Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done for Teens by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace

Marshmallow has always been a curious little bunny. She has always been eager to learn about the world as well as about how our minds work. Recently she got her paws on a book for teens, written by David Allen, the David Allen, of GTD fame, together with Mike Williams and Mark Wallace, about the way our minds work and about how to build a fulfilling life in a world full of distractions: Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World. Though she is not yet a teen, Marshmallow found this book extremely interesting and eye-opening. Below is her review of this neat little book, perfect for teens and tweens as well as the adults in their lives.

Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.
Marshmallow reviews Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like how-to books or books about time management, organization, and self-improvement, or if you want to understand how your mind works and how to take control of your life, then this might just be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Overview: Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World is non-fiction, and it aims to teach the reader literally how to take control of their work and/or life. There are two main characters in the book: Cortland, an owl who represents the prefrontal cortex, and Myggy, a monkey who represents the amygdala. Like the prefrontal cortex, Cortland is slower and more thoughtful than Myggy. Myggy, on the other hand, is quick and makes decisions without a lot of thought. The book starts with an overview of how these two parts of the brain help us make decisions, and then introduces the basic features of the Getting Things Done perspective on living a life.

Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about "open loops", the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about what you need to do about “open loops”, the things your mind feels like it needs to keep track of unless you resolve the issue about them or at least record them somewhere so you know you will get back to them later.

The quick summary is that the book helps teenager bunnies organize their work and how to get their lives in order. It does this by teaching the reader how to deal with “stuff” in their minds. Some examples of “stuff” that one might need to deal with are classes, homework, bullying, college applications, and parent pressure.  

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book for bunnies that want to be better at organizing their life or work. There is a lot of information and useful advice packed into the book. But it does not get boring because the tone is light and humorous. Scenarios used to explain things are all realistic. There are helpful graphs, for example about stress and about things teens worry about. Also there are pictures on basically every other page. The illustrations of Cortland and Myggy, especially, are everywhere and keep reminding you of how your mind works in different ways.

There are also inspiring quotes sprinkled throughout. One of the quotes I really liked is:

“I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.”

Emma Watson
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the "someday / maybe" list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.
Marshmallow is reading Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace. Here she is looking at the page about the “someday / maybe” list, a list that you can put things that you want to do some day but maybe it is not yet time to work towards them.

Though Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World has ideas that can be useful for everyone, I think it might be best for 9 and up. One of the reasons is because Myggy sometimes uses informal (and for some, inappropriate) words, but also because the methods might confuse younger bunnies. And younger bunnies might have fewer things that they can control in their lives and fewer things to have to worry about. In the other direction, Sprinkles told me that she thinks the book could help grownup bunnies, too. She thinks that this book does a great job explaining how the mind works and how this knowledge can help us organize our work so that our lives become much more manageable and enjoyable.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.
Marshmallow rated Getting Things Done For Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World, written by David Allen, Mike Williams, and Mark Wallace 100%, and recommends it highly.

Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz

Caramel read Only One You by Linda Kranz at school a year ago. When the school principal came to their class meeting this week to read it to the whole class, Caramel decided he would like to review it for the blog. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz.
Caramel reviews Only One You by Linda Kranz.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, tell me about this book.

Caramel: It’s about these fishies. The parent fishies are talking about being independent.

S: Yes, I think it is these parent fishies that are giving some life advice to the young fish before he sets off for the wide world.

C: Yes, the young fish is named Adri.

S: So what kinds of advice does Adri get?

C: “Always be on the lookout for a new friend”, “Look for beauty wherever you are and keep the memory of it with you.”

S: Those sound like good advice.

C: There is more! “Blend in when you need to. Stand out when you have a chance.”

S: Hmm, that is also good advice.

C: There is still more!

S: Well, we can’t just write the whole list of advice here and finish the whole book!

C: Yes we can!

S: That would not be so nice Caramel. Bunnies and their parents should be able to discover what is in the book on their own.

C: But we did give away only a few.

S: Well, here is one that I liked a lot: “Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day.”

Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: "Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day."
Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: “Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day.”

S: Do you know what that means?

C: Reflect? I know what reflect means. And this means find time to think about your day a bit.

S: I think you got the gist of it!

C: And I like this one: “If something gets in your way, move around it.” The fishies are moving in a straight line and someone puts in a fishing line breaking their path. The fishies just move around it and continue their way.

Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: "If something gets in your way, move around it."
Caramel is reading Only One You by Linda Kranz: “If something gets in your way, move around it.”

S: Yes, I love how the fishies are so cute and colorful!

C: They look like they’re made of stone. Like rock art. Actually I think that the background in the pictures, when you see the ocean, is not hand-drawn. I think the backgrounds are real photos, and then someone drew colorful rock-art fishies in the front.

S: Hmm, that is very interesting! Linda Kranz, the person who created the book is a rock art expert. And by rock art, I do not mean the ancient version where people made art on rock walls or created art by putting various rocks together, but the newer one where people paint individual rocks. And it does really look like each of the fishies is an individually colored pebble.

C: There is one that looks like The Starry Night by Van Gogh! Another fish looks like it has multiple suns on it!

S: They are very colorful and distinct all of them. And the advice is really good too. I think we can read and reread this book several times and zero in on a different piece of advice every time.

C: Yes.

S: So let us just read it again. But before that, give me three words that describe this book!

C: “Colorful”. Hmm, and there is wisdom in it…

S: So maybe “wise”?

C: Yes. And … “mixed”. There are a lot of ideas and a lot of different types of art in it. And fishies!

S: Yes, those are all true Caramel. Let us wrap this up then.

C: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!

Caramel loved reading Only One You by Linda Kranz, and recommends it to all little bunnies!
Caramel loved reading Only One You by Linda Kranz, and recommends it to all little bunnies!