Forget the 7 Habits & Break all the Rules Book

Has anybody else read this book yet? Trapper and Mark Woods authored it and offer a new management system that operates through their new 24/7 Work-Life Planner.

I've already worked up a template for the planner and the Trapper Woods website has an instructional video on how to use it most effectively. I've recently switched and really like it. I'm able to manage my activities a bit better without the added stress of a backed up list that never seems to get smaller.

I've submitted the first edition of my template here so hopefully, it should be posted in the next few days.

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Three Boxes

Watched the video. Um. A dollop of New Age jargon, a smattering of out-moded marketing jargon, some well-meaning enthusiasm, and much blantantly obvious stuff. All explained with the most patronizing voice-over --- there are several places where the speakers affect is the opposite of what they intend the words to say. A professional voice-over artist should have been employed. Based on ths promotional video Trapper Woods won't be a public speaker I'll ever go hear; unless I want a good sleep.

The monocrome nature of the presentation was bizarre; if you're going to code tasks by colour then ... well ... colour them don't initialise. That the video producers had to explain that R means Red, G means Green, and oh Y means Yellow was the point where I lost interest in exploring the scheme.

Maybe the book is fantastic and more useful but on the strength of the video alone think I'll stick with what I've got.

My biggest criticism with this scheme (and with its direct rival Covey's 7 Habits) is the lack of any life-long learning in this scheme. Richard N Bolles (author of What Color is Your Parachute) addressed this greater balance in his book The Three Boxes of Life.

Three Boxes is subtitled "an introduction to life/work planning". Sad that his ideas mostly have been ignored over the 30 years since he first wrote the book. Probably because he focuses on job-hunting so one can achieve the balance of work, recreation and learning. But that latter subject is just as important.

A few things...


A couple of things to consider when watching the video...

1) The assumption is that you've not only read the book I mentioned, but also that you've purchased the planner and are ready to use it. I was skeptical at first also but thought for $10 (The cost of the book), I'd give it a shot. I read the book twice (quick read) and began the process of trying to implement this system (hence my developing the template)..After a few rought spots at first (trying to figure out how to organize the "buckets"), I've settled into an activity management system that's doable without all the many lists I had before.

2) I've never felt that a time management system was designed to promote life long learning as you mentioned. Life long learning should be a by product of such a system but each person should take the time to organize a personal growth plan and implement it within whatever system they use...(Covey, GTD, Woods all give you the flexibility to include personal growth into their system.) I personally use an annual growth plan that I keep in a separate book (circa punched so I can add notes) and keep up with my goals by adding them into my daily planner.

I think it's more about perspective then anything. Any of the systems will allow life long learning if we are aware of our need for it and make it a priority in our lives.

Thought this was an interesting layout

I thought the layout was interesting... I am intrigues by the hours of the day circling the task list/note section. I not certain I would ever use the entire 24 hours circling.

I have played a little with a three sided time layout -- morning along the top, afternoon along the right side and evening at the bottom -- since I have few evenings, one large box seems better than several smaller ones. That might defeat the "what I plan to do with my time" aspect....

Still, I think I prefer seeing a week at a time, like my Moleskin layout. One of my key take-aways from 7 habits was the "plan weekly, adjust daily" principle. This time of year I am always on the look-out for new ideas since I am anxious (in a good, positive way) to begin afresh in 2008 with an improved productivity tool. This layout, a radical departure from most linear planners, was a different paradigm.

In the Molehill speech King Henry VI talks about longing to be a shepherd rather than a king, then he would be able " see the minutes how they run,/ How many makes the hour full complete; / How many hours brings about the day / How many days will finish up the year / How many years a mortal man may live. / When this is known, then to divide the time; / So many hours must I tend my flock; / So many hours must I take my rest / So many hours must I contemplate / So many hours must I sport myself /... / So minutes, hours, days, months, and years / Past over to the end they were created." (King Henry VI, part III, act 2, scene 5).

Linear is good, I have used it for years.... this layout caused me to again reflect on time as a cycle... to see how minutes run into hours into days.

Thanks for finding this and sharing it.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

Re: Cool Thoughts


Yes, I was kind of struck by the layout. To be honest, it was what first attracted me to the system and ultimately, to purchase the book.

So far, so good. I'm managing my lists (er...buckets) a bit better using this. More stuff is getting done and I'm not feeling quite as stressed trying to keep up too many lists. I just check the buckets each morning and go... The task and note sections are just the right size for the day. As for long range planning (week or month out as you mention), I do that with my Google Calendar online. At the beginning of each week (Usually for me, I plan out a week on Sunday evenings.) I simply put my calendar entires into an "Agenda" format through Google calendar and then print them out a week ahead so I can add them to the 24/7 planner. For the current week, I put any new events or deadlines on the paper planner itself and calendar to Google anything beyond that. It keeps me up on everything that's due and it's working pretty well.