Well, it's been exactly 3 months since our last Planning Center Update and we're excited that this one has finally arrived! Though this update has some exciting new features, some of the biggest changes are behind the scenes in our database structure. To make this geeky information simple, it is setting us up much better for the future and speeding things up in the present too.
Before we dive into "The List", I wanted to take a second and welcome Serena Petrie, who joined our staff about 2 months ago. She will be helping us out with customer support and graphic design and we are thrilled to have her on board.
Let's get right to it. Here are all the significant changes available immediately:
Songs & People Pages Remember Filters: The main songs page and the main people pages now remember any filter settings so that when you return to these pages, you will see your filtered list by default. In addition, the “All” button, which allows you to see all entries, has returned.
Song Arrangement Length: The length field has been moved from the song page to the song arrangement page so you can have different lengths for each arrangement.
Key Descriptions: Each song key can now have a description like "Original Key" or "Low Key". When you add a song to a plan, hover over the key in the list to see the key description.
Streamlined Account Pages: The individual people pages have been cleaned up. Referring plans and block-out dates have been combined into a new "Schedule" box that defaults to only showing future dates. The recent emails box has also been cleaned up.
Scheduled Plans Improvement: Scheduled viewers can no longer see plans on their account page until the notifications for that plan have been sent.
Improved Contact Options: Add and remove multiple email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses to each person without affecting other people.
Identify Assigned Plans: Viewers, Schedulers, Editors and Administrators now see plans they have been scheduled to in bold.
Identify Assigned Plan Times: Scheduled viewers now see only their assigned times in the green Times box when viewing plans. All other users continue to see all times, but times they are assigned to now appear in bold.
Plans - Expand All: There is a new dim blue arrow at the top of each plan to expand all your flow elements at once.
Download All PDFs Cover Sheet: When using the "Download All PDFs" link, the cover page now includes a simple listing of your service flow elements.
Improved Print Options: When using the standard report in your print options, in addition to showing the arrangement name, there are new options to show or hide song BPM, Key, and Key names.
Needed Position Improvements: People with disabled accounts no longer appear as options in needed positions. Also, when a person declines a position, they are no longer an option for that needed position.
Rename Ministry Groups: Administrators can now rename ministry groups. Click the pencil that appears next to the group name at the top of that group's plan page.
Detect Block-Outs when Creating New Plan from Template: When creating a new plan from a template, if there are people scheduled to your template who have blocked out any dates for your new plan, Planning Center will automatically decline them.
Delete Category Warning: Better warning when trying to delete a category from ministry properties.
iPhone Interface: Navigating to www.planningcenteronline.com from an iPhone now has a streamlined interface designed specifically for the iPhone. At this time, it is only for viewing, not editing or scheduling.
API: We are releasing the first part of our API for developers of other programs to begin to integrate with PCO. If you are interested in this functionality please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We still have so many new features planned for the future that we weren't able to add in this update. Hopefully the ones we've just added will continue to improve your workflow and increase your efficiency.
I also wanted to let you know about the worship conferences we will be attending this summer. We are very excited that for the first time, we will be at Willow Creek's Arise Conference from June 11-13. Next we'll come back to California for Saddleback's Worship Conference and Festival June 23-26. And then we'll return to Austin, TX for Worship Leader Magazine's National Worship Leader Conference from July 21-24. If you are attending any of these, please stop by our booth and say hi, we'd love to hear from you!
Finally, we send you our deepest thanks and appreciation for continuing to help make Planning Center what it is today. Your suggestions, patience, and support are all vital elements to our success. We are so thrilled to be a small part of helping you impact people for Christ, and we look forward to the years ahead!
Aaron Stewart Product Manager