From LJ: Recently I was sent a code to review a new release for the iPod/iPhone/iPad. This software, Benjamin, was touted as being an electronic version of the Franklin Planner. The developer had this to say about it:
Benjamin is a task manager that implements the FranklinCovey system of time-management. In other words, it’s a replacement for a Franklin Planner.
Since I don’t use a Franklin Planner, I decided to ask my readers. One of the respondees, Sarah Zblewski, has used Franklin for years, and had just gotten an iPad. I asked her to review the software. Here is her review:
As an avid Franklin Planner user and a new iPad user, I was asked to give Benjamin a try. The company boasts that Benjamin is a replacement for Franklin Planner.
I am a full-time working homeschooling mother of three. I am an organizing junkie that lives in routines and the Franklin Covey way. I have spent the last two weeks working in the Benjamin program. I spent the first week placing data into the program and working with both my current system and the Benjamin program. The second week, I put away my original system and only used Benjamin.
The app does have a basic to-do list with prioritization. It has the basic needs of recurring tasks but they are extremely restrictive to a couple prearranged options. The master list also doesn’t show which projects each task is related to without opening the individual task. My housekeeping tasks were not included in the overall master list since they are into part of a project. The input of all tasks are tedious and has no option to import from any programs to easy transition. A reminder from the program would be a nice.
There is a really nice note section that you can type notes into. You can either place it within the task or by day. The notes are then searchable by day they were written on.
Other Planner Components
The app does not have a calendar/meeting proponent. You lose the overview of your day without this function. I personally find having my task list and daily appointments visible on one screen or page extremely important.
The app also doesn’t have contacts, web address book or other useful tools for organizing; which are all a necessity for a good planner system.
You can email today’s tasks, master task list, or project specific task list which is nice to have it in one view. The email isn’t visually stimulating but does give you all the information you enter for your task.
The application has no way to sync with your computer or download in case of crash. I keep a lot of information in my planner and would be lost if I couldn’t access it for even one day.
I found the program extremely hard to understand and use. It doesn’t have all the proponents needed to replace my current planner. It is a basic task list program with priority capabilities. The app isn’t visually stimulating but is basic and plan. The program would be good for a beginning to do list user but a power user may not find to work for them.
Author: Daze End Software
This review was written by Sarah Zblewski, a reader of the blog. She recieved a copy of the software, provided by the software’s author, in order to review it.