Improved Payment Process – saves you time

Credit Card

If you’ve made a payment to WorshipPlanning.com, you know that it has not been as simple as it could be.  Not that the process was especially complex, but it tended to be time-consuming since there seemed to be more fields to fill in than when you first signed up.  Well, we’ve just rolled out some improvements that should save you many keystrokes and time. 

Our new Auto Renewal feature allows you “set and forget” the billing information for your WP account.  With your enrollment to Auto Renewal, WorshipPlanning.com will automatically draft your credit card every month, every 3 months, or every 12 months.  We even give you a small discount to enroll in the Auto Renewal feature!

Of course, if you would still prefer to pay manually, you certainly can do so.  You’ll still get the account expiration reminder emails and notices when you log in.  But we’ve greatly reduced the billing information you have to enter.  We’ll even email you the transaction details when the payment is processed.  And we also will continue to offer check and PayPal payment methods, as well as discounts for pre-paying (and auto-renewing) 3 and 12 months at a time.

Free Webinar with Tommy Walker: “Don’t Burn Out!”

Tommy Walker WebinarOn October 27th (at 9pm EST), we have a real treat for you.  Tommy Walker will be our first guest of a new webinar series we are starting.  He will be speaking about a topic that affects nearly everyone, across all vocations: burn out.  If you are a worship leader that’s in it for the long haul, you won’t want to miss the principles he has found  important to avoiding burn out.

Tommy has led worship for 20 years at Christian Assembly in Los Angeles and has over 100 songs currently being tracked by CCLI.  While this is very impressive, he says his greatest achievement is “to be found being faithful to His God, his family and his local church.”  I suspect we’ll learn that having our priorities right plays no small role in using God’s gifts to their full potential.

It really is an honor to have Tommy as our guess.  Please join us!  There is no cost to you.  In fact, all attendees will have the opportunity to download one of Tommy’s songs for free at the end of the webinar, as a thank you for being a part of this special event.

Register at one of these links (not required, but helpful for us):

To attend without registering, you have these options:

  • Listen over the Internet – http://j.mp/clB6tW
  • Dial-in by phone – 724-444-7444 (Call ID: 89043)

To learn more about Tommy and his music, check out http://tommywalker.net

MP3 Transposer, PDF Setlist Builder, and Songbook/Worship-Flow Sharing, Now Live!

Version 3.9.4 of WorshipPlanning.com is now live, and we can’t lie to you -it was really fun to develop.  But we think you’ll have even more fun using it.  Let’s dive right in:

MP3 TransposerMP3 Transpose
This feature has been requested by several churches, and it won’t take you long to figure out why.  With the MP3 transposer, you can change the key of an MP3 so that your musicians can hear the song in the key they will be performing it, while maintaining the original tempo of the song.  To try this out, Planners can log in to their account, browser to Library >> Files tab, and click the transpose icon next to the MP3 they want to transpose.  The steps are easy, though it could take a minute or two for the new file to be generated.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll integrate it with other parts of the website.  Feel free to give us your suggestions via the Feedback page on the site!

Adobe PDFPDF Setlist Builder
Also know as “PDF Concatenator”, “PDF Combiner”, and the more ambitious “Virtual Music Stand”, this feature allows you to build a single PDF from the PDFs and lyrics of songs scheduled to be performed at a service.  You can select which details to include, and what the order should be.  And in a few seconds, a PDF is ready for you to download or email to yourself.  Why would you want this?  Well, our main goal was to develop a “budget-minded” electronic music stand that would work with your iPad (and other future tablets).  The iBooks app on the iPad lets you flip through PDF files using finger swipes much like how you would with real pieces of paper.  So imagine setting your tablet on your music stand and using it instead of sheet music.  With this PDF combining tool, you can do that.  There is even a USB foot petal device on the market that will let you turn the pages with no hands (http://bit.ly/cqpJGC).

The current version of the iPad OS requires a couple of steps for iBooks to read and store the PDF (we provide instructions each time you use the PDF builder).  But the next version of iOS for the iPad will make it very simple.

Songbook/Worship-Flow Sharing via Facebook and Twitter
Of course, it is super easy to share worship flow plans and songbooks with others in your WorshipPlanning.com account.  But what if you want others on the Internet to have a look?  Maybe you want their feedback?  Or maybe it is a special guest at your church that needs to see that info?  That’s why we’ve create a special page that, if you permit, allows people to access songbooks and worship flow lists via Twitter, Facebook, and a few other social media sites.  But don’t worry.  Only general info about the song and worship flow are shared (nothing copyrighted), and you can unshare at any time.  Just look for the universal green “share” icon in your Planner account to start sharing.

Contest: How do YOU prepare to sing?

Vocal Warm-up CDChances are we all do something (perhaps even a little odd) to prepare our voices for singing.  Drink a tall, neat glass of water? Delight in a bag of greasy potato chips?  Well, we are hoping you’ll post a comment with your trick to tuning those pipes before taking the stage.  And in return for sharing your closely guarded secret, we’ll randomly select two people to win an “Essential Vocals Warm-Up CD” from The Musicademy.

Post your comment no later than Monday, September 13th, and we will pick the winners on the 14th.  Posting multiple comments won’t increase your chances of winning, so please just fit all your tricks into a single comment.  And we promise to only use your email address to contact you if you win (we won’t spam you, or sign you up anything, or post your your email anywhere).

Song History and Secure Login Fixed

Secure UpdatesThis week we applied updates that addressed a couple of important issues.  First, many of you may have noticed that for the past few weeks, when clicking on a song title, the “Last Performed” field showed “Temporarily Unavailable” instead of the service date and time.  An incremental (and necessary) update we applied three weeks ago caused the searching of the Last Performed field to be very slow in our database.  In fact, it was slow enough that multiple simultaneous searches caused the application to be unresponsive.  So, we decided to disable this automatic search temporarily.  With the update on Monday, we re-enabled the “Last Performed” field in the song menu that pops up when you click on a song.  In fact, the update has made that songs menu considerable faster to pop-up than it was before.  And, you should notice page-load speed improvements on the worship flow page and the Song Statistics page.

The other fix that was applied this week addressed an issue experienced by Internet Explorer users logging in through the Secure connection.  Due to the IE security settings, you may have noticed multiple warnings that not all elements on the page where being transmitted in a secure manner.  Our update this week resolves that issue, and you should no longer receive that message.

We’re listening…and updating.

We're Listening
So much of what WorshipPlanning.com has become is the result of feedback from churches like yours.  This evening, we applied four enhancements that have been among the top recent requests.

Easily See Who Isn’t AvailableUnavailable People
Many folks have told us they would like to see who is unavailable to serve on the People Scheduling page before they click and drag them to a role.  Tonight’s updates addresses that by listing team members unavailable to serve for a particular service right on the team panel.  Check out the picture to the right.  You may need to use the Display Options on the scheduling page to get the empty teams to show up initially.

Applying Worship Flow Templates
More than ever, we have had questions from Planners on how to apply a worship flow template to an existing service.  Technically, that feature has existed for quite a while.  But we decided to make it more obvious to access AND more advanced in how it works.

First, to apply a template to an existing service, hover over the ‘actions’ menu on the worship flow page and select ‘apply a worship template’.  Next, you’ll notice a new and improved Apply Templates page that lets you actually choose to either replace existing worship flow elements, or append the template elements to the end of the existing worship flow.  It will even give you a preview of what your new worship flow will look like!

And for those curious as to how this was done before the Actions menu option, there was (and still is) an icon on the page where worship flow templates are managed (Admin >> Worship Flow Templates).  The small icon looks like a 2 stacked sheets of paper, and it is next to each template name.

Export Song ListPrinting and Exporting Song Lists
We’ve added a few buttons to the Songs Library page.  Lists of songs can now be printed or exported to a MS Word,  Excel, or CSV (comma separated values) files.  Just get your list of songs looking as you’d like to export it by selecting showing and hiding desired columns, and click the appropriate Print or File Export button (above the Selected Songs box).  And, by the way, the Print option will actually create a PDF document for you to print, since it is much cleaner than printing from a normal browser window.

Listen Button in Songs Menu
If you have associated one or more MP3s with a song, you can now listen to the them by simply clicking the “listen” button right in the song’s menu.  Just click on the song title (anywhere in your account), and click the little blue icon.

What’s next in the update cycle?
We have got a few more very exciting song-related updates that are about to enter the testing phase.  One of them is something we have unofficially called the song “back-fill” project.  This feature will give you the option to have WP look through the songs in your church’s library, and fill in any missing data that we have in our top-songs library (author, copyright date, record label, YouTube music link, Amazon MP3 link).

We are also working on a performance improvement project that should speed things up for pages with songs listed on them.  AND we have a very, VERY cool feature that we really want to tell you about….but can’t just yet.  Stay tuned!

Skip ahead with these bookmarks: