Book #20: Getting Things Done

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I first encountered Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen a few years ago through Merlin Mann's website 43 Folders. GTD presents a system for managing all the projects in your life in a stress-free manner. It's a very practical framework, but most of the examples in the book are aimed at executives, sales people, etc. 43 Folders looks at geek-specific ways of implementing GTD, and has moved on other 'life-hack' techniques. So it's a great combo for someone like me.

When I first picked up the book I only made it halfway through before I got distracted by another book (insert easy jokes here). Even that 50% of the book had been very valuable (the 'next action' concept alone can really transform a to-do list), but I wanted to finish the book at some point. So this year I thought I'd make it part of my 50 Books challenge and then I wouldn't let myself move on to another book until I'd finished this one. Since it'd been a while since I read that first half, I started over at the beginning.

So, now I can check that off my list. I have not sat down and done the complete overhaul of my project management system like David Allen recommends, but it's influenced my systems even more. We're running the Wedding Project under GTD concepts, for example.

If you'd like a quick intro into some of this stuff, here's an entertaining hour-long talk Merlin Mann gave at Bay-Chi on "This is About Much More Than Tools and Rules".