Getting Things Done, a.k.a. GTD, is a self-help book written by David Allen for people who want to get their lives (not professional or personal, but the whole shebang) under organizational control.
I confess that when Jenn first brought this book home I was skeptical. Well, “skeptical” might be a bit of an understatement. “Deriding” or “pooh-poohing” might be better terms. I’ve never been a big fan of the vast panoply of executive self-help books. I’ve read a few and listened to those lectures on tape you get concerning productivity and networking, etc., and generally found them to be, well, general. They are usually full of the “I’m freaking awesome at what I do, so I wrote a book about it because it must be the best way possible to do it!” kind of stuff, totally ignoring the fact that people who aren’t good at what they do rarely write books about it. Selection bias at its best. Suffice to say, I don’t buy very many of those books (or tapes).
However, GTD is not of the above genre of unhelpful self-help books. David Allen does fall into the category of person whom I feel does not relax nearly enough, but the book and it’s recommendations are implementable at home and at work by Non-Type-A people who seek to be organized but just need a system. This system, in my own experience, isn’t so crazy as a lot of different “organizational schemes” I’ve seen in the past. It is a logical extension of processes I was already using, but were not quite covering all the bases.
So, I recommend the book, and the GTD process. I didn’t have to make any additional investments in software or hardware to get things running. I followed some of David Allen’s recommendations regarding organizational stuff such as file folders (a lot) and a labelmaker (which I love, now), but my total outlay was only like $75 to get going (at home. Work obviously provided the materials I needed there).
4 June 06 22:05 edit. The first comment below reminded me that I forgot to link to what got me from pooh-poohing this book to actually reading it. Check out this organization!