Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – A Book Review

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is the revised edition of the 2001 classic by the creator of the GTD methodology. According to the author, the human mind is best utilized for coming up with ideas, and not for holding them or remembering many other things. The book presents a new approach in how to best deal with the demands of life and work. It discusses principles of habit, next-action decision, and outcome focusing as well as other practices that improve performance, capacity and innovation of the reader.

Book Details

The Kindle edition has a file size of 2.595MB, or a print equivalent of 352 pages, divided in 15 chapters and a conclusion. Aside from Kindle format, it is also available as Audiobook, in paperback, and as audio CD. This revised edition was published by Penguin Random House Publishing in March 2015 in English. For this Kindle edition, text-to-speech, X-Ray, Word Wise, and Enhanced Typesetting are enabled, and Screen Reader is supported. ASIN: B00KWG9M2E


$12.02 for the Kindle version, $0.00 for Audiobook, $13.01 for the paperback version, and $30.17 for the audio CD.

Target Audience

Getting Things Done is for a wide range of audience, from students to executive management, from teachers and coaches, to organization leaders, from homemakers, artists, retirees, to anyone who wishes to learn a new approach in managing life and work.

What Customers Say

Enrique R. (Amazon) described Getting Things Done as a great book because he can relate with the situations mentioned in it, and how to organize all activities. He is looking forward to implementing it himself and be more productive.

A guest reviewer (B&N) stated that the book has given her some realistic advice about getting projects completed while staying sane. The first thing she noticed about the book is the author’s enthusiasm. He presents workable solutions with his ‘can-do’ attitude. The reviewer believes that the investment of time she puts in reading the book will increase her productivity level and decrease her stress.

Chad W. (Goodreads) described it as his go-to productivity book. Since following GTD in much of his professional and personal life, he has regained control of his time and has become efficiently productive. It teaches the reader how to be maximally efficient and relaxed by avoiding so-called crisis demands of a given workday.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity is divided into 3 parts and 15 chapters. The first part is about the author’s art of getting things done, which includes the first 3 chapters. These chapters presents the new approach, the 5 stages of mastering workflow, and the 5 phases of project planning. The second part is about practical steps of productivity, which includes 7 chapters. These discuss the topics of setting up time, space and tools, the steps of collection, processing, organizing, reviewing, doing, and getting projects under control. The last part discuss the principles of collection habit, next-action decision, and outcome focusing. Two new chapters in the revised edition discuss information from cognitive science research, and the path to GTD mastery, then finally, its conclusion.

Approach/Tone: The author presents an honest and informative approach about what he has learned over the years and how it can help readers through the recommendations he provides. He is eager and enthusiastic to share what he believes can help people be efficient in whatever they need to do, whether a project they are passionate about, or something they are in a hurry to get over with.

Style: It is advisable for new readers to go over the book in a sequential manner. However, it is also possible to jump around to specific topics, which people already familiar with some GTD concepts are likely to do. The revised edition contains updated examples while retaining the fundamental principles and core techniques. The paragraphs are of readable length. Some new terms specific to the GTD methodology are introduced but adequately explained.

Why Buy the Book

Getting Things Done continues to remain in the top 10 best selling Amazon lists, especially under the Stress Management and Time Management categories. The first edition has been translated into more than 30 languages. Testimonials from a diversity of people in a variety of situations show how applying GTD principles allowed them to gain life-changing value. Also, the author emphasized that the book is not so much concerned about getting things done as it is in advocating an appropriate engagement, to guide people how to make the best choice of what to do in each moment.


David Allen is the founder of the David Allen Company, a privately held management consulting company based in Ojai, CA, USA. David founded the company in 1996 with a specialty in the field of workflow, productivity, and time management. After decades of research and practice of his productivity methods, he wrote the best-selling book Getting Things Done in 2001. Aside from authoring 5 books, he has spent the last 35 years consulting, training, and coaching the US and global organizations. He and his company continue to provide coaching, consulting, and keynote speeches on topics of personal, interactive, and organizational productivity, as well as management, executive and professional development.

$12.02 for the Kindle version, $0.00 for Audiobook, $13.01 for the paperback version, and $30.17 for the audio CD

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.