Category Archives: feature updates

New Customer Support Center

WorshipPlanning.com Support Center

 

We are excited to introduce our new Customer Support site that is designed with one major objective in mind:

Answering your questions quickly.

WorshipPlanning.com Support Center

So, what’s so new and great about this new support site?  I’m so glad you asked.  Since it’s all about quick answers, let me dive right in:

  • The interface is more streamline and intuitive
  • It is much easier for us to post updated information, thus promoting fresh and up-to-date content.
  • We’ve updated all the articles to be current with the existing features in WP.  Articles include knowledge base entries, FAQs, and video tutorials.
  • For many articles, WorshipPlanning.com users can post comments.
  • When you access the site from WorshipPlanning.com (by clicking on the “support” link once you’ve logged in), the system knows you from your WP account, thus making it easier to submit a support request.
  • You can easily track the status of your support requests.

We plan on adding much more content to the site over the next few weeks, including more video tutorials.  And, we are investigating some great options that will allow even tighter integration with the main WorshipPlanning.com site.

Feel free to check it out at: http://support.worshipplanning.com.  We welcome your feedback on the new site!  Feel free to post a comment here or submit a request.

New Feature: Serving Preference

Preferred Serving Date

We can imagine volunteers all over the world cheering for joy when they discover this new feature.  Serving Preference is a simple feature that might only take you a week to wonder how you ever ran your ministry without it.  The idea: allow volunteers to tell you when (and possibly even how) they would like to serve.  Currently in WP, Helpers can block out days they cannot serve.  But if there are days they prefer to serve…well…they’re out of luck, unless they email you, call you, or send you smoke signals.

MyWP  Serving PreferenceWith our new Serving Preference feature, your team members can select which days they prefer to serve, and optionally the role in which they wish to serve, right on the MyWP calendar.  This window is accessed by simply clicking on a date in their MyWP calendar. 

Team leaders can then see all serving preferences right on the People Scheduling page.  It looks similar to an actual assignment, but is in a special “Serving Preference” section of the assignments.  Simply click the blue check mark to schedule the person as they prefer.

Serving Preference - Planners View One last thing to note is that Serving Preference is a Team setting, and is disabled by default for existing teams.  To enable it, login to WP and click People >> Teams >> desired team >> Settings tab.

Facebook App Now Available

WorshipPlanning.com+FB=Smiley

That’s right!  We’ve been busy developing an app for all you Facebook fans out there (I understand there are at least a couple of you).  So, let me give you a few bits of information about the app that are important to know.

  • You must first link your WP account to your Facebook account, which we’ll prompt you to do the first time you run the app.FB Notification
  • The functionality of the app is similar to the iPhone app. You can respond to assignments, access service information, song details (including files), and contact info of fellow team members.
  • A link at the top of the page will direct you to the WP login page if you need to do more advanced tasks.
  • Once you link your FB to your WP account, you’ll see a new dashboard item on your Facebook page that will tell how many pending assignment responses you have (see image to right).

We hope you enjoy the app.  Click the link below to install the app.  And feel free to become a fan and post any feedback you have with us!

WorshipPlanning.com Facebook App

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.

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!

Song Library and More

As many of you saw in an email from us, we recently applied some major site updates to WorshipPlanning.com.  In addition, we’ve begun improvements to our communication channels that we think you’ll find helpful. Let’s start with the features we rolled out Monday evening.

Song LibrarySongs Library
We’ve changed the page layout to make it easier to find the song(s) you want and quickly view the information you need. You can perform actions on multiple songs through the use of checkboxes (i.e. add a theme/category, change life-cycle stage, delete). And churches that have hundreds or even thousands of songs, you should notice the page loads MUCH faster.

Songbooks – This organization tool lets you virtually create and save personal or team libraries (or ‘books’) of songs. Team members (even of other teams) can be given access to view or modify the songbook contents. And while building a worship flow, you can open a one of your songbooks and pick songs from its concise list, rather than having to search through the long list of all your church’s songs.

WP’s Most Popular Songs – We’ve compiled a list of the most popular songs in WorshipPlanning.com and given you access to it. Each song contains general information, including title, author, and record label. But, to really help you and your team out, we have found the YouTube video and Amazon MP3 pages for most songs. This means your team can now have instant access to the music, either freely streaming from YouTube, or by buying it from Amazon.

We’ve created a few short videos on how to use these new features. Just browse to http://support.worshipplanning.com/tutorials.cfm, and find the Songs Library section.  You can also just click on the Help icon in the upper right corner of the Songs Library page to access the videos.

iPhone App
If you follow our Twitter, FaceBook, or Blog, you have seen that our iPhone app was finally approved by Apple in late June (for the record, Apple has yet to tell us the reason for the very long delay). We certainly will start promoting the app more on our site, but in the meantime you can find it in iTunes and the App Store by searching for Worship Planning. Keep in mind, this is the first version of this app, and we have plenty of more functionality planned for it. If you are so inclined, tell us your suggestions at feedback@worshipplanning.com

Social Media Updates
We’ve hired an expert to help us take advantage of the social media channels. Our goal is to open up the communication between our team and yours, and provide you timely, valuable information. Follow us on Twitter (@worshipSense) and/or Facebook (http://fb.worshipplanning.com) to get in the action!

Newsletter
And speaking of communication, we are in the planning stages for a recurring newsletter that will cover worshipplanning.com happenings, as well as other planning related information. Our next communication to you should have more details on how to sign up for that.

More Great News About File Uploads

A week or so ago we rolled out the multi-file upload feature. We didn’t want to mention at the time, but that update was a precursor to an exciting announcement: Paid subscribers now have unlimited storage space for file uploads. You read that correctly: unlimited! Here is a screen shot of our new pricing page. This change is already in effect for all current accounts not in trial, so enjoy!

WP Version 3.9 Update and iPhone App Status

Greetings WP’ers! It has been a little while since we’ve posted an update, but that certainly doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. This Sunday night (April 18th) we will update WorshipPlanning.com to version 3.9. There are a couple significant changes you will notice right away, and many other subtle changes that will simply make your experience using WP smoother.

The biggest change Planners will notice is an extremely helpful menu system that makes getting to the pages you need quick and efficient. For those with the proper security settings, creating a service, series, or new Planner account is always just one click away.

The other significant change we made was to the worship pages (flow, roles, etc.). Our goal for this page was to more efficiently and intuitively use the space on the page. Rather than describe the changes, take a look at the screenshot below.

This shows one of the menus opened (when you hover over the Service navigation link), as well as how we’ve cleaned up one of the worship pages. The space above the worship tabs is now more efficiently used to show the general service info. We also pushed the date/time/location of the service into the top blue banner. The left side now has the clickable calendar opened by default, and the various team panels listed below. And, by the way, if you are using Internet Explorer, many of the nice rounded corners you see in this screenshot will appear squared off. That’s simply a limitation of IE (and one of the many reasons we recommend using FireFox or Chrome).

Here is a few other enhancements we made that might interest you:

– Planners can now indicate their own skills
– Helpers can specify their own profile picture
– Fixed a number of graphic design inconsistencies
– Fixed a number of mixed term references (i.e. “finalized” vs. “locked”)
– Improved process by which user passwords are changed (more intuitive and secure)

For those looking ahead, let me share with you a few things in the development cycle right now. First, we are nearly done with a feature update that will allow Planners to upload multiple files at once. We are also working on some very cool enhancements to the Songs Library page(s), which will include the ability to create “sub-libraries” of songs. This should make finding and organizing songs much easier and personalized. Finally (as in, that last one I am going to mention here), we are looking into making mobile versions of MyWP available for Android and Blackberry devices. For an update on the iPhone app we’ve developed, read on….

iPhone App Status
Most of you know we have developed and beta tested an iPhone app for WorshipPlanning.com. We had great feedback from the gracious folks that were willing to help us make the app the best it could be (for version 1.0). The app was submitted to Apple for review on March 24, and it is still officially “in review” by their app development review team.

This review stage is taking longer than we expected, though it is still well within the “typical” timeframe, according to Apple. We suspect the cause for delay might be the influx of iPad apps they now have to review. As soon as we learn more about our app’s approval status, we’ll certainly pass that information along to you.

Skip ahead with these bookmarks: