The Ancient Writings of David Allen

Yesterday when I wrote about the Archive of David Allen’s Productivity Principles Newsletters at the Ready4Anything Yahoo! Group I mentioned that you can still find many of the original “Food for Thoughts” articles that David Allen wrote using the Internet Archive WayBackMachine at, but that it would require a little effort.

I was too tired yesterday afternoon to do “real” work so I decided to take a little time off and do a little “panning for gold” over at the stream that runs behind the Internet Archive. All in all, I found the titles of 115 “Food for Thought” articles. I was able to discover the complete text of 54 of the articles in the Internet Archive and the complete text of another on the 3M Meeting Network. I searched several places on the web for the missing articles but didn’t turn up anything on any of the others. I’m most surprised that apparently no one ever posted one of David’s newsletters to UseNet.

Below you will find the list of all the articles I discovered, along with hyperlinks to the ones for which I could also find the complete article. If you are able to dig up a web site somewhere with links to any of those that I’m missing, please let me know and I will add the link here for others to enjoy.

Some of the content here may be found in David’s book, Ready for Anything : 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life, but not all of this, and there is certainly much more content in the book that I link to here. For some of the work that is duplicated, it’s nice to compare these original versions with the final versions published in the book to see how David’s work has evolved in recent years.

Note: If this post interests you, you might also be interested in my post Psycho-Cybernetics – Zero Resistance Living Newsletters where I link to a page that has links to an archive of those old newsletters.

10/04/01 The one minute (workflow) manager
09/07/01 Who's really interested in productivity? (I mean, really?)
08/12/01 Where's the kernel?
07/14/01 Are you an "organizing groupie"?
06/08/01 The Year of Better Choices
05/70/01 The case for current reality
04/08/01 The play of the day
03/04/01 The big secret about my lists
01/31/01 The scary swamp between thinking and doing
01/01/01 Are you really ready for more?
12/03/00 Being complete with your incompletions
10/30/00 The rhythm of things...
10/11/00 The critical 20%
10/03/00 How important is anything but the most important thing?
09/18/00 Why "list" is a dirty word
08/18/00 "You are at your best when..."
08/02/00 True confessions
07/20/00 Is it overtime all the time?
07/04/00 The ABC's of psychic RAM
06/20/00 Beyond passion
06/05/00 Is form formless?
05/21/00 Life is not fair
05/11/00 Why "getting organized" usually hasn't worked
04/24/00 Organization and creativity: 'vs.' or 'and'? (3M Meeting Network)
04/09/00 What does your behavior assume?
03/31/00 System success: silent running
03/15/00 Build it, and they will come...
03/01/00 Overwhelm? Take the helm...
02/16/00 Can your mind keep its new job?
01/31/00 The New Fundamentals
01/18/00 Should the pot simmer?
01/04/00 Stirring your pot
12/23/99 Is this all there is?
12/05/99 What's your standard for "stuff"?
11/21/99 Good Riddance
11/07/99 Waking up to making it up again
10/24/99 Forget the future?just get a grip
10/20/99 Boot-Strapping Yourself Into Better
10/07/99 How is your wiring firing?
08/29/99 The only two reasons to be efficient
08/14/99 Are you ready for "ready"?
08/01/99 Are you living in your living room?
07/20/99 The danger of "not as important" projects
07/06/99 Prepared for the unknown?
06/21/99 The freedom / productivity equation
06/07/99 The subtle Sirens of the "long term"
05/23/99 Productivity doesn't happen by itself
05/16/99 Jump!
05/10/99 Focus tested
05/02/99 The subtlety of streamlining
04/25/99 Time to lose control?
04/18/99 Climb the fire tower--weekly
04/11/99 Three cheers for sloth, indolence, and procrastination!
04/04/99 In-basket, Zen-basket
03/28/99 Hello. Get a grip on your process, or give it up.
03/21/99 An apology for events and tools
03/14/99 The three-fold nature of work
03/06/99 No holes on the edge
02/21/99 Managing change is no change
02/14/99 To the tune of too much to do
02/07/99 Toning up the thinking muscles
01/31/99 Piano, piano--va lontano!
01/24/99 Resolve it - dissolve it!
01/17/99 Free to feel free?
01/09/99 Turning inside out
01/04/99 Let's hear it for Completions and Accomplishments!
12/27/98 The everyday outcome focus challenge
12/20/98 A negative side to "nice"
12/14/98 Life Nintendo
12/06/98 A master tip for successful change
11/30/98 In praise of the last minute
11/23/98 The easiest hard rule to follow
11/15/98 The secret door to wealth...
11/08/98 The Seductive Sirens of "Stuff"
11/01/98 Can you sustain "sustainable"?
10/25/98 Think! At least once a week...
10/19/98 Getting others to change
10/08/98 The only thing that moves as fast as the world...
10/04/98 Tools of our trade...
09/27/98 Who does your remembering, retrieving, and reminding?
09/20/98 Name it and you can control it
09/13/98 It's all failure... Can you dig it?
09/06/98 The slipperiest commodity there is
         The only two reasons to be efficient
01/25/98 The warmth of the radically mechanical...
01/17/98 Direction, not perfection
01/10/98 The biggest procrastinators are...
01/03/98 The freedom in naming your "stuff"
12/28/97 I have trouble with what I teach...
12/21/97 Radical decadence...
12/12/97 Go the distance to a "mind like water"
12/06/97 Our earth job--completion and creation
12/02/97 Control or spontaneity?--the paradox
11/23/97 We're all alone in this together...
11/16/97 The project management problem
11/09/97 The value of doing nothing
10/31/97 Personal productivity and the inner 7-yr-old!
10/26/97 The numbness of blended stacks
10/20/97 Defining the transom - simple sophisticated sanity!
10/11/97 Your mind deserves a promotion!
10/04/97 To-Do lists: usually "amorphous blobs of un-do-ability"
09/25/97 The need for a "total life to-do list"
09/21/97 The one organization that never has fires and crises...
09/13/97 The Visionary and the Doer - a personal division of labor
08/31/97 The 3 C's of personal systems
08/24/97 There are only two problems in life...
08/09/97 Focusing on your values--the "fix" that really isn't
07/31/97 The Big Secret about goal-setting
07/23/97 The only person I ever met who figured out "next actions" by himself...
07/17/97 Capturing value-added thoughts...
07/11/97 Your ability to develop power is dependent on your ability to relax.
07/02/97 A much-needed habit: processing all your interactions to completion.
06/24/97 Let's talk about prioritizing...
06/15/97 The task of "defining our work..."

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Related Posts


  • Reply
    Matthew Cornell
    6/20/2006 at 11:43 am

    Sweet! Thanks a ton.

  • Reply
    The Ancient Writings of David Allen -
    6/30/2006 at 8:38 am

    […] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Share and Enjoy:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers canshare and discover new web pages. […]

  • Reply
    Protocol 80 Productivity Blog :: Past Articles from David Allen
    7/3/2006 at 11:53 am

    […] Over at Ricky’s gone to a lot of effort to search out the past articles of David Allen from various places on the internet and provide a handy list of them all for quick click access. […]

  • Reply
    Bob Walsh
    8/1/2006 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks Ricky for taking the time and trouble to dig these up; I just blogged about you at and while I wanted to do a trackback to you, I don’t see one here

  • Reply
    8/1/2006 at 4:55 pm

    Bob – Thanks for the link and the kind words! Normally, the trackback just happens when you reference the post. I don’t have special URLs for trackbacks. Strange…

    Anyway, glad you’re enjoying some of these archived writings! I’ll spend some time perusing your site as well.

  • Reply
    Raj Shekhar
    8/3/2006 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for the hard work!

  • Reply
    8/4/2006 at 5:30 am

    Raj – It’s my pleasure! Enjoy!

  • Leave a Reply