Ditch Your Dead-Tree Daily Planner for a Virtual Model This Year

daily planner planners
Credit: jmussuto via Flickr.

It's January, a time when many people realize their daily planner has run out of pages. Time to buy another refill from the store. Twelve months of the popular FranklinCovey pages will set you back $25 or more. That company and others offer recycled paper products for planning. Or, maybe this could be the year that you go virtual, or mobile, when it comes to planning your daily tasks at work and home. Making paper planner pages has an impact on the environment, from cutting down trees to processing wood fiber into pulp to transporting the paper to your nearby store or doorstep. Now that it's the second decade of the 21st Century, many of us have easy access to a computer or smartphone. And there's no use carrying around that old planner from place to place.

The FranklinCovey people offer some mobile solutions, including an iPhone app called FCmobilelife Tasks.

The app is selling for $5.99 right now, kind of steep in the 99-cent app economy. And the app takes some getting used to, if you haven't been faithful to the ABC-123 system used by FranklinCovey. But after watching a few video demos, even someone who's been carrying around a classic-sized Franklin day planner since 1989 (guilty) can get used to it.

The FranklinCovey app isn't perfect, but apps usually get better over time, as many iPhone users have learned.

There also are a number of other online and mobile versions for 2010 planning, from other productivity apps in the iPhone store to good old Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook for those with Office access and (for Mac users) MobileMe. There are apps for other phones, like the BlackBerry, too.

We'd love to hear from readers about what software and apps they use for managing their work and home life without paper. And what do we think about using less paper and more electronics?

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