Over the past several years I have been on a quest to be connected and to have my key personal information with me all the time. It was not always easy to be connected, but now that quest is a way of life for me and countless others.

Fast cellular data networks, rich mobile applications, sync with Microsoft Exchange and vast coverage by the large cellular carriers have made my quest a reality.  Today, I use my iPhone to get and stay connected to my personal data, which allows me to be connected if I choose, just about any where I go.  Of course there are any number of smart phones now that allow users around the globe to stay connected to their key planning information – and much more.

The basic apps that come with most smart phones now do a wonderful job of keeping us on time and in-the-know.  My smart phone allows me to text quickly with my kids, keeping me up to date with them and what they are doing. My corporate email is always in sync and keeps me in touch with my colleagues and my key projects. My contact app is always up to date so I can contact anyone in my database in just a few seconds.  What really makes my planning easy with these modern tools is the fact that no matter where I access my data, it is all the same – and that is powerful.

So, electronic planning is really here for good and is really pretty easy to use and is affordable for almost anyone.  We are working now to create a number of rich planning applications that take advantage of all the things that I mentioned above, so I can see how I am doing as a dad, a spouse, and as an executive.  I have always counted on and followed the FranklinCovey system for planning. I will always follow that system, even though I use modern planning tools.

There are any number of other great apps that help us to be effective each day, including notes, e-banking, stocks, instant messaging, news, weather, and of course, sports.  I hear that there are a few good games out there to choose from, as well.  There are now some 300,000+ apps just on iTunes that customers can choose from, but for me, some of the basic, boring apps make me plan well and are the most important for me.  Maybe your experiences are different.

Here are my key tools that allow mobile planning to be a reality and a success:

  • Hosted Microsoft Exchange and Outlook – great for small business
  • PlanPlus™ for Outlook – a MUST in my planning experience
  • iPhone connected to my hosted exchange server
  • Great mobile planning apps – text, calendar, contacts, notes
  • Other great apps, such as Google Talk on my iPhone, Bloomberg, USA Today, Wells Fargo Banking App (love it), Fandango for the impulse movie, Wall Street Journal, and many others

You likely have other great apps that work for you, depending on what you do, but make sure you have the basic apps down and that you have your daily planning tools always accessible.  It might be boring, but it can and will surely make your life better and keep you organized and in touch, which will improve your effectiveness in this sometimes hectic life.