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Getting Organized: Improving Focus, Organization and Productivity Paperback – September 30, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Crouch has an impressive background in sales, sales management, training, and as an executive for a Fortune 500 company. However, his passion has always been reading, learning, and teaching. Among other topics, he has spent years researching and studying both the mental and physical aspects of living a more joyful and productive life. His goal is to find simple, easy-to-implement ideas that work in the real world. Chris regularly writes, speaks, and teaches on topics related to workplace productivity. He is president and founder of DME Training and Consulting, author of several books, and the developer of the GO System training course. He currently lives with his wife and youngest daughter in Memphis, Tenn.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dawson Publishing (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975868098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975868096
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Crouch has an impressive background in sales management, training, and as an executive for a Fortune 500 company. However, his passion has always been reading, learning, and teaching. Among other topics, he has spent years researching and studying both the mental and physical aspects of living a more joyful and productive life. His goal is to find simple, easy-to-implement ideas that work in the real world.

Chris regularly writes, speaks, and teaches on topics related to workplace productivity.

Chris is president and founder of DME Leadership Development Consulting, author of several books, and the developer of the GO System training course. He currently lives with his wife in Knoxville, Tenn. You can find out more about Chris at www.dmetraining.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book to help you get organized. I originally had a three star and changed it to a four star. So many of this book's best elements are also found in David Allen's Getting Things Done. I read Allen's book last year and it knocked my socks off. When I read this, I wasn't as impressed as I would have if I read Crouch's before Allen's (they're both obviously drawing some of the best tidbits from some of the same material that preceded them). They have many, many of the same very helpful tips. The advantage of Crouch's is that is has short digestible chapters. However, an overall approach does not clearly emerge, just a bunch of big and small organizing ideas. An advantage of Allen's is that you get a clear, overarching approach into which all those good tips suggested in these books fit. Allen's chapters are longer, and though very readable, can get a little bogged down compared to Crouch. If I had only one book to buy, I'd get Allen's. However, I'm glad I read Crouch's because it has given me a refresher.

Getting organized is a major issue for many of us (I work two jobs, both of which require me to maintain an office). While one book may do it for some, I strongly believe that major habit changes will more likely come if you really plunge into an area like this. That means reading Crouch's book, Allen's book, and even Julie Morganstern's Organizing from the Inside Out. While Allen and Crouch focus on the office and home office (mail, home files, etc.), Morgenstern also covers garage, basement, closets, etc. I'm serious, to change the way you look at things, you need to read several books and make yourself an "expert." Otherwise, it will be a book you read that you're not likely to act on.

I read them in the order of 1) Allen, 2) Morgenstern and 3) Crouch.
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Format: Paperback
I recently bought both this and Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity in order to stimulate my thinking about how to take charge of my incredibly busy job as a software development manager in an e-commerce company. I manage about 8 people directly and am also the prime facilitator for another project team of about 15 people, half of which are contractors. Like most people, I also have my own work projects and initiatives, as well as huge laundry list of personal items to keep up with.

At first I was a little turned off by the 55 super-short chapters, each of which is 1-2 pages in length and has a "What? So What? Now what?" layout. The writing quality seemed only average, and I was left thinking "Is that it?" after each chapter. However, after I finished the book rather quickly and then got bogged down in Getting Things Done, I realized that this is a pretty good layout for the target audience - people who feel too busy to read a book on productivity.

Many of the observations seem obvious, but that is one of the key messages of the book: we're all making this stuff away too complicated. How many of us take ten minutes each morning to set a focus and key priority list for the day? Or do we omit that simple step, or fall into the trap of checking email "just for a few minutes" first and then get seduced into following little shiny objects all day while missing the big picture?

The "Five Decisions" chapters - Discard, Delegate, Take Immediate Action, Put in a Reference File, and File for Follow-up - are important but I think are covered better in the other book.
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2 Comments 53 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
The book was NOT what I was expecting based on prior reviews. This is NOT a guide to life organizing and prioritizing but rather the author's idea of handling office incoming mail, a filing reminder system for phone calls to be made and work to be done, keeping things one needs to share with another individual in a central location, and scheduling and consolidating that sharing. For those who don't need a computer to do their job, have a memory like a sieve, or are super disorganized and don't know where to begin to start, this might be helpful, otherwise, save your money. His ideas are only practical in a low volume paperwork environment and with those who have non-technical professions. Some kind of portable, daily planner or calendar or a computer syncing PDA is much more practical.
12 Comments 133 of 148 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
You won't get rich from simply reading a "How to Get Rich" book and you won't get organized and productive from just reading any book - you have to take action and implement the ideas.

I have used the principles and ideas outlined in "Getting Organized" for several years and found them to be extremely valuable.

Becoming more organized and productive is not a matter of what type of filing system or PDA you use, it involves making a habit of organized and productive behavior.

This book provides concrete tools for forming those habits. Simply outstanding!
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As a professional organizer, I have been using the GO System with my residential and small business clients for the past two years. Without exception, each client has loved the GO System because it's simple and effective--it's the one I use to run my own personal and professional life. I'm so glad that Chris Crouch has come out with this book. It's a quick, interesting, easy read and gives his philosophy and method of organizing so that all may discover it. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to find the best way to be and stay organized.
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