Franklin Covey Planner Software

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  1. #1
    Loves his boy
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    Default Franklin Covey Planner Software

    Has anyone here used the Franklin Covey software for the Palm? I'm looking for a good way to reorganize my life and get my priorities straight. The Franklin Covey approach looks intriguing to me. I just want to know the opinion of somesone who has used the software, or better yet, agrees with Dr. Covey's philosophy.

    Nismo96

  2. #2
    PocketGoddess
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    I've long used the Franklin Covey principles in ordering my life, but the F-C software is pretty sad. I'm not the only one who says so either, believe me. It hasn't been updated in a long while, though they did just release a new version that I haven't had the chance to try yet. I personally use ActionNames and Shadow to do all of my planning/organizing/calendaring, and I'd be glad to talk about how I've implemented them if you would like to talk further.

    But my advice is to run as far as you can from the F-C software as it stands now-- it is buggy, has sync problems, and the little modules don't integrate with each other very well. You'd probably be better off using some other tools to implement the system.
    http://www.pocketgoddess.com

  3. #3
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    I don't really know much about the Covey principles other than being able to quote one or two of the "7 Habits." I'd love to know more.


    Nismo96

  4. #4
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    Have you read First Things First or the 7 Habits book? That should get you started. In a nutshell the FC system is designed to help you create your own mission statement and clarify your values so that you can decide what is the most important to you. It doesn't matter how productive you are if you aren't getting anywhere because your ladder is leaning against the wrong building! Once you define your values, you also take a look at your roles: parent, spouse, employee, Sunday School teacher, self improvement, etc. and what you should be doing for each of those roles. Then you have weekly planning sessions to determine what you need to get done each week and schedule accordingly- what do you have to get done, what you should get done, and what you would like to get done.

    To complicate all just a bit, I use those principles for the "big picture" and the Getting Things Done or GTD system as espoused by David Allen-- he helps you learn how to set up your personal filing system and activity/project mangement lists to make sure that nothing at all slips through the cracks, and you aren't burdened by trying to remember it all. I've had some good success with it, though I am still implementing it fully for myself.

    As I said, Shadow and ActionNames are the two most important parts of my Palm system. I use Shadow for all of my activity planning and AN to get the best picture of what I need to do each day.
    http://www.pocketgoddess.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info. I've never heard of David Allen, but taking care of all my tasks is a BIG goal of mine. The other areas of organization such as goals, roles, and such that Covey speaks about seem to fit into what I want to work on. I'm gonna start looking for the Covey books right now.

    Nismo96

  6. #6
    Palm Evangelist
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    I, too, have used Covey principles for years, sometimes doing better than others. His approach (and that of Franklin, thus the merger a few years ago) is about personal leadership/life management, which I believe is a very solid appraoch. They've boiled it all down now to "What Matters Most," their new trademark appraoch.

    PalmGoddess' suggestion to read the two Covey books is a good one. They are both extremely insightful and practical (BTW, make a real commitment to implementing these principles; it takes a little discipline, time, and personal adjustment, but it's WELL WORTH IT, IMHO). I also echo her sentiments with regard to the FC software. I've had a couple versions of it, and presently keep the Mission Statement and Roles app in my Palm, but overall, the FC apps don't integrate well with each other and seem a bit clunky to me. I wish they would develop an app that would enhance the built in apps. The one thing I do like of theirs is the ToDo app, allowing you to "really" prioritize (Palm's 1-5 is a joke!) and assign FC "codes" to list items (i.e., done, forwarded, delegated, etc.).

    PalmGoddess: I'd love to know more about how you use AN and Shadow to implement FC principles. I use both, but I basically use Shadow for projects, etc. I have been asking iambic for some time now about either working with the FC db's or adding an A-B-C, 1-2-3 prioritizing feature to the ToDo list. Last I heard, they may add this feature in a future version. I love AN and figured if I could use the FC appraoch to prioritizing, it would really make it sweet. A friend recently got a refurbed m505 from FC w/their software and it looks like they've added a datebook and the ability to show a split screen, thus allowing you to see a day-at-a-glance--something I really like (I hate switching between apps to see my schedule and to dos, KWIM? I really like AN's capability to see ToDo's in other screenshots, too.) Anyway, I'd love to know more about your approach and how you use AN and Shadow, and I'd like to hear about David Allen and his GTD system. I have a pretty demanding schedule and a lot on my plate all the time, so I'm always trying to get better at prioritizing my life and focusing on "what matters most."

    Look forward to hearing from you...
    Mark A. Einersen
    Palm Pre w/Motorola H680 Headset < Palm Treo 755p w/Motorola H680 Headset < Palm Centro (wife) < pa1mOne Treo 650 w/Sony Ericsson Akono HBH-600 Headset < Palm Tungsten|E (wife) < Palm Tungsten|T3 w/Sena Case < Sony Clie NR70 < Palm m505 < Palm m105 (wife) < Palm Vx < Palm Pilot Professional w/2 MB upgrade < Palm Pilot Professional < Sharp Zaurus ZR-3500 < Casio Digital Diary SF-4000 < Casio Digital Diary SF-1000

  7. #7
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    I am a long-time user of Franklin Covey's What Matters Most (for Outlook) (I call it "FC WMM")

    Unlike Palm Goddess' experience, mine (with FC WMM) has been almost completely free of strife and trouble. The Palm end of the applications appear to be version 1.36. Whether that is the current version or not, I don't know.

    The only problem I have ever had with this set of tools is that the conduits don't get along with Intellisync. Howver, the benefits I am getting out of FC WMM so far outweigh that problem, I simply stopped using Intellisync.

    It integrates beautifully with Outlook and having it on my Palm allows me to extend my use of the FC system. I was never any good at any paper-based organization tool set.

    My recommendation to you is similar to what others have said here. Except for running away from FC tools, read the books first and see if you can buy into the concepts. Then take a look at some of the fantastic organizational tools like ActionNames and Datebk4 before you make the leap into the very costly FC WMM.

    FC WMM, as you have seen others comment on, is not the only way to get organized and certainly not the only way that you can live the 7 habits.

  8. #8
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    Well guys, I just bought the 7 Habits book and it's being shipped to me. I'm on the road to learning how the Covey system works. I appreciate all the info you guys have shared thus far. I'm using the demo of Action Names right now and I'm going to check out Shadow Plan as well.

    Palmgoddess, how do you use Shadow Plan as a To-Do style application?
    Read Phil 4:8

    My PDA Device History:
    PalmPilot Personal > PalmPilot Professional w/ 2mb Palm III upgrade > Palm IIIc > iPaq 3630 > Palm m500 > Palm m515 > iPaq 1910 > PalmOne Tungsten T3 > Dell Axim X30 > Palm TX

  9. #9
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    My system is a bizarre hybrid, in some ways, because the FC and GTD systems are diametrically opposed to each other. FC has you look at the big picture, your roles and goals, your values, what matters most, etc. GTD appreciates those concerns, while at the same time saying that it doesn't really matter what is most important if your inbox is overflowing to the floor, you can't find anything, and your life is generally in chaos.

    GTD really focuses on the details-- capturing *everything* in your management system so nothing falls through the cracks. While the book describes a paper-based system of lists, it can easily be adapted to a Palm-based system (there's a YahooGroup devoted to this topic, GTD_Palm). You make lists of all of your projects, personal and professional, and define next actions for every one. Only those actions go on your daily to do lists, to keep things uncluttered, hence Shadow for all of my planning, and ActionNames each day to tell me what to do (Shadow links items to the to do list and datebook, automatically or at my command). David Allen argues that a large amount of productivity is lost every day because we simply don't take the time to think about things, to make decisions, and to handle things. In other words, when you take something out of your inbox, it never goes back-- you either do it (if it's really quick), delegate it, or defer it to some other time. The attached diagram might make this a bit more clear.

    Strong emphasis is also placed on an effective personal filing and reference system. We are daily bombarded by information, some of which we don't need (trash), some of which we do-- but do we read it now and toss, or save for future reference, or just file it away knowing we can find it if we need it? He advocates the purchase of an electronic labeler, which I did- and the results have been amazing. I am much more likely to file things away and be able to find them later if I label the file right away.

    I've probably butched a lot of the concepts here-- GTD really is explained better in the book- but I hope you can get an idea of some of the basic principles behind it. I do all of my personal and life planning with the GTD system, with the understanding that during my weekly reviews (on Friday afternoons, as Allen suggests, to make sure that nothing important at work is left undone, to clear your mind for the weekend) I apply the FC principles as well-- am I neglecting any particular area of my life? Are there relationships that I haven't paid enough attention to? Those sorts of questions tie the big picture back to my detailed planning.

    Please ask questions if this isn't clear!
    http://www.pocketgoddess.com

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Nismo96
    Palmgoddess, how do you use Shadow Plan as a To-Do style application?
    I have several lists, such as Personal (health and money issues), Organization (my ongoing quest to unclutter my life), Classes (grad school), Work, Site (pocketgoddess.com), etc. Each one of those lists is set up to automatically link new items to the to do list (or I can do this manually). I put my projects in each list as a heading, with the appropriate tasks for each one underneath. I can assign due dates, etc. as needed, and all of that shows up in the to do item as well. I have separate lists for various areas of my life to make the big picture in AN look better-- each list sends its to dos to a specific category, for which I have set a default color. Work items are red, class items are yellow, financial stuff is green, etc.

    With this system I do all of my detailed planning in Shadow, but I use AN to see what I need to do each day. This prevents my to do list from being absolutely overwhelming, because items only show up when they are due. This also makes sure that nothing slips through the cracks, say if I have a long list in Shadow and I don't look at everything. Since it's all linked to my to do list automatically with the appropriate date (which I set when first entering the item in Shadow), it all works great. If I ever need to change a date because I can't get something done that day, I can change the date in ActionNames and that change will be reflected in Shadow because of the link.

    I highly recommend Shadow-- the developer is amazing, and is very responsive to user requests. Go get a trial and see if it works for you-- http://www.codejedi.com. This system will work whether you use DBK4 or AN, but I prefer AN personally because of its ease of use and awesome contact linking/history abilities.
    http://www.pocketgoddess.com

 

 

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