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  • Which Book...

    Guys what's the difference between the original GTD book and the latest version "making it all work"? All I've read from reviews is its just a rehash of the first one, that it's a great refresher for anyone procrastinating on GTD original etc. Most say if you are new just stick with the first one as the new one doesn’t offer much more.

    I haven't read either book yet, i'm about to order, but I do have a fairly solid grip on it through my searches.

    Is there anything in the new book that is NOT covered in the first book that is of real value?

  • #2
    My opinion

    I am currently reading Making It All Work. I've read the original. I find that the original is more of a basic outline in literary form and the Making It All Work expounds and explains more. The other reaction I have is I have a notepad with me when I read Making It All Work and am constantly finding these one-liners that I am writing with page numbers & all. To me it's a different book. What's better is that the jargon, is familiar. I'd recommend having both. Reading Getting Things Done first & then Making It All Work second. (I also have another pad to do a fresh Brain Dump while I read too.)

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    • #3
      Read the GTD book.

      My advice:
      1. Read the GTD book.
      2. Implement GTD methodology.
      3. Test GTD for several months. Customize it.
      4. Read the GTD book again and review your system.
      5. Read the MIAW book to find out why it works.
      6. Read the RFA book to learn more "powerful and practical pointers for living a more productive life".

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
        My advice:
        5. Read the MIAW book to find out why it works.[/i].
        I like 1 to 4, but re 5 - why bother finding out "why it works" if it works anyway? I value my time

        I guess that clarifies what MIAW offers...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NewbGTD View Post
          I like 1 to 4, but re 5 - why bother finding out "why it works" if it works anyway? I value my time

          I guess that clarifies what MIAW offers...
          I was going to say that I agree with 1-5.

          In GTD, the "six levels or review" didn't seem to mesh with the rest of the book. It was disjointed to me. I think MIAW brought it all together well. The changes in terminology and the visuals alone were very helpful to me. But it may just be what I was ready to pull out of either at the time I read them.

          (OFf to see what RFA is.)

          ETA: No luck searching on the site. Google tells me that RFA is:
          Radio Free Asia, Renewable Fuel Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance...

          Somehow I don't think I've hit the right RFA yet. Help.
          Last edited by malisa; 11-06-2009, 05:13 AM.

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          • #6
            Rfa = Ready For Anything :d

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            • #7
              I think I can help!

              Regarding "why find out why it works if it works?"

              You can follow any rote process. But understanding the process will allow you to optimize and improve it. Put another way: would you rather learn just multiplication tables, or know how multiplication works so you can apply it to any set of numbers?

              The first book explains the GTD methodology, especially at the lower levels (Next Actions, Projects, Someday/Maybe, etc.). It doesn't talk as much about the higher levels (30,000 to 50,000 feet), which Making It All Work spends more time on. Making It All Work also provides insight on the interactions between the various levels, so that you can respond to external pressures on your system with more precise adjustments than if you were just following along by rote.

              Does that make sense?

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              • #8
                David Allen about MIAW and GTD (quote from MIAW).

                David Allen about MIAW and GTD (quote from MIAW):
                Originally posted by David Allen in MIAW (page 8-9)
                The purpose of Making It All Work is to reinforce and deepen the understanding of the core GTD principles - why they work, what positive results can be achieved with an almost infinite range of applications, and what negative consequences ensue when they are ignored.
                Familiarity with my previous writings is not a prerequisite for reading and gleaning great value from Making It All Work, although you would find Getting Things Done a very useful and complementary resource. Getting Things Done is full of step-by-step instructions about how best to create a customized productivity system.

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                • #9
                  Thank's guys. I have a good idea where the two books differ now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NewbGTD View Post
                    Thank's guys. I have a good idea where the two books differ now.
                    One more point: If you value your time, consider getting audio versions of one or both books. This lets you "read" while driving or walking.

                    - Don

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                    • #11
                      I really loved Making It All Work, and when I want to get pumped up about GTD again, that's the title I turn to.

                      I very much disagree with people who accuse it of being merely a rehash of GTD. Yes, DA re-explains the entire methodology (the book is intended to be readable by those who have never seen the original book), and perhaps this was a mistake. But MIAW is a very different book with a very different focus. I found it to be an inspiring look at GTD and it really got me thinking about what I ultimately want out of life, and how to achieve that through action today.

                      I second a previous poster's suggestion to get the audio versions (I'll plug audible.com here - awesome service). David does a good job reading the unabridged versions of both GTD and MIAW so they're great buys.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dschaffner View Post
                        If you value your time, consider getting audio versions of one or both books.
                        Not directed at you but in general to anyone who uses audio books. I guess I just plain don't get it.

                        The more useful and interesting a book is the more likely it is that I will need to write down things to look up later or collect the ideas reading it spawns.

                        I also often go back to sections before and re-read them after just reading the next section.

                        I make notes, now on my kindle I make them attached to the book file. Previously I made them on separate paper but I always take notes on books that interest me, even fiction books. No I am not a margin writer, to me that is defacing a book but I still take lots of notes and in many cases they are filed in reference and get used later.

                        How can you do all that with an audio book?

                        I've never been able to listen to something else and drive at the same time, we don't even talk much in the car as it's too distracting. Some music works but we often don't have a radio on at all at home or in the car. I'm never walking anywhere that I don't have something to do when I get there that takes my full attention and our walking is typically very short so there isn't time to listen to much of anything.

                        To me it seems like listening to audio books when you are doing other stuff is like the worst sort of multitasking. You can't really focus on the book so you may miss important parts and waste time both listening and trying to give attention to what else you are supposed to be doing.

                        So can someone who really loves audio books explain their appeal to someone who can't really even see a need unless you are blind and cannot read other sorts of books?
                        Last edited by Oogiem; 11-09-2009, 06:50 AM. Reason: correct terrible spelling, sigh

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                          So can someone who really loves audio books explain their appeal to someone who can't really even see a need unless you are blind and cannot read other sorts of books?
                          I'm very much an audio book lover. It's not that I don't read print - I do, and lots. Ultimately I prefer print over anything else - whether audio or ebooks. But audio lets me "read" in situations that I would not normally be able to - like during long car trips by myself, or while walking to work (I have a 20 minute walk each way). That works out to two or three books a month just during my "commute". Another good thing about audio is that it's just very pleasant to listen to a good narrator reading to you.

                          I get your argument about distraction. Perhaps it's not entirely safe to be listening to a book while you're driving. Or maybe you will miss some content because you're not paying full attention to it. I find I still get a lot out of the audio books, and I haven't had an accident yet (knock on wood).

                          I also agree that audio doesn't provide the indexing and quick search to easily go back and review specific material. For densely technical material audio is not a good choice.

                          You can take notes while listening to audio. I use a voice recorder if I'm walking or driving. If I'm on a plane and listening to something, I just use a notepad and treat it like a recorded lecture.

                          To me it's not either-or. Print is better IMHO but audio definitely has its place.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                            So can someone who really loves audio books explain their appeal to someone who can't really even see a need unless you are blind and cannot read other sorts of books?
                            Oogiem, I think it is because everybody learns differently. I am like you. I like to read and take notes. That is how I learn best. I have a long commute and it would be great to learn something by listening during that time, and I have tried, but I just can't. I will just tune it out and focus on the road or on my thoughts. But some people really are more auditory learners and get a lot out of audiobooks.

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                            • #15
                              I multiply my time by two.

                              Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                              I've never been able to listen to something else and drive at the same time, we don't even talk much in the car as it's too distracting.
                              I have no problem with listening to podcasts and audiobooks while driving (and walking, running or doing my excercises at the gym). I haven't found a solution for windsurfing yet.

                              I use a voice recorder to take notes.

                              Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                              To me it seems like listening to audio books when you are doing other stuff is like the worst sort of multitasking. You can't really focus on the book so you may miss important parts and waste time both listening and trying to give attention to what else you are supposed to be doing.
                              By listening while driving and walking/jogging/excercising I multiply my time by two.

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