Two months ago when we released Positions 2.0 and Auto-Scheduling, I mentioned that those features would make way for even more cool stuff down the road. Well here at the Planning Center offices we've been walking down that road since then and are happy to release the first new addition: Scheduling Preferences.

Every user now has the ability to set preferences for how often they'd like to be scheduled. This can be set globally, which will apply across all service types in your account, or separately for each Category they've been directly assigned to using Positions 2.0. (If you can't add people to the Assigned Positions box, it's because you haven't changed any of your categories over. Check out this article to learn how.)

For example, a person can indicate they'd like to serve in the Main Service band up to twice a month, in the High School Band once a month, but only 2 times a month combined. The options for each category default to "no preference" and include "x times per month" and "every x weeks".

When you schedule a person more than the number of times they've requested, you will now see a new "Not Preferred" warning. Hover over the warning to see the details of the preference conflict. These new warnings will show up anywhere you schedule people, but just like any other conflicts, you are free to ignore them. In addition, Scheduling Preferences just made Auto-Scheduling much more powerful, because it now skips over people who have a preference conflict for that date!

Though we have put a new "Schedule Preferences" box at the top right of the My Schedule page which is the default dashboard for users with Scheduled Viewer permissions, your users probably won't notice these changes unless you tell them. We've created a new lesson in our online manual showing how to set Scheduling Preferences here.

In addition to Scheduling Preferences, we've made a couple other minor changes. If you try to go to another page on Planning Center with unsaved changes on your profile page, a warning pops up letting you know you should save your changes. We've also enhanced commenting on items in your plans so that you can see who will be notified of your comment. And finally, Planning Center LIVE now includes any Song Sequences you've added on the Song Arrangement page.

We hope you like these new features and thy help you be even more efficient in your scheduling! If you missed our blog post, Facebook comment or tweet a couple weeks ago on our new YouTube integration, make sure to check it out here. And to make sure you don't miss anything in the future, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.