Productivity Guru?

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We don't need any Guru's for productivity.....

Okay, this statement is a little bit provocational, but I'm convinced that productivity will be generated by ourselves. Admittedly I read the books of David Allen, Stephen Covey, etc. (unfortunately in a not very good german translation) and I really make a good use of their principles and their teachings (it almost changed my life), but in my eyes this is just a kind of tool. I am the one who's responsible for productivity, by using this excellent ideas...
I hope, that nobody will be offended by this. I accept the other votes. I just wanted to show a different kind of view for inspirational purposes.....

Many greetings from Germany... (The D.I.Y.-Planner is a great idea)

Anti-productivity guru

Some aspects of David Allen's system, some of Mark Forster's, have made me a bit more organised, but not very productive. Since reading their stuff I have spent a lot of time on The System, but less on producing. I would consider them more of a drug. My productivity gurus are my parents, all my other role models from my family and circle of friends, and last, but not least Goethe, when he said

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldnes has power, genius and magic in it. Begin it now.

If that isn't a rally cry to action?

I am biased and I don't care

But Michael Randall is my productivity guru. ;)

Re: Productivity Guru?

My dad has always been my productivity role model. Not that I have always lived up to his example, but the way he managed our home, his work and every other aspect of life always has amazed me. He has all the other guru's in the above list beat, hands down. Thank dad!

Everyone should have such a

Everyone should have such a role model! If you have good advice to share I'm sure a lot of people would love to hear it. (-:

I voted for the flylady, but I am also inspired by Covey. I have also gained a lot of insights from Julie and Cheryl (will someone tell their fansites about this poll? I'm beginning to feel bad).

Not sure I'm left brained enough for Dave Allen though....

I don't watch tv these days, but once in a blue moon I actually find shows like "Neat" on HGTV (Canada) relaxing. What is the name of the organizational expert who hosts it? A little off topic, but I believe home/office organization and Feng Shui can go a long way to fostering productivity. Although every now and then creativity can be stimulated by disorder.

Hellen Buttigieg

Jennifer, the host of Neat is Hellen Buttigieg; her Web site is She has great style and isn't afraid to put the screws to homeowners when they're waffling about cleaning things up. Her accent doesn't hurt either. ;)

Hellen Buttigieg as Productivity Guru

Thanks for the kind words Jennifer. I didn't realize I had an accent - where are you from?


I like Buttigieg.


I use a "blend" of Flylady at home and Dave Allen stuff at work. It's probably also worth mentioning that I am a big fan of David Reynolds' Constructive Living therapy which is very productivity-oriented.

In a way, it's a "homebrew" system, but I don't have the nerve to take credit for basically ripping off several gurus instead of just one.

Lazy Guru

Less is More and More is Less! Fred Gratzon has the key:

Buddha as a productivity guru

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.


Experience is something you get just after you need it.

I seem to be in the minority

I seem to be in the minority here but I voted for Julie Morgenstern. Her books got the rest of my life organized to accomplish anything. Plus the kidnergarten way of thinking fits me much much better.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be - Douglas Adams

Et moi, et moi

Really, I've been self-organizing forever. I'd been finding ways to personalize store-bought systems forever, until I found the hPDA (thank you Merlin) and this site (so wonderful). Until this February, I was using Dayrunner or Daytimer pages (whichever were on sale in the store that week in July when I bought them), with many pages of the set thrown out and single sheets with the info I needed added in, in a 7 ring zip fake-leather binder, classic size, that my husband had gotten as a freebie at his job in 1997. I also had a small electronic address book that I had gotten as a freeby for subscribing to Lire in 1996. They were doing the job, but they were not ideal, and they were always missing stuff I wished they had. I've chucked both out.

I am circa-fied and diyplanner-fied. My system is not profoundly different than before, but it's implemented differently. Spot data for projects, telephone numbers, dates, are in the hPDA when needed, in dedicated file folders when not. The hPDA is my satellite and the Classic planner now remains on my desk. Much lighter. There are also tweeks that I've incorporated from several systems that I've read about all over, some from 43 folders, some from GTD, but for the most part, even my implementation of those is hybridized. My system is the best it's been, ever, and I'm the most organized I've been, ever, but I've always been pretty organized. I've always written shit down, because my brain is not reliable for scheduling/date, students' names and stuff. Work stuff, history dates, history analysis, concepts and stuff, I never forget. Info gets in, info never leaves. Birthdate is heard, birthdate is forgotten.

Hi! Good site


Hi! Good site, and realy has more information! I bookmark your site, best greetings and Good Luck!


definitely 'Other' for me

A former boss is my productivity mentor.

I've attempted David Allen's system - sorry I can't call him Dave Allen as that was the name of a delightfully risque Irish comedian.

Anyway, I set up projects, actions, someday/maybes and whatever else only to discover I had a wonderful system - but I'd missed heap of time critical deadlines in the time it had taken to set it up and maintain it.

In my work most project need to be completed within 1 to 5 days from when I receive the projects. I discovered that one of the biggest blockers to getting the projects done was breaking them down into actions.

I've found that topic-streaming my week suits me best (at least that was what my former boss called it). Essentially I treat my calendar like a student timetable and allocate my time based upon the major groups of work I have to get done.

I use something a little closer to project management for my personal aspirations

Flylady...sort of

I picked Flylady even though I don't follow her specifically anymore. As a single mother working full-time and homeschooling my then high school daughter I was VERY disorganized in several aspects of my life. Flylady gave me a framework to hang everything on with her routines. However, once I got the idea of the thing, all the emails got irritating and I disengaged. From that point I modified the routines to fit my situation. I still don't feel like I have enough control of my life to plan very far ahead, but at least I'm keeping up with the day-to-day.

Covey is the other guru I've adapted from. I love Cheryl Richardson's pep talks, but I really wouldn't view her as "productivity" or "guru".

Mary Ann

I picked Mom

I picked Mom because at an early age she taught me the lesson of "do it now" before "it" gets out of control or overdue. Kind of like a combination of FlyLady's 15-minutes-a-day-keeps-you-from-having-an-eight-hour-stash-and-dash and David Allen's if-it-will-take-less-than-five-minutes-just-do-it approaches. Thanks to her my room was always clean in college, I think I only ever missed one deadline throughout all of BA/MA/PhD and my email inbox is always close to empty. That gets the important stuff done. It's the other stuff that isn't a priority for me but I feel compelled to do nonetheless (like remember birthdays) that I lose track of pretty quickly.


Who ever inspires you ( or what method) it's important not to get distracted by the organization process while forgetting about your work/life commitments ( for which you wanted to get organized in the first place). The solution I have found is to limit the organizing process (including reading/searching on the net) to 30 to 60 minutes a day.