Hello everyone,

Looking at my blog I see that I have not been doing a good job of keeping you updated with all of the new features that we have been adding, mostly because I have been so busy with those new features that I have not had time to write about any of them. I am also going to try really hard to give more frequent updates in the future.

Last week we deployed one of the largest updates we have made to Planning Center Online so I thought now would be a good time to get caught up with a list of some of the major features we released in this release and past releases.

My Calendar

When you login to Planning Center you will see that we have made some pretty significant changes to the plans page. The first being there is now a three month calendar in the sidebar that will show you exactly which services you have committed to in green, declined from in red & those that are waiting a response from you in yellow. It will also show you all other events that you have permissions to see in grey.

We also added the ability for you or your volunteers & staff to block out dates that they will be unavailable for. If you schedule a person for a day that they have blocked out, you will get a warning informing you of their unavailability. In addition, there is now a convenient link at the top of each plan page for your volunteers to change their availability, or initially accept or decline a service without requiring them to save their scheduling email.

Ministry Groups

For our larger churches who have numerous ministries to coordinate, the plan list was getting quite long so we have added the ability to organize your ministries into ministry groups. For example, at my church we have moved all of our Student Ministries plans into two new ministry groups called "High School" & "Jr. High". The permission for a ministry group will apply to all ministries within it. This gives us the ability to give our student ministries worship leader administrative rights over the entire Student Ministry Group by only setting one permission.

In addition, Planning Center will remember which Ministry Group you were last working in and always returns you to that location when you visit the plans page.

Plan Templates

Previously you have been able to copy plans within a ministry to avoid duplicating your work, but we wanted to take it a step further. Now you can create templates for every type of service you have and when you create a new plan it will ask you which template to use.

Chord Chart Transposing

Many people have asked for the ability to copy and paste chord charts from a website and place them into Planning Center Online and have the chord chart automatically transposed into different keys. We have now implemented this feature and you can check out a video on how to use this feature here.

E-Mail People & Welcome E-Mail

Ever wanted to e-mail all of your Guitarists? PowerPoint People? Now you can just go into the people listing and filter it down to who you want to send an e-mail to and then click the "e-mail these people" in the upper right hand side of the page. Then just type your message and you are done!

We also wanted to help you add new people to Planning Center Online by giving you the option to automatically send an e-mail that will tell them a little bit about Planning Center and how to log-in. You will find this option when creating a new account.

Plan Item Attachments

You can now attach a file to an individual element in your plan. Some ideas are: message, announcement slides, video previews, etc. Once you’ve created the item, just click the blue arrow to its left to expand it down, and you will see the new attachment options.

Upcoming Conferences

Anyone going to Worship Northwest in January? Or maybe re:create in February? If so, we would love to meet you so come by our booth so we can put some faces with all of the names we have.

I'm excited for you to use these new features and look forward to serving you as you plan your worship services.

In Him,

Jeff Berg Developer/Owner Ministry Centered Technologies