Getting Things Done for Teens

My children are off to college in the Fall and so my mind has been on what will help them succeed. I have always liked GTD and so I read the recent publication of Getting Things Done for Teens. The book does a good job of using a voice that it is not too young and not too formal. The GTD advice is laid out as any other GTD tutorial and is supported with some useful illustrations. I don't mind the two cartoon characters that are used to distinguish the impulsive and the steady centers of the brain. Monkey brain and Owl brain are useful mnemonics, but, perhaps, a little childish.

The book is composed of 3 sections. The 1st section is the GTD framework. The 2nd section is life planning with GTD. The 3rd section is troubleshooting with GTD. The 1st section is required reading. The 3rd section is useful, but its advise could have been rolled into the 1st section. The 2nd section is a mistake. Few American teens are mature enough to use the advise in this section. The 2nd section adds a considerable page count to the book's total. And here is the rub; the book is useful, but at 288 pages it is 200 pages longer than most American teens are willing to read without a clear & present need.

I don't doubt that the authors know their audience. I suspect they would agree that a shorter book is more likely to be read than a longer one. So why included the 2nd section at all? I suspect it has more to do with selling a standard sized product than helping the teens. My advise is to tear the book into front and back parts and then throw away the back part.