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ProjectsPlus for Outlook

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  • ProjectsPlus for Outlook

    GTDers who use Outlook and need a project planning tool that is more sophisticated than what native Outlook offers, but not as robust as Microsoft Project, might consider the new ProjectsPlus from Franklin-Covey. It appears that FC has disaggregated some of the key components of their PlanPlus Outlook add-in so that they can now be purchased and used separately. This is good news. PlanPlus has always had a reputation for exacting a performance hit and included many components I didn't use yet had to put up with (the Goals, Roles, Weekly Compass, another note-taking function and ABC prioritized daily task lists) in order to get the project planning capability.

    ProjectsPlus allows me to build a multi-level hierarchical, outline-type structure of tasks and sub-tasks for each project, and features tabbed pages for switching between projects.

    I was running PlanPlus version 4 (the latest is version 5) but uninstalled it when I decided to install Avidian Prophet--yet another Outlook add-in--to use as a CRM and job monitoring tool. I reasoned that Outlook likely would not stand up to the load imposed by both Prophet and PlanPlus.

    I've been using ProjectsPlus for two weeks now, along with Prophet and Clear Context, and find that the performance on my aging single processor system is quite acceptable. It takes just a few seconds to load the first time I open it, but only a second or two thereafter. And since ProjectsPlus sits within Outlook--and ProjectsPlus tasks are native Outlook tasks--I can date them and they will show up on the To-Do bar and I can assign an Outlook category and/or a ClearContext Topic.