Book Review – Getting Things Done

Originally Published 11/4/2014

I just finished reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.  I am trying to get more organized as the responsibilities keep piling on.  As a Manager and Database Administrator, and with three kids just starting Elementary School, things are getting busy really fast.  Last year I read another book that helped me order my professional life to some degree (Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook by Michael Lineberger).  The advise is very similar in both books, but I found David’s book to be more thorough in the handling of “Getting things done”.

I am not going to steal David’s thunder and go over all the points in the book, but the whole idea is to get everything out of your head and focus on what the next appropriate action should be.  If you are interested in a good overview this interview with Eventual Millionaire is a great start.  But the book has a lot more actionable advise on how to achieving stress-free productivity.  I found all of David’s advise spot on and very similar to the way I already manage my tasks.  My biggest area for improvement after reading the book is to manage projects and someday tasks as well as my more actionable items.

My biggest obstacle to immediately implementing a lot of the advise in Getting Things Done is my aversion to paper based processes.  Most of the book is geared toward using paper to manage your actions and projects.  I have for the most part removed paper from my work and home life and am not really interested in bring it back in.  Outlook is a great tool for managing my calendar and task list, but it is not flexible enough to truly implement the ideas in David’s book.  It would also be great to flow between actions and projects and Outlook is not a tool suited for this.  I would also like to have something I can share with people outside of my company.

So, I am now on a quest to find the application or applications that I can use to implement the advise in this book.  If you have any suggestions, or have something that has worked for you after reading Getting Things Done, I would love to hear what you have come up with.  Please use the Comment section on this post to share.

I’ll do my best to keep you up to date as I work to incorporate the lessons learned in this book into my daily life.