How to Use Opus Domini Day Planner app for Franklin Covey Fans
Is Opus Domini a good day planner?
Two years ago, I started using the Opus Domini app for Mac to replace my voluminous Franklin Covey planner. And I haven't looked back.
Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, helped me learn to focus on what's important in my life and on my long-term goals. For many years, I used the Covey Planner to plan my days in tune with those goals.
But the planner had several drawbacks. The paper inserts piled up and had to be shredded. I had to replace pages monthly. And it became too cumbersome to cart around.
After an intensive search to replace the paper planner, I discovered the Opus Domini app for Mac, and Opus Domini Mobile Pro for iPad, and iPhone. For less than $10, this app was the perfect solution to all these drawbacks. It's much cheaper, helps me accomplish what I need to get done, and offers many more features than my paper day planner.
Here's how to set it up . . .
Time required: 2 hours for initial setup and annual adjustments; 15 minutes for monthly, weekly and daily items.
Difficulty: Easy to medium, depending on your familiarity with Franklin Covey methods and digital day planners.
Cost: Less than $10
The Mission Page is aligned with Covey's Habit #2 - Begin with the End in Mind.
Create a Vision Board
Tip - I created a vision board in Pinterest and linked it to the Mission Page. To do this:
1. Create a private Pinterest board.
2. Populate it with links to images of your vision for your life, your family, home, career, finances, service to others, and spiritual pursuits.
3. Copy and paste the link to the board under "Vision" on this page.
Mission Page - Define your Mission, Values and Vision
Think of the Mission Page as the driving force that is the foundation for goal-setting, and as a way to envision the best of how you see yourself in your multiple life roles.
- Write a mission statement that reflects what you want to do with your life.
- List the values that are most important to you.
- Write a vision of your life aligned with your mission and values.
- Review this page monthly to help you refocus on or modify your long-term goals, and update it every year.
I try not to beat myself up when I fall behind on my goals. It simply indicates that I need help. So I seek assistance from a coach, mentor or family member in helping me achieve goals when my progress is stagnant.
- List your long-term goals.
- List measurable goals that will help you reach you vision, and the dates when you would like to accomplish these goals. Goals like "lose weight" are too general. "Lose 10 pounds" is a goal that can be measured.
- Use the sliding bar next to each goal to track your progress.
- Update monthly.
Habit #7 - Sharpen the Saw.
Covey emphasizes the importance of balancing four different aspects of your life - physical, social, mental and spiritual. This Compass page and the weekly goals you list under each area are gentle reminders in helping you create this balance.
Here is where you set your physical, spiritual, mental and social "compass" or direction in the months and years ahead. This is also where you define your life roles.
- List your weekly goals under each area that align with your vision and long-term goals.
- Use the slider to track your progress, and check the box when complete.
- Update weekly.
I also like to show my roles on this page. To do this, you'll first need to identify your roles:
- Click/tap on Opus Domini > Preferences > Compass
- List your roles (parent, teacher, entrepreneur, etc.) and place them in order of importance.
Are you a Procrastinator?
Tip - If you find yourself putting off a task on your Master Tasks Page, break it into smaller daily tasks.
Master Tasks Page
- List tasks with no deadline. These are tasks that have no defined due date, but need to be done to help you meet your goals.
- Move a task to the Daily Tasks page when you establish a deadline or are ready to work on it. To do this, click/tap on the left side of the task, select Send to Daily Tasks, then pick a date from the calendar.
- Update daily.
Notes at your Fingertips
Tip - The notes you jot on on the right side of this page are searchable, a big advantage over a paper planner. You can also insert images and links to web pages in the notes area.
Daily Tasks Page
- List each task on its deadline or due date.
List tasks in order of importance:
- A1, A2, A3... are tasks that absolutely must be done that day.
- B1, B2, B3... tasks are important, but the world will not end if they don't get done.
- C1, C2, C3... tasks are nice to do but not essential.
- Click/tap on the left corner of the task for a pull-down menu that let's you mark the task as completed, delegate it, mark it "in progress", delete it or forward it, or send it to Master Tasks if there's no due date, but you don't want to lose track of it. You can also forward all uncompleted tasks to the next day.
- If you want to see your goals and compass items on this page, click/tap Opus Domini > Preferences > Daily Tasks. Click options to Show Goals and Show Compass Items. Make notes on the right side page throughout the day. You can also insert images, links and documents using copy and paste.
- Calendar items are synched with iCal. To change the schedules that display from iCal, click/tap on Opus Domini > Preferences > Calendar. Select your default calendar and whether to show or hide other calendars listed.
- Update daily. Take 15 minutes each evening to see what progress you've made and to move, delegate, or delete tasks and add new ones. Plan your tasks for the following day.
Help with Creating a Vision Board
What Joyce Schwarz does so well is provide inspirational stories of how creating a vision with the vision board has transformed the lives of individuals and families. Her best-seller provides step-by-step instructions.
Being a virtually-driven person with little artistic talent, I found her guidance easy to adapt to my Pinterest vision board.