I’ve just finished reading David Allen’s Making It All Work and thought I’d share my impressions with you.
First off, a little bit about how I read it. It is a short book, and I probably could have read it in a weekend. However, I chose to spread my reading out over about 10 days, just taking my time and letting it “soak in.”
I read it on my Amazon Kindle, which provides a nice reading experience, except for pictures … if there is a trick to viewing pictures on the Kindle, I haven’t found it. But, I do like the bookmarking and annotation features available on the Kindle and used them a lot in reviewing this book.
As to the value of the book, I found it to be a worthwhile purchase, for me. But, I do not know that I would recommend it for you. I’ll tell you why.
David is a clear writer, but he is very verbose. The book could have been one-third its size and still said as much, if he had an editor take a good whack at it. Also, the first several chapters of the book are almost more of a sales pitch than they are instructional.
He talks about how great GTD has been to so many people. He’s earned bragging rights, but there was just too much fluff in this upfront material for me.
Update: As I’ve thought more about this, I have concluded that David was probably intentionally repetitive … many people just do not get GTD until its key points are repeated several times (a typical problem people have with making paradigm shifts).
After one gets over that hump, though, the book becomes useful. At least it was for me. I thought he did a better job in this book on focusing on the higher altitudes … purpose, vision, goals … than he did in his first book. Although this new material is verbose, and could use a good editing, it is good stuff.
I liked the Gracie Gardens example he used to show how to apply GTD from “top to bottom.” I also like how he talked about the use of GTD to manage the “extended mind” (our cell phones, computers, and all the things that carry data that we might have once carried in our heads).
I personally feel much better now about how to develop and manage my “higher altitude” material. That was something that just wasn’t working well for me, or at least something I didn’t feel good about.
You might find that you could get as much of a fresh inspiration by re-reading David’s original book. I re-read it a year or so ago, and was just not up to re-reading it again, so I went with the new book. For me it was a good thing to do. Your mileage may vary.
If you’d like to grab a copy, you can order directly from the link (or picture) above, or using the following Amazon link: Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life. Both are affiliate links.