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David Allen and Getting Things Done (GTD) 
Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 09:50 AM - GTD, Mind Mapping

In 2001, David Allen wrote a book called "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity", and it's be come a phenomonal best-seller, embraced by people from all strategems of life, from corporate warriors to uber-geeks, and it has spawned a cottage industry of blogs, sites and products.

Allen himself has a very successful consultancy, is on the speed-dial of many business leaders, and speaks all around the word.

Fast Company
dubbed him "the personal productivity guru", and in the July 2006 issue, Business 2.0 named him to their "50 Who Matter Now" list:
Why He Matters: Books about time management are generally a big waste of time. Most are either impenetrably dense or ridiculously fluffy. But the techniques Allen presents are commonsensical, effective -- and influential. The basic formula is simple: Record tasks as soon as you think of them, review progress weekly, and immediately tackle anything that can be completed in two minutes or less. Easy enough, perhaps, but since it was first published in 2001, GTD (as it's known to fans) has sold more than 350,000 copies, along the way spawning a cottage industry of GTD-friendly products, from Moleskine notebooks to new websites like Lifehacker.com and 43Folders.com. Geeks in particular have been quick to embrace Allen's techniques, which have found a following at firms such as Genentech and Qualcomm. At Microsoft, Allen's acolytes have even integrated features inspired by his book into the latest version of the company's Outlook e-mail software.

I'd seen the book around, but had not read it. And no one had mentioned it in conversation with me. However, as I began to read more blogs, the principles of GTD, as it is short-formed, were being expounded upon everywhere, and I really began to pay attention.

This past holiday season, I picked up the Penguin paperback, and downloaded some resources, including the PDF of Barnes & Noble's online GTD course. I was also lucky enough to find the MP3 of his audio book version. I'm starting to go thru it and there's a lot of good stuff, most of it common sense.

Summarized Explanation of GTD courtesy of 43folders.com, PowerPoint-style:
  1. identify all the stuff in your life that isnít in the right place (close all open loops)
  2. get rid of the stuff that isnít yours or you donít need right now
  3. create a right place that you trust and that supports your working style and values
  4. put your stuff in the right place, consistently
  5. do your stuff in a way that honors your time, your energy, and the context of any given moment
  6. iterate and refactor mercilessly


Read more here.

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