A 'die hard' Franklin Covey PlanPlus user has found a replacement!

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by dceggert, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    It has been a long while now that I have been trying to find a replacement for PlanPlus. Version 7 from 2009 or so was so broken that using it daily (and yes, I have been trying to make it work since then until the middle of October 2018) has been excruciatingly frustrating.

    Why try to use it this long? In the words of one of my son's friends who saw my screen one day while I was planning on the couch..."wow, you have a calendar, task list, and notes all on one page? That would make planning and tracking my school assignments so much better..." Yes, exactly. PlanPlus turned Outlook into the prime planning and tracking system following the principles of the old paper style Franklin Planner which I admit I used extensively for years before venturing into this tablet universe. I plan, track, and coordinate several multi-million dollar projects at work, coordinate maintenance for the home and vehicles, track my family's schedules, coordinate charitable events, and, for the most part, live in a space defined by me using this system. It is ALL in there. As one can plainly see this tabletpc life is not all browsing internet sites and YouTube cat vids for some of us but I find the antics of the cats in the videos pretty funny too. An iPad would just not cut it in this environment. Also, for me, Outlook is NOT really an email platform but so much more.

    So since 2009 with the release of v7 the 'bugs' that were in v3, v4, v5, v6, were never fixed but the new ones in v7 became horrific. Data loss was rampant and lock-ups and screen freezes at the worst possible times became a regular occurrence. There is nothing, however, that has been a complete replacement with so much usability. My last set of data losses at the beginning of October 2018 were catastrophic and finally I had enough. I HAD to figure something out; and figure it out I have.

    The replacement system is now a combination of regular Outlook with the buggy PlanPlus system uninstalled and OneNote. Sounds lame but these are just the building blocks of the system. It is HOW they get used together that delivers the power.

    Outlook - I have this configured in calendar view showing 3 days; today and the next 2 for a look-ahead. One of the views available for the calendar is to show the Things to Do daily. That is turned on so my tasks show by date. It took awhile to get this to show just my planned tasks and not a bunch of stuff that was unwanted. I also show the month in this view at the same time. When I click on a day in the month view I get a list below it telling me what is scheduled for that day. This makes task planning a bit easier. This now replaces the calendaring part of the PlanPlus system. Where the tasks come from is later below.

    OneNote - this replaces the Daily Record area of PlanPlus for notes on assignments, discussions, follow-ups, decisions, etc. The capability here is light-years beyond PlanPlus. I have this showing in a split screen with Outlook so I now have all the pieces showing on one page like I did before but with expanded capability.

    Planning - I now have a section in OneNote for planning. It is divided up in all the categories I want to plan. Much more than a task list, these are goals and steps placed in logic order. I can also save files to these sections like Project files, Visio diagrams, and anything else I want to use for strategic plans. Task planning now becomes as easy as highlighting the text and using the OneNote feature to turn it into an Outlook task. Guess where it shows up...yup, in the task list. I can then move it to where it needs to go in Outlook and when it eventually gets checked off it gets checked off in OneNote as well!

    Decisions - even though most teams, by nature, are indecisive, decisions do occur once in a while. These can be flagged in OneNote for easy retrieval later.

    Other Tasks - using the notes page on the main screen in meetings, any follow up task or action can be easily (one click) changed into a task that gets added to the Outlook section. As these are completed and checked off they show as competed in the daily notes area if they are ever needed for evidence.

    Sorry this is so long but I was so excited I had to share. Yup, some of us are easily amused I suppose! I wish I had did this change over sooner. It was just too difficult to abandon the prospect of the PlanPlus system. Now I have a workable solution with expanded capability and I have not experineced a single lock up or lost any data in 2 whole months...gosh that is exciting!
     
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    This sounds very functional. I would love to see some screenshots and step by steps of it in use.

    I use OneNote to run a GTD organizing system, but I’ve never been an Outlook user and have also never been pleased with the calendar in windows. This is really why I run a lot of my business out of my phone- it’s easy to integrate up-to-date calendaring with todos and project lists. I’ve always thought of outlook as en email client but not really a calendering tool.

    Share more if you can.
     
  3. ORTOX

    ORTOX Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @dceggert It's been almost a year since your post (which I missed back when you posted it). How has your new system been performing? Is it still working well for you?
     
  4. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Yes, exceptionally so.

    The only downside is that OneNote does not increment when you click on a date in the calendar view. Actually, neither does the 'today' schedule either. Small price to pay for a system that doesn't lock up several times a day or blank out all my data.

    Here is my main schedule page now. 3 days shown. Monthly calendar displayed. My daily task list.

    [​IMG]

    Many of the tasks now come from links in a "Task" folder in OneNote where I can do all my planning and link them to Outlook tasks. The task list in Outlook is set to 'to do list' which then shows them on the day they are scheduled.

    I also have a Journal to replace the daily record. This is in OneNote as well in a section called "Journal." I have separate tabs for the months and a page for each day. This is all grouped by year. To start a page for a day you add a page and then I set up a shortcut to add the date with one click of the pen. I used to display it in a split screen like this:

    [​IMG]

    Now I just keep it as a separate full screen page I can toggle back and forth. The benefit is you get all of the editing abilities of OneNote, you can sketch, add pictures, link notes to tasks, etc.

    I should have cut PlanPlus out of my life way before the frustration became so overwhelming. Change is scary though.

    And to think that all this is right there waiting in office!
     
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  5. Cerberus

    Cerberus Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello Dan. I felt like a kindred spirit reading your post. I too have suffered long and hard at the hands of Franklin-Covey. Endless bugs. Two Beta testing campaigns. And every so often the promised land in the form of an upgrade version to buy. And then the move to an online platform. *sigh* My download folder tells a tale of years of blind devotion:
    upload_2019-11-7_10-58-51.png

    Just this week I was lamenting the lack of an alternative to PPO, and was wondering if I could somehow make another go of it. After all, it still loads with Outlook (sort of). And still works (sort of). But after another freeze-up I realized there was no hope. A google search brought me to your post. I'm going to follow your suggested methodology. Wish me luck. May have some questions along the way.
    Best Regards,
    Mark
     
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  6. ORTOX

    ORTOX Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @Cerberus Mark, looking forward to hearing about your quest here.

    @dceggert Thank you for sharing your workflow. I've been looking for a digital Franklin Planner for a long time with digital inking. It just doesn't exist. You're making me realize that I have the tools already available that can do what I'm looking for. I just need to take the time to set them up since I'm not going to find an off the shelf solution.
     

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