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My Modern Tool Box

By Todd Simons

Hello. My name is Todd, and I manage the software product development for FranklinCovey. I have spent the last twenty years working with various technology solutions. From hardware to software, I have looked for the best tools to help me organize and accomplish my important objectives.  Surely many of you have the same type of challenges and have found or are still looking for great tools to stay on top of it all.

In my quest to find the most effective tools, I’ve realized that I need multiple tools to meet my needs.  I have always used the simple analogy of the “tool box.”  I assume modern workers go to work every day with modern tools in order to be effective.  Like a physical tool box that sits in my shed, the modern tool box might include: a Smartphone, desktop software, online software, email, group scheduling, project management software, and other modern tools that help keep our lives and businesses on track. 

In keeping with the tool box analogy, some tools simply work better than others for each situation, and each tool, most likely, is needed to have the complete tool box. 

My modern tool box looks like the list below:

1. Powerful Desktop Computer with dual monitors

I can’t live without my extra monitor- not sure how people get by with only one. Plus, dual monitors are an incredible productivity gain for any user, as multitasking becomes that much easier.

2. Small Light Weight Netbook Computer

I utilize a small netbook computer that I can take with me if I need to- thus, helping me work from anywhere. Though it is not as powerful as my desktop computer, it is very mobile and lightweight.

3. Google Docs

This a great tool for collaborating documents easily and accessibly.

4. SnagIt

This is a must-have for capturing web or screen content, plus it’s very simple to use.

5. Google Talk

Very simple chat / messaging tool that I simply can't live without

6.The iPhone

I love my iPhone and think it is one of the best Smartphone solutions in the market place, of course,surely more great devices are in the works. It syncs over the air (OTA) with Outlook / Exchange, and there are now over 140,000 apps that I can choose from. Plus, I love the user interface and the way Apple makes it so easy to use.

Of course, I have to include some of the tools I help develop in my toolbox:

7. Outlook with the PlanPlus for Outook plug-in

PlanPlus for Outlook is a simple FranklinCovey plug in for Outlook. It provides customers with the best task management system you can find and makes Outlook much easier to use.

And, we've recently partnered with the company that developed this next tool, that I think is a great resource:

8. GoToMeeting / GoToMyPC
GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC are two of the best computing solutions that have ever been introduced in the technology market – as they make it easier to get work done in and out of the workplace.

These are just a few of my favorite tools that I have in my tool box, surely there are many others, but these tools make the biggest difference in my planning and my effectiveness. 

I would love to hear about your tool box and what tools you carry that helps you organize and be effective- please share below!

Thanks Todd!

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Todd - My tool box is

Todd - My tool box is broken!  We recently upgraded our server and software to Windows 7 and Office 2010 and my PlanPlus for Outlook is not compatible.  HELP!  When will a PP version that is compatible with Office 2010 be available?

Same here, broken

Same here, broken toolbox!

Todd, I have many electronic tools that I use in concert with PlanPlus for outlook, but the center of my electronic planning world is in ruins at the moment.

For months now I have held off on upgrading my smartphone.  But recent events forced the upgrade.  I was a Win Mobile users for several years and kept PPO synced with my phone.

I have been watching and waiting for an Android App for  PPO and was hoping to hold off on the upgrade of the phone until then.  The old phone was stolen and so here I sit with a great new Android phone and no sync to PPO.

Why the lengthy delay on the Android App, when can we expect it to come out?  The lack of a target launch date is very frustrating.  How about Beta testers, need any?

I have an Outlook sync client up and running so I am receiving all my mail, calendar, and task items over a 3G network, but without the full FC Task Gui and functionality it's lame at best.


From Todd: PlanPlus for

From Todd:

PlanPlus for Outlook - We are in the last phase of testing for a patch for Outlook 2010. 


We are also underway with an Android application – our current plan is to release that in late January if all goes as planned.


Thank you for your feedback!

Todd, What about an iphone

What about an iphone application?  We have been patiently waiting for a long long time.

comments revised and moved to

comments revised and moved to a different thread

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