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Ministry Scheduler Pro - Church Volunteer Scheduling Software

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MSP Scheduling Tips 1. Using Titles to schedule different types of ministers 2. Use the Web Terminal to find volunteers for special events 3. Using "Schedule this ministry autonomously" to even out distribution 4. Using filters to group volunteers matching certain criteria 5. Use Ctrl and Shift keys to select multiple volunteers at once 6. Link to the Web Terminal directly from your church's web site 7. Using MSP in "Read-only" mode 8. Using the preferred serving frequency setting on a "by ministry" basis 9. Cleaning up "Can't serve dates" 10. Using and filtering the Comments field 11. Increase accountability through tracking attendance 12. Customizing the "Quick view" in the Ministers pane 13. Password Protect MSP 14. Quickly find a minister in a list by typing his or her name 15. Entering multiple email addresses for one volunteer 16. Plan ahead by easily managing service times 17. Copying and pasting text within MSP 18. Uncover scheduling conflicts before finalizing the schedule 19. Personalizing schedules and rosters

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20. Making sure one parent or family member is not scheduled when another one is scheduled 21. Using the Ministry Distribution Report to ensure a fair distribution of services 22. Avoid conflicts by disabling profile request forms while scheduling 23. Allow some families to be split up in ministries that are marked to have families always scheduled together 24. Help fellow schedulers by sharing MSP with other churches 25. Embedding links when using the Emailer 26. Exporting separate schedules for each ministry 27. Rearranging the order in which ministries appear on schedules 28. How can I turn on automatic email reminders? 29. How can I post Live schedules to my church's website for everyone to see? 30. Sending an email to only those ministers scheduled at a specific service 31. Personalizing the Web Terminal with your church's emblem 32. How can I re-send sub request emails? 33. Removing a single position from a service on a schedule or schedule skeleton 34. Get more people to take advantage of online scheduling with a video tutorial 35. How to tell if a volunteer has been flagged to be scheduled more often than others 36. Exporting a list of your preassignments 37. Save your export settings when printing or posting schedules 38. Reviewing how MSP schedules yearly services 39. New Interactive Calendar View 40. Easily schedule your upcoming Holiday events using VSP For Events

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41. Easily add a new recurring service time to an existing schedule 42. How can I access all of the past MSP scheduling tips? 43. How can I delete old Full Schedule posts and Roster posts from the Web Terminal? 44. What is the difference between a live schedule and a Live Schedule Post? 45. Easily email individual volunteers from your default email client 46. Get personalized help setting up the Web Terminal for your church 47. Easily schedule your church's choir with MSP 48. Help volunteers connect to the Web Terminal by placing a banner on your website 49. Easily move an entire service to a different day

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using Titles to schedule different types of ministers

"Titles" can Be used to divide your ministers based on attributes such as experience level, age, or gender. Ministers can then be scheduled based on their title according to rules you setup. For example, to differentiate between inexperienced and experienced altar servers, you can create "Experienced" and "Inexperienced" titles in the altar server ministry. Then you can specify how many inexperienced and experienced servers should be scheduled for each of your services. You could even specify that at least one experienced altar server is required at every service, but that the remaining servers can be either experienced or inexperienced.

Step by step: How to create titles in a ministry

1. Go into the Ministries Pane, select the ministry you would like to make titles for and click "Edit Ministry". 2. At the bottom of the window, check the box that says "Use titles to qualify ministers in this ministry." In the window that appears, you can create the titles you want to use to designate ministers. 3. Once you create titles, all the ministers will be auto-assigned to one title. You can use the Control key to select and double click on multiple ministers at a time and to toggle between the different titles. After assigning all of your volunteers a title, go to the Service Times pane edit the services you want to set "Title Rules" for. 4. Once inside the "Edit Service" dialog, highlight the ministry in which you created titles. A blue link will appear at the bottom of the service window that says "Create title rules for this ministry." Using the controls, you can specify how ministers should be scheduled for the service according to their titles.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Use the Web Terminal to find volunteers for special events

Through the Web Terminal, volunteers can sign themselves up for specific events such as special services or Holy Days online on a first-come-first-serve basis! Volunteers can easily see all the needed positions and click on one of the positions to fill that slot. If you turn on automatic processing, as soon as they submit their request to fill the slot, they are placed in the schedule and their name is shown in the position so other volunteers know the slot has been filled. Online sign up eliminates the emails and phone calls involved in filling special events as well as the need to verify preferences and availability beforehand.

Step by step: Use the Web Terminal to find volunteers for special events

1. Open or create a schedule or schedule skeleton and click on the day of the event in the calendar view. If the event you will be posting to the Web Terminal is a yearly service already created in the Service Times Pane, the service will appear. In this case, click on to select it, and then click the "Edit Service" button in the upper left hand side of the schedule window. Otherwise, if you need to build a new special service, click "New Service" and specify the number of volunteers you need from each ministry. 2. In the Edit Service window, the button that says "Schedule Specific Ministers." When you click this, the window will change a bit, and below the white box at the bottom of the dialog is a new option: "Leave this service unfilled." Make sure to check this box. 3. You can now Commence Scheduling and this service will be left unfilled even after the scheduling process is complete. 4. Follow the normal procedure to post a schedule to the Web Terminal (visit our Online Knowledge Base and search for the keywords "Web Terminal" to find instructions on how to do this.)

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5. When posting the schedule to the Web Terminal, in the "Save Live Schedule post" dialog, under Layout Settings, be sure to check the box that says "Include links so ministers can volunteer via the Web Terminal." Now when ministers view the full schedule in the Web Terminal, they'll see the special service with the positions that need to be filled. They can click on one of the positions to submit a request to be scheduled in that position. The request will then be shown in the Web Forms pane inside MSP. If automatic processing is on, as soon as the minister submits the request the assignment will be made and all schedules will be updated, both those inside MSP and those in the Web Terminal. If automatic processing is NOT on, you'll have the opportunity to review each request before any assignments are made. BONUS: You can also display a list of positions that need to be filled directly in one of the tabs of the Web Terminal, as well in emails sent through the Emailer. Just place the {{UnfilledPositions}} token in the Web Terminal or in your email. Make sure to look at the options for the {{UnfilledPositions}} token, because using those options you can control exactly what unfilled positions you want to include in the list, as well whether or not the list has links that allow ministers to sign up for the positions.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using "Schedule this ministry autonomously" to even out distribution

If you're concerned about everyone getting a fair chance to serve within a particular ministry, you may consider turning on the "Schedule this ministry autonomously" setting. By activating this setting, MSP will balance volunteers' scheduled services within the ministry, as opposed to trying to balance their overall service load, which will result in a more even service distribution within the ministry for which the autonomous option is on. The "Schedule this ministry autonomously" option is set on a per-ministry basis, and can be especially helpful in evening out distribution in ministries where people are only scheduled occasionally (e.g. the Reader Ministry). By default, some ministers might miss out on these important services because they are qualified and being scheduled in other ministries, while others are not. When you turn the "Schedule this ministry autonomously" on, MSP will not consider the other ministries in which ministers are or are not qualified when distributing services in the autonomous ministry.

Step by step: Turning on autonomous scheduling in a ministry

1. Go into the Ministries pane in MSP 2. Select the ministry you would like to activate this feature for, and click the "Edit Ministry" button. 3. Check the box that says "Schedule this ministry autonomously". MSP will give you an explanation of what this feature does, you can click OK. NOTE: If this option is turned on in all ministries, each volunteer's total number of assigned positions in each ministry will be similar. However, the overall distribution of assigned positions in a scheduling period may be skewed for those volunteers qualified in multiple ministries.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using filters to group volunteers matching certain criteria

MSP's high-powered filters are great for isolating certain volunteers based on specific criteria. By using filters, it makes it easier to communicate, schedule, group and edit volunteers that meet certain criteria. The filters can be used in most functions of MSP. For example, using the filters you can send an email to only volunteers that are scheduled Easter Sunday at the 2:00 PM service.

Step by step: Sending an email to ministers scheduled at a specific service

1. Make sure the schedule with the Easter service on it is open, or is saved as a Shared schedule and is Live (for help on how to make a shared schedule live, click here) 2. From the Emailer pane in MSP, check the selection that says Send to: "All Ministers" 3. Check the box below that option that says "moreover, send to only ministers passing this filter" 4. In the filter dialog that appears, check the box to the left near the bottom that says has text in blue reading "Build a schedule or attendance related filter." 5. Select the first option in the new window that says "In the schedule that is open (or the relevant Live schedule)" and then under that, specify the date of the service, April 12th, and then under that option, from the drop down menu choose the 2:00 PM service. 6. Click "OK", and then "OK" again in the main filter window to apply the filter. You have now activated that filter, and the email will only go to those ministers scheduled at the 2:00 PM service on Easter Sunday. As an extra tip - you can check the box at the bottom of the Filter dialog that says, "Filter by the inverse of this criteria." In our example above, everyone who was not scheduled for that service would then receive the email.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Use Ctrl and Shift keys to select multiple volunteers at once

Throughout MSP, you can hold down the "Shift" or "Ctrl" keys to select more than one minister at a time. This can be extremely helpful when editing the same profile information for different ministers, grouping together people for a Preassignment, or sending out emails to a few ministers at a time.

Step by step: Use the Ctrl key to add a service preference to multiple volunteers at once

1. Go to the Ministers pane in MSP 2. Hold down the "Ctrl" key, and click on each of the ministers to which you want to add the service preference. 3. Once you have selected everyone, and multiple names are highlighted in blue, click on the "Edit Minister" button. 4. You can now click on "Add" next to the Preferred Serving Times list to add the service preference to all of these ministers, then click OK. As well, if you wanted to change or add preferences for all of your ministers at once, you can hold down the "Shift" key and select the first name on your list, then scroll to the end of the list and click on the last person.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Link to the Web Terminal directly from your church's web site

You can drive traffic to your website as well as make it easier for your volunteers to view and update their schedule online by placing a link directly to the Web Terminal right on your church's website.

Step by step: Placing the Web Terminal link on your church's website.

1. Inside MSP, go to the Web Terminal Pane and click on the "Home" tab. 2. Click on the button that says "Copy URL" and you will get a message that your Web Terminal URL has been copied to the clipboard. 3. Send an email to your Web Site administrator, and choose "Paste" from the "Edit" menu to insert your Web Terminal URL. Ask your administrator to place a link to the URL on your church's web site. Linking to the Web Terminal from your church's web site helps drive more people to your website, and also enables volunteers to quickly and easily access and update their schedules via the Web Terminal.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using MSP in "Read-only" mode

If you would like someone to have access to MSP so they can run reports, print schedules, and send emails but you don't want them to be able to change any existing information, you can setup their installation to be "Read-only." By doing so, you allow them to access the key features of the program but you avoid the risk of your database being compromised.

Step by step: Setting up MSP in a "Read-only" mode

1. Open up your copy of MSP, and click on the Licensing pane it's the last option on the left-hand side of MSP's main screen. 2. Click on the "Yes" next to the text "This computer can change data" in the middle of the screen. 3. In the new dialog that pops up, select the option that says "Only allow this computer to view data, send emails, and run reports; not change data". You will need to input the administrators password, and click OK. NOTE: MSP users operating in "Read-only" mode will be able to change information while inside of MSP, however, the changes will not be saved. Absolutely no changes to ministers, ministries, service times, or open schedules will ever be recorded.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using the preferred serving frequency setting on a "by ministry" basis

Using preferred serving frequencies, you can accommodate volunteers that would like to be scheduled more or less often than normal. For example, you can specify that a volunteer be scheduled "2 times per month", or "6 times per year". You may have already seen the preferred serving frequency setting, but did you know that you can even set preferred serving frequencies on a by ministry basis? That is, that you can specify a separate preferred serving frequency for each ministry in which a minister is qualified?

Step by step: Setting the preferred serving frequency on a "by ministry" basis

1. Open MSP and go to the Ministers pane. 2. Select the minister whose frequency you would like to set, and click the "Edit Minister" button. 3. Next to "Preferred Serving Frequency," click on the drop-down menu and select the last option, "Set by ministry." You can then specify a unique preferred serving frequency in each individual ministry. By being more flexible with the scheduling frequency, you can better accommodate your volunteers' individual preferences, which leads to more people becoming engaged in ministry. NOTE: It is not advised to adjust all volunteers' preferred serving frequency, as that would make it impossible for the scheduler to accommodate everybody's specific preferences. You should only change the preferred serving frequency of a minister when there is a special need for that minister.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Cleaning up "Can't serve dates"

To keep your database free of clutter, you can easily eliminate expired "Can't serve dates" from one minister's -- or all ministers' -- profile with a click of the button. This helps clearly convey ministers' away dates, and is especially helpful if your volunteers are logging in to view their profiles via the Web Terminal.

Step by step: Cleaning up "Can't serve dates"

1. Start in the Ministers pane. Select a name from the list and click "Edit Minister". 2. In the section for "Can't serve times", click on the button that says Clean. 3. You will be presented with a pop-up that will ask if you want to clean up just this ministers "Can't serve times", or all of your ministers. You can choose to manually clean a few profiles, or everyone at once.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using and filtering the Comments field

If you track volunteer data that doesn't fit into one of the pre-formatted fields inside the Edit Minister dialog, you can add that information to the Comments field. You can use the filter tools to run reports, manually schedule, and send emails based on the information contained in the Comments field. This is especially helpful if you have a set of ministers that are defined by a group, rather than by ministry, for example, Prayer Group ministers. By filtering the Comments section, you can differentiate ministers that don't fit into a clearly defined ministry, subdivision or title.

Step by step: Filtering the Comments section to send an email to Prayer Group members.

1. Start in the Ministers pane. For each minister part of the Prayer Group, Edit their minister profile and enter the same title for that group, for example "Prayer Group." Make sure that you enter the phrase you are using the exact same way for each minister. 2. To send an email to all of these ministers, go to the Emailer pane. Select "Send to all ministers" and also check the box for "Moreover, only send to ministers passing this filter". 3. In the filter dialog that appears, there is a section to filter the comments in the bottom left-hand side of the window. Using the drop down menu you can select between, "are not empty" and "contains the following." Select, "contains the following" and in the area open for entry, type in the field you used to designate your group. In this example we used "Prayer Group." 4. After you click OK, the filter is in place. You can double-check it is correct by hitting the "Preview" button at the top of the Emailer pane. First select a minister you know is not in this group. The preview should reflect they are not going to receive the email. Next, click on a name of someone you know is definitely in this group, and the preview should reflect they will be getting the email.

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NOTE: Ministers can have multiple fields entered in the Comments section of their profile. You can use the Comments to filter ministers in other aspects of the program as well. For example, you can create mailing labels, rosters, or manually schedule a minister in the open schedule based on their comments. Remember that if you enter notes in the Comments field, depending on your Web Terminal settings, it may be possible for volunteers to see those notes. (By default the Comments field is not visible in the Web Terminal.)

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Increase accountability through tracking attendance

MSP offers the ability to track attendance and participation. By tracking attendance with MSP, you can easily generate reports and send personalized emails thanking people when they fill in or letting no-shows know they were missed. And if your ministers use the Web Terminal, you can even display their attendance record online for them to see. Tracking attendance increases accountability, lets your volunteers know that their service is important, and helps you avoid scheduling people that repeatedly don't show up.

Step by step: Tracking attendance with MSP to send emails to ministers who didn't show up

1. Open the schedule inside MSP that covers the previous weekend. Locate the positions on the schedule where a last-minute substitution was made, or a volunteer did not show up. (Note: MSP has the ability to print sign-in sheets, which can be helpful in tracking which volunteers don't show up over the course of each weekend.) 2. If a minister did not show up and the spot went unfilled, you can right-click on the name and choose "flag as did not show up" or click on the red flag at the top of the scheduling window. If a substitution was made, right-click on the minister's name who didn't show up and select "Make a swap" or highlight the minister's name and click the icon with the green arrow located at the top of the scheduling window. From the list that appears, choose the name of the minister who filled in. They will be added to the schedule and flagged as "Extra (No show)". This indicates the original minister was the "no show" and they were the "extra". When done, go to File menu and select Save. 3. Go to the Emailer pane in MSP. 4. Click on the Token menu and go to the section for "Assigned Positions". Select the token for {{NoShows}} (multi line list). This token will be replaced with the date, time, and ministry in which a minister was scheduled to serve but failed to show up. When you insert the token, a dialog box will pop -up where you can specify the date range over which you want to report no shows.

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BONUS: You can also use these tokens on the Web Terminal so ministers can see their attendance whenever they login!

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Customizing the "Quick view" in the Ministers pane

The "Quick view" allows you to see your volunteers' contact and scheduling parameters without having to click the "Edit Minister " button. The information shown in the "Quick view" area can be customized to display important information that would be beneficial to have access to when scrolling through your list of ministers.

Step by step: Customizing the "Quick view" in the Minister pane

1. Start in the Minister pane and click the word "customize" that appears in the upper right corner of the "Quick view" box on the right side of the window. 2. In the new dialog that opens, you can use the "Add" and "Remove" buttons to move the fields you wish to be displayed. Once the fields you would like to appear are in the "Fields to show" column, you can rearrange how the information appears by dragging and dropping the fields in the correct order with your mouse.

NOTE: Depending on the size of the MSP window, you can have anywhere between 7 - 10 fields fit in the "Quick view" section.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Password Protect MSP

To guard your work and help ensure the security of your volunteers' personal information, you can password protect MSP. This feature is extremely helpful if you have MSP installed on a computer with multiple users. Not only will it help protect the volunteers' information but it will also protect your data from being changed or accidentally deleted.

Step by step: How to password protect MSP

1. Open MSP and click on the File menu at the top of the screen. 2. Select "Password Protect MSP" from the drop-down menu. You will be prompted to enter a password to use. NOTE: To turn this feature off, go to the File menu and select "Password Protect MSP" and delete the password.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Quickly find a minister in a list by typing his or her name

When looking at a list of ministers, you can jump right to a volunteer's name using the keys on your keyboard. This helps navigate the program easier and avoids having to to scroll through the entire list to find someone.

Step by step: How to quickly jump to Tom Zelaya in the

Ministers List

1. Start in the Ministers pane in MSP. 2. If your ministers are listed last-name first, type the letter "Z" on your keyboard. If your ministers are listed first-name last, type the letter "T" on your keyboard. By typing the letter, the minister list will jump to the section of ministers with last names or first names beginning with that letter. You can keep typing additional letters of the name until the correct minister is selected. NOTE: This functionality will work in any list within MSP.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Entering multiple email addresses for one volunteer

If volunteers have multiple email addresses, you can send reminders, sub requests and other important information to more than one email account. This ensures that your volunteers stay informed and receive news in a timely manner.

Step by step: Entering multiple email addresses for a volunteer

1. Start in the Ministers pane of MSP. Select the minister for which you wish to add a second email address and click the "Edit Minister" button. 2. On the line for "Email address" in the edit profile dialog, directly after the last character of the email address, insert a comma and 1 space, then enter the second email address the minister wishes to be contacted at. E.g.: j.smith@yahoo.com, john.s@gmail.com

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Plan ahead by easily managing service times

As the holiday season approaches and ministry requirements vary, clearly viewing all your service times and the ministries required at each can help you plan for each service. MSP can export a list of all of your service times and the number of ministers required from each ministry at every service. Since Holy Days and special services often cause ministry requirements to change, the ability to export and clearly view your upcoming service time requirements will reduce mistakes and help you prepare for the special services.

Step by step: Exporting a list of your service times

1. Open MSP and click on the Service Times pane 2. On the right-hand side of this pane, click the button that says "Export List". This will generate a MS Word document that you can then print out and easily review or keep on hand for the future.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Copying and pasting text within MSP

Whether sending out an email or manually updating a volunteer's profile with an email address or comments, it can be very helpful to copy information from another application such as MS Word and paste it into MSP. Even though some windows in MSP do not have an Edit menu, you can still copy and paste text in these windows using keyboard shortcuts.

Step by step: Copying and pasting information within MSP

1. Highlight the information would want to copy in whatever application the text is in, and then hit the Ctrl and "C" key on your keyboard. This is a shortcut for "Copy". 2. Place your cursor within MSP in the location where you would like the copied text to appear. Hit the Ctrl and "V" keys on your keyboard. This is a shortcut for "Paste". The copied text will appear.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Uncover scheduling conflicts before finalizing the schedule

A new Conflict Report allows you to rest assured that volunteers' last-minute "can't serve dates" are accommodated before sending out the final schedule. Since many times volunteers submit changes to their scheduling parameters during or just after you've created the schedule, it's a good idea to double check that the schedule takes into account everyone's latest scheduling preferences before sending out.

Step by step: View a Conflict Report for before sending out the schedule

1. Open or run a schedule. 2. Click the Report menu at the top of the scheduling window, and select "View Scheduling Conflicts." 3. You can sort, filter, and export these conflicts to thoroughly review and easily check that the schedule is satisfactory for everyone.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Personalizing schedules and rosters

When exporting your schedules to the Web Terminal or printed form, you can include additional notes or information that will personalize your schedule and convey important messages in one convenient location. By adding an optional header or footer such as the points of contact for each ministry or reminders about what time to show up, you keep volunteers informed and can facilitate coordination at the service.

Step by step: Personalizing exported schedules

1. Open or generate a schedule. When you are ready to export, go to the File menu and choose "Export Schedule." 2. In the Export dialog, click on the "Document Settings" tab. If you are building a roster, go to the "Document Settings" section within the Rosterizer. 3. In the "Document Settings" section you can enter the contact information for each ministry head or include important protocols relevant to your ministries. If you enter this information in the Header section it will appear at the top of the schedule or roster. You can also enter information in the Footer field, in which case the personalized text will appear at the bottom of the schedule.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Making sure one parent or family member is not scheduled when another one is scheduled

To avoid scheduling both parents when there is an infant that needs to be taken care of, you can utilize the Babysitter option. This option also works well for rowdy siblings who aught not be scheduled together.

Step by step: Turning on the Babysitter option to keep two family members from serving at the same time

1. Start in the Family Groupings pane. Select and Edit the family for which this option will be turned on. 2. Select the name of one of the parents who will be a "babysitter." 3. When there name is selected, the check box with the word "Babysitter" will now become available. Check the box. 4. Select the name of the second parent who will also be a babysitter, and repeat step 3.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Using the Ministry Distribution Report to ensure a fair distribution of services

After creating a schedule you can double check that all volunteers get a fair chance to participate and share their gifts in service by using the Ministry Distribution Report. The report is sortable, allowing you to see at a glance which volunteers were assigned the most positions. You can even adjust the distribution directly from this report, easily assigning more services to ministers with too few or taking away services from ministers with too many.

Step by step: How to make changes to assignments from the Ministry Distribution report

1. From an open schedule, go to the Reports menu and select "View Ministry Distribution...". By clicking on the heading of a ministry, or the word "Total" the list will be arranged to show totals in descending order. 2. To give a volunteer an additional position from the distribution report, right-click (or double-click) on the volunteer's name or the number of times scheduled in a particular ministry and select "Add an additional assignment". This will take you to the schedule in "Place Minister" mode so you can find a position on the schedule you want to give to that volunteer. 3. To remove a volunteer from a position using the distribution report, right-click (or double-click while holding the Ctrl key) on their name or the number of times scheduled in a particular ministry and select "Remove an assignment". This will take you to the schedule in the "Fill Position" mode, so you can select another volunteer to take their place.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Avoid conflicts by disabling profile request forms while scheduling

By temporarily turning off volunteers' ability to change scheduling preferences online, you can avoid lastminute changes that can lead to confusion or conflicts when generating your schedule. Volunteers will still have access to the Web Terminal to view personal schedules and rosters, and to request and accept subs.

Step by step: Disabling profile request forms

1. Start in the Web Terminal pane 2. Click on the "My Profile" tab 3. Un-check the box at the top of this section that reads "Allow ministers to submit request forms to change their profiles at this time." 4. Hit the "Commit Changes" button at the bottom of the screen NOTE: After the schedule has been generated and you are ready to give them access to profile change forms again, simply follow the same steps above and check the appropriate box.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Allow some families to be split up in ministries that are marked to have families always scheduled together

Sometimes a situation may arise where members of a certain family don't necessarily want to be scheduled together within a ministry even though most families do. You can override the ministry option on a perfamily basis to accommodate everyone's scheduling requests. This is helpful for large families and families whose members serve in multiple ministries.

Step by step: Overriding the

Never split up family members in this ministry

option on a per-family basis

1. Start in the Family Groupings pane. 2. Edit the family that would like the exception to the rule. 3. On the right side of the "Edit Family Grouping" dialog, check the option that reads: "Allow members of this family to be split up in ministries which families are flagged to always be scheduled together." 4. Click OK for this family to save the changes.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Help fellow schedulers by sharing MSP with other churches

You can save money and help other churches by giving your MSP referral code (below) to the churches in your area that could benefit from MSP. For every church that signs up for MSP using your code, you get $25 off your next MSP maintenance renewal and they will receive 10% off their new license. You can login to your license portal to find your referral code.

Step by step: How to use the MSP Referral program

1. Give your referral code to the churches in your area that could benefit from MSP. They can use your code when signing up for MSP to receive a 10% discount. 2. When you renew your MSP maintenance, for every church that has purchased a license with your code, you will automatically receive a $25/church deduction off the total price of your renewal.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Embedding links when using the Emailer

Instead of using the full URL to direct email recipients to a web page, you can embed a link with a simple word or phrase, like "Click here." Embedding links eliminates cluttering your emails with long, unattractive URLs and can help point people to the resources you want them to view on the web, for example, readings from the USCCB (http://www.usccb.org/nab/).

Step by step: How to embed links using the Emailer

1. 2. 3. 4.

Type the word or phrase you wish to contain the link, for example, "Click Here." Highlight the word or phrase; in this example, it would be "Click Here" Click on the Style menu along the top of the text box in the Emailer pane, and select "Link." Insert the entire web address, including http://, then click OK. Your link will now be active when sending emails.

BONUS: Links can be inserted in the Web Terminal in the same manner by following the same steps in the Web Terminal pane!

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Exporting separate schedules for each ministry

Allowing volunteers to view each ministry schedule separately makes finding their positions and seeing with whom they are scheduled easy. It is especially helpful when posting schedules to the Web Terminal, allowing ministers to easily click on their ministry to view sub requests and unfilled positions within a particular ministry.

Step by step: Exporting separate schedules for each ministry

1. Generate your schedule normally (running the auto-scheduler for all ministries). 2. Once your schedule is ready to be shared with your volunteers, go to the File menu and select "Export Schedule" to save the schedule in MS Word format. Or, if you are posting the schedule to the Web Terminal, make sure the schedule is saved as Live and open, and then click on the "New" button in the Full Schedules tab of the Web Terminal. 3. In the dialog box that appears, click on the "Included Ministries" heading. Here you can specify which ministries to include in the export. You can select one or multiple ministries. 4. Once the schedule is exported, repeat steps (2) and (3) but this time changing the "Included Ministries" section to export a schedule for a new ministry or group of ministries. Note: If you are emailing schedules to your volunteers, you can set up the Emailer to go out to groups, for example, all Lectors, and send them just the Lector schedule.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Rearranging the order in which ministries appear on schedules

You can rearrange the order in which ministries appear on your schedules to facilitate coordination and accommodate volunteers' preferences. By keeping ministries in a familiar order, you avoid confusion and volunteers are more responsive to new schedule formats.

Step by step: How to re-arrange the order ministries appear in on schedules

1. Begin in the Ministries pane of MSP. 2. Click on a ministry in the list of Ministries. Drag and drop the ministries in this section to the order you want them to appear on the schedule.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How can I turn on automatic email reminders?

Email reminders reduce no-shows and make volunteering easy by making sure volunteers always know when they are scheduled. Now you can setup reminders to automatically be sent a specified number of days before volunteers are scheduled to serve, and volunteers can even adjust the number of days on an individual basis to suit their preferences.

How can I turn on automatic email reminders ?

1. 2. 3. 4.

Open MSP and go to the Web Terminal pane. At the top of the Home tab, click the "Web Terminal Settings" button. In the new dialog, click on the "Auto Reminders" heading from the left menu. Check the box at the top of this window that says "Send automatic email reminders to ministers before each of their scheduled dates." You can adjust the default number of days in advance that the email goes out for each minister.

Also, You can give your volunteers the ability to request changes to the number of days in advance they get the email on an individual basis. To allow this, continue with the steps below: 5. From the same "Web Terminal Settings"dialog, click on the "Profile Changes" heading and then click on General. 6. Check the second-to-last option in this section that says "Allow ministers to view and request changes to their automatic email reminder settings." 7. Now when volunteers log into the Web Terminal, they will be able to adjust the number of days before their scheduled dates that they will receive their automatic reminders on the My Profile tab.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How can I post Live schedules to my church's website for everyone to see?

Live schedules reflect all information in real-time, including and swap's or new assignments. By making this Live schedule accessible to everyone on your church's website, it is easy to keep everyone up to date, including parents and church staff members who may not have a Web Terminal login.

How can I post Live schedules to my church's website for everyone to see?

1. First, you will need to create a Live Schedule Post. 2. Once you have a Live Schedule Post, you will need to go to the Web Terminal pane, and then click on the "Full Schedules" tab. 3. Select the schedule you would like to post on your website from the box at the top of the window. Click the View button just to the right of that box. 4. A new dialog will pop-up with instructions click the "Copy Link" button, then open an email and go to Edit Paste to paste the link. You'll then want to send this email to your church's web master so he or she can post the link on your site.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Sending an email to only those ministers scheduled at a specific service

Emailing volunteers scheduled at certain services has many uses, for example, when sending instructions for special services or when alerting volunteers to a change in service times. Using the tokens inside the MSP Emailer, we'll show you how this can be done quickly and easily.

Step by step: Sending emails to only those scheduled at a specific service

1. Begin in the MSP Emailer. Set the "Send to" to All Ministers. 2. In the text area, type out the email you wish to send. Insert the Scheduled Services token by clicking on the Token menu, going to the Assigned Positions section of the drop down menu, and select Scheduled Services. 3. In the Token Options dialog that will open, configure the date range you wish to address, for example "Include scheduled services in the next 1 week only." 4. Check the option that says "Include only these services." Click in the box that appears after the text, and select the service time you wish to address, for example, Saturday, 5 PM. 5. Check the option that says "Completely exclude ministers from this email who are not scheduled for any position that matches the given criteria." 6. Click OK in the Token Options screen. 7. Hit the "Send" button.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Personalizing the Web Terminal with your church's emblem

By adding your church's emblem to the Web Terminal, you can brand the space and make your volunteers feel at home while viewing and updating their schedules online.

Step by step: Adding your church's logo to the Web Terminal

1. Begin in the Web Terminal pane of MSP. 2. From the Home tab, click on the "Web Terminal Settings" button at the top of the tab. 3. In the new dialog that opens, under the General heading, check the option that says "Show a header image at the top of the Web Terminal (for custom branding)." 4. MSP will then open the folders on your computer so you can browse and select the image you wish to upload. You can use images in .jpg, .gif, or .png format. If you don't have an image of your church's emblem in one of these formats, request one from your web site administrator.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How can I re-send sub request emails?

If a service is approaching and a volunteers' sub request is still unanswered, it is possible to send another sub request email. To avoid volunteers' re-requesting substitutes too often, sub requests submitted for a second time need to go through an MSP administrator, which allows you to control the number of emails that go out for each opening.

Step by step: How can I re-send sub request emails?

1. Begin in the Emailer. 2. Click on the Token menu, go to "Potential fill-in positions" and select the {{SwapRequestedPositions}} token. 3. In the Token Options window, you can limit the date range of the swaps you would like to be included in this email. Also, you should check the second to last option to "Completely exclude ministers from this email or roster for which there are no swap requested positions that matches the given criteria" so the email will only go out to those who could potentially fill any of the open swaps. 4. Set the "Send to" option at the top of the Emailer to "All ministers" and then click on the "Preview" button at the top of the page to see what the email will look like once it is sent. When you click on "Preview" this will bring up the Token Options window to confirm the token settings are correct, and after you hit OK, choose a name from your list of ministers to see the token replacements for that person.

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5. Once you have confirmed that the email looks correct and includes the appropriate information, hit the "Send" button at the top of the page.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Removing a single position from a service on a schedule or schedule skeleton

You can avoid unattractive "Unfilled" spots appearing on your exported schedules by removing unnecessary positions from the open schedule.

Step by step: How to remove a single position from a service on a schedule or skeleton

1. Open the schedule. In the calendar view on the left hand side, select the day on which the service occurs. 2. Find the service you wish to modify and click on the position that should be removed. 3. Click on the icon of the person with a red "X" in front of them at the top of the schedule. MSP will ask if you're sure you wish to delete the selected position. Click OK and it will be removed.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Get more people to take advantage of online scheduling with a video tutorial

Instead of telling people how easy the Web Terminal makes participating in ministry, now you can show them! A new Web Terminal tutorial shows people how easy it is to view their schedules, request subs, and update their availability online. Sharing this tutorial with volunteers and decision makers is a great way to get more people to take advantage of online scheduling, which dramatically reduces micromanagement of substitutions and volunteer availability.

Step by step: How to get more people to take advantage of online scheduling

1. Copy this link by selecting it and then choosing Copy from the Edit menu: http://www.ministryschedulerpro.com/tutorials/playTutorial.php?demoID=22 2. If you are not already using the Web Terminal, open a new email to your pastor and other decision makers at your church. Ask them if they are interested in using this online scheduling system. Choosing Paste from the Edit menu will include the link to the tutorial. 3. Send a similar email email to your volunteers by opening up MSP and going to the Emailer Pane. If you are not already using the Web Terminal, ask them if they think such an online scheduling system would be helpful. Choosing Paste from the Edit menu will include the link to the tutorial. When you are finished, click Send.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How to tell if a volunteer has been flagged to be scheduled more often than others

If you've adjusted a volunteer's preferred serving frequency, some volunteers may get scheduled more often than other volunteers. This can lead to an unfair distribution of services, which means certain volunteers serve often, while others get left off the schedule completely. Using MSP's filter tool, you can quickly check to see if any volunteers have been flagged to be scheduled more often than others.

Step by Step: How to quickly determine which volunteers have been flagged to to be scheduled more often than others

1. Go the List Options section, located in the bottom right corner of the Ministers pane. 2. Click on the word "specify..." next to the check box "Other Filter" 3. In the dialog box that appears, check the box that says, "Have serving freq "more than" "normal." Make sure the first drop down menu says "more than" and the second says, "normal."

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Exporting a list of your preassignments

You can easily view and track your volunteers' preassignments by exporting them to MS Excel or another spreadsheet program. This makes it easier to view which volunteers are set up on a fixed rotating pattern.

Step by step: Exporting a list of your preassignments

1. Start in the Preassignments pane in MSP. 2. You can adjust the order of the preassignments by clicking the column headings. (E.g. You can click the heading "In Ministry" to sort the preassignments by ministry. The exported information will appear in the same order as it is listed in the Preassignments pane. 3. Click the "Export" button in the upper right side of the window to export this list to a .csv file which can be opened with MS Excel or another spreadsheet program.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Save your export settings when printing or posting schedules

If you create a separate schedule for each ministry or Mass, you can avoid having to adjust the Export Schedule settings each time by saving your settings. This works great if, for example, you create a separate schedule for Altar Servers for weekday and weekend Masses.

Step by step: How to save your export settings

1. From an open schedule, go to the File menu and choose "Export Schedule" or "Post schedule to the Web Terminal. 2. Configure the settings for this export. (e.g. In the "Included Ministries" pane select just the Altar Server ministry, and in the "Included Services" pane select just your weekday Masses.) 3. Click the "Settings..." button in the lower left side of the window, and choose "Save these settings." Give these settings a name such as "Altar Server weekday schedule" and save it to your computer. When you wish to use these settings in the future to export just the weekday Masses for the Altar Servers: 1. From the schedule, go to the File menu and choose "Export Schedule" or "Post schedule to the Web Terminal." 2. Click the "Settings.." button in the lower left side of the window and choose "Load saved settings." 3. Select your "Altar Server weekday schedule" file, and then hit the "Save Live Roster Post" or "Export" button. Note: You can also save Roster settings in a similar fashion by clicking on the "Settings..." button in the Rosterizer pane.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Reviewing how MSP schedules yearly services

You can customize how MSP schedules yearly services (Holy Days and one-time services), which will save you time and ensure your volunteers get scheduled correctly. You can even tell MSP to treat a yearly service as a weekly service, which facilitates placing volunteers at their preferred times.

Step by step: Reviewing how MSP schedules yearly services

1. Open any schedule or skeleton. From the Schedule menu at the top of the window select "Scheduler Settings." The last two options in this dialog determine how the program will schedule volunteers for your yearly services. By default, any volunteer may be scheduled for your yearly services, regardless of their services preferences. However, you can change this setting so that only volunteers who have the yearly services as a preference are scheduled for the service. Additionally, you can open a schedule or skeleton and specify that certain yearly services are filled with volunteers who all prefer to serve at a specific service time. 1. On the schedule skeleton that covers the date range of any yearly services, select the date a yearly service occurs. 2. Select the service and click the "Edit Service" button. 3. Locate the "Treat As" section in the Edit Service dialog. You can us the drop-down menu to specify that MSP treat this service as another weekly or monthly service when assigning volunteers. For example, choose the Sunday 10:00 am services if you would like all of the volunteers who prefer to serve at 10:00 AM on Sundays to serve at this yearly service.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: New Interactive Calendar View

The new calendar view lets volunteers easily see their scheduled dates in a calendar format. It is particularly helpful for churches with several services a weekend since it allows volunteers to click on a date in the calendar and see people scheduled on that particular day, instead of having to scroll through a long list of services. The new format does not require any special browser plugins to be viewed online.

Step by step: How to post a Live schedule in the interactive calendar view format

1. Open a Live schedule 2. From within the Schedule window, go to the File menu and select "Create additional Live Schedule post" 3. In the Layout Settings pane, change the format to "Interactive calendar view" and then click "Save." 4. Login to the Web Terminal as one of your volunteers and go to the "Full Schedules" tab to see how the new format looks online!

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Easily schedule your upcoming Holiday events using VSP For Events

It is that time of year again, and we wanted to let you know that there is an easier way to schedule upcoming events, such as Christmas bazaars, craft fairs, live nativity scenes and Christmas gift deliveries. Volunteer Scheduler Pro for Events lets volunteers enroll online and sign up for shifts directly from your church's website! Since VSP for Events and MSP integrate, getting started is easy.

Step by step: Learning more about VSP for Events and how it can help schedule your Holiday events

1. View a video demo of how VSP for Events works. 2. Download a free trial. 3. Contact us to learn more!

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Easily add a new recurring service time to an existing schedule

If you want to add a a new recurring service to the schedule, this can be accommodated quickly and easily, without needing to generate a new schedule skeleton. This is especially helpful for new weekly and monthly services that you don't want to enter manually.

Step by step: Add a new service time to an existing schedule

1. Open the existing schedule that covers the time period during which the new service takes place. 2. Leave the schedule open, go back to the main MSP screen and go to the Service Times pane. 3. Select "New Service" option for the type of service you are creating - weekly, monthly or yearly. Setup the time and number of required positions in each ministry, then click OK. 4. A dialog box will say, "Would you like to create instances of this service time in the open schedule?" Click OK. 5. Go back and look at the schedule, and you will see the new services. You can then run the autoscheduler again to fill in those services. Before rerunning the auto-scheduler, you will want to update volunteers' profile with the new service time by adding it as a preference for those volunteers that wish to serve at the new time. NOTE: Although you can create new services in the open schedule by adding a service in the Service Time pane, editing an existing service in the Service Time pane will not change the services in the open schedule.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How can I access all of the past MSP scheduling tips?

In an effort to help schedulers get the most out of MSP, we have been releasing MSP scheduling tips on a monthly basis. You can access all of these tips online and keep as an extra resource for questions that come up when using MSP.

How can I access past MSP scheduling tips?

You can access the index of all scheduling tips by visiting the following link: MSP Scheduling Tips Note: This page will update itself with the most recent tips as we release them.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: How can I delete old Full Schedule posts and Roster posts from the Web Terminal?

Over time, live schedule posts and roster posts may accumulate on your web terminal. To more easily view the posts that are relative and current, you can easily delete these old posts.

How to delete live schedule or roster posts from the Web Terminal

1. Open MSP. Click on the Web Terminal pane. 2. Click on the "Full Schedules" tab. 3. In the "Live Schedule Posts" box at the top of the tab, you will see your list of full schedules. Select the one you wish to delete, and hit the "Delete" button to the right of the list. 4. Repeat step (3) in the "Rosters" tab of MSP to clean up any old roster posts.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: What is the difference between a live schedule and a Live Schedule Post?

When a schedule is "live", information from that schedule is displayed in the Web Terminal and used in emails and tokens, such as the {{ScheduledServices}} or {{UnfilledPositions}} token. Volunteers can see their scheduled services on the My Schedule tab of the Web Terminal and request subs for any services they have in live schedules. A Live Schedule Post is created from a live schedule. You can think of it as an "Exported Schedule" that appears in the Web Terminal. When you export a schedule to MS Word or another program, you can choose from a variety of different layouts, such as tabular or list layouts, and you can choose which ministries and services are included in the exported schedule. In the same way, when you create a Live Schedule Post, you are creating a "view" of the live schedule that can have a variety of different layouts. In fact, many of the layouts are the same as those that are available for an exported schedule. Just like exported schedules, you can create multiple Live Schedule Posts for one live schedule. For example, you can create a separate Live Schedule Post for each ministry in a live schedule, and list them all in the Web Terminal.

Step by step: Making a schedule Live and creating Live Schedule Post(s)

(Note: These steps assume you are using the Online Edition of MSP and have set up your shared database. Contact us if you need help upgrading or sharing your database.) 1. The first time you save a schedule, you will be asked if you'd like to make it live. If you choose to do so,in addition to the schedule being made live, a Live Schedule Post is automatically created for you. You can edit the layout and options for the Live Schedule Post by checking the box that says

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"Customize the layout and other options for this live schedule now." If you do not check this box, the live schedule post will be in the default tabular layout. 2. To create an additional Live Schedule Post from a live schedule, choose "Create an additional Live schedule post" from the File menu of an open live schedule. To see a list of all your Live Schedule Posts, click on the Web Terminal pane on the left hand side of MSP's main screen, and then click on the "Full Schedules" tab. From this tab you'll be able to view your Live Schedule Posts online, create additional posts, and delete old posts you no longer need.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Easily email individual volunteers from your default email client

If you want to shoot a volunteer a quick email, you can have MSP set up a new email in your personal email client. The volunteer's email address will automatically be inserted in the address bar saving you time by not having to write it down or copy it. This can be extremely helpful when sending quick personal emails.

Step by step: Easily email individual volunteers from your personal email through MSP

1. From the Volunteers pane of MSP, select the individual you would like to email and click the "Edit Volunteer" button. 2. In their profile, along the row for their email address, click on the pencil icon. This will open a new email in your default email client (for example Outlook) with the To address already populated.

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Get personalized help setting up the Web Terminal for your church

If you haven't started using MSP's Web Terminal, we invite you to schedule a free Web Terminal setup call with one of our support specialists. This 20-minute personal set up call will help you leverage the Web Terminal to reduce micromanagement and make volunteering easier. Enable your volunteers to find subs quickly online and send them automatic email (or SMS) reminders to reduce no-shows. Find out why 96% of volunteers that use MSP's Web Terminal say the system has made volunteering easier at their church!

Step by step: Schedule a free Web Terminal setup call with a MSP support specialist

1. Email us at support@rotundasoftware.com, or call us at (888) 622-0949 to schedule your personal Web Terminal setup call!

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Easily schedule your church's choir with MSP

You can include choirs and music ministries in your MSP schedule easily now that MSP has built in support for these special ministries. Including these ministries in your schedule enables the automatic scheduler to ensure that members of these ministries are not double scheduled, that their family members are scheduled at the time that the choir sings, and that choir members can receive email and SMS reminders for their scheduled dates.

Step by step: Easily schedule your choirs in MSP

1. Create a ministry that represents the choir and make sure the box next to, "This ministry is a choir (Schedule everyone together)" is checked in the Edit Ministry dialog. 2. Indicate which volunteers sing in the choir by qualifying them for the new choir ministry. 3. Generate your schedule skeleton. 4. Before clicking the "Commence Scheduling" button, you'll want to indicate at which services the choir will sing. To do so, click on a date on the calendar where a choir is needed. Select the appropriate service, and click the Edit Service button at the top of the window. Then select the choir from the list of required ministries, and check the option below the ministry list to indicate that the choir sings at this service. Then click OK, and repeat for any other services at which the choir sings. 5. When viewing the schedule inside of MSP, the names of the members of the choir will appear. On printed schedules, the name of the ministry/choir will be shown rather than the name of the individual volunteers. NOTE: If the choir sings according to a fixed, rotating pattern, for example the first Sunday of every month, you can setup a preassignment so that the choir is automatically scheduled according to this pattern without you having to indicate each individual service at which the choir sings. Just make a preassignment in

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3/10/2011


Ministry Scheduler Pro - Church Volunteer Scheduling Software

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the choir ministry for the appropriate pattern that includes any one of the members of the choir, and the rest of the choir will automatically be scheduled in the same fixed, rotating pattern.

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3/10/2011


Ministry Scheduler Pro - Church Volunteer Scheduling Software

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Help volunteers connect to the Web Terminal by placing a banner on your website

You can easily direct volunteers to check their schedules online by placing a banner on your website that links to your Web Terminal. By using the banner, volunteers on your website will be able to quickly and easily locate the link they need to sign in online. Minimizing the difficulty of accessing the Web Terminal will help volunteers update their preferences and unavailable dates and reduce having to micromanage your volunteers' scheduling preferences

Step by step: How to put a banner on your website directing volunteers to your Web Terminal

1. Go to the Web Terminal pane inside of MSP and click on the "Home" tab. 2. At the top of the tab to the right of your Web Terminal URL, click the "Copy" button. In the pop-up that appears, click on the "Copy icon" button. 3. Open an email to your webmaster (the person that manages your website) and select "Paste" from the Edit menu. This will paste the HTML code that your webmaster will need to place the banner on your website.

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3/10/2011


Ministry Scheduler Pro - Church Volunteer Scheduling Software

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MSP Scheduling Tip: Easily move an entire service to a different day

When working with a schedule skeleton or schedule, you can easily move services from one date to another while keeping the same number of required positions, any comments or description/location notes, as well as any volunteers that may be assigned to the service. This can come in handy when dates of monthly or yearly services are revised, and will save time by avoiding having to re-do any work.

Step by step: Easily move an entire service to a different day

1. Open your schedule or skeleton and click on the date where the service is currently scheduled. 2. Click on the date and time of the service to highlight the entire service. Click on the Edit menu at the top of the window and select "Copy." 3. Click on the date where you would like this service to now be scheduled. Click on the Edit menu at the top of the window and select "Paste." The service and all required positions, any scheduled volunteers, and any description/location notes will be copied to the new date. You can then go back to the original date and delete the service. NOTE: If the service has not yet been filled in, and it was not a one-time-only service, you will want to edit the service once it has been moved to the new date. Select the service and click the "Edit service" button. Change the "Treat As" section to reflect what type of service this should be treated as when being scheduled by the auto-scheduler.

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3/10/2011


MSP Scheduling Tips Booklet