Can you recommend a condensed version of David Allen's Getting Things Done book?

Ship69

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Hello

I have bought David Allen's updated "Getting Things Done" book (2015) edition. But I am struggling with so many pages (over 300!).

Has anyone written a really good condensed version of his book?

Fwiw, I discovered this book:
"Getting Things Done in 30 Minutes - The Expert Guide to David Allen's Critically Acclaimed Book" (Paperback – June 11, 2013)
http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Minutes-Critically/dp/1623151856
(ISBN-10: 1623151856)
But even second hand it costs $99.95 !!
And I can't find it on any other websites.

I would be interest in:
A) A condensed audio version
B) A condensed book
C) A condensed video

Partly because I am semi-dyslexic I simply do not have time to read David Allen's full rather turgid book!

- Any recommendations?

J
 

Ship69

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I couldn't get that link to deep-link [due to the geopolitical pricing nazis at Audible.com I get redirected to audible.co.uk and so the link breaks] but I see that David Allen made an abridged version himself - thanks Andrew.

Good to see that Allen had managed to cut it down 2 hrs and 49 mins... (the unabridged 2015 audio is over 10 hours.)

My slight reservation is that that it was created way back in 2002, so I'm wondering what David Allen has learnt since then... particularly given how much technology has moved on in the last 14 years !

Wait or did you mean:

B) "Getting Things Done by David Allen: Key Takeaways & Analysis: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity"
UNABRIDGED - By Eureka Books - Narrated By Michael Pauley
Release Date: 26/06/2015

OR

C) "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen - Book Summary"
UNABRIDGED
By GetFlashNotes Book Summaries - Narrated By Dean Bokhari - Length: 22 mins
Release Date: 03/03/2016

OR

D) "A Summary of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen"
UNABRIDGED - By Quark Notes - Narrated By Ronald Eastwood - Length: 27 mins
Release Date: 23/11/2015

OR

E) "Summary David Allen's Getting Things Done"
UNABRIDGED - By Ant Hive Media - Narrated By Don Moffit - Length: 29 mins
Release Date: 02/03/2016

Exactly which do any of you recommend? And have you listened to any of them yourself?

Many thanks

J
 

TesTeq

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Ship69 said:
My slight reservation is that that it was created way back in 2002, so I'm wondering what David Allen has learnt since then... particularly given how much technology has moved on in the last 14 years !

David Allen has learned that GTD is technology-agnostic and removed as many technology pointers as he could.
 
This web page from David's publisher should give you lots of options to get the 2015 unabridged version of the book:
http://books.simonandschuster.com/Ge.../9781508215547

I think there is a lot of value in the abridged version too. Frankly, you can get value from having a solid understanding of The Five Steps: http://gettingthingsdone.com/fivesteps/ It's amazing how many people don't really understand those steps and blend them into amorphous blobs of unclear stuff.

Good luck!
 

TesTeq

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kelstarrising said:
This web page from David's publisher should give you lots of options to get the 2015 abridged version of the book

Unfortunately:
- all unabridged versions are [February 2016]
- all abridged versions are [January 2002]
 

mcogilvie

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Ship69 said:
Fwiw, I discovered this book:
"Getting Things Done in 30 Minutes - The Expert Guide to David Allen's Critically Acclaimed Book" (Paperback - June 11, 2013)
http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Minutes-Critically/dp/1623151856
(ISBN-10: 1623151856)
But even second hand it costs $99.95 !!
And I can't find it on any other websites.

There is a whole market segment of condensed-summarized-explained book on Amazon and elsewhere that attempt to capitalize on the work of others. GTD is no exception. Not recommended.

Have you considered reading carefully the first three chapters of the GTD book? That's where all the basics are explained. The remaining chapters are an elaboration of those first three chapters. You could read the first three chapters, and browse the rest of the book as desired. Alternatively, there are many web sites that attempt to explain GTD for free. Some are decent, but many are uninspired.
 
TesTeq said:
Unfortunately:
- all unabridged versions are [February 2016]
- all abridged versions are [January 2002]

Oops. You are correct. I have edited my post.

And to McOgilvie's point--Part One of the book is a great overview of the whole game if you go for the unabridged.
 

jlchan37

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With respect to Kelly's point about some GTD being better than no GTD, I think that Tes Teq and Mcoglivie are also right in suggesting that if you want GTD to be the life-changing experience it's been for me over the past couple months alone, you need to initially commit a lot of time to learning how to use the system. David Allen estimates that it takes an average of two years for GTD to truly become a intuitive part of someone's life.

Please don't worry if that sounds overwhelming because I'm at least 4 times more productive now than I was 8 weeks ago when I hadn't even heard of GTD. I'm happier, too.

There are lots of simpler "how to get organized" systems out there if you truly can't commit to GTD now. I personally see no point in spending any time on a GTD-light endeavor, but perhaps that's just because I generally think that half measures gain you nothing. ;-)

If you're more of an audio learner than a book learner, I suggest listening to the entire GTD audio book and/or purchasing GTD Connect for $48/month after an initial 2-week trial because GTD connect, GTD's online membership system, has excellent webinars about learning how to use GTD in general as well as explaining how it pertains to a context such as creating projects.

And I leave that with you. Thanks for reading my comment!.

Janna
 

bcmyers2112

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I have ADHD, I am a slow reader and have always been busy. Nevertheless I found that reading the full GTD book (twice so far) was well worth the investment of time. I am more productive and less stressed. I can't put a price on those things.

Years ago I tried skipping the book and reading other people's summaries. I wouldn't recommend it. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ship69

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TesTeq said:
David Allen has learned that GTD is technology-agnostic and removed as many technology pointers as he could.

I find this to be pretty irritating. For reasons of "puritanism" Allen may wish to remove references to specific technology. But he can't just put his head in the sand and pretend that all technology or even all new technology since 2002 doesn't exist. It's not the real world and it's not helpful.

I have experimented with using paper and you soon end up with lots of stuff being crossed out and/or repeatedly copied. And it's pretty clear pretty quickly that technology OUGHT to be able to do a very much better job.

That said, I am deeply unhappy with all of the task organizer software that I've seen so far, and I've tried most. To be honest I find it pretty extraordinary that nobody - and that includes David Allen - has managed to write any simple decent GTD-friendly task management software. It's jaw-dropping.

While I'm here, the best I've seen so far is the relatively simple GTDNext.com - which although it still has a few slightly rough edges has an extremely sensible screen layout and properly thought out core database structure - but although it is still being devoped, very sadly development seems to have slowed down. Currently I am trialing GTDNext and (like a madman) I am still using MLO at the same time. i.e. I have two full systems running in parallel!
But I am quite cross with MLO because after countless hours of trying to configure it to run in seeming countless various different way of using flags, folders, and tags for this than an the other... it has finally dawned on me that it has a stupid database structure and for that reason getting it to work sensibly will always be a fudge of one sort or another. But what a waste of time! [GRRR]

> There is a whole market segment of condensed-summarized-explained book on Amazon and elsewhere
> that attempt to capitalize on the work of others. GTD is no exception. Not recommended.
I disagree with you 100%.
Most books that are written are far, far, FAR longer than they need to be.
If, I repeat, IF anyone can do a really good job of condensing book then they are doing the world a huge favour.
I have read a few condensed books on various subjects and so far they have been utterly brilliant. But they are not so much like a short book, they are like a different medium. It's almost like a magazine article. And if, having read the condensed version you want more, then yes you go and buy the original too. In fact they work well together.

But I am not alone. Read the amazon reviews - David Allen's book is way WAY longer than it needs to be.
Please remember that we arrive here trying to save time. And every minute reading his book is a minute off my life that he owes me.

Part of the reason why I'd like a condensed physical book is that some things are hard to visualise without a diagram.

> Years ago I tried skipping the book and reading other people's summaries. I wouldn't recommend it.
> There is a lot of misinformation out there.
Yes, there probably is a lot of misinformation out there. That is exactly why I am here looking for recommendation.

> This web page from David's publisher should give you lots of options to get the 2015
> unabridged version of the book: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Ge.../9781508215547
OK will it's clear from that page that Allen has failed to record an updated version of the 20015 abridged version.
Very reluctantly I have downloaded the 2002 abridged version of the audio.

With thanks

J
 

jlchan37

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TesTeq said:
David Allen has learned that GTD is technology-agnostic and removed as many technology pointers as he could.

I understand what you mean yet am wondering if the term "technology-neutral" is more accurate than the term "technology-agnostic." David Allen doesn't impose a particular form of technology on GTD in general yet does believe that tech programs can help people utilize the system.

Thanks. Janna.
 

TesTeq

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jlchan37 said:
I understand what you mean yet am wondering if the term "technology-neutral" is more accurate than the term "technology-agnostic." David Allen doesn't impose a particular form of technology on GTD in general yet does believe that tech programs can help people utilize the system.

Thank you. That's what I wanted to express!
 

TesTeq

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Ship69 said:
I find this to be pretty irritating. For reasons of "puritanism" Allen may wish to remove references to specific technology. But he can't just put his head in the sand and pretend that all technology or even all new technology since 2002 doesn't exist. It's not the real world and it's not helpful.

It's not putting a head in the sand.

GTD is like a grammar. A grammar of the productivity language. A set of rules that - when applied - let you express yourself better and richer in the reality that surrounds you.

The GTD book is the productivity grammar manual.

If you have an English language grammar guide it doesn't mention any typewriter make or model, any keyboard layout, or any wordprocessor brand. It just contains a set of rules to be applied when you write your texts. What are these rules for? To make your texts readable and understandable for others.

So the GTD book contains the technology-neutral set of productivity rules while the implementation guides available from David Allen Company contain specific recommendations for different tools (paper, Microsoft Outlook, Evernote, iPhone/iPad, Google etc.).
 

Ship69

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jlchan37 said:
GTD offers several reasonably-priced set-up guides for well-known tech programs such as Outlook, Evernote, and Omnifocus. David Allen doesn't impose a particular form of technology on anyone, but that doesn't mean he and his company haven't created tech guides for people who want to use something besides paper organizers for their personal ways of implementing GTD.

No, he's not "technology-neutral" he favours Apple. You mention 2 window applications which are extremely poor for GTD, plus 1 application that is Apple only.

Outlook has clunky and essentially hopeless task management - MLO is way more sophisticated (but see my comments above)
Evernote, I tried but in the end at length. I even watched special videos on how to GTD it, but in the end it was structurally wrong.
Omnifocus after over 8 years, it still fails to work on the O/S the majority of us use - Windows!

==> I feel let down by David Allen

EDIT: Google Tasks - I just tried it... are you KIDDING me?
Sure it's actually quite fun for small lists, but there's practically nothing there!
- There are no automated "Next Action" per project.
- No way of marking stuff up visually
- No way of creating a starred/focussed list, let alone a "Forced" next action for you Next Actions list
- No configurable hotkeys....

When you have several hundred tasks and reasonable complexity... sorry, no, Google Tasks doesn't come close to cutting it.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Ship69 said:
No, he's not "technology-neutral" he favours Apple. You mention 2 window applications which are extremely poor for GTD, plus 1 application that is Apple only.

Interesting. :confused:

1. TWO "window applications" and ONE "Apple only" means that "he favours Apple"? :shock: ONE is greater than TWO? :shock:

2. Where did you find TWO "window applications"? Outlook (Windows), Evernote (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android), Omnifocus (Mac). Hello!

3. "Outlook has clunky and essentially hopeless task management", "Evernote is (...) structurally wrong", "Omnifocus after over 8 years, it still fails to work on the O/S the majority of us use - Windows", "Google Tasks (...) are you KIDDING me?". I can see a pattern here. Do you see it too? ;-)
 

Ship69

Registered
TesTeq said:
Interesting. :confused:

1. TWO "window applications" and ONE "Apple only" means that "he favours Apple"? :shock: ONE is greater than TWO? :shock:

2. Where did you find TWO "window applications"? Outlook (Windows), Evernote (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android), Omnifocus (Mac). Hello!

3. "Outlook has clunky and essentially hopeless task management", "Evernote is (...) structurally wrong", "Omnifocus after over 8 years, it still fails to work on the O/S the majority of us use - Windows", "Google Tasks (...) are you KIDDING me?". I can see a pattern here. Do you see it too? ;-)

Wait-wait-wait - this is getting to pedantic. Yes, I am a Window user if that's what you mean.

Omnifocus is the only serious dedicated task-management tool. And it is Apple.

Outlook and Evernote I can run on Windows, but they are not designed from the ground up for hard-core task management, they don't have fields for Area of Life and for List and AFAIK can't even do automated Next Actions. Likewise Google Notes.
 

jlchan37

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I linked to the GTD set-up guides in general, of which there are more than 3, even though I only cited 3 of them in my post. I'm sorry if that wasn't obvious, Ship69. Have a nice day. ;-)
 

Ship69

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jlchan37 said:
I linked to the GTD set-up guides in general, of which there are more than 3, even though I only cited 3 of them in my post. I'm sorry if that wasn't obvious, Ship69. Have a nice day. ;-)

I'm not sure what point you are making. As can be seen on:
https://gtdconnect.com/store/home.php?cat=263
David Allen provides set-up guides (on various platforms) for these three applications which run on Windows
- Google App
- Evernote
- Outlook

Plus:
- Omnifocus (apple only)
- iPad/iPhone (apple only)
- Paper organisers (dead trees only)

J

EDIT: Sorry, yes and Lotus Notes. True, I've not tried that. Isn't that some sort of a spreadsheet/enterprise system for corporates? I am a sole-trader/consultant. Is anyone here recommending I buy it?
 
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