One of the eNewsletters that I most look forward to is “David Allen’s Productivity Principles.” At one time this was a weekly newsletter, then a monthly, and now sporadically—but it always contains some great tips and insights from David Allen whenever it happens to arrive. The most recent edition contains: 1) information about the latest happenings at DavidCo, 2) a commentary on the difference between productivity and perfectionism, 3) motivational quotes, 4) an article on why we should simply follow the GTD methodologies and concentrate on our technique rather than trying to be perfect with them, 5) tips from David on filing, 6) information on upcoming public events, and 7) an article by Michael Dolan (a DavidCo Coach) on “The Power of Successful Outcome Thinking”. Whew! They pack a lot into each issue.
If you’re reading this, you are probably already familiar with David Allen and the Getting Things Done methodologies. You may or may not have read his book Ready for Anything : 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life. In Ready for Anything David doesn’t just rehash the content from Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Ready for Anything explores much more deeply the concepts and thoughts behind the GTD methodologies. It is also written to challenge the reader to grow in their application of the methodologies, not simply setting up the system.
The initial content for Ready for Anything came from the weekly “David Allen’s Productivity Principles” newsletters. Some of the articles were edited for the book. Before Ready for Anything was published, DavidCo used to keep the entire archive of their newsletters on the Davidco web site. I believe they removed them because of concerns that people wouldn’t buy the book if they could get the same content for free on their web site. You can still find many of the original posting in the DavidCo.com archives at archive.org. You will need to manually drill down to find them, but they are there—just think of it as mining for gold! (Hint, look for “Food for Thought”).
Many of you probably know me because I started the Ready4Anything Yahoo! Group shortly after the book was released. My original goal for the group was to discuss one chapter of Ready for Anything each week for an entire year, since there are 52 chapters in the book and 52 weeks in a year. As we approached the end of that first year, I didn’t really want to go back through the book again, so I decided to find as many of the “David Allen’s Productivity Principles” newsletters as I could so that I could study and discuss those. I archived those that I found in the “files” section of the group, and I’ve continued to add to it as new issues are sent.
As of this writing the files section of the Ready4Anything Yahoo! Group has 23 archived issues going all the way back to February of 2003. We intentionally haven’t archived any of the issues that are in the Ready for Anything book, but we have tried to create a nice reference containing every issue that hasn’t been published elsewhere. If you aren’t a member of the Ready4Anything Yahoo! Group you will need to join it to access the newsletter archive. Membership is free and open to anyone.
Inevitably, someone will probably be upset that this archive exists. David himself is, or at least used to be, a member of the group, but I don’t think he has posted in quite some time. He has never complained about the archive and he also writes in each issue that, “Every recipient may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for resale or profit and the following copyright notice is included intact: ‘Copyright 2006, David Allen & Company. All rights reserved. www.davidco.com'”. We archive the articles exactly as we receive them without making any changes whatosever.
So, if you need a new David Allen GTD fix, hop on over and read one of the archived “David Allen’s Productivity Principles” newsletters. It’s sure to get you motivated, get you thinking, and/or get you improving your GTD technique.