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  • GTD Outlook Addin - Any compatibility issues/conflicts?

    Hello,

    Before buying the GTD outlook add-in, I wanted to see if anyone has had any conflicts with any other Outlook add-ins? Specifically, Franklin Covey's PlanPlus for Outlook. I've finally got that one running right, and I'd like to know if anyone has both installed, and if they played well together or not?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I'm quite certain they'll work together, but you'll have to do a bit of "View Customizing" on the PlanPlus end in order to see the additional fields that the GTD Plugin installs.

    The GTD plug-in undoubtedly adds some fields in order to keep its tasks sorted by project, etc.... just like PlanPlus adds a Franklin-Covey "priority rank" field to its task list.

    I don't have the GTD plug-in and I, too, now have PlanPlus working perfectly Actually, I just started using it a few weeks ago, but reviewed ALL the complaints/problems posted about it on the FC boards and did a "homegrown" installation (i.e., disabled the FC Addressbook & Notes syncing, whilst keeping the PocketMirror syncing for those conduits). Works flawlessly... except for the timeless=all day long event problem.

    I rather like PlanPlus, don't you?

    Comment


    • #3
      I do like PlanPlus a lot, RAN, though I am quite frustrated with FC's responsiveness and support. I've been using the Franklin Planner methods (and now FC) since I was in college back in '91--if I were a newcomer, I don' t know that I'd be able to tolerate it. Luckily for me, many of the issues people are having with FPP didn't affect me: I use Chapura's KeyContacts for my Palm Address Book replacement and to sync with Outlook, and it works flawlessly--so I didn't have any corruption there (I was using that before FPP, so I disabled those FC conduits before ever syncing.) I like what FPP adds to the Palm, and am reluctant to give it up--and I'm hoping they get that repeating-task thing fixed, and soon!

      I'm new to GTD, but am beginning to integrate the ideas into my current system and am excited about trying out this new plugin. Any input from anyone else on this? I may just end up ordering this and being the guinea pig myself...

      Thanks,
      -Mark (that's me in the first post, I'm not sure why it posted as "guest"...)

      Comment


      • #4
        Mark:

        Good to hear you're enjoying FPP; I am as well, though I'm still a 'newbie' to the FC method. I must note here that I have been using the GTD method ever since David's book came out and have had some good results as far as efficiency is concerned.

        However -- and not to belabor the story -- I felt I was still 'missing out' on something, and that's when I discovered S.Covey's 7 Habits stuff. I truly enjoyed the 7 Habits book as well as the multi-tape lecture given by Covey and am beginning to see some rather astonishing changes in the way I handle my time/life. I have to admit that I'm one of those people who basically loathes the hucksterism that's so prevalent in the 'self-help' industry; I thought Covey's stuff sort of fell into this category, especially since it was a bit more "touchy-feely" than Allen's hands-on, technique-driven approach. This assumption, coupled with the overwhelming popularity of Covey's books (I often believe that the more "popular" an idea is, the likelihood of it being "base" and "shallow" is increased commensurately) turned me away from the "principle-based" approach.

        But I have to admit that Covey's principles (delivered so well through his spoken lectures, btw) are having a powerful impact on me, and I am now beginning to reap some tangible rewards from integrating the 7 Habits into my planning. I have a long way to go, I'm sure, but I'm feeling a bit more balanced and content with the way I'm approaching work/family/leisure.

        Anyway... enough blathering....

        I'm wondering if, considering your experience with Covey's methods, you might answer me one question:

        Given the Q1/Q2/etc. matrix, how are you integrating it with the use of FC's priority ranking system (i.e., A1, B2, etc.)? I've read on the FC boards that some people use categories as their Quadrants, others use A/B/C as Q1/Q2/Q4 respectively (I'm unsure how they handle Q3), and yet others have their own home-grown method. I, too, am a KeyContacts user and that's how I avoided contact corruption as well; but I made a wholehearted switch to the PlanPlus ApptScheduler, DRE, and TaskList instead of the built-in stuff (as well as DB5, Action Names, etc.). But I'm still confused on how to best use both the FC Priority Ranking in accordance with the Quadrant Matrix in PlanPlus.

        Any ideas/insight would be greatly welcomed.

        I'm also thinking of getting the GTD-Outlook plug-in for the sole reason of being able to quickly organize projects/multi-tasks; but I think I might wait for just the right guinea pig (ahem) to try it out with PlanPlus already installed.

        Thanks for the above reply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Quadranticity Reductus

          Originally posted by CosmoGTD
          Perhaps the Quadrant analysis, could be useful at a higher Altitude? As of now, i am not using it.
          Cosmo:

          Good point. I've been using the Quadrant analysis at a conceptual level (as you also suggest) during the Weekly Review. Or, similarly, at the daily entry level, I keep the Quadrant-matrix foremost in my mind when adding any additional entries to my calendar/tasklist.

          Thanks for the input!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: GTD Outlook Addin - Any compatibility issues/conflicts?

            Originally posted by Anonymous
            Before buying the GTD outlook add-in, I wanted to see if anyone has had any conflicts with any other Outlook add-ins?
            Actually, we run a very customized Outlook/Exchange environment at my company, so Outlook add-ins almost never work-- we're always wrought with compatibility issues.

            However, the GTD plug in worked flawlessly.

            --- JRJ

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I took the plunge and got the GTD Add-in... and it seems to work fine. I have gotten a couple of random crashes in Outlook, but I haven't yet noticed any problems consistent enough to determine the cause, and they've just been program shutdowns, no data loss or anything. I'll keep an eye on that. But it does seem to get along fine alongside FPP...

              Robert--
              I never much used the quadrant analysis in the FC method. I always used FC (from back when I was carrying the Monarch binder through FPS and now FPP) much like GTD (as far as task/project handling and the hard-edged calendar) with more of a bottom-up approach. I'll still continue to use FPP--I've got the Franklin methods ingrained in me after 10+ years, plus I like what FPP adds to Outlook and to the Palm (I like their handheld apps far more than the generic palm ones.) I'm already using elements of both, and will continue to refine what works for me...

              That said, I like the GTD plugin more than I expected: I don't know if I expected it to do much more than one could do already with basic Outlook customization, but it does integrate nicely. It adds elements that I had not been using, as well, and it definitely makes many functions/actions much simpler within Outlook. However, I do hope that they beef up the handling of projects--I think the add-in provides a good start, but I look forward to seeing them refine and enhance this aspect. Overall, though, an impressive start.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rhyno
                Well, I took the plunge and got the GTD Add-in... and it seems to work fine...
                Mark (Rhyno):

                Thanks for the update on the FPP/GTDplug-in combo. Sounds like it's a winner. I've been using the "Goals" section for listing my Projects (actually, I put all my project notes and ideas into the "notes" space provided on the right side of the Goals page for each goal/project), but wouldn't mind giving the integrated GTD system a shot.

                Again, thanks for the info.

                BTW... any idea if FC is going to release some Palm-based "Goals" and "Mission Statement " apps like they have for the standalone Franklin Planner software? I haven't seen a peep about it on their boards; it's actually no biggie, but it might be nice to have.

                Talk to you soon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Franklin Palm Software

                  Hi Gang,

                  I used to use the Palm apps from FC but stopped, because they were not that well done, I thought, and I got totally frustrated. A good example (for me) of having to think to much about the "system."

                  For example:

                  - I have to delete all LRG and re-enter them in reverse order, if I want the order to change;
                  - their ApptSched is proprietary;
                  - LRG should function as a collapsible tree, and be able to check "done" on the list, and have it be also "done" in the ToDo list (and vice-versa);
                  - I should be able to change priority letters and numbers "in place" , and preferably also edit in place in the ApptSched, in the Agenda view, without having to go to the Date Book or PDTL (and without have the screen "re-draw" each time);
                  - the FC Compass Logo that allows me quick access to all other FC apps, is not found at the top of the ApptSched - the one application most used, and the central reference point for the day?;
                  - I cannot "log" a meeting or a Todo to the DRE without having to re-type it all;
                  - if I colour the text in the PDTL but it does not transfer to the Agenda view?

                  Have they improved on any of this?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Franklin Palm Software

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - I have to delete all LRG and re-enter them in reverse order, if I want the order to change;
                    No problems I've seen with the Goals module in PlanPlus; no need to reverse order or anything to get it to function well; however, be warned that there is no Goals app on the Palm at all. The only thing on the Palm is the DRE, ApptScheduler (i.e., calendar) and TaskList (now one single integrated program with Master and PDTL combined).

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - LRG should function as a collapsible tree, and be able to check "done" on the list, and have it be also "done" in the ToDo list (and vice-versa);
                    Well... this is one area that works well in PlanPlus' Goals center. You can convert any intermediate step in any goal to a task or appt and check it off; by simple dragging-and-dropping in Outlook's/PlanPlus' TaskList or Calendar, the appt/task is set and ready to be checked off, prioritized, etc.

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - I should be able to change priority letters and numbers "in place" , and preferably also edit in place in the ApptSched, in the Agenda view, without having to go to the Date Book or PDTL (and without have the screen "re-draw" each time);
                    On the Palm, this is easily done. You can edit any task/appt in place without having to open a "Details" screen and have the whole thing redraw itself. On the PlanPlus/Outlook desktop you can, of course, edit anything in place in similar fashion.

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - the FC Compass Logo that allows me quick access to all other FC apps, is not found at the top of the ApptSched - the one application most used, and the central reference point for the day?;
                    The FC Compass Logo works in the new Palm-side apps. You can flip between apps easily (i.e., DRE, MasterList/PDTL, and ApptScheduler).

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - I cannot "log" a meeting or a Todo to the DRE without having to re-type it all;
                    Well... it's still the same way. You have to retype everything in the DRE since it's basically just a simplistic notepad. However, on the Palm side, you do have something called a "QuickText" style of menus that you can edit so that oft-used phrases can be entered very quickly. But remember, it's still just like a blank sheet of paper with no actual "link" to the other FC Apps.

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    - if I colour the text in the PDTL but it does not transfer to the Agenda view?
                    In PlanPlus/Outlook's desktop, the colors are set as "Maroon" for Priority-A, blue for Priority-B, green for Priority-C, and a nice red for any task that's overdue. You can customize this stuff, too, if you're not comfortable with the color schemes. Palm-side, you can have the PDTL color tasks by Priority, Category, Status (e.g., "in progress", "delegated", et. al.), etc. The colors are fully customizable from the color pallette.

                    Originally posted by Kudzu2u
                    Have they improved on any of this?


                    Well... that's a matter of opinion. But if you're an Outlook user, it's a pretty good package. I must state that PlanPlus is a pretty good piece of software for a 7Habits-neophyte due to all of the nice "wizards" that guide you through a Mission Statement, Values Assessment, Goals, Weekly Planning, etc. Good, solid multimedia presentations.

                    The only thing I wish they had is what FPO/FPS had: Palm-side apps for the Goals and Mission Statement.

                    Hope some of this information helps. Remember, there is a fully-functional 30-day trial of it. You can always give it a shot that way. I will remind you, however, that FC isn't the "safest" of additions to your Outlook/Palm syncing system. It has created havoc for some users, so some perusal of the FC boards for PlanPlus is in order. The bottom line is that you shouldn't let PlanPlus take over the syncing of the Contact List. No biggie.. Just disable it in your HotSync options. Additionally, do your utmost to have NO repeating ToDos in your current Palm database, and do a complete "purge" of all completed tasks. The FC PlanPlus PDTL/MasterList on the Palm will work very slowly if it's got years of completed todos to sort through everytime you run it.

                    I worked with the above caveats and haven't had any problems at all; be warned, however.... If you read the FC boards, you'd think some users were experiencing the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it in dealing with some problem, so take all the incessant whining with a grain of salt.

                    If you decide to go with it, make the Installation Process a Quadrant-II task... think it through and take your time. Don't do it all late one night before a heavy workday the next day where you absolutely have to have everything nice and perfect. It was perfect for me, but YMMV.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FC Stuff

                      Robert, thanks for the reply. It looks like they have upgraded the apps they left on the Palm, but removed the Mission Statement and LRG apps. Losing the Mission Statement is not a big deal, but I am sorry the let the LRG app go. It really helped me get going, which is why I was frustrated so much by its limitations.

                      Thanks for taking the time to bring me up to speed on its development.

                      - in Canada

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