Franklin Covey Planner Software

Discussion in 'General Palm OS' started by Nismo96, Feb 26, 2002.

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  1. Nismo96

    Nismo96 Loves his boy

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    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. Jen Edwards

    Jen Edwards 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.
  3. Nismo96

    Nismo96 Loves his boy

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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. Jen Edwards

    Jen Edwards PocketGoddess

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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.
  5. Nismo96

    Nismo96 Loves his boy

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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. Palm Addict

    Palm Addict 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...
  7. LaManchaDQ

    LaManchaDQ Constantly Tilting

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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. Nismo96

    Nismo96 Loves his boy

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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?
  9. Jen Edwards

    Jen Edwards PocketGoddess

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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!
  10. Jen Edwards

    Jen Edwards PocketGoddess

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    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.
  11. Palm Addict

    Palm Addict Palm Evangelist

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    What's the title of the book?

    Am I overlooking something?


    Couple more questions...
    1. How do you factor Q2 plannig into your system?
    2. How do you prioritize daily tasks? Do you use the puny 1-5 system? Something else? Nothing?
  12. Jen Edwards

    Jen Edwards PocketGoddess

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    Getting Things Done by David Allen-- you'll most likely find it in the business section of the bookstore. ISBN 0670899240

    The diagram was too big to attach, and I forgot to change my message accordingly. Try here http://www.davidco.com/gtt_template.php3?ID=134

    I use the puny 1-5 system, I don't really think that it's that bad. Q2 planning is part of that weekly review I mentioned, when I look at the big picture and plan out my tasks for the week accordingly.
  13. EMancusi

    EMancusi Mobile Enthusiast

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    Hi, all. So happy I found this board!

    Three months ago, I bought The 7 Habits from FranklinCovey to read on my Palm, almost as an afterthought -- and it was WONDERFUL!!! Like a flashlight shining on the chaos of my busy life as working Mom... I've been applying it throughout my family, bringing stress levels down, and even my 11 year old understands the basics of Mission statement (eg "My room is the place where I and my pet iguana sleep: therefore the tons of sports equipment I own and use can sleep in the garage in its gear box etc " :>:>)

    So two days ago, my Franklin Covey Printboy Deluxe arrived. I had dreams of ever greater organization, and was thrilled to make my IR printer spit out a spreadsheet. But alas! When I tried to print To-Do's it failed, creating the dreaded Fatal Error...

    I am trying to figure out if PrintBoy Deluxe only prints ToDo's from the Frankling Covey planning software? While I am waiting for a reply from the software developer, does anyone else print out to do lists and if so, with what software? I think I'll go check out Shadow now...thanks for the tip!
  14. ETF

    ETF Mobile Enthusiast

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    I've been using FPS since Nov 2000, and am still using it as it is the centre-piece of how I work during the day.

    Before getting my first Palm (Nov 1998), I was a committed Paper based planner user. When I got my Palm, I figured I had to go cold turkey, and switch 100%, or not at all. Mostly, I was happy with the switch, but the things I missed were the daily planning process of organizing my day by creating my to-do list for that day, and the filing of notes on the day they occured. I really missed the two-step prioritizing of my to-do's, firstly by letter (A, B or C), then by number.

    When I found the FPS software, it was like having an old friend back, I could use my old planner based system with my new electronic pal - and I was hooked.

    The thing I really like about this software is that it has both the Desktop and Palm pieces - I haven't found anything else that does this yet.

    Having said that, the FPS software does have some limitations. I'm happy to work around them, because what I'm gaining in my familiar planning methodolgy outweighs the negatives. I'd recommend downloading the trial version and giving it a go - especially if you're new to the Franklin-Covey approach. It has wizards that will walk you though the planning process, and you can always adapt the output to other software if you decide not to keep FPS.

    My current setup is: FPS for Calendar, Prioritized Task List, Mission and role statements. I use ShadowPlan for my Long Range Goal list (after I'd used the FPS wizard to discover them). And I use Daynotez for my daily notes as I can categorize each one.

    FPS has just released version 8.0 which comes bundled with a program called Truesync. I'd suggest caution with Truesync as some users have experienced problems with it - it's not part of the core FPS, it's an added extra (I haven't loaded it yet, I'm waiting for more good user feedback, or an updated version).

    Hope that helps - ETF
  15. Nismo96

    Nismo96 Loves his boy

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    I've just recieved my copy of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peoplein the mail. It's time to start on that road. I'll worry about the software in a couple of days.
  16. ETF

    ETF Mobile Enthusiast

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    I've just been re-reading my copy of 7 habits, and I came to realize something - Covey teaches the benefits of planning on a WEEKLY basis, not a daily basis (although some re-working is often required on a daily basis).

    The FPS has a "wizard" to help you do this, but I don't really find it useful as you can't get an overall picture of your roles/goals & your week ahead all at once (there is an example of how this should look in the book, & I suppose FC sell a paper based version).

    With this in mind, I've been playing with Bonzai. I've setup my Roles as Tasks, then my long range goals under each role also as a task. Then I have several todo items under each goal. From Bonzai I could look at what I'd set as targets for the coming week, and then link to todo's for that week, or setup appointments. The benefit of this is I get a % complete for each of my long range goals, and each of my roles - and it maintains the "top-down" approach of First-things-first.

    You could also do this with Shadowplan, infact Shadow will let you link to an appointment. However, I'm a desktop junkie, and the Bonzai desktop is much better at this stage.

    Just some more ideas....

    - ETF
  17. rickr

    rickr Newbie

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    Do you also use the Franklin Desktop? I upgraded to Version 8, lots all my outlook Data by syncing with Starfish, new application with Franklin.
    ToDo is very important as in the calendar. Other not as important. However, I have 8 years worth of data using the Franklin Planner software. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Rick
  18. Kudzu62

    Kudzu62 Newbie

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    IT is cool to find some people interested in the FPS system. I am working on integrating it also. I loved the books, and was excited about the software ( I too bought my Prism from them for that reason), but I too found that it had limitations that I found very frustrating (It is very hard to sort in the long-range planning app, for instance). I find it interesting the workarounds others have used.

    I use Manana as a Master Task List, and move things from it to the To-Do list easily. I use Bonsai for Long-Range Planning and Goal setting and I love it, but I can only link to To-Do's, not Appointments (Which I hope changes in the near future!). I tried Shadow plan but I didn't like the GUI nearly as much as Bonsai. I use ActionNames for my daily calendar. I set it to only show To-Do's for today, then all my undated To-Do's go into Manana which I review weekly.

    The truth is, I just wish that FranklinCovey would update their software for the handheld. I wish there was a way for them to retain the A-B-C structure without using a proprietary ToDo List. I think the software has such awesome potential, but is plagued with frustrating little annoyances that took the joy out of using it, for me. But I would much rather use their integrated system if it was fine-tuned. Maybe when you're focusing on effectiveness you don't worry too much about efficient software (haha).

    Anyway, nice to read all the posts. I'll check back regularly to glean info from fellow users.



    :mad:
  19. jim37

    jim37 just me, no title

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    I have owned a few Palms in the past and recently upgraded from a Palm IIIc to an M515. The M515 I purchased was a Franklin Covey branded box, so it came with the FC version 8 software package, desktop, etc.

    I absolutely hate the desktop and don't use any of the software. I'm in the process now of reverting back to the standard Palm desktop.

    Maybe the most organization I can stand is the Palm itself ???

    Jim
  20. jim37

    jim37 just me, no title

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    Some of my data didn't make the transition from the IIIc to the M515.

    1. Telephone numbers longer than 15 characters are truncated. Before anybody wonders about the overly-long telephone numbers, let me say that I use the "Other" category to put the department name in the phone number in certain instances. For example "Tech Support 800-555-1212" now appears as "Tech Support 80". This is evidently the fault of the FC desktop. I have tested this theory by restoring the missing info into the M515, doing a sync, and checking the FC desktop. The phone numbers are still truncated.

    2. The title field does not carry over to the FC desktop. Thankfully, they all migrated to the M515.

    So.... I'm now in the process of comparing every single contact record between the IIIc and the M515.

    Argh!!!!

    Jim
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