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The Franklin Planner, a paper-based time management system created by Hyrum W. Smith and marketed from 1997 by the FranklinCovey company, consists physically of a ring binder holding specially designed loose-leaf pages. Divided by monthly tabs between the pages and accepting a wide variety of specialized accessories and inserts, the system aims to consolidate tasks and appointments along with personal records in one place for improved personal information management by eliminating "floating pieces of paper".
A core technique of the Franklin Planner system involves beginning each day with fifteen minutes of "solitude and planning".
The planner comes in five sizes:
- Monarch (8.5x11", 216x280 mm)
- Classic (5.5x8.5", 140x216 mm)
- Compact (4.5x6.75",108x172 mm)
- Pocket (3.5x6", 89x153 mm)
The standard daily section of the planner has two pages per day and has areas for a prioritized task list, an agenda of appointments and a daily record of events (diary) page. A key section at the rear of the book contains addresses. Other inserts include ledger sheets for tracking finances or vehicle mileage, exercise logs and other individualized reference materials.
Because of its overall design, the Franklin-Covey system lends itself to use as a tickler file, as well as a long-range planner. Most annual versions of the page inserts for the Franklin system include yearly calendars for at least five years; future monthly calendars for at least three years; and then the current year's pages and associated monthly calendars for planning. When used as a total package, the system provides a means of tracking minute details; storage of signed agreements (especially if pages are archived in the archival binders); and tracking of business and personal expenses for taxes.
FranklinCovey markets the planner heavily to government and corporate workers in the United States, with a business strategy that creates revenue from sales of seminars, books, stationery and luxury-grade accessories.
Marketing channels also exist outside the United States of America.
The Franklin Day Planner was first produced in 1984. There followed a time-management workshop, which emphasized clarification of personal values, priorities and mission. In August 1989 Simon and Schuster published The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and training and consulting based on its concepts were developed[by whom?] for this and for the 1994 book by Covey, Merrill, and Merrill, First Things First, in 1994. Ancillary software products were also created for Palm OS and Microsoft Windows in the late 1990s, promoted at specialized Franklin Covey retail stores. Although FranklinCovey (founded in 1997) operated 125 such stores in January 1999, many have closed in favor of retail sales through Office Depot, Staples, Office Max and licensed variants such as the "DayOne" line at Wal-Mart.
- "Franklin Planner vs. Hot Topic: Side-by-side Comparison". 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-04. "International customers can purchase products from Franklin Covey’s international sites. Franklin Covey’s international sites serve countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Dubai, and other countries."
- Covey, Stephen R. (1989-08-15). The seven habits of highly effective people : restoring the character ethic. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 340. ISBN 0671663984.