View Full Version : Anyone using Franklin Covey Planning software? With Palm?
06-15-2004, 07:46 PM
Although I'm not crazy about the A, B, C prioritizing of the Franklin Covey system, I do like the idea of including some higher altitude planning as part of the overall planning/organizing process. To this point, I've got GTD very well implemented -- definitely black belt -- but I've been doing the higher altitude thinking either ad hoc or with some other system, such as Best Year Yet (which I went through with a personal coach, along with a "Life Plan" program). All very helpful, but I thought I would play around with the Franklin Covey Planning Software for Windows.
I downloaded a trial version from the Franklin Covey website, but haven't spent much time with it. For now, I've only installed it on my home computer, to play around with, and haven't set it up to sync with my Palm (actually, a Treo 600).
Can anyone give me their opinions, evaluation, advice, etc. about this software? Has anyone used it with a Palm OS device? How was that?
Any information, suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated, especially as it relates to using the software with GTD. At this point, I'm using the Palm Desktop software (desktop and handheld components), though I've been using Agendus and ToDo Now as sort of "front ends" -- not really changing function, just using them for aesthetics.
06-15-2004, 08:04 PM
I got that software for Outlook quite some time ago.
I returned it.
The FranklinCovey web board was so full of customer software complaints, they shut it down. Then they cynically moved to a "pay for tech support" model. Do the math on that..
The Palm disasters were the worst.
They even deleted the old forum, and the thousands of helpful messages there even though many forumites BEGGED to put the info on their own personal servers.
People moved here, and this group appears to have died as well.
I hate to say it, but the software was junk, especially PlanPlus for Outlook.
06-16-2004, 06:57 AM
After an extended evaluation of both of the FC products, I removed the Plan Plus for Outlook software. It adds a lot of overhead to Outlook that outweighs the value of the few truly useful (for me) features. The Plan Plus Today view is an excellent improvement over Outlook's version, offering the ability to have your calendar, tasks, and e-mail in a single view.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work with IMAP - my company's standard. Strike One.
Plan Plus offers Power Notes - a print-to-file tool that allows you to capture any digital information (web pages, Word docs, mind maps, etc.) into a binder where you can organize your essential stuff. Michael Linenberger, in his most excellent Seize the Work Day, recommend this approach. Although that book is very Tablet PC oriented, it has a lot of good recommendations for any mobile computer user.
Unfortunately, Power Notes doesn't work in Plan Plus if you also have the Tablet Planner software installed and the apps cannot share a common store. Strike Two.
Plan Plus proved to be pretty fragile on my system and does not work and play well if you have other add-ins installed. I tested this by removing all of other add-ins. Solo, it works pretty well. Add other essential tools like Lookout, Anagram, and SpamBayes and things go "boom". Strike three.
Tablet Planner, because it is a standalone application that syncs with Outlook, does not have these issues. I can only recommend it for folks using a Tablet PC though. There is a new version in beta testing right now called Plan Plus for Tablet PCs that sounds promising - hopefully information about it will be released soon. There has been no announcement of a new version of the Outlook add-in
I'm still deciding between keeping the Tablet Planner software or just using Tablet Enhancements for Outlook and staying focused on Outlook. The Power Notes feature and the ability to capture daily notes (general) and notes specific to a task or appointment in ink are what's causing my current indecision.
06-16-2004, 07:07 AM
Our office currently does not use Outlook. I use it on my laptop and on my home desktop, but not at the office. (We're trying to get the budget approved to change that, but for now . . .)
Anyway, I posted the question more about the separate Planning Software for Windows put out by Franklin Covey, that isn't an add-in to or overlayer on Outlook, but is a free-standing Windows program with conduits to sync to Palm.
I fiddled around with the Windows program at home last night, though I haven't by any means given it a full tryout. It has some nice features, but I'm not sure it handles categories in a way that ties in nicely to the way I've been doing it for GTD.
In any event, I would appreciate any further info or advice, and I will try to post further as I get a chance to play around more with the software.
06-16-2004, 08:56 AM
I used FPS for windows from the time it was Ascend 97 (1997) up till FPS version 8.1 --it was always full of bugs (palm was the worst) and it never performed quite up to snuff.
I continued with FPS software one year after learning about GTD --and then decided to cut the ropes., especially when the category structure your're questioning was put in place.
the only way to use categories is to adopt fc's categories as "roles" method because you only get 15 categories total --that's not 15 categories per palm app but 15 total ! So what happens if you decide to exceed the 15 category limit I wondered ? The first category that exceeds the 15 limit is erased and everything in it becomes "unfiled "
Bad software , very slow development and you have to accept the FC theology all the way to use it successfully . Oh and the contacts module had a bad history of randomly deleting contact info after a sync.
they said it was fixed but I didn't stick around to find out.
the previous posters comments about them shutting down their support forum and FC's behavior are all true.
Had they not destroyed the old forums , no one who spent 30 minutes or more browising them would even consider buying it.
06-16-2004, 09:14 AM
I was a big Covey fan, that also buy the software... result... lost money the first time, when they said they improved, I got the software again.... result I lost more money...
After that I decided to implement in other way using Plain Vanilla, and NEVER trust again in their software package.
In my opinion this was the worst software decision I have taken in years.
06-18-2004, 12:04 AM
I really, really enjoyed Covey's books, starting in the 90's and, like others, have tried various flavors of the PlanPlus software.
Each time I'm disappointed.
Each time I say, I won't do that again.
Here are my beefs with the software:
1. It uses a prorietary conduit for it's proprietary PalmOS Task list.
a. The conduit is fragile though. For instance, if you run Repair under Outlook, out goes the conduit, requiring a reinstall of the PP software.
b. You can't use Agendus, DtBk, etc., because nothing works with their TaskList (which I do like, but not so much that I don't want ot use anything else.)
2. It's HUGE. It adds a lot of overhead to Outlook. As with most Add-ins, you're bound to have trouble if you have very many.
3. Customer service is really, really poor.
As relates to GTD...
The only reason that I haven't deleted it yet is the Compass feature. I still use that as a way to keep me focused on the big picture during the week, and to review my week based on what I thought my priorities were the week before.
Other than that, I'm implimenting GTD with Bonsai and plain old Outlook.
Bottom line, as much as you're temped, don't bother.
06-19-2004, 07:28 PM
I tried the Franlin-Covey sotware a few times and was not happy with it either. It was very "buggy" and never worked well. I use Outlook and it meets my basic needs. Buyer beware with Franklin-Covey software.
06-20-2004, 05:59 PM
I have been a GTD user for a couple of years... but I am NOT a black belt.(long way from it) I have also been a Palm Desktop user... I do not use outlook at work or at home.
I also down loaded the demo version of FPS...version 8.2. I could not get it to sync with palm. I worked with their support group (did not pay)...but no luck ether.. I ASKED "was the problem because I down loaded a DEMO version"?... they assured me that it was NOT the problem...
Well.. to be brief..... I DID purchase the software at a local FC store...after understanding that I could return the software if I could not make it work...
Well... it installed fine!... and it linked just fine with my Palm T3...(THE DEMO WILL NOT SYNC WITH PALM!!) and I have not had problems... yes.. the software is a bit buggy..
and it does NOT work with anything else... I DO use SLAP for everything BUT the todo list... else the palm is plain...
YES>.. there are ONLY 15 catagories... PERIOD.... and I DO use the GTD catagories... @CPU, @work, @home, etc... I can get GTD concepts into all the apps.... so that is fine with me...
I TOO... wanted to work with FPS because of the high level planning and goal planning.. I like GTD.. and I am a strong support for GTD... in the day to day...stuff.... but the Vision, Goals, Values, notes, journal, planner, turbo notes are all value added to me...
BUT... I am not an expert.... I try to keep it very simple.... it seems to work for me... and I can live with the occasional bug...
I have no plans to go to Plan Plus..... even when my company goes to Outlook later this year...
I work on a Compaq evo 610 laptop..
Hope that helps :)
07-15-2004, 05:06 AM
PP for Windows XP is out. It is an upgrade of PP for Tablet PC (not PP for Outlook). Comments indicate the product is better, but of course not perfect. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planplus/messages
07-15-2004, 08:45 AM
this yahoo group requires membership so no immediate answers there unless you are inducted as a member by the moderator :?
07-15-2004, 09:10 AM
Franklin Covey promotes the idea of keeping everything in One System. They say that having one system will avoid information overload which can result into added stress. I can see that happening when someone like myself has 1 laptop, 2 computers at home, a PDA, 5 email accounts, fax, etc. to manage and filter all my info from.
Franklin Covey attempts to create this One System approach with PlanPlus which in my opinion is a good attempt that they didn't get it right.
I like the idea of simplifying my life to One System to manage. However, this begs the question whether there can really be One System for everything?
07-15-2004, 11:39 AM
In my case my ONE SYSTEM is MY INBOX...
I learn with GTD to keep everything in one system, the inbox is the key, it is not important how the information is coming, fax, email, one computer, work or personal, is how you process the information is the key.
When I start with GTD I was coming from Covey, and was trying to create a system using GTD, the same thing i did with covey, adapt Covey to my personal needs (Yes I tried the software but was too bad for my needs), therefore I try many software, many combinations, many things... At the end I got stuck with Mail (For apple) at home, Outlook Express (at work), Palm desktop, and my palm.
One of my greatest moments in my implementation of GTD was when I finally understand that GTD is not a system, is a technique to process information, yes we create systems that fit our styles, our needs, our own ideas… but we use at the end the process information technique David Allen present to us.
In this moment I am reading the book again… Especially after this discovery I decided that read the book was a most. I am every page more impress on how bad I was interpreting the system, how many details I was missing (This is the 5th time I read the book).
I try so hard to find the perfect system, I had a perfect system when I was doing 7 habits, therefore I read the book, find interesting the concept, especially; find the concept more flexible (my eternal critique to Covey System) and decided to implement the system. Yes I am getting more things done, but not because I have a better system (Ok after my discovery my system has been improved a lot, but before the system was worse) just because I have been processing the information better.
When I try to explain to the people at work, that I wish that they can put all my papers in my new inbox (they do not use inbox… suspicious…) they cannot understand, my boss look at me like I am crazy. When I explain my boss and give the book as a present for him the way I work, he just simply told me that better we work in his style, because his style is been working so good that do not need change… I try to apply GTD, yes I was more productive, but people do not understand…
If you use paper, outlook, entourage (outlook version for mac), plan plus, is not a difference, study how you are processing the information, that is the key…
In my case I use the PC version of the Palm desktop in my mac, because I like more the way ot looks, but its just a choice, my system is not better or worse because of that, what I have been changing is my processing technique, I have now a better GTD processing technique that is letting me capture better things, see much better my outcomes, and get more things done.
Good luck with plan plus, I know this is a little of topic, but I just want to point that MY ONE SYSTEM is MY INBOX...
07-15-2004, 11:54 AM
I used the Franklin Covey planner and looked at the software. I also frequented the website that was first on AOL and then on the Franklin covey website. I did not read one persons post over a span of a number of years,(and these were all Franklin Covey fans) who had a positive review of the software. Even after the website closed down I have read a couple of negative reviews. They do a lousy job with software.