The 30 Week Project - Week 4

So on with my book for this week, the promisingly titled Getting Organized in the Google Era: How to Get Stuff out of Your Head, Find It When You Need It, and Get It Done Right by Douglas Merrill (former CIO of Google) and James Martin.

I have a self-imposed rule of not giving too much importance to self-help books. This one made it through my filters since it was a) heavily recommended and b) the premise appeared to be a bit different than your typical self-help literature. The author being a former CIO at Google definitely helped matters.
In the end, it proved to be a bit of damp squib for me, but not necessarily because of the being particularly unreadable. I was more shocked than disappointed since I already practice most of the stuff suggested in the book, and I would definitely not describe myself as organized :-) But I guess I would have been a lot worse were it not for my judicious (hey I have to call it that, even the former CIO of Google recommends it :p) use of the various tools available. It was especially pleasing to see him wholeheartedly recommend Things, the to-do organizer that I use on my Mac - also available on iOS devices (which I don't use). I have been using and appreciating things for a long time now, and I was somewhat surprised to not find anyone else using it - Mr Douglas is a first. Another aspect that I could identify with is the judicious (yes I am going to use it again) use of calendars to balance work and personal schedule. I have been a heavy Google calendar user since 2007 and totally rely on it to keep my life in sync and my schedule accessible on multiple devices. It was also nice to see someone show some love to MobileMe :-) for once.

But I digress, the book is what I wanted to talk about here.  It is a book that has some nice tips on organizing your schedule, especially if you have easy access to a computer/laptop. It is heavily laced with personal anecdotes that don't always work. I guess there was some link between them and the tips in the author's mind, but it has not come out very well on paper. It could easily have been much thinner without losing too much value. If you are a techie then most of the stuff here would already be second nature to you in some form, so you might not want to invest time and money in this book. Even otherwise, it would be wiser to grab a copy from your local library and skim through it. I don't see the need to have a copy of this at home, you're not going to get back to it.

Disclaimer - my views, my opinions.