Franklin Virtue Chart

Franklin's Virtues: IndustryI've been looking for a nice lightweight way to jump into using the release candidate of 2 Draw (I'm not quite ready to tackle the Widget Kit yet), and inspiration came from the forums where Anonymous Ed requested an hPDA template of Benjamin Franklin's virtues chart, dating all the way back to 1726. I'm a sucker for historical methods of tracking information, as well as a fan of dear old Ben, so this series of fascinating charts seemed like the perfect opportunity to try my hand. (For more information about them, check out the FlameBright page on Ben's virtues and a short 43 Folders discussion about it. )

This template is a bit of an anomoly, since it doesn't follow the D*I*Y Planner look and feel, but rather a semi-historical one. (Click on the image at right for a larger view.) It includes:

  • Charts containing all thirteen of Benjamin Franklin's virtues and descriptions (at least, according to the FlameBright site)
  • A completely blank template, with only days of the week (this is suitable for more than tracking virtues, of course -- e.g., exercises): you can print these up and write in your own "virtues" and descriptions
  • A blank template with text, so you can click on the text in and change it to something else

I've included the OOo2 source file so you can modify the templates as you see fit, or you can use this as a base for different sizes and configurations (such as 4-up or 4"x6"). The font used is the nice old-fashioned Century Schoolbook, as installed via OOo2.

Good luck on Ch. ;-)


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This rocks!


Excellent! I've been missing some new templates/forms and
what could be better than the Virtue list by ol' Uncle Benjamin.


Now That's Service!

Wow! My request was not even 6 hrs old and it's here!

Thanks, Doug. This is just what I was looking for. Your inclusion of the source file might just prompt me to start messing around with some ideas in Open Office, too.


Great job! I especially like

Great job! I especially like the choice of font and the occasional use of the off letter. Gives a great sense of historical "accuracy".

With work it's best to just start.

Good thing there's no entry for Honesty

I would really be disappointed, especially considering Benji's entry for Chastity!

Thanks for the source file!

Thanks for the source file! My planner is 4x6, so that'll come in handy. Plus, I want to pretype some exercise names.

Psychology and the Franklin Chart

The described use of the Franklin Virtues chart overlooks a key principle of the psychology of behavior modification: positive reinforcement is much stronger at establishing habits than negative reinforcement. As I recall, the story is that Franklin marked each cell when he behaved contrary to a virtue. This may explain why first, if one is to be objective, Franklin was, ahem, somewhat inconsistent at following his own virtues, and, second, he later abandoned the active use of the chart. To try out the behavior mod suggestion, you might instead make a mark each time you practiced a virtue. (This might also have the good effect of bringing the virtues down from their current abstractness.)

I understand your comment on

I understand your comment on the power of positive reinforcement and its influence on behavior modification.

Please note that Franklin compared his marks from day to day. I'm sure that this practice would produce both negative and positive reinforcement. So, I would be inclind to disagree with you theory that the practice of noting failures was purely negative.

Also, the notion that we should merely note our virtues tends to suggest holding virtue as an exception rather than the norm. It is far healthier to maintain a spirit of virtue while accepting failure and it's even healthier to take note of failures.

The first goal of Psychology is to describe.

positive vs negative reinforcement

It's been a long time since I studied the subject, but one thing stuck with me, and I don't think my memory is serving me wrong here....

But I was taught that in psychology, "positive reinforcement" was the application of a stimulant--maybe a reward, or maybe a punishment--it wasn't "positive" as in "praise" versus "negative" as in punishment, but the _application_ of reinforcement. "Negative reinforcement" was the removal of the stimulant--say an electric shock, or more mundane as light or food. Again, it was not "negative" in the meaning as punishment, but the removal of the stimulant--but stimulant isn't the proper term, I don't think. There was another term that was used.

In any case, the marking of his chart was neither positive nor negative reinforcement. It just was a grading process. And he gave up, because he was incapable of keeping even his own, rather lax standards of virtue. Says a lot for this thing we call human nature, doesn't it. ;-)


Classic size for this? And also some suggestions

I have a suggestion:

For the Franklin virtues chart, may I request a classic size. I use a Covey Franklin planner.

1) I request that a space be provided for date. I would like to collect them and track them to see if indeed, my character has changed for the better.
2) I request one sheet that merely lists those 13 virtues, with the brief explanation to fit whatever page.


I too would like a classic

I too would like a classic size because I use the Franklin Covey classic version. Thank you