FranklinCovey Forms Wizard

FranklinCovey Forms WizardWell, I meandered around the FranklinCovey websites during lunch, and dug up a little gem. At the base of the Downloads District page, you’ll find a Windows-only (alas) program for printing forms and templates, called Forms Wizard. (This is a little hard to find in the rest of the site… I guess they’re pushing their WinXP and Outlook software much harder nowadays.) The description reads:

This easy-to-use software lets you create customized personal and professional forms for all FranklinCovey Planning Page sizes. Adjust any of the more than 60 templates to suit your needs, then print out only what you need on FranklinCovey blank pages or Perf-Fit Pages printer paper.

Free 30-day trial download, and as far as I can tell so far, there’s nothing saying you can’t print these templates on ordinary paper as well (including full letter-size). Plus, the software allows you to use the forms like a rudimentary word processor, so you can enter all your own information into them, set the fonts, make certain changes, etc. The forms are rather ordinary-looking, but there are a great number of them, including some that I hadn’t even considered making. (/me takes out scratchpad and starts making notes.) For the calendars, you can even tell it what dates/months to create. (So for those people complaining of a lack of calendar templates in my DIY Planner, this is your cue. 😉 )

The system is obviously Covey-oriented, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a lot of useful forms if you’re a GTD nut. Even if you don’t spring for the software, there’s still a lot you can do with this in 30 days. Plus, at only $29.95, it seems like a great deal for anyone that uses paper planners.

“50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work”

Found via WOYP: 50 Strategies for Making Yourself Work. Although this is meant mainly for writers, there’s some good general advice there, too.

Work avoidance is one of the major paradoxes of the writing profession. Generally, writers want to write (or want to have written), but all too often we find ourselves doing anything else but. We’ll mow lawns, do the dishes, polish silverware–anything to keep from facing the blank page. At the same time we know we eventually have to get to work, so we come up with all sorts of strategies for forcing ourselves to the keyboard.

I can personally vouch for many of them, including the “put the wristwatch in the drawer” one, as I tend to overwatch the clock when I’m facing a blank page. Not knowing the time helps me forget about the long moments of nothingness, and keeps me focussed. Of course, on a computer this isn’t so easy.

Mind like water? Mind like mud.

Sorry for the dearth of posting as of late. Having a hard time thinking, especially in the off-hours when I normally write in this blog.

During a recent weekend excursion into St. John’s (our province’s captital) to deliver workshops, I appear to have picked up one of the worst colds I’ve ever had. You probably know the type: all you want to do is lie down, but when you do, the urge to choke, cough and sneeze jolts you back upright. Meanwhile, all your senses function as if you were immersed in aspic, and your brain is mired in thick pea soup. You want to cry out, “pity me, pity me!” but your throat is too swollen to do anything except constrict in pain at every involuntary and unexpected bark. Every joint creaks, every muscle is stiff, and your body is slow, bloated, heavy and barely responsive. Your focus is gone, your motivation kaput, your stress amplified, and your attention… what was I saying?

I seem to remember wanting to make a point, but it appears to have slipped my mind….

Yes, must keep a to-do list in front of my face. Must assume long-term memory doesn’t work. Must avoid letting my mind wander. Must have more medication….

UK Observer: Wikipedia defies aerodynamics

New article in the UK newspaper The Observer: Why encyclopaedic row speaks volumes about the old guard:

According to the laws of aerodynamics, the bumblebee should not be able to fly. Yet fly it manifestly does, albeit in a stately fashion. So much for the laws of aerodynamics.

Much the same applies to Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia written, edited and maintained by its readers. Or, to put it another way, written, edited and maintained by anyone who can be bothered to log in and change it. By all laws of reference-work publishing, Wikipedia ought to be a disaster. Yet it is exactly the opposite – an exceedingly useful online reference work often consulted by this columnist and countless others.

While I seem to remember some scientist on the Discovery Channel attempting to debunk the myth of the bee’s aerodynamic instability, the metaphor is nevertheless a good one. Wikipedia is generally my first choice of reference, before I ever hit Google.