Review: “Productivity Talk” with David Allen

Merlin Mann interviewing David Allen in 2006

Fans of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” system will want to check out an old podcast series produced by Merlin Mann of the 43 Folders Blog.  Back in 2006, Mann interviewed Allen for a series of eight short podcasts on the quirks of getting started with the GTD methodology.  These podcasts are still available on both Mann’s and Allen’s respective web sites though I’m not sure if they are still downloadable.  They are listed under the title of “Productive Talk”.  After Mann finished the series he compiled all of the shows into one long podcast of about 90 minutes containing all eight shows in one file.

I recently listened to the shows again to get Allen’s perspective on the future of his system and also to see where he felt it was headed in the next 5-10 years.  It’s interesting to note that he was already hinting about his new book “Making It All Work” that was released earlier this year.  When asked if he felt his methods would be improved any, he simply answered no which was quite refreshing.  In a day when things are repackaged as “new and improved”, Allen said he wanted his work to be able to still be relevant in 25 years as it was when it was released in 2001.  While “Making It All Work” spends some time on GTD, it focuses more on the long term planning aspects that many folks ignore when doing GTD.  The podcasts from Mann provide a nice bridge from the original work to the new one.  

If you’ve read “Getting Things Done” and find aspects of it hard to grasp, these podcasts might just be the trick to get you thinking in the right direction.  Considering they are nearly 3 years old now, they are still quite relevant and address some aspects not covered in the books.  Plus, it’s a nice way of getting to know the creator of GTD in a relaxed atmosphere that’s not quite so businesslike.

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Review: “Productivity Talk” with David Allen

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