I actually started reading the third book in the middle of reading the 4-Hour Work Week when I needed a break from the madness!
Another ‘normal’-sized book (8.9 x 5.5) with 257 pages counting the Appendix and published in 2010, this looked like a nice solid read, hopefully packed with useful (and timely) information. I was already getting into the habit of using Google Calendar and Gmail, but there were hiccups and headaches that I hoped the book could help me overcome.
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
Sadly this book didn’t turn out to be the distraction I had hoped it would be. There was a lot of background about the author and his own personal struggles, which while I do empathize with, really weren’t what I was expecting in a book about organization. Interestingly his girlfriend’s battle with terminal cancer is mentioned nowhere in the bookflap or in the product description on Amazon, yet is prevalent issue through the entire book.
On top of that, I knew Douglas was a Google employee (‘former Google employee’ actually, but that’s sort of like saying ‘former Marine’), but I had hoped the book would cover how Google applications could work with my life… not how awesome they are and how I should work my life around them.
The idea of putting all of my information out ‘into the cloud’ is great in theory. Except my workplace uses Outlook and won’t let me sync up, I’m leery of handing over personal data to anyone much less my personal data en masse, and the Google products I’ve used so far certainly aren’t the rock of ages that he keeps making them out to be.
Beyond pointing out how useful Google’s tools are and how my life would be so much easier if I just uploaded all of my information to the net, the book does contain some tips and tricks for using the Google Search tools. He also provides a list at the end of a wider variety of online tools you can use to organize, as well as short reviews of each program.
Hidden on page 215 is the cheatsheet of the 21 Principles of Organization that he covers in the book. The list is definitely worth a read, although I’m not as fond of the earlier long prose versions.
In short, it’s not a book I’m going to reread and not one I’d recommend to others. There just isn’t enough gold at the end of the digging, so it’s back to the library to find something else!