Hey Jim, I'm a customer. . . your [Fractal Planner] software is the BEST time mgt software I've ever used . . .-- Brad Costanzo
Jim -- I've been using Fractal Planner for the last three days. This is planning software made for exactly the way my mind works. It's completely intuitive -- you can make changes and edits in seconds, not minutes. You can readjust priorities on the fly -- in seconds not minutes. I love it. I had given up on all planning software, but I'm a complete convert to the Fractal Planner. The last 3 days I've been more efficient than any day in the last 7 years.-- Chris Shaver
"Factal Planner is the 1st planning tool we've ever actually used for more than 2 weeks. It allows you to work in a natural way, unlike BaseCamp, 5PM, and countless others that force you into their way of working. Been using it for 6 months and we totally love it!"-- Dan and Jennifer, Founders, Ask Dan & Jennifer
Fractal Planner is one of the best new productivity enhancing tools I've discovered in the past year. If you're like most of us, managing multiple different projects with many moving parts, you MUST have a way to track your progress and make sure you're not missing a single important element. With so many tasks for the average web project, it's getting harder and harder to do this. Fractal Planner lets me more effectively manage these difficult complex projects, and eases the stress involved by letting me see AND review what still needs to be done, visually seeing that I haven't missed anything. I owe the successful launch of my recent new video membership site to Fractal Planner, and am currently re-launching my new ecommerce platform and shopping cart using it. Thanks Jim!-- Brett Foglewww.cydec.com
"I work in a profession where people are interrupting me all day long- and I need to take care of things for them. I can have incredibly long (and I would call them meaningful and productive days)-- yet not ever get to any of the things I actually had planned to do.
This is stressful!!!!! However, honestly due to the nature of my job -- it's not really going to change.
Now I am no longer discouraged about that stress. I started using the Fractal Planner about two weeks ago at work -- I've noticed that when I can control my schedule -- and I'm not being interrupted -- I make the switch much more quickly to my agenda because it is so organized. I can see exactly what I need to be doing- how it fits into my overall goals/direction and that effeciency definitely has toned down my stress levels and made me more productive during the times that I am in charge of my time." -- Lori Gibson
"Using it every day and getting more done. Including stuff that takes emotional energy and therefore usually put it off . . ."-- Sarah Hurty
"Just signed up for [The Fractal Planner]* this morning -- I didn't even know I needed it or what it really did. But you haven't yet created a product that I don't absolutely delight in. So signing up was automatic ;-) I've just added all my Master plans and sub plans etc and I already feel 100% better, efficient and somehow lighter getting all that stuff purged! Love your work sir!"
" -- Gian Visser
"It got even better during the day - I can honestly say I haven't had as productive a day as this in the last 3 years. And there's no question it was thanks to Fractal Planner (in fact you should see all the crossed off items in my Master Plan!)
Thanks again Jim
Gotta feeling this puppy's going to be life changing!" -- Gian Visser, later that same day.
"So I've been using the Fractal Planner for a month now, and the increase in my productivity is pretty outstanding. (My husband is wondering what has gotten into me as he sees what I'm getting done in a day both at work AND at home. Groovy!) What is downright shocking is how much more energized I am: Instead of holding a bunch of noise in my head, I'm consistently freed up to be creative and present, knowing all my "stuff" is captured in one place. I'm ticking off lists like nobody's business. Funny, historically, I'm not even a list type. Love the space to clear my head...who knew? I guess you did. "
-- Sheila Delaney Dukewww.DelaneyDuke.com
"Seriously, the Fractal Planner has helped me take care of things I've been meaning to do for years. It really clears my mind and helps me to keep on track. "
-- Malinda Ray Allen, Allen|Body Group
"I have used your Fractal Planner for two weeks now, and I am thrilled with the ease of use and effectiveness. I've struggled with using a paper planner and having a work life that's all online. Now my planner and my work can be displayed in one place. Thank you!" -- Kathy Finger
Several Problems Solved at Once
few years ago my life was a frustrating mess. I had several major projects going (finishing up my PhD dissertation, helping raise two small children, and starting a software development business), and I was overwhelmed.
On a daily basis I faced uncertainty, financial stress, and what felt like a million thoughts going through my head.
I would try to focus on one project for a while, but the other projects kept coming to mind. I would switch projects, and still other projects would come to mind. I was overwhelmed with the stuff I had already decided to do, and I was overwhelmed with 100 other things I thought I should do but hadn't started yet.
It was too much.
I read David Allen's book "Getting Things Done", and it helped a lot. I learned how to get stuff out of my head and process it. I got some priorities straightened out, and got somewhat more organized.
But I had a tough time finding a planning tool that would help me keep my mind clear and organized on a daily basis. I needed a tool that would let me plan effectively, work efficiently, and keep my mind clear all the time.
I tried different tools and systems, and these are some of the problems I ran into:
Constantly Re-writing plans: When I used a calendar to manage my to do list, I found myself constantly scratching things out and moving old items into those slots, because I couldn't accurately guess how long tasks would take, or how much I could actually get done in a day. A calendar would sometimes last only a week before it got so messy I had to get a whole new calender page out and start fresh.
Word Processor Outlines Wouldn't Behave: When I tried planning my projects out in word processor document outlines, I found that, often, when I'd try to move parts of the outline around the numbering system would get all messed up, and I would spend way too much time trying to make the outline work right. I also couldn't hide parts of the plan or zoom in and out to help me focus better.
Too Many Separate Plans: When using separate documents for each project, I found I had too many separate plans and wasted time finding where to put my new ideas and locate my old ones.
Planning Tools had Limited Depth: With some tools I found myself wanting to break a task down further, but the planning tool wouldn't go any deeper.
Planning Tools Slowed Down the Planning Process: With other tools I would want to break a project down quickly, but every time I entered a new task, I had to specify which folder it went in, decide what priority to make it or specify other things that slowed down the planning process.
I hadn't found what I needed in a planning tool, but I was starting to know what I wanted.
Then, in 2010, I re-read a book by Brian Arthur called "The Nature of Technology." Brian Arthur is a Santa Fe Institute fellow, and works in a field called "complexity theory". Brian applies complexity theory to economics, and his book explores the ways in which our whole economy, and all the technologies within it have a fractal structure.
Don't let the term "complexity" worry you. In fact, complexity theory actually offers a great way to achieve SIMPLICITY. And fractals are the key.
At one point I realized something else. Everything *I* create has a fractal structure, and my plans for creating them have a fractal structure as well. And just as the whole economy is one giant fractal made up of smaller fractals, my whole life can also be represented as one big fractal made up of smaller fractals.
How neat would it be if our planning tools allowed us to plan with fractals? It would be simple, elegant and powerful.
So I decided to design a truly fractal personal planning tool for myself.
As I started to develop it, I was excited about the possibilities. But it turns out I actually had no idea how well it would wind up working . . .
Fractals are Nature's Neatest Trick for Bringing Order out of Chaos
The fractal planning tool I developed has worked wonders for me.
My life had been full of chaos, but almost immediately my life became orderly -- with very little effort.
The Fractal Planner helped me clear my mind up right away (and my mind stays clear to this day -- all day long every day).
I spend less time looking for stuff.
My planning process is much faster (I write my plans about as fast as I can type).
My plans are more compelling (because I can flexibly rearrange things)
And my plans wind up being far more complete (because I can break tasks down as far as I need to exactly when I need to).
To this day I get easily twice as much done for the time I work, and have less stress in my life.
After working like this for a while, I showed my Fractal Planner to some trusted colleagues, and they urged me to make the service available to others.
Since that time many others have experienced the calm power of fractal planning -- just like I did.
Let me say more about the Fractal Planner, and why it works so well:
Here's How the Fractal Planner Can Help You Clear Your Mind and Get Stuff Done.
1. The Fractal Planner has a True Fractal Structure
A planning fractal is bascially an outline -- something you're probably well familiar with. But there are differences between how the Fractal planner works and how other outlining tools work.
Here are the essential features of a truly fractal planning structure:
Fast, Unlimited Planning: You can break your projects down as far as you need, as fast as you can type, in an outline format.
Flexible Rearranging: Each node in your fractal plan is itself a fractal plan, and you can drag whole families (parent and children, grandchildren, etc.) to new locations all at once.
Expand and Collapse: You may expand any plans you want to see and collapse any plans you don't want to see.
Zoom and Pan: You may zoom in on any fractal plan you want and keep the context clear.
Task Processing: You may process items (mark them to be done, mark them complete, tag them, schedule them, etc.).
With a fractal planning structure you can place things where they fit best, find things right when you need them, break plans down as fast as you can type, focus on only the parts you want to focus on, and always understand the bigger picture.
2. The Fractal Planner Improves on Other Popular Personal Planning Tools
Here's how the Fractal Planner compares to other outlining tools:
Better than a Word Processor Outline: Unlike a word processor outline, the Fractal Planner allows you to expand, collapse, zoom, and pan for better focus. It also allows you to process items as you go. And you won't waste time messing with a messed up numbering scheme.
Better than a Folder System: Unlike a folder structure in an operating system, the Fractal Planner allows you to break things down much more quickly, and allows you to process items efficiently.
Better than a Spreadsheet: If you use a spreadsheet to plan, you have to plan ahead how many levels you want to indent. Copying existing plans to new places in the spreadsheet can be a formatting nightmare. It's difficult to show and hide sub-plans. And it's nearly impossible to zoom in on plans that are deeper in the overall structure. The Fractal Planner takes care of all those things for you.
Better than Personal Task Management Software: Unlike many personal planning software tools, the Fractal Planner allows you to break projects down to unlimited detail (rather than only a level or two -- e.g. only "projects" and "tasks"), and allows you to enter tasks as fast as you can type (rather than having to specify a lot of detail for each task as you enter them) .
Better than Mind Maps: Unlike mind maps, the Fractal Planner display is more compact, allows for faster break down of projects, and doesn't invite you to waste time re-arranging things.
3. The Fractal Planner is Designed to Keep You Moving:
Keeps Your Mind Clear: Having your whole life in the same planner makes it easy to take random thoughts and get them out of your head and into your plan, so quickly you don't break the flow you have with your current project. The Fractal Planner also has a Clear Mind Wizard that helps you deal with crippling bouts of overwhelm in less than 5 minutes (usually). After a couple weeks of using the Fractal Planner you'll probably find you don't get overwhelmed as much anymore, and your mind will stay clear pretty much all day every day.
Speeds Up Your Planning: With the fractal planner you add items right where they go in your plan, and you can break them down as fast as you can type. No need to specify endless detail about each task as you go. If you need to specify more detail, you can do that later for the tasks that really need it (for instance, you can schedule a task, link it to an external resources and so on).
Helps You Focus: With the Fractal Planner you can keep in view only the tasks you need to keep in view. This helps you stay focused and aovid distraction. You can collapse and expand plans, and zoom and pan. If you need more context, you can zoom out. And if you need more focus, you can zoom in.
Makes it Fun to Process Items: You can highlight the items you're working on "right now", and then strike them out when you complete them. You can keep completed items in view if you want, or hide them from view once they're completed.
4. The Fractal Planner has Sensible Supporting Features
To Do View: The Fractal Planner allows you to highlight items, indicating that they are to be done "today". If you have items from different parts of your plan highlighted, you can pull them all together onto one page -- the "TO DO" page. This allows you to see them all in one place, and process them efficiently.
Clear Mind Wizard: An overwhelmed mind is one of the biggest flow killers. It is one of the main reasons for procrastination. AND it just doesn't feel very good. The Fractal Planner has a tool that helps you get every stray thought out of your head, and put into your plan (or onto a "maybe later" list, or deleted).
Stock Plans (checklists): The Fractal Planner allows you to take any plan and turn it into a "stock" plan. That way you can add the plan back into your planner any place you want. This is perfect for complex plans you carry out on a regular basis. If you frequenly go on trips, you can make a stock plan from your packing list. Then, when it's time for the next trip, you just put your whole packing list right into your planner all at once. This saves time, allows you to refine your process, and makes it easy to outsource these proceures if that becomes a live option for you down the road.
Rhythm Timer: It's good to set up work-rest rhythms. For instance, most poeple will work more effectively if they work for 50 minutes and take a break for 10, than they will if they just work straight through with no breaks. The Fractal Planner has a rhythm timer that allows you to implement different work-rest rhythms.
Tagging: The Fractal Planner allows you to tag tasks. You don't need to (and shouldn't) tag every task. That would defeat the purpose of having a planner designed for fast breakdown and processing. But sometimes tags make sense. For instance, you can tag all the tasks that require you to make a phone call. That way, no matter where the tasks fall within your planner, you can pull all your phone calls together in one place. That might be handy if you have blocked out some time for making phone calls. This is a great way to implement the "contexts" feature of David Allen's Getting Things Done system.
Scheduling: You can schedule a task. Scheduling can do two things. 1) When it comes time to do the task, it will highlight the item and move it to your to do list, and 2) it will allow you to upload the item to Google Calendar with 1 click. Then you can have Google email you when the task draws near.
Maybe Later List: A maybe later list is like a box in the garage. It's a place that allows you to get junk out of your living space, but doesn't require you to get rid of the stuff altogether -- just in case you want to use it some day. Using a maybe later list is an essential habit for keeping your mind clear, and is a cornerstone of the Getting Things Done system, as well as the Fractal Planning System.
Who Should Use the Fractal Planner?
The Fractal Planner is a cloud-based service. It's a great choice for people who do much of their work at or near a computer that's connected to the internet. The beauty of the cloud is that you can access your planner with ANY computer that's connected to the internet. If you use one computer at home, and another at work, you can access your planner either place with no problem.
If you think a cloud-based service might fit you well, the next step is to ask yourself what kind of work you do. Are you a creator, a responder, or do you have a hybrid style of working?
Are You a Creator?
Creators are autonomous, self-driven, and creative. Their work does not typically come to them. Instead they must decide both what to do, and how to do it.
small business owners
Creators have more uncertainty about what they should be doing and how to do it than do other types of workers. Because of this they have special planning needs that aren't always addressed by the most popular planning systems and tools.
Special Planning Needs of Creators:
Fast Deep Breakdown: Because Creators have to determine how an outcome will be achieved, they REALLY need a tool that allows them to break projects down quickly and to a deep level.
Flexible Rearranging: For the same reason Creators need a tool that will let them rearrange things easily -- moving plans and sub plans around until they make the most sense, so that when it comes time to execute the plan they have a clear, compelling construction story to follow.
Everything in One Planning Structure: Creators tend to work on bigger projects than other types of workers -- and often have several of them going on at the same time. It's a very good idea for a creator to have everything in one planning structure. This allows the creator to easily prioritize her work. And it allows her to get thoughts of one project off her mind while working on another project -- without having to find the other planning structure first.
Focus and Context: Because creators work on big projects, they also tend to need the ability to zoom and pan within their plans so they can shift between tighter focus and broader context as needed. They also need to be able to determine how much detail is in view at a time.
A Box in the Garage: Creators have more ideas than they can execute. In order to keep a clear mind it's essential for creators to make a practice of putting many of their good ideas onto a "maybe later" list so their minds can let go of them while they work on the tasks at hand.
Checklists for Outsourcing: Creators can get bogged down by routine tasks. Checklists (or "Stock Plans") make these tasks easier to enter into the planner, make them easier to refine, and make them easier to eventually outsource when the time comes. This allows the creator to focus on the more creative aspects of her work.
If you are a Creator, and you do much of your work connected to the internet, you should seriously consider using the Fractal Planner. It was designed by a Creator to meet the needs of Creators.
Now, if you suspect you are NOT a Creator, keep reading. The Fractal Planner could well be the best option for you as well.
Are You a Responder?
Responders tend to have their tasks given to them. Often their individual projects will take less than a day to complete. They must keep their eye on their inbox and accomplish tasks in a timely manner.
most service workers
many service providers
crisis hotline workers
Most planning tools and systems are already designed to help responders stay on top of things. Here are some things a responder needs in a planning tool.
Special Planning Needs of a Responder
Fast Task Entry: While responders don't need the ability to plan as deeply as creators, they do need to be able to enter tasks very quickly.
Checklists for Fine-Tuning Performance: Responders can improve performance, even on tasks they've done a hundred times, by having a checklist to go by. Atul Gawande, in his book, "The Checklist Manifesto" describes how the performance of doctors and pilots improved dramatically when they started using checklists to guide them as they went through familiar procedures. The Fractal Planner allows you to make checklists (or "stock plans") out of any procedure.
Scheduling: Responders tend to schedule more than creators and need the ability to integrate their planning with a calendar.
Fast, Clear Workflow Management: Workflow management needs to be fast, clear and easy. Mark it active, do it, mark it off.
If you are a responder who works most of the time connected to the internet, the Fractal Planner might be the best planning tool for you as well.
Do You Have a Hybrid Work Style?
Some people have to play the role of both Creator and Responder in their work. If this describes your work, my hat is off to you. Creating and responding take completely different mindsets, and it's often hard to combine both in a single job. You have to achieve the deep focus of a Creator at times, and yet allow yourself to be interrupted and distracted much of your day.
Workers with Hybrid Styles Include:
If you have a hybrid job you will need a tool that allows you to manage both styles of work. If you spend much of your work day connected to the internet, you should consider that the Fractal Planner might be a great fit for you.
The Fractal Planner is just $9.95/month. For the cost of about 2 latte's per month you can have a clear mind all day every day. You'll also plan faster and better and get more done.
Give it a go. I guarantee it will make your productivity go up, and your stress go down.
Just click on the "add to cart" button, and start today.
Once you click the Add To Cart button, you'll be taken directly to Clickbank to process your order. Your initial charge will be just $9.95. You will then be charged $9.95 per month
until you cancel.
The fractal planner is a hosted service, and requires no download or installation.
After ordering, you'll come right back to the Fractal Planner website, where you can set up your account, and begin using the planner immediately.
If you don't experience more productivity with less stress (or for any other reason), you are free to cancel at any time.