Tools of the Trade – PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook 6.0.

August 16, 2008

PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook 6.0 (PlanPlus) is a software program that plugs itself into Microsoft Outlook to aid the user in planning and organizing.

Stephen R. Covey is the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, (7 Habits) first published in 1990. The 7 Habits has sold over 10 million copies and continues to be a best seller in business literature. This book lays out a comprehensive planning system that preaches balancing personal and professional effectiveness by putting important but non-urgent activities into the weekly planning funnel. This ensures that long range important professional and personal goals are addressed proactively on a day to day basis.

PlanPlus is made by Franklin Covey, a company formed on May 30, 1997, as a result of Franklin Quest’s acquisition by of Stephen R. Covey’s Covey Leadership Center. PlanPlus is an electronic organization system that incorporates the ideas and principles advocated in 7 Habits. The software contains tutorials and other tools which enable users who are not familiar with 7 habits to begin using the software and obtaining the benefits of the 7 Habits system without reading the book.

A user of PlanPlus engages in weekly planning that begins by reviewing the user’s personal mission statement and important personal and professional goals. This “keeps first things first” when scheduling your various weekly obligations so that non-urgent but important activities are not eroded by unimportant but pressing demands. Next, the PlanPlus weekly scheduling tool requires weekly planning to account for large projects with an eye towards considering the various important roles we play as individuals. This helps balance personal and professional obligations so that you do not overemphasize one important part of your life at the expense of another. Finally, smaller tasks are scheduled in the time left after the big ticket items are accounted for.

PlanPlus is an effective way to incorporate management principles advocated by Stephen R. Covey in 7 Habits and other publications into your weekly planning. Additionally, because the PlanPlus works with Outlook, users who sink Outlook to PDAs can utilize PlanPlus away from the office as well.

If you feel like you have plateaued in certain areas of your life, or you are ignoring goals because of the day-to-day demand of your practice, download a free trial of PlanPlus for Outlook and see if it helps you become more balanced. You can access the PlanPlus website, where a free 30 download is available, here.