Category Archives: feature updates

v4.2.2 Update – Sending Messages to Teams and New Calendar Feed

wpLogo-version4.2.2

Happy New Year!!!  We have a couple new WorshipPlanning.com  updates we’re excited to share with you!  These were rolled out this morning.

Sending Messages from WorshipPlanning.com

While there has always been a way to send messages to various groups of people, it hasn’t been as easy as it should be.  So, today we are introducing a new “Send Message” window that does a few features we think you’ll really find helpful.  We’ve even put together a brief video on how it works – http://www.screencast.com/t/ZWDUrgpJK .  With this update, you can now send a message…

…from the Worship Flow

To send a message from the worship flow page to a specific team, all you have to do is click on the new “email” icon in the team assignments panel.  This will open the Send Message window and pre-populate the “To” section with those scheduled to serve (pending, accepted, or tentative).

Send a Message From Worship Flow

…to an individual, team, or arbitrary list of people

When you access the Send Message window from the Worship Flow, you’ll have a list of options as to whom the recipients will be, based on their serving team, assignment status, and service times.  You can modify these options or manually add or remove people using the “Manual Selection” section.  You can also remove anyone from the “To” section by clicking the “x” icon next to their name.

If you are accessing the Send Message page using the navigation menu (which now resides under the “People” navigation heading), you’ll still be able to select team and individuals using the checkboxes.

Sending a Message

…using previously sent message text

If you’d like to resend a message, or simply use a past message as a starting point, the new “Past Messages” option allows you to select a message you’ve sent in the past.  We’ll keep track of up to 10 unique messages for you to reference.

Send a Message - Message History

Calendar Feed for Assignments

Our new “assignments feed” allows you to integrate your WorshipPlanning.com assignments into the calendar of your choice via a real-time feed URL.

Calendar Feed Dialog

WorshipPlanning.com Update – New User/Song Info Windows, Helper Filtering and More!

WorshipPlanning.com Version 4.2.0 Released

We are excited to share with you that WP4.2 has been released, which includes these great features:

  • Updated User Info window with an informative graph of serving history
  • Updated Song Info window with a similar graph of performance history
  • Easy search/filter tool for the Helpers page
  • SongSelect search improvements
  • More Songs in our “Top Songs” Library

New User Info Window

When you click on a person’s name in WP, a new window appears that provides an array of information and options.  In addition to the standard contact info, we’ve added a tab to show the teams and skills of the person, as well as a nifty “Assignments” tab that shows…well, just have a look at the screenshot below.

User Info Dialog

The lower part of the screen that isn’t full shown is where all past assignments can be seen.  There is lots of great info about the person that can be found with just a single click, from just about anywhere in the site!

New Song Info Window

When we created the User Info Window, we naturally thought how that same type of information would be very applicable to songs. Thus, the new Song Info Window was born!  On this new dialog (which replaces the small pop-up menu that appeared when you clicked on a song title), we have all the possible song data you could want, PLUS another nifty graph of the song performance history.

Song Info Dialog

When you click on the icon in the Assignments column, a small window opens that shows who was serving on worship flow sensitive teams for that service.

Searching/Filtering Helpers

Backed by popular demand, we’ve made the Helpers table much smarter.  You can use the easy “filter” field to key in a few characters and the list of Helpers will automatically refresh to display matching results.  Additionally, the column headers can be clicked for sorting.

Helper Filtering

We plan on applying this intelligence to other areas of the site, including the Planners and Teams pages.

SongSelect Search Improvements

Our SongSelect search window now allows you to enter the CCLI number for a song.  It will be found and displayed more quickly than searching by key word.

More “Top Songs” Entries

Since we rolled out our updated Top Songs list, (with Spotify and SongSelect links), we’ve been continuing to research and add more songs.  The list is now over 500.  That’s 500 of the most popular songs in WorshipPlanning.com that you and your team can easily:

  • Stream the audio (with a free Spotify account)
  • View/print the chord charts (with a SongSelect account)
  • Watch/listen to the music video on YouTube
  • Buy the MP3 from Amazon
  • …all from your WorshipPlanning.com account!

Version 4.1.4 – Security Change and MORE Spotify Updates

WP Logo - Version 4.1.4

We hope you have been enjoying the new Spotify integration with WP!  It truly is a powerful tool that gives you and your team free and instant access to streaming audio for many of your worship songs, without having to upload anything!  If you haven’t tried Spotify, what are you waiting for?  Learn more and create yourself a free account now! Just browse to Spotify.com.

With version 4.1.4 we’ve added even more awesome Spotify features that you will no doubt find indispensable.  We’ve also made a very important security change regarding Helpers on Worship Flow Sensitive teams, so please be sure to read on.

More Spotify Integration

In just two weeks, we’ve taken access to Spotify songs to the next level in WP with Spotify Playlists and Spotify Searches.  On the Worship Flow page (for both Planners and Helpers), we’ve added a Spotify Icon Play Spotify Playlist link that will open your Spotify app and load your service’s worship songs (that have Spotify links) in a playlist.  Access to the audio of your worship set list has never been easier…or free-er!

But wait, I know what you are thinking.  “That’s great if I have the Spotify links.  But I don’t, and it is kind of a pain to search Spotify for those songs to manually copy the Spotify link to my songs library.”  Well, you will be thrilled to hear that we’ve made searching Spotify songs super easy!

Right in the Add/Edit Song window where you would normall see the Spotify URI/id field (on the Web tab), you can click the binoculars icon and “Find Spotify Track” window will open with a list of matching songs.

Spotify search window

With that list of Spotify search results, simply click the Title you’d like to link to the song you are adding/editing.  If you want to hear the song first, just click the little blue “Play” icon and your Spotify app should start playing the song.

Once you’ve selected the song, you’ll see the Spotify URI/id field is now populated.  Be sure to save your changes!

Important Helper Security Change

With version 4.1.4, an important security change on WorshipPlanning.com has taken place and some of your Helper accounts could be affected.  The change puts in to effect the “Worship Flow Sensitive” setting for each of your teams.  For Helpers to see the worship flow related information (worship flow, service files, virtual stage, and printouts), they must be serving on a team that has the “Worship Flow Sensitive” setting enabled.  If they are not, when they go to the worship flow related tabs in MyWP, they will see a message explaining why they can’t see the information there.

For smaller churches that don’t use the team features of WP, we are providing a small loophole.  If a Helper is not a member of any team, he or she will still have access to worship flow related info.

To adjust this setting for a team, log in to WP and follow these steps:

  1. Go to People >> Teams
  2. Click on the name of the desired team that needs setting to be worship flow sensitive
  3. Click on the “Settings” tab
  4. Click the “Edit these Settings”
  5. Change the “Worship Flow Sensitive:” setting to be Yes and click the “Save” button.

teams-worship flow sensitive.png

The reason for this policy change is due to the fact that many churches are using WP to plan many of their Sunday morning ministries that aren’t directly related to the worship service flow (i.e. children’s ministry, parking team, coffee setup).  Many churches have asked us to restrict those teams from accessing information not relevant to their ministry.  Since we’ve had the “Worship Flow Sensitive” team setting in place for a while, hopefully your team is already configured properly.  We are just now finally putting it into use.

If you have any questions or feedback about this change, please feel free to post a comment below.  If you have technical support issues, please be sure to submit a support request.

Spotify is the registered trade mark of the Spotify Group.

Spotify Integration is Here!

Spotify Logo

We are excited to announce that version 4.1.3 of WorshipPlanning.com has been released, which includes integration with Spotify!  For those of you wondering exactly what Spotify is, it is a free music streaming service that provides on-demand access to over 16 million songs.  That’s right, 16 million songs, on demand, for free. You can learn more about it (and sign up for a free account) here: http://www.spotify.com/us/about/what/

We at WorshipPlanning.com are big fans of Spotify, and thought it would be a huge benefit to worship teams if they could easily access Spotify songs right from WP!  Many of you are already familiar with the links to the YouTube music video and Amazon MP3 purchases pages.  We have extended these resources of songs to include links to Spotify for on-demand streaming.  So you really don’t have to do anything special to start seeing the Spotify links. But in the event you don’t, or if you are curious for more integration details, read on.

Top Songs List

Many of you have seen, Planners can add songs to their library by browsing our Top Songs list (around 350 songs).  We have updated our top songs list and are in the process of expending it to 1000 songs.  For most of those songs, we’ve found the Spotify link and included it with the Top Songs information.  Keep in mind that as you add a song manually, WP tries to match your song title against our Top Songs list and gives you the option to automatically add data we’ve collected about each song (author, copyright info, YouTube/Amazon info, and now the Spotify link).

SongSelect SongsSong Menu with spotify link

If you’ve taken advantage of our SongSelect integration, many of those songs in your library are already link to Spotify and ready for you to use, right now!

Manually Adding or Editing Songs

The places where you add or edit song details has a “web” tab that contains the Stream Web Address and Purchase Web Address fields for you to specify where your team can go to watch the YouTube music video or purchase the MP3.  It is on this tab we’ve added a field for the Spotify link.

add song window with spotify field circled

Copy Spotify URI menu option It’s easy to get a Spotify link by right-clicking on a particular song in Spotify and selecting the Copy Spotify URI option.  Then just paste it into the appropriate field in the Add/Edit Song window. But remember: This link will usually be automatically fill if you select one of the songs matched from our Top Songs list.








Not Ready for Spotify in WP Just Yet?

If for some reason you’d rather not have these Spotify links showing up in your church’s WP account, you can turn this feature off in the Church Settings page.  With security level 3 (account admin), go to Account >> Church Account Settings >> Edit This Info button.  It is a setting at the bottom.

Thoughts? Feedback? HELP!

Feel free to post a comment on any feedback you might have.  If you need a hand with anything, feel free to log a support ticket with us over at our Customer Support Center.

Happy listening!!

Spotify is the registered trade mark of the Spotify Group.

Spring Cleaning and General Improvements

computers connected via cloud

While it may seem like things have been a little quiet on the blog, we’ve been quite busy taking care of a few housekeeping items.  Boring as they may seem, they actually have great benefit to you the customer.   First of all, last week we migrated the site to a new architecture that is designed to run much faster and scale much better.  The  growth we have experienced over the past year has been fantastic and this architecture change is necessary to keep things running smoothly.

Rackspace Logo

For those curious, the new architecture is called a “Hybrid” environment that allows the WorshipPlanning.com database to run on dedicated hardware, while the website itself is served from virtual servers called Cloud servers.  If you are a real geek like we are, you can read more about the exact environment on Rackspace’s website.  And by the way, in this new environment we are able to better track server and site performance.  The great news is that it takes our servers (on average)  less than half a second to serve up most pages.

Error Tracking

Another environment enhancement that will be of indirect (although very positive) benefit to you is new error tracking.  It used to be that errors encountered by users on the site required you to manually submit them.  We’ve enhanced the system such that any site errors are automatically reported directly to us with a plethora of information  (and often, you won’t even notice the error).  We are putting a priority on fixing the cause of the errors, which is much easier with the new automatic information we get.  Our goal is a 100% error free site, and we really aren’t that far from it.

Password Improvements

A few weeks ago we updated the site with a new way to handle password storage, password resets, and user authentication.  Your passwords have always been secure sitting in our database behind our hardened firewall.  But we’ve taken the added measure of one-way encrypting your passwords so that they cannot be decrypted and viewed by us (or anyone else, for that matter).  As a result, we’ve updated the way we handle requests from people that have forgotten or never received their password.  Instead of sending you the password we have on file for you (which we can’t do anymore due to the encryption), we send you a special “reset password” link to the email address you have associated with your account.  The link is unique and expires after a certain amount of time.  On the reset page you are prompted to enter a new password (twice, for confirmation).  And of course, that new password is encrypted before it is stored in our database.  As a side note, passwords are now case-sensitive.

Future Enhancements

We are working on some really cool stuff that should be ready for you before fall. Keep an eye on our blog, twitter, and facebook accounts for updates!  Also, you might see an opportunity to take a survey or two for a chance to win an iTunes gift card.  Watch for any messages about this on the home page of your account.

Printing Schedules the Way You’ve Always Wanted

Print-Excel-icons

We are excited to introduce some great improvements to the printing and exporting tools for your people scheduling.  You may notice the new Printer and MS Excel icons on the people scheduling pages.  Each of these will open a window that will give you a variety of options for outputting your assignments, via printer or spreadsheet.

To start with, the new printout panel allows you to print any number of teams, services, and status responses, with following print formatting options.

Print Dialog

  • Services with roles grouped by team
  • Table of assignments with either the roles or the people names on the far left column
  • Sign-in sheet
  • Status icons
  • One service per page
  • One team per page

And the spreadsheet export dialog is just as slick.  We’ll put a few more screenshots below so you can see the kind of options you have, as well as some samples screenshots of what these prints/exports look like.

Print-table-roles

Print-table-people

Excel Sample

WorshipPlanning.com Version 4.1.0 Released

WorshipPlanning.com Version 4.1.0

We are happy to bring you some great feature updates with version 4.1.0 of WorshipPlanning.com.  Read on to learn more!

Faster File Uploading

Drop Files here to upload

We’ve revamped the interface for getting files uploaded to WorshipPlanning.com.  You can now upload your files in far fewer steps.  If you are using FireFox, Chrome, or Safari, you can get your files into WP by simply dragging them from your computer into a special drop area.  We have also optimized the way files are uploaded so they should transfer faster.  And larger files can now be uploaded with less difficult now as well.

Improved File Management

Files Library Screenshot

The updated Files Library page now makes it super easy to find what you want.  You can quickly search for files by typing into the filter box.  You can also sort files by file name, upload date, file type, and a few other categories.

Renaming Files

Editing Files DialogFinally, FINALLY, we have added the ability to rename files after they have been uploaded.  In fact, we improved the Edit File window all together, allowing you to easily see where the file is used in WP, and even detaching it from right here!

 Management All Services Page

Manage All Services screen capture

Like the File Library page, we’ve made things a little friendlier, complete with search filtering, custom display fields, and easier pagination.  We also tweaked a few items in the database to help make your list of past services load up much faster.

Better Auto-reminder Notification TimingClock

As we recently posted,  auto-reminder notifications are now being sent about the same hour of the day of the event for which the person is being reminded.  Thanks to everyone that suggested we make this improvement!

Improved Reminder Notification Timing

Clock

Better Auto-reminder Notification Timing

For as long as we’ve had the auto-reminder feature in WP, those reminders have been sent out at 2am.  This was no problem when email was the only way notifications were being sent.  But ever since we added text notifications as a configurable option, many folks have let us know they don’t appreciate getting those messages in the middle of the night.

This afternoon we updated WP to with a reminder system that sends the notifications about the same hour of the day as the event itself.  So if your Sunday service starts at 9am and your team is configured to be auto-reminded 2 days before, the notification will be sent about 9am on Friday.

We have some really great file-upload features coming up next week, so keep an eye out for it!

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile Updates

Mobile Devices with WorshipPlanning.com Mobile

As promised, we are continuing to improve the WorshipPlanning.com Mobile (WPM) website, which you can access with your mobile browser at http://wplan.me.

Edit Worship Flow Element Screen on mobile device

The big feature we’ve (finally) added is the ability to add, edit, and delete worship flow elements on your mobile device.  Pretty much all the details you can add on the main WP site (save for the extra notes) you can specify on the mobile site…provided you have the right security level.

The other minor but still important enhancement we’ve made on the mobile site is that all connections between your device and our servers are now encrypted and secure.  This will make your on-the-go access to WP yet a little safer.

What’s next for the mobile site?  Well, we have a few more tweaks we want make on the worship flow (including showing more element details).  We also want to give more access to more information about the service, like rehearsals.  Our next big updated will likely be the ability to manage teams and schedule people to serve.

WorshipPlanning.com Version 4.0.4 Released

WorshipPlanning.com version 4.0.4 Logo

Version 4.0.4 is now LIVE, and it includes these exciting features:

SongSelect_LogoIf you have a SongSelect™ account, you can now easily search and retrieve song details (including lyrics and chord sheets) form the SongSelect database…without leaving WorshipPlanning.com!  It will seem like your song library in WP just instantly grew 1000 fold!

Our SongSelect integration is easy to use.  But we’ve gone ahead and create four very short videos on how to use it.  Feel free to check them out here (they are also available on our support site):

 

Updated Worship Flow Element Editor

Improved Worship Flow Dialog

The  window used to select which library item should be included in the worship flow element has been improved in the following ways:

  • More streamline selection of which library or songbook from which you’d like to select an item
  • Ability upload/attach files to a song without having to leave this page and edit the song itself
  • Seamless SongSelect integration

 

Improved Roles Management

Improved Roles Management

Editing role details has been inconsistent between Account Admins and Ministry Schedulers.  We have now made the interface the same for both.  You can even add roles to teams and assign them as skills to people, right on the Edit Roles window.