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A time management & Microsoft Outlook class was being offered to our district from a neighboring district, and I thought to myself, "Why would I want to take a class in this when it's probably just a front for selling FranklinCovey products? I already have Outlook doing all kinds of tricks for me. I teach others at school how to do it."

Well, it was suggested that I get certified in that area, because I apparently have the organizational mind for it and know Outlook pretty well. No one else in our district is certified in this content. (You'll see why...keep reading.) I looked into it, with the sneaking suspicion that I might wind up as a FranklinCovey Pimp. I was right.

The process:
- Course in the FOCUS/Outlook content
- 2-day certification course in Atlanta
- Webinar in Outlook tricks

The costs:
- Course: $265
- Certification: $1350
- Webinar: $200

In addition to all that, I need to purchase 15 course material packets for my first 15 students. In other words, I need extra motivation to sign people up so I can recoup my money. Cost per packet? $37. Total cost? $555.

So, the total cost to be "certified" = $2,370

I think I'll stick to informal group workshops and individual questions! If any of you gents are certified in any FC content areas, I apologize if this has offended you...this just seems like one big pyramid scheme to me.
 
I've been using FC paper planners for about 15 years ... I like their products, but I'm just as skeptical as you are about their training programs.

I first noticed something funny when I went in person to an FC store to purchase a refill ... the salespeople there seemed zombie-ish in their devotion to the company, almost cult-like. The same thing seems to convey itself over the phone when I've called in to place orders by mail.

Don't get me wrong, I love their products ... and I'd like to take one of their training classes, if it wasn't so expensive.

And I wonder why they need to publish so many different versions of each planner. Is there really a need for so many themes? (I buy the generic refills ... they work just as well and I don't have any need to impress anyone.)

Same thing is true with all the different styles of book-covers, briefcases, pens, inserts, add-ons and accessories. Its just not necessary to have so many choices.

If they would streamline their operation, just offer a few choices of planners in the four basic sizes, drop the bells and whistles, and get themselves back to their core values ... I think they could offer their products at a lower cost and show a much bigger profit at the same time.

BTW, I've been using these since they were just "Franklin" ... most of the complaints I have about them started when they merged with "Covey."
 
I like his idea about "sharpening the saw" the best. In fact, I just blew off the other 6 "Habits" and practice #7 every day. :wink:
 
So, the total cost to be "certified" = $2,370

I think I'll stick to informal group workshops and individual questions! If any of you gents are certified in any FC content areas, I apologize if this has offended you...this just seems like one big pyramid scheme to me.
I think they genuinely want to help people.. and make money. I've never seen them as a "scheme" but, you never know I guess.

Ever heard of Landmark Forum? Now.. talk about a cult. Eeesh.
 
Effective != Happy

Virtually all the FCers I have known are some of the most uptight, frantic, inflexible folks ever. THIS MAY NOT BE TRUE FOR YOU :)

I used to work with a guy who planned everything. He even planned where he was eating lunch... alone. We invited him for an after work beer on a Tuesday and he said he couldn't go until next week because he needed at least a week notice for events. He isn't the exception to my experiences.

They universe is a chaotic place. Entropy is beating down your door and will turn it all into dust no matter what you do. Death will always win.

Make sure you get the most vital things done and don't sweat the small stuff. Life is too short not to run naked through the periwinkles at every opportunity.
 
I have a Franklin Planner and have bee using it for years, but I use a mixture of forms from the various manufacturers. One site that I like is the D*I*Y Planner. They have a huge catalog or forms that you can download and print. Here is the link:

http://www.diyplanner.com/

As always YMMV.
 
I worked for a federal government agency for 8 years and my agency was big into Franklin Planners at the time; this was before the Franklin-Covey merger came about. Franklin at that time had inroads into many federal agencies, not sure if that is still the case. I was sent to a "train the trainer" class and became a certified Franklin instructor, and I would periodically offer the Franklin course to our employees.

I respected the Franklin principles, and just like any other program, if you make an effort to apply them consistently, they will work for you. However, I thought that the Franklin materials were only marginally better than a regular day planner, and not worth the markup they were charging. When they went from mail order to mall stores, I wondered how they could make the hefty rent that most malls charge, pay salaries, and make a profit just selling upsized calendars.

I think the emergence of Palm Pilots and Blackberrys really put a dent in their business - why take up space storing years' worth of DREs (Daily Records of Events) when you can keep it electronically? And no $75 layout for a new calendar every year.

Regarding the "cult" aspect, I definitely sensed that when working with the Franklin full-timers. The organization at the time was based in Salt Lake City, and the founder and almost all the employees were Mormons; Covey is a Mormon too, I believe. A cultish sense of productivity and friendliness definitely permeated the organization. This is by no means a criticism of the LDS Church - in fact, I grew to admire many of the Franklin principles which I saw as faith-based, and their employees were some of the most efficient and friendly I had ever encoutered.

I moved on to the Blackberry years ago, but it was nice to see this thread. Franklin-Covey is a good organization and I wish them well, I am just skeptical whether their time management concept can drive a sustainable business model with compound sales growth, as is required of a public corporation.
 
Effective != Happy

Virtually all the FCers I have known are some of the most uptight, frantic, inflexible folks ever. THIS MAY NOT BE TRUE FOR YOU :)

I used to work with a guy who planned everything. He even planned where he was eating lunch... alone. We invited him for an after work beer on a Tuesday and he said he couldn't go until next week because he needed at least a week notice for events. He isn't the exception to my experiences.

They universe is a chaotic place. Entropy is beating down your door and will turn it all into dust no matter what you do. Death will always win.

Make sure you get the most vital things done and don't sweat the small stuff. Life is too short not to run naked through the periwinkles at every opportunity.
I don't see the primary focus of the FC stuff I've read as "time management" or "planning everything" - in fact, they go against most of the time management literature of the past century.

What I get most out of it, is to take care of the important things first, and live by your principles. Pretty simple really. How much time do we spend a day putting out fires and taking care of urgent matters, only to let the really important work slide (which may be more difficult, but returns greater rewards in the end) ?

You can get a lot out of the books without ever buying one Covey planner or notebook or software..

my 2 cents.
 
I moved on to the Blackberry years ago, but it was nice to see this thread. Franklin-Covey is a good organization and I wish them well, I am just skeptical whether their time management concept can drive a sustainable business model with compound sales growth, as is required of a public corporation.
Well put.
 
I have a Franklin Planner and have bee using it for years, but I use a mixture of forms from the various manufacturers. One site that I like is the D*I*Y Planner. They have a huge catalog or forms that you can download and print. Here is the link:

http://www.diyplanner.com/

As always YMMV.

+1 on diyplanner, great concept! You can also print in a 3x5 format for your shirt pocket.:thumbup1:
 
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