Well, it’s been a busy couple of months! We had a great time at the Saddleback Worship Conference in California and the National Worship Leader Conference in Austin, TX, and it was awesome to get to meet so many of you face to face. We are always blessed to hear how Planning Center is helping to better organize your ministries, and continue to be motivated to improve the service.
One of our biggest updates ever is here and we wanted to give you all the details so you can know what has changed. Unlike previous updates, we’re sending this email not just to administrators, but to editors as well, so that everyone can quickly benefit from the new features.
As you know, we strive to make Planning Center simple, powerful, attractive, and customizable, and getting the balance of these things right can oftentimes be a challenge. For example, our new custom reports allow unlimited control of your plan printouts, but in order to provide full customization, we have to sacrifice the simplicity. We think that those of you needing this advanced functionality will find it extremely useful, and those who don’t will barely even notice that it’s there.
Make sure to check out our new tutorials showing some of these features in detail on our tutorials page. Without further ado, here are the highlights of our new features.
Planning Center Online WIKI - Over the past year of developing Planning Center Online we have struggled to build a comprehensive help system, so we have decided to create a community where we can work together to provide the best documentation for Planning Center.
Planning Center Online FORUM - A very simple forum that gives you the opportunity to ask questions and collaborate with other PCO users. Our support team will also be monitoring this forum.
E-mail & Scheduling
Send one scheduling request email for multiple positions in a plan or for multiple weeks from the Matrix. The email will contain one “Respond to Requests” link to a new page where you can accept or decline multiple weeks and positions at one time.
Email these people in plan view gives you a list of exactly whom you are emailing and even allows you to remove individual people.
Email these people on the main people page lets you add individual people to your list.
Ability to import a csv file of people from the people page.
Link to the new login page in all non-scheduling emails. (http://www.planningcenteronline.com/login)
New yellow alert area on the top of the main plans page with a link to respond to any unconfirmed scheduling requests.
Attachment enhancements. Attachments (your uploaded files) can be assigned attachment types which can then be assigned to certain positions. Scheduled viewers will not see files assigned to other positions, but viewers, editors and administrators will see all file attachments, with attachments for their position in bold. For example, you can assign your capoed chord chart just to your acoustic guitar position and they will be the only person who sees it. Check out our 3 new Attachments tutorials.
Download all PDFs can choose specific attachment types. Once you’ve set your attachment types, when your scheduled viewers click download all pdfs at the top of their plan, they will only get the pdfs for their position. When viewers, editors or administrators click download all pdfs, they will be presented with options for which attachment types to include.
Uploading enhancements. Attractive new design that shows live progress on individual files.
Delete your file attachments or edit them with the new edit and delete buttons.
Printing & Custom Reports
Print arrangement names checkbox in standard print options
Standard print header changed to look better and take up less space
Check or uncheck all in standard print options
Custom Reports. In addition to enhanced standard printing, you can now create custom plan reports to fully control every aspect of your printout. Once you have created a custom report, choose it in the print options dialog instead of the standard report. These custom reports are created using HTML, CSS, and the Liquid programming language for which we provide documentation. You might need a web developer to help create your report, or you can try your hand in editing one of our sample reports. Check out our new Custom Report tutorial.
Songs & People
Song title & Arrangement name search boxes on the songs page.
Last login now displayed on person’s profile
Name search & ministry filter on the main people page.
Quicklinks now collapses and expands when you hover over it
Alternate title to song elements. Change the title of songs within a plan without affecting the song title in the database.
Enhanced add song options. You can now sort by song title, or date last used by clicking the column heading. You can also search for any word in the title, not just the first word.
Previous and next links when editing plan elements
Post-Service elements. Designate a plan element as post-service to add elements to the end of your service flow without factoring their length into the total plan time.
New site settings link at the top for the site owner only which includes the link to change your subscription plan
Add your custom logo to your Planning Center account to personalize the look
Ability to choose whether new users default to being scheduled viewers (like they are now), or regular viewers
Set whether or not your regular viewers can view the people page
Plan times and descriptions are now on one line when you hover over dates.
People not Available are no longer displayed in My Calendar. You can still click on a month name to get a large calendar view, which does include people not available
Simplified blocked out date editing. Hover over a date you have blocked out, and click edit next to “You have blocked out this date”
Updated My Calendar Tutorial
You can now set a default “Respond to” person for each category in your ministry from the ministry properties page. When you schedule a person in that category to a plan, it will respond to that person by default, though you are still free to change it.
You can also now set a default status (unconfirmed, confirmed, or declined) for a category from the ministry properties page and whether or not to prepare email notifications by default.
We already have an extensive list of ideas we’re working on for the next update, many provided by your feedback. We’ll also be attending the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta in the beginning of October, so make sure you stop by our booth to say hi or to ask any questions if you’re going to be there.
Jeff Berg Owner/Developer Ministry Centered Technologies