has lived through some harrowing experiences in his relationships, and that if he had been better organized, some of the pain would have been lessened. I sympathize. But the way he goes into detail seems very indulgent. I didn't pick up the book to hear about your sad stories, I wanted to hear what the former CIO of Google had to say about getting organized. Instead I get all this personal history. That's probably my biggest problem with the book.
3. The author is way to narrow minded about non-cloud based applications. For example, he is not a big fan of Outlook because it is usually hooked into Exchange, server space is expensive, and so you cannot keep years worth of data on the server. Um, why not archive your files and access your data that way? I get that the cloud will eventually be an ideal place to keep all of our stuff so that you can have everything instantly accessible and search-able, but as of now, the interoperability of the various applications just isn't where it needs to be for this to realistically work for most people.
Check out the book "Total Recall" for more on this.
4. The author is way too idealistic. The author points out a ton of perceived social problems (5 day work week, summer vacations for the kids?), no solutions, but then suggests we organize ourselves toward the ideal, even though the ideal doesn't really exist for most people. Most people work for a company that uses Exchange or Domino, and so there is a clear distinction between work and personal for most people. The author would argue that there shouldn't be; perhaps. But to insist that your systems must eradicate that line may not be realistic for most people whose primary tools they will have to use at work with company resources. How about we start with what's true now instead of using some idealized vision of the world as a launching point?
Bottom line: this book adds very little to the conversation that is unique or interesting to getting organized. Borrow it from the library if you still want to have a go.