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PlanPlus for Outlook v5

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  • PlanPlus for Outlook v5

    I'm thinking about trying PlanPlus for Outlook v5. I currently use the GTD Add In and like most of the features, but I think there could be better ways to view Projects and their Next Actions. Seems there has been some past conversation with regard to this so I'd like to hear how some folks use and integrate the two. I've had issues with FC software in the past but have heard they've gotten better. I also hear the GTD Add In and PlanPlus v5 play well together.

    Finally, any one use PlanPlus for Windows and not PlanPlus for Outlook? Just curious as to the benefits for this if you're an Outlook user. I use Outlook extensively. Thanks... Bart

  • #2
    GTD vs Covey

    I think you will find that GTD and Covey (PlanPlus) are not the same. I would recommend one or the other but not both. You cannot as they say "serve two masters" I have found the GTD methodology much more efficient than the Covey system. I have tried both. The GTD add-in is really sufficient for your needs and the PlanPlus will only confuse the issue, let alone that they may not even work on the same platform.




    • #3
      I have to agree with epage46. They are two different "masters" with two different ideologies to daily planning.

      What we don't know is why you are drawn to the PlanPlus software? What is it that you like?

      While PlanPlus has gotten better with their implementation and integration, I don't think it compares to GTD for Outlook plugin.

      Now, I AM a fan of planning by your Mission Statement, Roles, Values, Goals, etc. I'm NOT a fan of FC idea that there are things you can ignore (small rocks) and have a high quality of life by JUST focusing on the big rocks.

      Sometimes, we have to focus on ALL OF IT - and I think the GTD plug-in does a great job.

      Here's what I've done: I use the Projects function and called one "Mission Statements". I then copied my mission statements into a JOURNAL entry within the Project.

      Now, every week I can reference my mission statement, roles, goals, values and INSTANTLY schedule those things into my week. For some VALUES, I'll just put it in my calendar as an ALL-DAY EVENT and call it "Value: _____" to remind me to keep that value in mind.

      Hope this helps!


      • #4
        Thanks to both of you for your thoughts. I am not looking to change my planning ideology. My only issue with the GTD Add In is how Projects and Next Actions are viewed and their hierarchy. I have been a fan of Stephen Covey from when his Covey Leadership Center was not connected with the Franklin Company. I've always had and still have issues with the Franklin method of planning. It was back in the late 1990's that I found David Allen's then Managing Actions and Projects which struck a big Aha with me. Ever since then I've been a user of his methodology along with many of Stephen Covey's philosophies.

        I like David's methodology for project planning and use both paper and electronic gear. Probably more on the electronic side. I find his method for project planning better for me on paper. The outcome I want is to find a method that works for me to integrate this to my system (mainly Outlook and a Blackberry). I may even just look at ProjectPlus as a potential way to use the GTD project methods electronically. In essence, I'm looking for project management software that can integrate with the GTD methodology and plays well with the GTD Add In.

        I downloaded the trial copy of PlanPlus for Outlook and found it changed my default view of how I like to view my inbox (auto preview) in Outlook to the default view for PlanPlus (messages with or without a pane). I realize FC writes the software a certain way and that when I'm in PlanPlus there potentially is a limited amount of views, but I have issues when it affects the way Outlook opens as an independent application.

        Sorry for rambling on... I appreciate your time to respond and offer your thoughts... Bart


        • #5
          My own system is a kind of hybrid. I basically use GTD methodology for everything bottom up. When it comes to the 50K foot level and stuff I like the way FC sorts through it so that's kind of nice although I don't currently use PlanPlus for that since it's a work installation (I do have a Project for all personal stuff though so I can see all non-work at once). Mainly I use FC for projects, next actions, and weekly review. I'll also use the home screen for a quick "today" snapshot. You can do a lot by using the category and task filter right on the homescreen. That said, when I'm processing emails I often go straight inbox which is a fast/easy transition.

          I don't really view this as an either/or thing. This is more about a working system for you that allows you to have confidence in it than it is devoutly following someone else's. PlanPlus is a good tool, it may offer something for you or integrate into your system and improve some facet of it. While I don't think it's helpful to constantly be changing it looking for some perfect program, we are all a bit different, we work differently, and we work in different environments so keeping an eye out for something that can help your particular situation isn't a bad thing - after all, this is how I came across GTD in the first place and it's been fabulous especially the bottom up and processing.

          As far as stability PlanPlus has gotten A LOT better. It's not perfect but it's pretty darn solid in current form and lightyears better than a few versions back.


          • #6
            Using Plan Plus for windows and GTD

            I used to use plan plus for windows to do GTD and it works in Theory. A great part to it was I could have all my projects sitting in the projects screen, with project plans in place, only thing that were on my task list went there and everything else sat in the projects lists or master task lists. IT requires you to date a task when it becomes active, but that is simple enough. I never really care about my tasks having dates.

            Its got a really lovely planner like interface and the eye candy was awesome.

            What killed it for me, speed. It took ages to enter anything in, to open it and to do anything really.
            I need to be able to take notes, and add new tasks without waiting 10 seconds for the task window to load. And this was on a really fast laptop. I couldn't get Agilix or Covey to help with it.

            I moved to palm desktop+ Agendus and that works brilliantly for me. I learnt to work around the project plannig bit by doing project reviews and weekly reviews.
            Best regards


            • #7
              I've noticed the same thing with speed but with the new multi-core processors and a decent amount of ram it's pretty solid these days. I noticed a huge difference on my new desktop at the office (nothing wild just multi-core processor and 1gb ram). I would not run the newest version on an older machine.


              • #8
                I have not used PlanPlus 5 but I have used almost every other planning application Franklin-Covey (and Franklin before that) has produced—both add-ons for Outlook and standalone applications—since long before David Allen published his seminal book on getting things done. I used PlanPlus 4 along with the Netcentrics GTD add-in and found both to co-exist peacefully on an aging single-processor system. My recollection is that on those rare occasions when things went awry it was the GTD add-in which Oulook decided it needed to shut down.

                Franklin-Covey software has always had features which native Oulook didn’t and—at least until Outlook 2007—views which were more informative. But it does exact a performance hit.

                From the comments in these forums I would gather that what GTDers find most appealing about PlanPlus are the project planning and management features. That’s fundamentally what I kept PlanPlus around for, and tolerated all the rest. So when FC recently disaggregated the project management features into a separate produce—ProjectsPlus—that was very good news. I’ve been using ProjectsPlus for a few weeks now and find it to be much more responsive than having the entire PlanPlus suite. And this on the same aging, single-processor system and coexisting with a couple of other add-ons: ClearContext and Avidian Prophet.


                • #9
                  I also used planplus for windows a short time, the lack of email integration made me abandon it. Any planning tools must integrate email, since emails, create appointments, tasks or reference info.

                  I have started to use planplus for outlook, which seems to work well, I hope to inetegrate it with a pda or smartphone, and go paperless with all my planning.