There are many different ways to schedule people within Planning Center. You can schedule people individually, in groups, multiple weeks at a time, and even using Auto-Schedule. All of our current scheduling methods require you to schedule people and then send scheduling request emails that they can accept or decline. Over the years we've had many requests to allow users to schedule themselves, and today we're releasing a great new feature that does just that; it's called Signup Sheets!
Signup Sheets use your needed positions to allow users to schedule themselves. Tell Planning Center you need 6 Ushers this week, then send an email to all people assigned to the Usher position to let them know signups are available. When they click the sign up now button in the email or on their dashboard, they're taken to a new Signup Sheet page that has big green Sign Up buttons for any week in any of their positions that still has spots left. When they sign up, a message pops up letting them know they are scheduling themselves and are committing to that position.
To turn on Signup Sheets for a category in a plan, hover over the question mark summary in any category heading and click to enable Signup Sheets. If you want it on by default, you can set that in your category settings. We've updated our online manual and added some new lessons that show how to use Signup Sheets here.
We've also made two new videos: one to show Schedulers how to create Signup Sheets and one to show users how to use them which you can watch here.
At the top of each People Category is a summary of how many people are confirmed, declined, or unconfirmed. In the past, the number next to the yellow question mark was just the number of people who were unconfirmed. We're now including the number of need positions in this number to show that there is still scheduling to be done within your category, whether following up with people who haven't responded, or making sure your needed positions are filled. We've also put the yellow question mark to the left of any needed positions to show that these are now included in the summary.
To let your people know Signup Sheets are available, you can now choose "Needed Positions" from the email dialog box. While we were at it, we improved the rest of this box to be more dynamic. When you choose between Prepared Notifications, All Scheduled People or Needed Positions, the rest of the options in the box will update so that you only see categories available for the option you've chosen.
Scheduling Preferences for Individual Weeks
The final feature we added isn't for Signup Sheets, but is related to Scheduling. We've expanded user Scheduling Preferences to allow choosing individual weeks of the month. We previously allowed users to indicate they preferred serving the 1st& 3rd weeks of the month, or the 2nd & 4th. Now they can choose each week separately. Scheduling Preferences are only available if you assign your people directly to positions.
If you missed our recent posts, we recently released Music Stand 2.0 with a completely new design, full plan editing, and linking multiple iPads together for synced page turns. Before that we updated our Media Player and added integrations with Rdio and Vimeo.