For the last couple of months, we've been working on the single biggest update in Planning Center's 5 year history, and today is the day we release it into the wild! If you've caught any of our @planningcenter tweets or seen our Facebook page, you already know what it is: a completely new version of the Matrix. In case you don't know, the Matrix shows you multiple plans side by side so you can easily plan or schedule many weeks at a time. With this update we've added so much more to it, we think most people will decide to do almost everything from the Matrix. Let's dive into the features.
Real Time Updating
Everything you see in the Matrix is automatically updated live! Any changes made to any item will be reflected in the Matrix without having to refresh. When people accept or decline, a notification will popup in the lower right.
Full Plan Reordering
The songs row has been replaced with the new "Order of Service" section which shows all items in your plan and allows reordering, and even copying to other plans via drag and drop. You can add items to your plans and also edit them just like you can in plan view.
Edit Item Descriptions
The "Order of Service" section will allow you to quickly edit descriptions of any items that occur in multiple plans. Click "Edit Item Descriptions" to the very right of the "Order of Service" header, and your descriptions are shown. Your item titles are now row headings, and plans that contain that item have white cells. Click in any cell to add a description to that item. To save your changes, hit the enter key, and if you want to make a new line, hold down shift while pressing enter. If you add a description to a gray cell, that item will be added to that plan along with your description.
Integrated Songs, Media & People Libraries
Easily search, filter, and drag from the new library sidebar directly to any plan using drag and drop. Hovering over an item in the sidebar will show a hover card with more information for that item, including the date last used & preview images when available. The Hover Cards also provide links to the original library items so you can edit them quickly.
Song Hover Cards show bpm & song sequence, and also arrangement names & keys which you can drag to your plans so you don't have to choose those details later. The songs library sidebar will also stream the mp3 or m4a which was uploaded first.
Depending on where you load the Matrix, it automatically chooses plans for you. Load the Matrix from any plan, at the bottom of any service type on the main plans page, or by clicking the new Matrix button when you hover over a plan in the plans list, and the Matrix will load 1 previous plan and the next 4 plans from that service type. Load the Matrix from the top of the main plans page and it will load 1 plan from each service type you see on that page.
You can change the default number of plans the Matrix loads per service type, by editing your service type properties.You can also change the the number of plans loaded for a folder by editing the folder properties.
To load new plans, click the "Load A Plan" button at the top right of the matrix. Plans already loaded are shown in gray. To remove a plan from Matrix view, hover over its title and click the gray x.
Printing & New Custom Reports
To print the Matrix, you must use a report. We've redone all our Matrix reports and have included new functionality that makes it even easier to print without having to modify any of the reports. The default Matrix report and the People Calendar report default to only printing expanded categories. This allows many people to use the same report for different uses. Whatever you have visible in the Matrix will print, and whatever is hidden will not.
The Planning Center Development Team
I'm sure there lots more I haven't touched on, like emailing your people, for example, but you'll discover more as you use it. I want to take a second and acknowledge the amazing work of our development team, Jeff Berg & Scott Motte, our programmers, and Shane Armitage, our designer. These guys are incredible at what they do and toil endlessly to make every little detail perfect so you can have a more productive and even fun experience using Planning Center. Being in ministry, you know what it's like to put your heart and soul into something, so if you have a second, give these guys a shout out in the comments below.
Check out this quick video introduction to the Matrix by Jeff Berg, our Owner and Lead Developer
[vimeo 19229636 w=425&h=239]
Or check out our detailed video tutorial
[vimeo 19233402 w=425&h=239]
We hope you love the new Matrix and thank you for letting us be a part of the great ministry you are doing!