It often bothers me that I forget things. Worse, sometimes I just know I will forget something no matter what I do - this is a bad feeling. So, I got this book for ideas on how to get a little more organized.

The full title of this book is: "Getting things done - the art of stress free productivity" and in it David Allen tries to explain how people with busy schedules should act in order to stay organized and productive. He correctly observes that being unorganized causes stress - pending tasks are like a weight on the shoulders when one is not completely certain it will all be taken care of. Thus, being organized doesn't only makes people more productive, but also allows for a more peaceful state of mind.

For example, imagine that you have 5 things to do, 4 at work and one at home, all for somewhere next week. It feels much better when these things are written down and you're sure you'll review them, than if they just "lay somewhere" in your head.

In the book, Allen aims for the highest task - organizing the work/lives of executives, people whose schedules overflow with meetings, desks overflow with paperwork, computers overflow with emails and phones overflow from calls to make/receive with customers, partners, etc. For these people, it's crucial to organize information efficiently (no wonder many have personal secretaries), and Allen takes the task of teaching these people how to handle all this mess, hoping "along the way" to assist mere mortals like ourselves (non-executives), arranging our tasks and schedules. For me, this is a negative point for the book. I'm not an executive, and it is somewhat annoying that most of the book aims at executives.

But all in all, the ideas given in the book are good and sound, though nothing close to innovation. It's all old'n proven methods - schedules, calendars, todo lists, paper files, etc. The author builds a "system" of how one takes his messy work environment and organizes it, step by step. Some of the advices are very good - like daily/weekly reviews, the two minute rule (if you can complete it in under two minutes, do it now), prioritized and categorized action lists, etc.

Many things in the book are repeated - it could easily be half its size, and overall it's a little full of hype, but that's not too bad, since the ideas are good.

To conclude, I didn't learn anything really new from the book, but neither did I expect to. It did inspire me to take on my personal organization more seriously, which is good.


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