All of these shortcomings have been fixed in this great new book. Allen's theories, practices and strategies are delivered in 2-5 page bite sized pieces which much better suit his writing style. Each of the 52 short chapters can be devoured in a few minutes and can be understood and internalized individually or in well organized clusters as fits you best.
In a perfect world I'd suggest skimming Allen's first book so that you get an over view of his "systems"; then read this book for a bunch of "I get it!" moments; and then back to "Getting Things Done" for a more careful read. In fact, that's what I'm going to do.
But even if you never read Allen's first book; this new one is well worth the time because it will force you to look at work, time, and all of the stuff that clutters your mind and life in entirely new ways.
Readers who "got" Getting Things Done don't need my advice on this one...they've already bought it I'm sure.
David Allen is probably the smartest personal productivity coach in print. I would buy Getting Things Done for every employee in my organization, and I would have copies of this one lying around to remind people and elaborate on some of the finer points.
Oh and I would like to add one point. I believe there is one thing missing from Mr. Allen's algorithm. That is finishing. I think his plan is outstanding for getting unstuck: figure out the next action, and do it without hesitation. But I don't find any attention paid to how to decide how many actions are "enough" for a desired outcome of a project.
You can always find some next action, and founder in what software engineers like myself call "permanent beta" or "feature creep." Yet external constraints are best not relied on exclusively for these decisions. It's best to volunteer a ruthless focus on the essence of your project's deliverable, isn't it?
So I would like Mr. Allen to write his next book about finishing projects, if he is able to develop insights into that stage as strong as his insights into the process of the middle stages.