Review: Matt Cornell’s “Where Did My Day Go” E-book

Review: Matt Cornell’s “Where Did My Day Go” E-book

Summary: A quick review of Matt Cornell’s new e-book on establishing a productive methodology.

Matthew Cornell (aka “Idea Matt”) has been around for as long as I’ve been blogging, and was one of the few people I knew of who was blogging actively about workflow in a way that was practical and matter-of-fact. He sent me a copy of his new e-book, Where the !@#% did my day go? a few weeks, which I dutifully forgot about until he gently prodded me again a few days ago. Flushed with shame, I read through the book’s brisk 23 pages and found it to be an excellent description of a methodology that’s quite compatible with Getting Things Done. I forgot about the ebook again for a few days while I did other things. I finally read through it again, and my impression still stands: this is a neat handbook that covers the issues facing productivity-challenged individuals, with suggested workarounds and practical examples. At $27 for the download it’s not the cheapest e-book around, but the information-per-dollar ratio is high. This same 23 page book could have been expanded, in the hands of a less scrupulous author, into hundreds of pages of anecdotal credibility-boosting side references of a suspicious nature. This e-book is happily free of such crud.

I’ve been writing about similar subjects over the past few years myself, and have more of a reckless approach to productivity, so stylistically (if there is such thing as having a “productivity style”) I may not be the book’s target audience; I like productivity that makes alarming hissing noises and sometimes goes boom. By contrast. Matt’s book is quite reasoned and practical, and is designed to walk you through the process of getting organized and–most importantly–feeling a productive sense of accomplishment. If you are just starting to wrap your head around becoming a more productive individual then this is a great way to quickly get up to speed on the major obstacles you’ll face. On the other hand, if you’ve already been following the whole GTD/productivity scene for a couple of years, you may not find as much material that you haven’t seen elsewhere in some form or another. If that’s the case, the real utility of this ebook would be as a great introduction for your loved ones and/or sluggardly coworkers, so they too can experience the wonders of being more productive! I believe Matt uses this book and materials like it in his own workflow consultancy practice; in fact, he does have a package where $95 gets you the ebook and a 25-minute consultation. It’s a good idea if you’re serious about getting started. In fact, I should totally steal this idea for my design practice…thanks, Matt! :-)

» E-BOOK: Where the !@#% did my day go? » AUTHOR: Matt Cornell » PAGES: 23 » PRICE: US$27.00


  1. matthewcornell 11 years ago

    Thanks so much for your review, David. I hope your readers like hearing about my book.

    Regarding its value for seasoned GTD’ers, I’d argue that they’re one of the groups that would actually get a big boost from it. One of the biggest GTD complaints I’ve heard (and have experienced personally, and seen with clients) is “action list overwhelm” – 100s of items that, even with contexts, are discouragingly hard to work through. To be certain, getting one’s workflow together and having those lists in the first place is a huge time management enabler (it’s why I love my work). But I’ve found that daily planning (updated to work with modern methods) is the final step that can make someone’s practice really gel.

    Cheers, and thanks again,


    Matthew Cornell | | 413-626-3621 | 34 Dickinson Street, Amherst MA 01002 |

  2. Rok Mejak 11 years ago

    From the review your this book looks promising. I am thinking of buying it for my self. Just have to wait few more days to get my salary.

    @ Mathew I hope your book is really as good as it looks.

  3. matthewcornell 11 years ago

    Hi Rok. Naturally *I* think it’s as good as it looks. And David wouldn’t mislead. The TOC (follow the link) describes it pretty well. Email me if you want more detail.

  4. CricketB 11 years ago

    I’ve given up asking myself that question. It’s on the post-Christmas list. “You did WHAT?” also looks interesting.

  5. matthewcornell 11 years ago

    Good luck, CricketB. Note that the method helps with Tranquility, though I’m not sure about Chastity ;-)

  6. Gary Constantine 11 years ago

    Interesting title.  I ask the same question regardless if I have produced very little or have produced the work of 10 in a single day.

    I’ll likely pick up this book at some point. I find the key to optimizing your day begins with just keeping the idea of optimizing your day in the frontal lobe of your brain.  When you do so, you create the will, the will becomes the deed (the list/s), the deed becomes your destiny (the results, with wording credit there to Deepak Chopra….)

  7. matthewcornell 11 years ago

    I like your points, Gary. I wrote the guide to address both of them. First, feeling good about your accomplishments is easier when you a) plan them out with care, and b) see them done at the end of the day. (Or if not, then having consciously done something else.) Second, play is what I call a “focus anchor” during the day, bringing it, as you say, to the forefront of the mind.

    I think you’d enjoy reading it.

  8. Federico Figueredo 10 years ago

    This will be short and to the point.

    I recently spent close to 15% of my last paycheck buying the bundle that Mr. Cornell is selling at his webpage (the one that includes this book, plus the “You did WHAT?” book.) I was a bit (a big bit) concerned about the purchase because: a) it’s quite the large part of my income and b) I have some issues with money.

    I’m at page 9 of the “Where did my day go?” book. I can tell you that this material is PACKED with information. I’ve suffered pages upon pages of padding before (even in otherwise excellent books) but fear not the 23 page length for there is much juice to be found here.

    So, of this you can take one out of two things:

    a) I want to justify my purchase and feel good about myself and thus I barge into people’s blogs and post positive comments about some eBook.


    b) Realize that if someone that had to pay $130 US$31 for this book and is so excited after having read less than 50% of it tells you to *pay attention* to this AND takes the time to barge into people’s blogs and write positive comments about some eBook… you should listen.

    I’ll let you all pick the one you like :D

    ED NOTE: I have edited the $130 to US$31 on Federico’s behalf. The bundle is US$31, but in Federico’s country his local currency converts to the $130 figure.

  9. matthewcornell 10 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing, Federico! I’m happy you found it well worth the value. I wrote it to be concise and practical, and your review is gratifying. To others reading here, the price for the bundle is $31, not $130.

    And no, it’s not explanation a) ;-)


  10. Federico Figueredo 10 years ago


    Dear lord! I forgot to properly explain. Sorry gents. The price I paid is $130 **MY CURRENCY** (which is not USD)

    The price for the bundle is a mere 31 USD which I think is great for the two books. In particular, I found “you did WHAT?” to be very refreshing and will even say that I see myself having loads of fun with several of the experiments.


  11. CricketB 10 years ago

    Which brings up an idea for the companion book:
    Where the !@#$ Did my Money Go?

    That’s not to say this was a bad use of the money. It sounds like an investment with a very high rate of return. I suspect many of the questions, tips, tools and general awareness would carry over to managing ones money, and perhaps managing any asset.

  12. matthewcornell 10 years ago

    I love it, CricketB. The “small steps” approach I use in You Did WHAT? would be particularly applicable. Re financial applications of Where the !@#% did my day go?, it would be in the execution of budget improvements, such as an project to eat out less, say one fewer time a month, with a checklist to track success. Thanks for your comment.