Category Archives: worshipplanning.com

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!

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

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.

iPhone App – Finally!

WorshipPlanning.com iPhone AppThe big news we have been waiting for has finally arrive. The WP iPhone app was approved by Apple this afternoon, and we are delighted! It is now available in the App Store (just search for “Worship Planning”). Once installed, you may notice the version number on the splash screen to be 0.9rc2. If we had our druthers, it would have said version 1.0. But the source code is virtually identical. In the confusion to get Apple to approve our app (see our June 15th blog post), this 0.9rc2 version was submitted instead of version 1.0. Again, they both contain the exact same code, just a different version number.

What you can expect from this app is functionality similar to MyWP. Future releases will certainly contain functionality that more closely resembles the main site. But for this release we wanted an app that had features used by both Planners and Helpers.

So, feel free t

o install and give it a try. We look forward to your feedback to help shape the future releases. And, as always, if you have any questions or issues, feel free to give us a call (1-877-399-3342) or send us an email (support[at]worshipplanning.com).

O iPhone App, Where Art Thou?

I know many of you are wondering this exact question. The short answer is that it appears to be “stuck” in Apple. Read on….

Back in February and March, a few dozen WorshipPlanning.com users beta tested the iPhone app we developed. By the time beta testing was done, it was receiving very positive reviews by most beta testers. On March 24th, we submitted it to the App Store for review. A few days later, Apple moved it from the initial “Pending” queue, to the the “In Review” queue. For 8 weeks, it sat in this queue, despite my email pleas for Apple to do something with it. We would have even settled for a rejection so that we could fix whatever the problem was and resubmit it. But Apple only responded to one of our emails, stating something to the effect of “Don’t bug us. We’ll tell you when we are done.”

On May 27th (9 weeks after the original submission), we removed the seemingly-stalled app from the review process, and resubmitted it. Our hope was that by resubmitting, the app would not fall into the mysterious black hole that the previous submission had. A few days later, it entered the “In Review” status (again) and we detected they were actually testing the app (we got an assignment response notification). That was about two weeks ago. At the time of this blog post, the app is still “In Review”, and our frustration is on the rise again.

So, what is our next steps? If there is no change in status by this Friday, we will begin sending emails to Apple in hopes they give us some indication of what is going on, or what is wrong with our app. If we ever find that out, it will be our highest priority to get it fixed. In the meantime, we will resume our plans to develop Android and Blackberry apps, as well as the Facebook app. And, of course, we will be praying about it.

I sincerely apologize for the delays. We are so very excited to make this app available to you.

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.

Partnership with All About Worship

We are excited to announce a partnership between WorshipPlanning.com and All About Worship.

For those not familiar, AAW is an online resource specifically designed for “equipping and encouraging worship leaders and songwriters”. They do this through podcasts, training webinars, retreats, articles, and much more.

The goal of this partnership is two-fold. First, we hope it will help give WorshipPlanning.com worship leaders easier access to a variety of resources AAW develops. In April we will begin sharing some exciting benefits for WP Planners as part of this partnership. Second, we hope AAW will be a means by which new WP features and benefits will be shared with those that have either never tried WP, or not visited our site for a while.

AAW has a great podcast that can be found on iTunes. Their website AllAboutWorship.com also has a link to the latest podcast, as well as a growing number of other resources.

Keep an eye on our blog and twitter feed to learn more on the fruits of this partnership.

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