Getting Things Done for Teens

David Allen // Back

Book in 3 Sentences

  1. Gain control of everything by using the five steps - Capture, Clarify, Organise, Reflect and Engage.
  2. Our minds aren’t as smart as you might think - we can only hold so much in them, get stuff out of your head and into a system you can trust.
  3. When you have a system you can trust, it frees up both time and also removes stress since you aren’t constantly worrying about something you might have forgotten.


If I'm going to be honest, I don't think it has changed me as much as it should have. I've gained some insights to how our brains work but there is sort of a lack of necessary steps to take in terms of doing the "Engage" phase. But again, I might be a pit picky and just didn't act upon what the book was supposed to tell me. However, I did find the idea of 'capturing' stuff into a system where we can then act on in the future.

How I Discovered It

I became extremely embedded into productivity and just getting my life sorted out in general. So after watching countless hours of content nearly every single video was basically explaining how most of the principles they got were from the book (not exactly the teens one). I did buy the original book beforehand, but it was more catered to an audience who are more busy and usually working. I read up to most of the important stuff in the main book but still I felt more comfortable reading this version because of some of the illustrations and relatability.

Who Should Read It?

Anyone who is aiming to be organised to be honest. This could range from professionals, freelancers, students and pretty much anyone who makes the time to do so. BUT keep in mind this version is for the teens and not the adults. If the adults would want to integrate this methodology, they should read the updated and more suited to adults version. On the other hand, I would point out that there wasn't much difference between the main book and this teenager edition. It literally just had some cartoons and was more of a "Teenager" tone.

How It Impacted Me

  • Started using my to do list much more often.
  • Implemented the "2 Minute Rule" in my day to day life - if a task takes less than 2 minutes, just get it done so other tasks don’t rack up and end up taking hours.
  • Added a someday list to capture things I can put on hold to do on another day.
  • When writing tasks in my todo list, I found it better to clarify it enough so that my future self can look back and understand it properly.

Some Quotes

Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.

You can do anything, but not everything.

Use your mind to think about things, rather than think of them.

Getting Things Done for Teens