Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Getting Things Done

I wanted to quickly mention a book that I recently read and felt the need to recommend to my readers: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.

It is basically a walkthrough of a system that Allen has developed over his years as a "personal productivity consultant" for executives and organizations.

You might already have a good system for organizing and prioritizing your work, but I can guarantee you that you'll be able to improve some of your weak areas by reading this book. You can read some more specifics and reviews on Amazon, and I may bring up some of the info in later posts, but let me just pick out a particular area I was able to improve after reading the book: filing.

I have never been a great filer. I have plenty of space, plenty of folders, and no shortage of reference material, current projects, and other assorted paperwork in and around my desk at work, but I have never been satisfied with my filing system. The folders are always hard to read, the stuff is always hard to find, and things always end up looking untidy and unprofessional.

David Allen helped me change that. He suggests buying a labeler, using only one folder per file hanger, and creating an alphabetically sorted reference system. As he mentions in the book, there is something about using an automatic labeler (such as the Brother P-Touch) that changes your entire relationship to your filing system. After going through all my files, labeling them properly, and resorting them about a month ago, I have exponentially increased my ability to both find the reference documents I need, and keep my desktop clear of the bits of paper that always seem to pile up as the months go by.

Anyway, just wanted to pass that along... anyone else read that book and care to comment?

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