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Author Topic: Achieve Planner + Goals to Action  (Read 11609 times)
Armando
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« on: July 31, 2007, 07:54:54 PM »

I've been testing Achieve Planner (AP); I don't remember seing anything on DC about it (when and if I have more time, one day, I might do a mini review) : it's a great application in active development; + the developer is really nice and responds himself to comments. Of course, AP's got some flaws (I've posted about some of them under zarmando at AP's forum), but what are flaws for me might not be for someone else...  smiley

There are 3 different versions. $49 for Achieve Planner Standard, $79 for Achieve Planner Pro, and 99$ for the Achieve Productivity Suite. (of course, there is a fully functional trial download - 30 days). I found that the Productivity suite is the real deal for anybody looking for an Outlook/Covey/Allen mix... AP doesn't do email per se, but synchronizes with Outlook in special ways (will transform emails into tasks, etc.). For a features comparison see http://www.effexis.com/ac...ve/feature-comparison.htm

(Right now, I’m not using AP, but might be in a few months. Am waiting for the next version. I want to see how the search function, outlook integration and contact management will evolve.)

Linked to AP, there are also these 2 web sites :  http://www.timethoughts.com/goal-setting.htm and http://www.goalstoaction.com/. Some nice stuff, well synthesized. [edit : but, shall I add, a bit too salesmanish for my taste...].

Some Screenshots. (I will post some more personal ones in a little while)

I’m willing to answer questions about AP, if any. There’s also the Achieve Planner forum : http://www.effexis2.com/forum/ .
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 02:02:57 PM by Armando » Logged

"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
iphigenie
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2007, 07:52:55 AM »

I'm  kind of curious, but just have to point out that you can transform emails into tasks in outlook just by dragging the email to the tasks tab - it can even take the attachments with it and all

You also can give emails a deadline and make them appear on your calendar without making them into tasks, by using the due date and the "flag for follow up" option (you can make all emails flagged and with due dates appear on your calendar cheesy)
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Armando
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2007, 09:55:37 AM »

Sure iphigenie.

But I was not mentioning the Achieve Planner email trick as "the" great particularity, but just as a mere example of how AP deals with emails (because it *doesn't* really deal with emails natively). So it's absolutely NOT what makes Achieve Planner an interesting software, but, mostly IMHO, the ability to manage and link together tasks and projects with goals, wishes, results area, etc.

What I also like : the time charts feature, the calculation of priorities and adjusting of the "scorings" to ones preferences (in the task chooser panel); the nice and coherent tabbed interface; some of the "syncing with Outlook" ability (priorities, categories, projects, contacts) and the fact that one can customize how some the AP’s task fields will be transferred to Outlook (and in particular the customization of “user-defined” fields);  some of the exporting feature (to excel et rtf format), etc.
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
iphigenie
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2007, 03:08:09 PM »

does it do task juggling? sounds interesting

Best tool i ever found for this was "above and beyond" where you entered priorities not only by class (a,b,c) and number (a1,a2) but also entered numbers about the value / cost of the task (value of doing it vs cost of not doing/delaying it) and then the system would dynamically rejog your tasks based on those priorities and time available to suggest what you could be doing in the 2 hour slot you had now

It doesnt seem to get developed anymore, just when i finally could justify the cost of registering it

I cant remember whether i tried achieve planner or not in my long quest for a similar tool
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Armando
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 11:53:55 PM »

AP does "prioritize your lists using the ABCD system Automatic scheduling", it "computes the start/end dates of your projects and tasks based on expected effort, priorities, and weekly schedule", and will also compute scores for tasks and projects according to task priority, project priority, Date, Focus, Status, and maybe some others that I forget -- obviously, all these can be changed according to the context, etc.

Achieve Planner's feature -- and there are many -- can be found at the web site (make sure you click on the "learn more" links to get more detailed explanations). The Feature Comparison is helpful too.
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
Armando
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007, 01:24:08 PM »

I just found a nice and recent review of AP on the "Becoming A Writer Seriously" Web Site (mouser mentioned it at some point): Achieve Planner: Set Your Goals, Plan Your Time.

And, maybe, if there's enough interest --eventually, of course -- I could ask the developer for a DC discount (am I aloud to do that?? or should an "official" founding DC member do it)...
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
TomColvin
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007, 06:35:37 PM »

Armando, glad that you stumbled upon my AP review.  As you can tell, I rate the program highly.

Reading through your posts here indicates that you are getting even more deeply into the program than I have.  I use it mainly for planning overview, rather than on a day-to-day action basis.  I hope that you will indeed do a full review of AP -- it should be most interesting.  Just wish you could include screenshots, which I think are essential especially in this program in order to fully appreciate it.

For day-to-day task management, I use EssentialPIM Pro.  It has just come out with version 2.0, which has some major enhancements that make it much more useful as a Getting Things Done environment.  In fact, I've completely revised how I use EssentialPIM to take advantage of these enhancements.  There's a flaw in the current version, however -- but the developer assures me that this will be addressed in either version 2.1 or 2.2, both scheduled for completion within the year.  I expect to write another extensive review of this program within coming weeks [already have a very full review of version 1.92 on my blog].

All that said, I'm still looking for a fairy godmother who will wake me up each morning with a gentle pat on the head and instructions about just what I need to do during the day.

Tom
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jquigley
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 10:52:20 AM »

iphigenie, I too like using Above and Beyond.  This is a 2007 version with MS Vista support available at http://www.1soft.com/new.html

There is also a clone/fork of AB called TimeTo.  It's available at http://www.davidberman.co...ftware/timetodownload.php

There are active YahooGroups for both AB and TimeTo.

JimQ
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Armando
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 01:10:43 PM »


Armando, glad that you stumbled upon my AP review. 

Thanks for joining the thread!

As you can tell, I rate the program highly.

Yes, I saw that (+ a very nice read)! I think the program and the developer deserve it! IMHO, it's really one of the best time management (and personal project/goal management) tool out there.

Reading through your posts here indicates that you are getting even more deeply into the program than I have.

I've tested AP pretty thoroughly because I want to replace Outlook, and I'm not going to replace it with something adding more inconveniences! Like I said in my first post, I haven't bought it yet -- I am waiting to see what the future version brings to the table : GTD features, better search, etc. If I ever buy it, it will be the Productivity suite.

I also like MLO for task and project management, but AP is more sophisticated. AP’s outlook syncing  is not as smooth — but it’s got some very nice features.

I hope that you will indeed do a full review of AP -- it should be most interesting.  Just wish you could include screenshots, which I think are essential especially in this program in order to fully appreciate it.

I'm running out of time these days, so the review will have to wait, unfortunately. (I must say that writing in English is much slower than French for me!)

For day-to-day task management, I use EssentialPIM Pro. 

I've been using Outlook for many years and have tried many many other PIMs. EssentialPIM is certainly one of the best out there (and it synchronizes with the palm! well, it used to?). But I do prefer Outlook, even if EssentialPIM is better for notes and the tasks outliner. All in all, it seemed bit too "basic" (lacking some other features I use frequently)... But it's been a while since I’ve tested it, so I'll be happy to read your review and learn some more about the newest versions!

All that said, I'm still looking for a fairy godmother who will wake me up each morning with a gentle pat on the head and instructions about just what I need to do during the day.

If you find one, ask her if she's got some friends! smiley
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
Armando
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 01:14:55 PM »

@iphigenie & jquigley :

I remember testing Above & Beyond + TimeTo a while ago. I think the main problem was Palm syncing.
But I'll check it out and report back...

Thanks!
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"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
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