12 May 2016

Books about organising and time management

I was looking for a book the other day (I didn't find it!) and I gathered together all the books I have on time management and organisation that I have collected over the years and I thought I would share the details with you all.

Quite a few of them are 'out of print' now but they do appear on Amazon Market Place from time to time.
  • Filofax Facts - Ian Sinclair - This dates from 1988 and I have reviewed it before on the blog. It has a lot of details and 'pictures' of lots of the old inserts that are no longer available these days. 
  • Getting Things Done - David Allen - The original edition came out in 2001 and according to David Popely who reviewed the 2nd revision, the original version is much better than the latest version. 
  • The Advanced Day Planner User's Guide - Hyrum W. Smith - This book was originally published in 1987 and it is focused on Franklin Covey planner users, but there are lots of tips for all planner users. We have reviewed this a couple of times, here and here.
  • Managing Time Loving Every Minute - Peter Green - This book was used on the Filofax Time Management training courses, originally published 1999 with a second revision coming out in 2004. If you buy a second hand copy try to get one which hasn't been written in. 
  • 'A' Time - The busy manager's action plan for effective self management - James Noon - Tim did an excellent guest post about the author James Noon, a quick read of that post will give you a better idea if this book is for you. This is another book that has lots of self assessment work sheets in it so it is essential to get an 'as new' copy if you can. James has his own website too
  • Zen To Done - Leo Babauta - This is a variation on Getting Things Done,  I found the concepts easier to understand, but that might tell you more about me than about the book! The authors own website has a lot of details, worth a visit.
  • Journalling School: A Short Course in Personal Journalling - Ray Blake  - Not a book about organisation as such but an excellent book on journalling and how to improve your journalling skills. 
Do you have any favourite books on this topic I've not mentioned?

Amazon UK links:

Amazon USA links:


  1. I read a fair number of articles about time management but unfortunately, for me, they're more of a tool for procrastination than an actual help! I particularly love ones where they instruct you on how to organise your desk and how to set up your memory-jogger files etc, lots of pictures of beautifully organised desks are ideal! Then I can spend hours rearranging things instead of doing any work! I did buy Getting Things Done about two years ago but I haven't read it yet - perhaps because I already feel I know about it through other articles I've read. The thing is, I'm not really interested in the "goals" aspect. My main focus is trying to stay on top of my work so my only real goal for time management purposes is to do a good job and get paid for it.

    There is an online magazine I like called Productive Magazine. It's published by the creator of a time management electronic system called Nozbe but I like it for the range of contributions from time management experts. There are usually several different articles about things like remote working or procrastination, for example, plus an interview with someone relevant. I can read all the articles I'm interested in over about half an hour and then I don't feel too guilty for wasting time on the internet!

  2. Excellent post! That's what I need to read now and then again :-) as distractions hit home on a daily basis, especially when life's priorities change. Focusing on the right things that's what I consider to be the goal of using an organiser in my life since starting to use a Filofax, now 10 years ago. Thanks very much for resuming with these previous posts.

  3. The Advanced Day Planner User's Guide is one of my favorite books! I have enjoyed dipping into it for advice and planning inspiration since its 1987 publication. Often the tips offered in your excellent Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Plannerverse podcast remind me of the joy that book brings. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the list Steve - some good resources there.

    "Time Management from the Inside Out" by Julie Morgenstern is another good one.

  5. FWIW, I carefully (ie, read it quite slowly...) read David Allen's updated version of Getting Things Done last fall.

    I had read David's original version a few years ago too.

    The new version is actually very good and has some improvements in it from the original version.

    Highly recommend reading the new version as well as David's other books too.