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on January 21, 2014
I've read plenty of books on "how to get organized" so I was eager to find out with Dave Allen could tell me that I didn't know. In fact, I put his plan to use in my annual effort to clean out and reorganize my home office. I read it once all the way through, marking the pages with advice I could use. Then I read it a second time, putting the advice into practice. Allen's book proved to be an excellent guide in that It told me not only how to sort and file paperwork (which I already knew) but also how to establish action items on unfinished projects and how to close open loops in my organizing. I especially liked the "next step" approach to major, time-consuming progress. As a result of reading this book, I know have a central file on my computer desktop with a master list of all my current, pending, and future projects. This is helpful because I no longer keep all this information in different places (including my head) and I am more confident that nothing falls through the cracks. This is a book I plan to use on an annual basis each time I clean out old paperwork and reorganize according to my changing career needs and interests.
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on June 28, 2014
I had bought this book a few years ago for my dad, and had leafed through that copy. When I got my kindle and saw the price, I decided to buy a copy for myself as well.

This book is a classic for a reason. It gives a straightforward method for getting yourself organized. Sure, it takes some effort to keep up with all of the tips that Mr. Allen recommends, but it is definitely worth it. I have figured out ways to use my email / calendar / to do functions, along with a Google Doc list of "big projects." And like I said, I spend probably 10-30 minutes each day on the organization, depending on what the day holds, but the results are worth it. I am able to stay on top of things, and I find that having all the "to dos" spelled out in one place is very motivating; I like crossing things off of my list.

Probably my favorite technique that I learned from this book is to keep a "tickler," which is the method of reminding yourself of tasks to begin in the future. Like, on July 8th I need to write a letter to someone congratulating them on an award he's set to receive on July 7th. Without my "tickler," I would not be able to remember to do this task on July 8th.

Highly recommended!
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on May 2, 2014
I can honestly say that IF you FULLY implement the Getting Things Done system it will change your life for the better. This is the third time I have read the book, which I did in response to changing from a paper based GTD system to an electronic - cloud based system. I now have Evernote serve as my in-basket. With the Evernote Android widget on my cell phone I can literally "capture everything", get it out of my head and into the system. I have Evernote's Reminder functionality send my Next Actions Tasks, Projects Lists, and Tickler Files to the Android Program "Remember the Milk" where I can tag and sort them by multiple contexts. The system described in the book was great on paper. It is flat out amazing in the cloud. The hardest part using it in my current setup was working through the nuances of getting the "capture" part (evernote) feeding information smoothly in to the "tasks and contexts" part (remember the milk), but that is an issue with technology, not the information in the book.

David Allen's metaphors may be the subject of debate, as noted in other reviews, but in simple "change the world to be more like you want it to be" terms I don't think you will find a better system.

Feel free to leave comments if you need more info of how I set up my cloud services...
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on August 8, 2016
This book's not bad, but it feels like the author made it longer than it needed to be. While it's a quick read, Allen, could have clearly and consisely written all of his information, show the evidence behind it, and change it an easier read all within 20 pages.

A lot of it felt outdated and paper based and was against the full use of technology. While that's okay, cognitive science has peer-reviewed publications that support writing physical notes, I feel that having a physical inbox in many tech-based jobs is an outdated and unnecessary practice in our digital world.

His book did help with my organization, and I feel that I can recommend his techniques. Regardless of that, I can easily outline his techniques to one page and give a faster explanation than the book gives.
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on February 27, 2012
I am a recovering workaholic - it turns out that being addicted to work-ahol is just as detrimental and horrible as being addicted to actual substances. Anyway, part of my self-imposed and managed "rehab" is dealing with the piles and messes that my inability to say "no" has created in my office. I first got this book on audible and listened to it on a few long drives I had to do for work. I was floored from the first five minutes I listened to it - some reviewers mention that the book is repetitive or otherwise fluffed, but I really benefited from all of it. I kept thinking it was crazy that the author was talking to me about me, and related to it all too well.

The solutions are simple - almost so simple you feel like an idiot for not just knowing these things. But it has been a life saver for me. I spent about a week putting these techniques into practice (just the simple concept of making a decision with everything you touch from your "In" basket was novel to me - I'm a chronic piler and re-piler, which is very self-defeating and inefficient, it turns out). I have to say, everyone at work just about has a heart attack every time they walk by my office and see the sparkling organization system, or when I have a meeting with someone and have all the items I need to give them easily accessible in my (oh so easy and obvious) filing system - and when I get them a piece of information I've been sitting on for months because I didn't know where something was or it wasn't an emergency thing with a hard deadline.

Yeah, so you should get this book. I am so glad I did. I got the paperback after listening to the audible version about 3 times (and have listened to it again several more times while driving around town). I hear and read new things every time I go through it and it is truly invaluable to me. I am so glad I got it. Most of my coworkers want to get it now too since they've seen such a huge change for me. It's the best!!! I'm so glad I found it.
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on July 14, 2011
OK, so when an associate of mine told me that this was the most influential book he'd ever read on organisational skills and that the book, and the system, had changed his life, I was reluctant to believe him. I decided, just to prove him wrong, that I'd grab a copy and see what all the fuss was about.

I read it in 2 sittings, commenced implementing it immediately, and after a week I realised that I too had found the best organisational system that I'd ever come across - and that is saying something! I've been in the business community for more than 20 years, have worked for international consulting firms, been to more training courses on the use of management systems, owned every PDA, manual time system and document tracking system known to man, bought every Ipad App available, but this one system has without doubt, absolutely and totally changed my life. And for life it is!

There is a massive adjustment. I worked out that my supposed "Stress free" paperless office was in fact causing me more stress than I had ever realised. I can now locate any document that I need literally within seconds and my staff think I'm taking some super drug because my office now looks like something out of an IKEA magazine and what's best, this all came for the very small price of the book along with a few dollars for the accompanying iPhone App. The Outlook App too is less than $100 but it works best for me on my phone. Everyone will use it differently, but the use of it is what is SO enjoyable.

It isn't a system, it's a life choice......for everyone from receptionists to super execs and everyone in between, if you follow David's rules, you too will reduce your stress enormously and be the super organised person you always dreamt of! I just wish I'd invented the system and been using it for the past 20 years!

Without doubt, anyone who reads this book will have implemented bits and pieces of David's super wisdom in their lives - it's the combination and then the reviews of these systems that create the power behind what he writes.

I love it - I never thought I'd love an organisational system, but I do and if I met him, I'd tell David I love him too!

Don't miss up the opportunity to give it a go and feel the LOVE!
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on September 14, 2014
This book became the core of a case-management methodology for my law firm. It is a life-changing book. David Allen knows more about this subject than Steven Covey, because he gives vital tools to actually manage a heavy workflow without dropping balls or becoming stressed out.

My firm uses Daylite software (from Marketcircle) as the core of our GTD system, but there are many other applications you can use. Without the knowledge of Allen''s method, however, you won't get as much out if the software you use to manage your tasks.

The book is easy to read, and relatively short, with no fluff or filler whatsoever. Everyone should read this book. I've read it twice now.
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on July 22, 2013
I searched the web for some books on productivity. I was desperate. I could not find an easily readable and affordable book. I searched again. This time one book on Amazon attracted me. It is the book I was in search of. It is 'How to Get Things Done' by David Allen. I went through some pages and ordered the book before the expected arrival date. Thank you Amazon.

This is a book which you can read and implement 5S system in your home/office/company. I am new to Kaizen but I learnt many things after reading the book. The contents are very applicable if you want to achieve higher productivity. You can eliminate waste and systematize your work. Allen talks about stress free productivity in his book. His argument is that anyone can get his/her work done. Further, he believes that much of our work is complicated for we do not pay attention to such things as ergonomics and work place cleanliness. Anything that may result in waste or redundancy may be prevented if careful planning is done. Major topics in the Part 1 include:

1. A New Practice for a New Reality
2. Getting Control of Your Life: The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow
3. Getting Projects Creatively Underway: The Five Phases of Project Planning

These are the initial lessons you may read and get ready for the rest of the lessons. In the Part 1, you see the possibilities while in the other chapters you can taste some of the simplest things you can do to achieve higher productivity. You can easily digest the ideas as Allen's language is simple and easy to understand.

The lessons, though they look simple make you reorganize your schedules and help better your understanding in areas where waste is likely to occur. I began applying simple ideas from the book and am in control of my work. He asks us to practice a little at a time and see the difference it makes. I am getting much free time now.

The book is truly amazing. The book is truly thought provoking. The book is simply the best if you are into reorganizing schedules to have more free time. He says that time is money and that everyone should save time for greater enjoyment of life. He takes us to Japanese life. He gives examples from Japanese lives and advises us to practice ideas from the land of Kaizen. Kaizen ideas in this book are easy to comprehend, the language used is simple and ideas are worth practicing.

`Your home is the paradise of the book worm.' said one of my students. I was puzzled to understand what the student said. It is a negative comment on how I had placed my books in my home. They were everywhere. On the dining table, in the bedroom, on chairs and even under my mattress. I was ashamed and immediately looked for a way to be organized. I am getting organized. True. I like practicing what Allen says. He changed my habits of being disorganized, not sorting things into useful and useless, and my dear friends, my home is spacious and livable now.

The writer is a productivity specialist and he is a guru as well. I really like the ideas in it. Some ideas are so strong that you may implement them soon. They are eye openers and they help you better your life.

Read the book. The book does not waste your time instead it helps you organize your work and save time and gives a greater sense of achievement once you begin to apply the ideas in the book. I truly enjoy organizing and making my home a place where there is less waste, things are nicely arranged, useless things are thrown away. Your friends will be amazed too.

Susil Manchanayaka, B. A., PGDE, PGC T&HRD
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on December 8, 2013
i am a smart guy- a visionary and big picture thinker... but also pretty scattered and ADD when it comes to excecution because my attention span is too short for organization... this book changed my life... if you live with constantly shifting focus and that causes you to miss things, forget things, and stress out about what you just now remembered, what you may forget later, and what you may have already forgotten, then this book will probably change your life. Take the time to adopt this very intuitive system. One year later, i am so dialed in on all my projects.
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on February 27, 2015
I wish I'd read this when it first came out. I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when it first came out decades ago, and I still follow the approach today. HOWEVER...the daily execution was always missing. 7 Habits addresses "what" and "why", but Getting Things Done addresses the "how". Ideas, planning, and priorities are important factors to manage, and GTD addresses the daily "how". I have never been so organized, so tidy (well, at least less messy -- parts of the surface of my desk are visible at all times!) and felt so "tidy in the mind". With thoughts, lists, ideas, next steps, etc. all out of my brain and into an organizing system (Outlook, an organizer, and file folder), my mind is less cluttered with "stuff" (as David Allen says), and free to deal with important things. I have never thought of myself as particularly organized, so when my boss told me "You're really well organized" (as I whipped open my organizer and referred to my meeting agenda that was a printout of my Agenda folder in Outlook -- all suggestions from GTD), I know I was onto something. Buy, read, do!
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