Jonatron's Reviews > Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Getting Things Done by David Allen
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Jul 08, 14

bookshelves: never-finished, own
Recommended for: No one
Read from April 01, 2007 to January 08, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 0

I bought this book, and I read some of it. It sat on a shelf unfinished. I read some more. It sat in my car unfinished. I eventually made the decision to never finish it.

I think this is self-explanatory.

[Later...]

Now I'm reading 26 Reasons Not to Use GTD, and it does a good job of articulating the "ehhhh"ness that I felt while reading this.

[Even later...]

And if you think GTD's followers are a little cult-like, check this out: When David Allen says in the acknowledgments "deepest thanks go to my spiritual coach, J-R", he's talking about a man named John-Roger "the Mystical Traveler", who believes he is a reincarnation of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Abraham Lincoln. Allen is a minister in his Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness church. Yeah.
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Reading Progress

10/17/2008 page 110
41.2% "I've heard the method is really good, but the book is rather boring and too corporate." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Tra (new)

Tra Thanks for your input. Was about to read this book until I read your comments:(


message 2: by Arsjaad (new) - added it

Arsjaad You have no clue on what you are talking about. GTD, does work for a great audience, and there are some valuable points to be made in the book, if a person gets conditioned in a certain way that can in the long term cause inhibitions to other important behaviors, habits, attitudes or styles of thinking. Then the person has to deal with this new challenging paradox, not blame the author of the book. It's a book of information, a wise person will have the inclinatation to find the the lesson, and not condemn or blame the author of the book, because of his lack of coping skills or emotional management.


Robbert The fact that the same comment was pasted by this same person about 5 times over the span of half an hour probably explains some of the ehhh... -ness I have about this comment.

GTD itself is a very good solution, and even a half-hearted implantation helps a lot in getting things organised. Where it falls down is in the initial start, not many people have the will to completely reorganise the way they do everything at once. The other is the choice of where you leave your notes. Like many people I'm not the type to go everywhere with a notebook under my arm. This may work great in a corporate setting, but less so in a private. This reason alone is why there is a huge market for (3rd party) GTD apps for phones, and programs to sync it with the computer, as many people are looking for the solution that fits their style.


Maddie A hammer is not great for turning a bolt and like any tool, this organization system can help if used to your advantage or just frustrate if you think it will solve all your problems.


Jonatron The idea of putting to do list items in a storage bucket and then intentionally forgetting about them has some value, but I didn't get anything else out of it.


Luca Conti "has some value"
That's already more than 1 star.
1 Star = I read the book and it has no value


Jonatron Luca wrote: ""has some value"
That's already more than 1 star.
1 Star = I read the book and it has no value"


No. 1 Star = "did not like it".


Luca Conti How can you completely dislike something that you recognize having some value?


Jonatron ... easily?


message 10: by Jake (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jake West You said, "And if you think GTD's followers are a little cult-like, check this out: When David Allen says in the acknowledgments "deepest thanks go to my spiritual coach, J-R", he's talking about a man named John-Roger "the Mystical Traveler", who believes he is a reincarnation of Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Abraham Lincoln. Allen is a minister in his Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness church. Yeah."

Why does what the author believes and/or doesn't believe in (a) have anything to do with a book about an entirely unrelated productivity system, and (b) have anything to do with his "followers being cult-like?"

Personally, I could care less if the author thinks himself Jesus, St. Francis, and Abraham Lincoln. The fact of the matter is that he's touting a superb productivity system which works for millions of people, and it has absolutely nothing to do with what he believes in and/or doesn't believe in. If he had infused the nonsense you mentioned into the book, then it would be an entirely different story.

I'd love to rebut the "26 Reasons Not to Use GTD," but it would take awhile, so I'll rebut a few of the more illogical "reasons."

Reason 1: Subjective. Personally (subjectively), I found the book quite easy to read.

Reason 2: If a 250 page book is an "investment," then I pity you. It took me all of three days to finish this book. Also, GTD isn't science; it was never meant to be followed to the "T." He mentions multiple times that it's necessary

Reason 3: A book about a productivity system "feels like a cult?" Yes, because when I think productivity, I think Jim Jones and Jonestown. (This is sarcasm...)

Reason 5: This person must not have actually read the book, because reason 5 is a virtual paraphrase of Allen's "processing" stage.

The author really goes off the rails past reason 5. You may feel especially silly after I tell you that the GTD was mentioned as an excellent productivity system by the esteemed Florida State research psychologist Roy Baumeister in his book entitled "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength." (And, that IS science.)


message 11: by Luca (new) - rated it 4 stars

Luca Conti Well said Jake. I'll also read the 26 reasons later because it's always interesting to evaluate things through their critiques; but many of them seems to be written by someone who's biased towards not buying into the methodology no-matter-what.


message 12: by Tinesh (new) - added it

Tinesh All I care about is that this book adheres to my current need to be productive, and I don't think it's cult-like at all regardless of what the author believes in. In fact there's not much traces of religious preaching going on in that book. You're probably too harsh in judging him and his book.. :/


Jonatron ...and if you don't know what I mean by "cult-like", just read these angry defensive comments on my review, just because their favorite productivity method didn't work for me.

Note to fanboys: The main point of my review is that the book is uninteresting and I couldn't get through it; the "productivity method" didn't even help me get through the book that describes the productivity method, so it's not going to be much use in the rest of my life, is it? The fact that the author is in a wacky cult is just an interesting aside.


Chris Nielsen So which religion does the author need to have to make his productivity system valid for you?


Jonatron Chris wrote: "So which religion does the author need to have to make his productivity system valid for you?"

Who cares? This productivity system doesn't work for me regardless of whatever nutty religion its author follows.


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