Category Archives: Uncategorized

Make Your Worship Flow Cleaner, Clearer, and More Exciting with New Colorful Dividers

We don’t normally devote a blog post to one particular feature that some might say is a “small” enhancement.  But once we saw a few churches implementing our new color dividers, we had just had to share.

Worship Flow With Dividers

Creating DividersThe color dividers option offers a new way of organizing your worship flow.  You can create as many dividers as you want, each with a name and color you specify.  Your dividers will appear in the “Element Types” panel on the worship flow page where you can drag them into the flow, just like any other element.  You can also add them to your worship flow template so they will be in place every time you start planning a service.

And the best part is, these dividers will appear virtually everywhere the worship flow is displayed: printouts, MyWP, publicly shared links, the mobile web app, and their information even comes through our APIs endpoints (for third party services that want to use them).

We hope you find this new feature helpful as you organize and communicate your weekly services.  Feel free to comment below if you have any feedback or questions.

 

 

Email Redesign

You and your team members might noticed something a little different next time you receive an email notification fromworshipplanning.com.  This morning, we implemented a new design with the following benefits:

  • easier to read (simplier, more modern design)
  • lighter in payload
  • looks great on mobile and desktop email programs
  • more touch-friendly buttons and links

Additionally, if your church is a member of an organization that has partnered with worshipplanning.com, you’ll see the partnership logos in the banner section.

Here is an an example of the new look.  We welcome any feedback you have.

Schedule Assignment Email

iPhone App Users – Meet WorshipPlanning.com Mobile

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile DevicesAfter much discussion among our team, we have decided the future of accessing WorshipPlanning.com on all mobile devices will be via the mobile website version of WP rather than a native app, like something from the App Store or Android Market. We are very excited about this decision because we truly believe it will offer the best user-experience for a broader range of mobile devices.

All you have to do is point your mobile device’s web browser to http://wplan.me, and sign in. Like the main website, there is nothing to install, authorize, or sync. You might even consider removing the WorshipPlanning.com app you installed from the App Store, since this new way of accessing it will give you more functionality with better performance.

Here are the specific reasons we think you’ll love the new mobile version:

1. HTML5 is as good as native apps – Unless you’re programming math- or graphics-intensive applications, the technology in modern mobile browsers (known as HTML5) allows developers to create interfaces as good as, or better than, native apps. In fact, the current mobile version of WorshipPlanning.com (we’ll call it WPM) actually does more and performs better than our iPhone app.

2. Shorter development cycles – Coding native apps for all the different smartphones out there requires specialized skill-sets and complex project coordination, costly from both time and financial perspectives. We already know how to code web pages and WPM is simply an extension of that knowledge. We can update WPM as fast as we can update the main WP website. The native iPhone app requires at least a week for Apple to approve each version update (no matter how small).

3. Instant updates – Just like the main site, when we do roll-out updates, you’ll see them instantly without having to wait for approval from Apple and then manually update the app on your device.

4. One app, many devices – WPM is smart enough to detect device attributes like screen size and OS type. This means we can make WPM show different features depending on the capabilities of your device….all from one site (one web address, one code base).

5. Launch WPM from a home screen icon, just like a native app – In just a few steps, you can create a shortcut to WPM from your home screen. After doing this, you’ll probably even forget that it isn’t actually a native app.

Many developers are moving away from native apps in favor of web-based mobile apps for the reasons we’ve described above (among others). The technology is here to make this a seamless experience for users. We loved being able to say we have a native iPhone app; but we believe our mobile users will be much better served with the new web-based mobile app of WorshipPlanning.com.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post a comment or contact us via our support site: http://support.worshipplanning.com

Version 4.0 is Live!

WorshipPlanning.com Version 4.0
We are very excited to introduce version 4.0 of WorshipPlanning.com. This is one of our biggest updates to the site since we first launched back in 2003.  The most noticeable improvement is the new design.  We’ve put together a tour of the updates in this brief video.  And below the video are more details about some of the new features.  We hope you enjoy!  Your feedback is always welcome.

What’s New with WorshipPlanning version 4.0 video

  • New design and colors – We feel the word that best describes our new design is “simplified”.  The dark blue banner and blue gradient background have given way to a simpler gray-and-white design.  The tab system and pop-up windows also carry the new design theme.
  • Your profile picture on every page – It’s built right into the navigation bar, and gives you easy access to your profile settings and MyWP-related activities.
  • Updated placement of some navigation menu items – The Admin menu is now gone.  The menu options previous in the Admin menu have been moved to Services, Libraries, and Account menus (next to your profile picture).
  • New “Actions” menu – many of the pages that seemed to have stray icons floating about have been moved to an “Actions” menu that resides in the upper right area of the screen.
  • Security and Login
    • Updated “Stay Logged In” option keeps you logged in even if you close your browser or reboot your computer.
    • The “Respond to Assignments” button now uses an elevated level of encryption.
    • You can disable all past “Respond to Assignment” buttons by simply changing your password in WP

WorshipPlanning.com Mobile

WP Mobile

The wait will soon be over, smartphone fans.  In just a few weeks, we expect to roll out a version of WorshipPlanning.com that is designed to run in the mobile browser of most fairly-current smartphones on the market.  The initial functionality will be similar to the current iPhone app, but  more responsive and polished.  Here are some reasons we are really excited about this mobile web version:

  • Android owners will finally have mobile access to their WorshipPlanning.com data, with the ability to respond to assignments, view service and song details, access contact info, and listen to audio.
  • iOS owners will be able see an improved audio player, be able to open PDFs, and submit notes with their assignment responses.
  • We will be able to develop and deploy more functionality much more easily (read “a lot quicker”) than before.  If you, the user community, like how the mobile web version works, we should be able to easily leverage what we’ve done to make device-specific apps (including tablet apps!).
So, keep an eye on our blog, tweets, and facebook updates!

Website Updates and a Word on iOS 4.2

This evening we updated the WorshipPlanning.com site with a couple small, but helpful changes.  But before I get to those, I wanted to provide some information for iPhone/iPod users that have upgraded their OS to version 4.2.  It seems there is a problem with the current version of the WP app and this new OS version.  Users were reporting that they could not get their assignments or even get logged in to the app correctly.  We have resolved the issue (it was very minor) and submitted the update to Apple’s App Store review team.  Our hope is that approval will be forthcoming within a few days.

The two updates we made to the website are both on the People Scheduling page.  First, we’ve added a “drop indicator” that pops up as you drag a person, role, or template over the service column.  Hopefully this will make it very clear what action will take place when you are about to schedule someone to serve. We’ve create a short video of how this works.  Feel free to check it out.

The second update is helpful for those that schedule people for master and linked services. No longer will you have to click “yes” or “no” to tell WP you want the assignment applied to the linked service also. WP will remember your setting, and you can change it at any time in your Teams Settings tab.

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.

iTunes Gift Cards Giveaway

iTunes Gift Cards

Some might consider it a shameless way of getting followers, but we just want to be your Twitter and Facebook friend.  On August 1st, we will give away two (2) $20 iTunes gift cards. One card will be awarded to a randomly selected Twitter follower, the other to a randomly selected Facebook fan (follower? liker? whatever you call it these days).

So, to get in on the action, just follow us at http://twitter.com/worshipsense and/or “like” us on our Facebook page at http://fb.worshipplanning.com before 11:59pm (eastern time) on July 31st.  Winners will be notified via Twitter direct message or Facebook message. Oh, and if you are already a Twitter follower or “like” us on Facebook, you are already entered to win.  But maybe you can share the love and retweet about our contest!

Good luck, everyone!

Twitter - FollowUsTwitter - Retweet

WorshipPlanning.com on Facebook

Merry Christmas!

This year we decided to step things up a bit and do a little fancier of an e-card. Plus, we will email this card to all active master accounts. Through the magic of computers (err, Photoshop) Joel was able to join us, even though he works several states away.

I have also also included a second picture showing our passion when it comes to WorshipPlanning.com. We all just want you to know how much we appreciate your support, encouragement, and feedback for this little worshipplanning.com ministry. We all so very much enjoy the chance we have to serve you and Christ.

Things are on track for 2010 to be an exciting year as we continue to add more resources to expand WorshipPlanning.com’s features and market presence. Just to mention a few, we are actively working on native smartphone versions for WP, an improved user interface experience for Helpers, more drag-n-drop capabilities for the worship flow construction, and greatly improved 360WP.

Thank you for a wonderful 2009! Merry Christmas!!

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