Way back in the day, back to the last century, back to before we could carry our Macs in a backpack, and long before the iPhone revolutionized personal computing, I owned, used, cherished, and coveted the ubiquitous, made-from-a-tree Franklin Planner.
You remember those, right? The big, fat, overly stuffed multi-ring-binder day planner which recorded your entire life for posterity, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Well, the days of carrying around a tree carcass to take notes are gone but not forgotten. Here’s one of those clever 21st century digital day planners that you can actually use right away because it is instantly familiar (more so if you’re old and used day planners way back in the day).
Opus Me, Opus You
One of the most popular day planner apps for the Mac is Opus One. Opus One looks exactly like the day planners of yesteryear, from tabs to calendars to the ring binders; skeuomorphism is alive and well with Opus One. Maybe this is a throwback to the last century, and maybe Apple’s chief design honcho Sir Jony Ive eschews skeuomorphism as a plague upon 21st century mankind, but I like the familiarity, features, and functions.
Here’s an example. What does this look like to you?
If that’s not an exact replica of a day planner from yesteryear then I’m a monkey’s uncle (please do not contact my relatives for verification of this claim). Everything you need to build a better future by taking care of today’s minutes is built-in to Opus One.
Set daily tasks, check on status, adjust priorities on the fly, take notes for each entry, go crazy with the GTD (getting things done) focus method, or add a blast from the past with the Eisenhower Method. Opus handles it all.
Opus One is a good Mac citizen and that means the app plays nice-nice with Apple’s built-in apps, including event integration with Calendar, notes that are shareable with Messages, Facebook, or Twitter, and you can drop in text, maps, images, checklists, drawings, and audio clips with ease.
That means Opus One is both a high level, broad stroke strategy app with SMART goals, Compass and Master Task lists, a Mission Section to setup personal mission statement and personal values, and even motivational quotes to help you get through a rough day.
Above all else, I view Opus One as a day planner for your lifestyle. It’s not just for business meetings and notes. It’s for today, tomorrow, and your future; all neatly organized yet infinitely flexible and adjustable, with an option to sync Google Calendar and other Macs.
There’s even a weather forecast built-in so you don’t need to switch to another app. Opus One is like the kitchen sync for day planners, what the Franklin Day Planner would have been and should have been.
Even better, there’s an Opus One for iPhone and iPad. That’s a good thing because unlike the Franklin Day Planner from a few decades ago, I do not carry my Mac around everywhere I go. I could. But I don’t.
Instead, I take iPhone everywhere, and iPad occasionally goes along, too, but less frequently will I tote my Mac anywhere except a trip.
What about the inevitable caveats?
To get all the features of a digital day planner you pay a subscription price– macOS High Sierra or iOS– which, compared to some subscriptions, seems modest at a few bucks a month. I’m pretty sure I spent about the same on Franklin Planner refills each year.