Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done” as Want to Read:
Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,317 ratings  ·  214 reviews
In his bestselling first book, Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen presented his breakthrough methods to increase efficiency. Now "the personal productivity guru" (Fast Company) shows readers how to increase their ability to work better, not harder every day. Based on Allen's highly popular e-newsletter, Ready for Anything offers ...more
Paperback, 165 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,317 ratings  ·  214 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I made a really big push with the GTD system this year. I listened to the GTD Live audio sessions and then I read Ready for Anything. More than ever I'm relying on GTD to manage my life.

What I learned this time around is how connected organization and creativity are. We're either being creative and making new stuff, or else trying to organize all the stuff that we have created so that we have more space (psychological or physical or otherwise) which will then allow us to be creative again.

May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My 2nd time reading this book, and now I realize : it didn't click then because I wasn't ready! As spiritual as anything Sadhguru teaches. This is where you join the Big Boys -- if that's where you're at, if you really understand the game, if you really came to win. Full of revelations on staying in the zone, and how tweaking to stay here requires way less effort. NOTE: this is not a how-to book! That was GTD. This is what you read if you're newly on top of your game. If not, you'll feel bored ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it liked it
I received ‘Ready for Anything’ (RfA) as a belated birthday present from my sister. She saw it on my Amazon wish list. This came as a surprise. I don’t remember putting it on the list. Earlier, I dismissed this book in a conversation with Jennifer George, who thoroughly analyzed the text. I’ve been wondering several points about this slim book. I want to make comparisons to it as investigations into the organization philosophy. This book was born after ‘Getting Things Done’. In the order of ...more
Russell Allison
Jan 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
I'm a big fan of David Allen, but this book was a big disappointment. Its a series of 52 essays that are reprints from Allen's newsletters and website, and they tend to be short, pithy, and reasonably readable pieces that riff on the core principles of Allen's Getting Things Done book. However, the problem with it is that after 2-3 of these things, they bleed together, and you're reminded that all the good ideas were in the original book. Others might like it more than me -- Allen spends lots of ...more
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: repeatable
2018 update; I reread David Allen about every year. It gets both simpler and more complex every time.

Sometimes when I read this one along with the others in the series I'm disappointed, this time I enjoyed it the most of the 3. It's the most personally insightful and personable of his books.
Andrew Saul
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-posted
For those who use GTD this book is a great refresher on why you're doing it, and is excellent chance to look again at each of your processes and change them up if needed.

For those who are new to GTD I think this might be the easiest way to get a taste of what's it all about in terms of why you should do it and the general beliefs that form the core of GTD.

Read this book in bits, it's broken up into 5 minute chapters and I wouldn't read more than 2 at a time. Preferably just 1. This allows you to
Dec 26, 2007 is currently reading it
David Allen is my super nerdy organizing your life boyfriend. This book is hot. It should be combined with his celebrated (I'm still raising a glass) Getting Things Done, better know in left/anarchist circles as the GTD Revolution.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2008
I found this book a nice review of the Getting Things Done system, and while a lot of what the essays are saying is general, I think anyone reading would be better off already familiar with GTD.

These essays were a nice length, easily digested in a quick sitting with some interesting relevant quotes for each one. Some of them fire you up, some make you muse on your work and systems, but all succintly focus on an aspect of productivity, organisation, goals or structures.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't get much from his original Getting Things Done book - and this book was not that different or better. Felt all over the place - and judging by reading other reviews here now it makes sense as I realise it's a rehash of his newsletters and articles - not book worthy of you ask me

The only decent part was the very beginning talking about being prepared and "ready for anything" and what goes into that

Besides that - it was random articles and no structure that id expect from a book with no
Lost In A Fog
Apr 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, business
I like David Allen's take, even when I don't agree with him. Like Chapter 7 about Prioritization. But I'm nitpicking.

This is a nice follow on to Getting Things Done where David offers 52 short chapters each dealing with a different topic. Having spent some time working on GTD methodology I re-read this one and definitely took more from it than the first time!
Mar 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
I agree with other reviewers: If you want to get stuff done, read the original GTD book. In "ready for anything", each section is a tiny part of the GTD principle, more explained as a philosophy. David Allen explains more why we should use GTD but skips how (see other book). If you know that this book was published after GTD instead of before, this is confusing.

Instead of reading this, I can heartily recommend "Getting Things Done". Ready for Anything is a nice reminder on why you should keep
Christina Pilkington
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Getting Things Done and the David Allen Company, you'll want to read this book. It's such an encouragement to keep up the practices that help you life your life balancing the hundred different things you have going on at one time with a clear, relaxed mind.

I'd highly suggest reading Getting Things Done the 2015 edition first, though. This book is meant to provide short tips that really hone in on the main principles of the book. It's like a master's guide for those already
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have this book to thank for finally answering the question: How many pages can you fill up using only business cliches and barely-relevant quotes from famous people?

I guess the only reason I give it 2 stars instead of 1 because this book is basically a weak and sloppy repackaging of his first book - and his first book was honestly a life-changing book in terms of organizing yourself and being productive. So if you need a book to do that, read Getting Things Done and just use this one as a
Jan 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Overly complicated, in my opinion, and redundant. Too many steps, presented too quickly, with little reflection and even less cohesiveness.
Aaron Tesauro
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Super practical and short sections that can be easily applied to life. Helped inspire me to be more organized and productive.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is full with lots of explanation and some good tips. I also like the little quotes on the margin. The author has extensive knowledge on the topic of productivity, getting organized etc. I would have enjoyed reading the book more if the language was fluid.
Steinar Dahl
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Getting Things Done in essay format.
Tony Grimm
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great to use as a daily reading to keep the GTD thoughts at the forefront.
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is a great book whether you work, volunteer, stay-at-home, or some combination. The chapters are very short and to the point. Each one quickly summarizes a skill or technique that can be used to improve productivity and simplify life.

I did not read his very popular book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity before this one, but I am planning to go back and read it. Allen has a very conversationalist style that makes reading about productivity and organization easy and
Nov 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
I see what many of the other reviewers are saying when they say this is really nothing new -- this is just philosophical discussions of how to plan and therefore live better. I find that these kinds of books can provide topics for further reflection and can, if you happen to read it while thinking of a related topic, have a big impact on your thoughts and actions, and I found it valuable for that. It also serves as a reminder on the GTD system, which I personally needed six months after first ...more
Julia Doherty
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book really gave me the kick that I needed to get a bit more focussed on the projects that I want to achieve this year. So many things that he mentions in this book are basic "Getting Things Done" style, but sometimes you just need to be reminded of what you should be doing. It is too easy to slip back into old habits.

Already I have "got stuff out of my head" and created projects on our project management system with break down tasks and due dates. Now I don't need to worry that I will
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a firm fan of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" methodology, I found this book to be a really useful reminder/refresher of some of the concepts and ideas.

I'm very familiar with the GTD concepts and ideas, but sometimes need a reminder of *why* they are such a good idea in keeping me productive (and sane!) on a day-to-day basis. In this book, Allen provides some very easy to read chapters (2-3 pages each) which help identify what drives you, what holds you back and the steps you can take to
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
David Allen's approaches to Getting Things Done are often revolutionary, to say the least. This book successfully frames his approach in a set of guiding principles that can serve to make the soft edges of GTD a more intrinsic part of your reality.

To read a book about getting, being and staying organized that reflects a deep understanding and appreciation for Eastern philosophies is a find. To hear say someone say that being relaxed is a key part of success is a bit annoying as it's so obvious.
Amy Rhoda  Brown
This book is basically shovelware collection of David Allen's e-newsletters about the Getting Things Done system. As such, it's pretty uneven; some chapters are engaging and useful, some are vague and meandering. I read the book as a booster shot for my application of Getting Things Done, and to that end it was quite effective; I was reminded of a few aspects of the system that I haven't implemented properly, and I was inspired anew to implement GTD properly.

This isn't necessarily the kind of
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
OK, I'm through with the supplemental David Allen Material. Just like Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life, this book doesn't add a whole lot of new material to the GTD library. If you're already practicing GTD at a really high level, this book might add some refinements and encouragement that you could find useful. For me, though, the most useful pages of this book were the last five: the Appendix that summarizes Allen's GTD approach.
Kevin Wortman
Feb 22, 2012 rated it liked it
As a dedicated yet pragmatic GTDer, I found this book to be an enjoyable read, but light on concrete action items. It's a breezy, meditative rumination on applying GTD in the field. That's an unexpected shift in tone from the first book, which reads like an instructional manual.

My most challenging and difficult-to-time-manage project is long-term basic research, and I've never been able to fit that into the GTD paradigm. GTD works great for everything else I have going on, but I've never been
Aug 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I've listened to the Audible audiobook versions of Getting Things Done and Making It All Work twice and plan on listening to them again 4-6 months from now.

That being said the audio version of Ready for Anything escaped me on the initial listen. I plan on listening to it again, but if I had to rate David Allen's books in terms of usefulness I'd rate:

#1 Making It All Work
#2 Getting Things Done
#3 Ready for Anything

If you're a GTD convert then I recommend the David Allen Company podcast, following
Jeff Yoak
This is a broad, abstract, almost philosophical attempt to wrap up the work in the previous books into what it all means. Interestingly, this is real content, but content that was absolutely implicit and in some cases explicit in other materials. Maybe there is more here for people who aren't total converts, don't read all the books and listen to all the podcasts, etc., but for me, it was a stream of, "Yeah, I know."

2020: As I reread this with more an eye toward motivation that for learning a
Ready for Anything is a companion book to David Allen’s [Getting Things Done]. The book is comprised of 52 reflections/essays on various aspects of the GTD methodology. The content was okay, but I found the book rather distracting because the author found a need to seed the book with quotes with little thought to placement. Here is a great idea of how to implement — insert 1/2 page quote here — and back to my great thought. If you are into the GTD thing it may be worth the read. If not, skip it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
  • The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness
  • The Personality Code
  • Influencer : The Power to Change Anything
  • Time Management from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule--and Your Life
  • 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management
  • Bringing Out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel
  • Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent
  • First Things First
  • The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
  • The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal
  • Click: The Magic of Instant Connections
  • The Power Of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential
  • Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
  • Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement
  • Unclutter Your Life in One Week
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls
  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
See similar books…
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the Getting Things Done time management method. He is the founder of the David Allen Company, which is focused on productivity, action management and executive coaching. His Getting Things Done method is part of his coaching efforts. He
“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” 29 likes
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.” 22 likes
More quotes…