Integrating planner formats and approaches in to a Hybrid Planner-How do you all do it?

I think of myself as a hybrid planner user-I got started using the Franklin Covey System, and then, over the last year or so started learning about GTD and have been trying to implement a hybrid approach. My reason for doing so is that I still benefit from the top-down, ethically underwritten approach that the Covey system seems built upon, but find the multiple demand focus of GTD more suited to my actual day-to-day life. I am trying to hybridize the two into something that works for me (and may for others).

DIY Planner is very helpful to me in this. I use a number of the forms, but still use the dated 2-page a day Covey planner refill.

The big downfall of the Covey system is the rewriting of to-do's each day. Here DIY saved my bacon. After a several iterations I realized I could use a paper cutter to cut the "next action" forms into the Covey's "pouch pagefinder", meaning my next action lists are about 2.25 inches wide and 8.5 inches long-I use a "classic" planner size. Drastically simple compared to shuffling full-size next action sheets from day to day. A second benefit (for me) is that it requires me to compress the descriptio of each next action, which helps me capture what it really is that I want the next action to be.

Anyhow, I was just wondering if others out there are trying similar hybridization, and what they might be doing.

Ed Furlong
Evergreen, CO

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Hybrid top-down/bottom-up systems

I'm in full agreement with you, Ed. I like having longer-term goals, roles and personal development wrapped in with the nice, pragmatic approach of GTD. My typical weekly spread looks like this:

  • Left side: a form that captures most of the top-down information, like roles and the Saw goals. This was the Covey Weekly form, but this is being discontinued in version 3. In its place is a newer and more attractive form code-named "Harmony" that gathers the same information but is designed for a more holistic overview.

  • Right side: typical weekly 8-box, v3 version.

  • Centre: (yes, centre... this is the key) I use the Satellite Action Cards, which allow me to see my Next Actions and Waiting For items. They clip right into the centre of the spread, don't obscure either side, let you find "today" easily, and are easy to flip through and even carry with you.

I've been using this system for a few months now, and it works beautifully for a top-down/bottom-up (aka, Covey/GTD) hybrid. If anybody is interested, I'll do a write-up once the new v3 forms are released.

Okay, I'm procrastinating. Back to work.

all my best,


Good Insights and thanks for all your efforts


Thanks for the insight into your hybid approach and for pointing out the satellite action card, which I had downloaded but simply forgot about. Oops.

I'm a 2-page a day person (lots of meeting notes and appts) and finding tools to put my next actions right at hand is critical. I'll try the satellite cards out and see how they work for me.

Also thanks for all the hard work on the diy planner and the site. This is a great resource for us tinkerers who want to keep improving our planning and productivity.



I am very interested in your ideas. I am now abandoning an expensive Toshiba PDA and drawing my Filofax out for a return performance. I once used the Covey system but found the sheer bulk of the 2 page per day cumbersome. I prefer using the Filofax business page per day with plenty of lined paper for journalling, meeting notes, mind mapping etc. After visiting this site I seemed to be unshackled from structured planning systems/styles (FC/Outlook) and moving a bit more freestyle. I look forward to your write up as per the following:
I've been using this system for a few months now, and it works beautifully for a top-down/bottom-up (aka, Covey/GTD) hybrid. If anybody is interested, I'll do a write-up once the new v3 forms are released.


Until now I didn't 'get' what those harmony pages were for. Nice!

two page per week

I'm currently using a Franklin planner for my calendar and address book. Two pages per week works out the best for me. I like seeing my week at a glance. I normally have 2 - 5 meetings a week for work, and a similar number of personal engagements. The notes I take at meetings are generally stuff I have to do or know for projects, so that goes in the notebook. I've read Getting Things Done, and am implementing the bits & pieces of the system that make sense.

I've got enough work at work that if I don't track what I have to do, there's going to be some major stuff fall in between the cracks. I try to have one page listing my active projects and each project has a number assigned, strictly chronological order of when I first wrote them down. Then each project has its own page (or pages) or todo lists, notes, and other assorted bits of info.