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  • Trying to Decide--PPO or GTD Add-in

    Folkss, I need some advice. I am trying to decide if Franklin Covey's PlanPlus for Outlook or the GTD Add-in is the best option for managing my many projects. I need to be able to integrate the following elements in my projects (in no particular order):

    emails
    documents
    tasks
    calls
    appointments
    reminders
    follow-ups
    research/resources
    webpages

    Is there anyone on this forum who has tried PLanPlus for Outlook and opted for GTD addin instead? If so, why? What are the advantages?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Well, I've used FCPP for Outlook for some time now. In fact I still have it installed on one of my PC's.

    You don't mention "how" you want to integrate the items you listed or the "depth" at which you're looking for concerning integration.

    I like some aspects of the "mechanics" of FC but I never have been fond of the "spiritual" connotations throughout the books and even the software. And now that I've used the GTD add-in and have read the book, I agree... I don't need A,B,C,... 1,2,3,... priorities.

    I have been with FCPP (FranklinCovey PlanPlus) since it's first version. I have called it quits after upgrading to my last version 2.0. The reason being is the software in every version I have used has had a great deal of "bugs." They have offered few incremental bug fixes. I feel that they are charging the Customer for upgrades that should be patches and or fixes and not sold under the guise of "New" products. The latest version 3.0 is the best example of this unethical practice. A loyal Customer is expected to pay for an upgrade that only has one cosmetic change (Project view of Tasks) and all of the fixes that should have been released over time?

    If you get sucked in to the FCPP game, you'll be spending $50 every year for BS upgrades that would be considered patches or fixes by any other software company. With GTD Workflow Process at $10 or even using the GTD add-in, they are solid and rely on the "process" and not the software.

    So if NetCentrics never came out with another version of their software... I can use the add-in for every version of Outlook they ever come out with!

    I am happy I found GTD and very happy with my GTD add-in and have no regrets abandoning a company who I feel abandoned their Customers (Franklin Covey).

    I also feel that the end-users of GTD are more familial and helpful between this forum and the forum on NetCentrics. The tips and hints, macros, that everybody shares in this GTD family are far more helpful and supportive than FCPP forums.

    Do a google search for issues and problems with both sofware apps (don't forget to search under "Groups" in Google too). TRY both software apps using their trial programs. I suggest you use the trials for their FULL time trial before making a decision. Before installing any of these apps, make a "System Restore" point with your operating system before installing (better safe than sorry).

    And remember that with both sofware apps, how well they install and run is also contingent on how well you have maintained YOUR computer. So if you do run into issues, please examine your setup before blowing your top at the software company in question. System tray applications have a tendency to cause a lot of problems with both solutions we speak of here.

    Hope this helps,

    Comment


    • #3
      I have not used either, but have read so many negative things about the Frankin software on boards such as this.

      Comment


      • #4
        Neither the GTD-Addin or PlanPlus for Outlook were designed specifically for managing projects (managing tasks, yes). As mentioned in a previous post, if you could elaborate on your expectations, you could probably get a lot more detailed feedback.

        But nonetheless, both companies offer trial versions of their software. Nothing beats personal experience when it comes to evaluating your options.

        C

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Trying to Decide--PPO or GTD Add-in

          Originally posted by Bmosbacker
          Folkss, I need some advice. I am trying to decide if Franklin Covey's PlanPlus for Outlook or the GTD Add-in is the best option for managing my many projects. I need to be able to integrate the following elements in my projects (in no particular order):

          emails
          documents
          tasks
          calls
          appointments
          reminders
          follow-ups
          research/resources
          webpages

          Is there anyone on this forum who has tried PLanPlus for Outlook and opted for GTD addin instead? If so, why? What are the advantages?

          Thanks!
          I have tried both in trial form, and use neither. The GTD Add-in is a good product, but has some limitations on my use which may or may not be relevant to you. FC PlanPlus has rough edges, and I cannot recommend it. It has a terrible reputation for problems when sync'ing with a PDA. The FC PPO project outline is just fair. You can try them both, but be aware that you will need to find the uninstall tool on the FC web site to get rid of all of FC PPO. You may also need to visit the InstallShield web site to get rid of the automatic PPO updater.

          Most of what you want/need is either built-in to Outlook, or not there at all. For example, you can stick clickable references to files and web sites into Outlook notes. If you are new to GTD, the $10 setting-up Outlook guide on this web site is very helpful. An alternative is to simply install the GTD add-in as a trial, and see how it work. However, there is a lot of value to setting things up yourself. The book by Sally McGhee is good, but I think it is best to have a good GTD background first.

          One thing a lot of people want that you are NOT going to get from Outlook is some sort of easy facility for aggregating all your materials, of whatever type, in a single, easy to manage, place for each project. Outlook is not designed that way. (Entourage, the Mac version of Outlook, has a project center with that sort of functionality.)

          Good Luck,
          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            I haven't used FCPP or the GTD Add-In; only DA's Outlook PDF, which was just what I needed. Configuring Outlook from the paper's instructions is a bit labor intensive, but at $60 less than the Add-In, it's an evening well spent. Of course, I'm assuming that the end result is roughly identical to the add-in, so if that's not the case, someone please correct me.

            The DA Outlook configuration works in conjunction to the GTD process, so it's not project management software in the CPM/PERT/GANTT sense like MS Project or Primavera. It would probably be more accurate to say that it just helps get Outlook's dysfunctional default setup out of your way, and makes the environment more conducive to GTD workflow. If you already work with a project list, waiting for list, someday/maybe list, and @lists, then the DA approach is the way to go. I assume that FCPP is equally bound to Covey's methodology. So the real question perhaps is: which is your main system?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gameboy70
              I haven't used FCPP or the GTD Add-In; only DA's Outlook PDF, which was just what I needed. Configuring Outlook from the paper's instructions is a bit labor intensive, but at $60 less than the Add-In, it's an evening well spent. Of course, I'm assuming that the end result is roughly identical to the add-in, so if that's not the case, someone please correct me.
              Does anybody have the answer to Gameboy's last question? I would glady drop down $10 and some time for the pdf if it was equivilent to the plugin.

              Comment


              • #8
                The PDF will get you part of the way there

                SnowCrash, GameBoy:

                The PDF guide gets you part of the way there but does not provide the same tools as the add-in (trust me, there's a reason why the add-in costs so much more). FWIW, I started with the PDF guide years ago and I agree with GB - it overcomes Outlook's less-than-optimal defaults (I believe GB used the term dysfunctional) and makes Outlook a much more GTD-friendly environment.

                The add-in goes quite a bit further and provides toolbars and mail-to-task generation (with links back to the original, processed e-mail in the task) that the PDF guide can't. If you live i Outlook and get a lot of mail, there is no better investment you can make right now to get "In to empty" and automate a lot of the drudgery of triaging your mail and generating next actions.

                In my opinion of course...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Better alternatives than PPO or GTD Add-in?

                  What about Eric Mack's "eProductivity Enhancements for Lotus Notes"?

                  Has anyone in this forum ever tried his system?

                  From the look of the templates on Eric Mack's website, it seems it might beat hands down the GTD Outlook Add-in.

                  See "Eric Mack's eProductivity Web Site" -- http://www.ica.com/

                  My sense is that Outlook is fundamentally flawed or misconceived for GTD project management -- at least for those of us whose work entails managing/handling _dozens_ of concurrent projects for many different clients. (My case -- solo practitioner lawyer.)

                  Act! 2005 may also be a better alternative than GTD-enhanced Outlook, given the database improvements in its latest release, including the addition of a template field for "companies."

                  Does anyone on this forum have ANY idea?

                  Given the complexity of these "solutions," names and contact info for consultants who CAN KNOWLEDGEABLY COMPARE these various programs would also be much appreciated.

                  Many thanks,

                  Leopold

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Leopold,

                    You would probably get a better response if this subject was posted with its own heading. It really is a whole new subject. In that regard, it is "buried" where people who need to see it... won't.

                    Make a New Topic with something like, "Lotus Notes, Outlook, or ACT!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Steven,

                      Good advice. I just posted a revised version of the message as a new topic on the Gadgets & Software board. Thank you.

                      -L

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        PPO or GTD

                        Avoid Franklin Covey's Plan Plus for Outlook. I toyed with it for several years, but it just gums up the works -- that is, problems range from outright computer crashes to features that just inexplicably stop working. And frankly, I never used all that "seven habits" stuff -- too many needless bells and whistles and too much potential for the software to go haywire.

                        And since I uninstalled PPO and began using just the GTD system, I've had very few incidences where items get double, triple or quadruple synched with my Palm.

                        Comment

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