Book Review: “Todoodlist”

“What’s the title of the book again?”  I know that’s what many of you are asking.  “Todoodlist” is an ebook written by blogger Nick Cernis.  As the title somewhat suggests, “Todoodlist” is a productivity book with ideas to simplify your task management.  I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and had considered purchasing the book for some time so Saturday morning, I went to the book site, purchased the download, and began reading.  I had to stop and start a few times for errands but combined, the book took me about an hour to read. (97 pages).

My initial thoughts?  The book is a quick read.  Cernis doesn’t waste of a lot of time getting to his points.  Cernis first explains his reasons for writing the book, highlights his own technology issues with task keeping, and how he mistakenly fell in love with paper and pencil again.  This I know all too well.  After my last PDA conked out on me (battery drain), I elected to sell it and switch back to paper and pencil.  Cernis then shares a series of seven brief essays highlighting our culture’s love of complexity and need for simplicity.  After the essays, Cernis gets to the meat of the book, sharing some productivity ideas including his task management system that inspired the title of the book.

One thing I like about the “Todoodlist” concept is that it’s based on mind mapping.  My blogging friend Ron Hunter wrote a nice piece on this topic about a year ago and Tony Buzan has published many books on it’s use.  The mind map is basically an abstract way of organzing notes, thoughts, and lists.  The lists in “Todoodlist” are organized on this principle and another thing I like is that they work on a “fortnightly” (bi-weekly) basis.  Nick is British so the term may catch you off guard!  The “fortnight” principle makes sense to me since my lists tend to linger for longer than a day and the mind-map feeds that concept.  I’ve never tried it before but I am going to give it a try to see if I like it like I think I will.

Without giving away too much more of the book’s ideas, Cernis discusses calendars, time management, and other simple list ideas to make your life a bit easier.  You may not like all of the ideas shared or you may choose to integrate each one.  The nice thing is they can complement what you already do and one idea is not needed by any of the others.

Again, this is an ebook and is delivered via a PDF after your purchase.  I love the ebook market because it’s allowing more and more folks who produce very useful things to make them available on a large scale basis without overhead and without the editing of a publisher that many times would try to take a book like this and fill it with “fluff” to make it 120-150 pages.

Overall, I liked “Todoodlist”.  If you are looking for some fresh ideas on becoming productive, give it a shot.

Book Review: “Todoodlist”

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