Today I am excited to announce we now have push notifications in our Mobile App for service scheduling and volunteer swap & replace!
When your volunteers upgrade to the latest version of our app (it should be circulating on App Stores now), push notifications will be turned on by default and give your volunteers a choice to disable them.
How to Send Push Notifications
Push notifications can be sent the following ways listed below. Not every volunteer will have push notifications enabled so which is why we send push notifications when an email or SMS is sent.
- When you schedule a volunteer using our NEW volunteer scheduling interface and have automatic email/SMS turned on in service settings.
- When you send volunteers an email/SMS manually from a service or the edit multiple service screen.
- When a volunteer requests a swap or replace – any email/SMS that is sent during this process will also get a push notification.
We’ll also be adding push notifications to service reminders and follow-ups in the near future!
More Mobile App Features Coming
Some of our top priority items are…
- Ability to view groups and report on attendance (well be adding push notifications to reporting reminders also)
- Ability to schedule volunteers and manage service plans
- Ability to view people
We’ll keep working to make our Mobile App more robust! Rather than one massive update, we’ll keep chipping away at each area and release an update so you get the benefit quicker!
We’ve made a bunch of other improvements noted on our releases website.
- Added two new Avery Label Template sizes for A4 paper: The Avery L7180 and Avery 3422
- Added the ability to require a reason for archiving a person and specifying default reasons for this
- Added the archived reason field into the people activity report
- When Mass adding individuals to a service, you’re no longer scrolled to the top of the page after adding a person in every time
- Improved speed of mass adding individuals to services
- When adding people to a group, the search window grabs focus when the window is opened
- New service scheduling now correctly handles errors and doesn’t just freeze
- Brand new interface for editing and adding group categories
Today I am excited to announce that we’ve released the ability for your Step Admins to have automatic reminders sent to them, reminding them to follow up people in their people flows. The days of only getting the initial email are over!
We’ve updated the interface when editing a people flow to include the new options. Not the most important aspect of the update, but worth noting!
Step Admin Reminders
When setting up each individual People Flow, you can now set the Flows to have different reminders.
You can either set the Flow to send Email and/or SMS reminders to your admins, or you can set it to only send SMS reminders to admins who don’t have email addresses in their profile.
You can have multiple reminders sent out on days of your choosing. These can be set to be X days before, the same day and X days after. You can set as many of these as you desire to help ensure that your admins are following people up!
Our team is currently putting the finishing touches in place for our new volunteer scheduling update we’ve been building. Our goal was to simplify and speed up the scheduling of volunteers.
Here’s a quick demo of the new volunteer scheduling update:
Some cool new features:
- Users will be able to schedule multiple volunteers at once over multiple departments.
- Users will see live updates of other users scheduling on the same service.
- Better filtering and sorting of volunteers.
- Ability to set a default volunteer status (Confirmed or Unconfirmed) on a department level.
- Ability to choose the default service times for positions when scheduling on a specific service type.
Configuration Options Now Available
We plan to roll out the new update in the coming weeks. Being able to set default volunteer status and service times will be a huge time saver for some of our customers. This will change the current process of “Choose Volunteer -> Configure Options -> Schedule Volunteer” to a new process that removes the middle step because the “Configure Options” (setting volunteer status, contact options and times) will be configurable within Service Types and Departments.
We figured it would be handy for you to be able to configure these default settings now prior to launching the new update. Today we have released these new settings so you can jump in and get your account prepare for when we release the new volunteer scheduling update.
Here are some more details on the configuration options.
Default Volunteer Status
In the current version of Elvanto, you can configure the default volunteer status to be confirmed or unconfirmed within settings. This applied to every department.
We have now added a new option when editing a department so that volunteer status can now be individually configured on a per-department basis. When editing a department you can set the status as well as whether you want volunteers to be marked as needing to be contacted.
Default Service Times for Service Type Departments
We have also added in the ability to set default service times for positions within a service type. For instance, you may have volunteers on certain positions who need to be onsite early for the set-up time. Other volunteers on different positions might only need to be there at a rehearsal time. Rather than having to uncheck times when scheduling each volunteer, you can now set defaults.
When on the ‘Departments’ tab of a service type, you will now see a little clock icon next to each department and position…
When you click this, you can choose whether all times are to be clicked…
Or you can customize those times…
You can choose for sub-department and positions to inherit times if a department or sub-department all have the same times…
Jump on in and get your account ready. We’ll be releasing the new volunteer scheduling update soon 🙂 Can’t wait! Let us know what you think of the new design.
We’ve been busy as ever these past few months improving our backend systems to allow us to really ramp up releases in the new year. Here’s an overview of what’s been happening.
Department Non-Conflicts Are Here!
I’m super excited about this feature! You can now set non-conflicts for departments, sub-departments, and positions. This means scheduling for positions that can be filled by the same person have the ability to not conflict. For example, you might want to allow a worship leader to play acoustic guitar.
This doubles the power of swap/replace requests and the auto-rostering tool which both have been impeded by not having the ability to set non-conflicts.
The potential is endless! You can make positions not conflict with other positions in the same department or make a position not conflict with a position in another department. You can make position not conflict with an entire department or make a sub-department not conflict with another sub-department. I could go on with all the options but I’m sure you catch my drift.
Non-conflicts are also inherited. What this means is if you set the Worship Team department to non-conflict with the Set Up Team department, all sub-departments and positions within those two departments will not conflict.
Other Department Updates
We’ve also made a couple of other improvements to departments this week.
The interface when editing a department has been given a makeover to be more user-friendly and simple. We now have 3 buttons to the right of each sub-department and position allowing you to edit extra details (reports to for example), set conflicts and delete.
We’ve rebuilt our old merge positions feature so that you can now merge departments and sub-departments if you so desire.
More Department Enhancements Coming Soon
In the new year we’ll be releasing a couple more enhancements to departments:
- Ability to set a ‘Reports To’ person for an entire department.
- Ability to remove sub-departments and just have positions in a department.
Mobile App Version 2 BETA
I’ll admit, the Mobile App has not had the attention it has needed this past 12 months. This has been due to a couple of factors but we want to assure you the Mobile App is a huge part of Elvanto’s future.
I do have some good news though. We’ve rebuilt the Mobile App from scratch. We’ve added a couple of new features since the first version but our main goal with version 2 was to put get our code to a state where we will be able to add features to it much faster in the new year.
New features include volunteer swap/replace which I know many have been waiting for. We’ve also added a media player so you can play music in a playlist just like the Web App. We’ve also improved the user interface here and there.
We’ll be sending out BETA access very soon so to obtain your invite to give it a whirl, please fill in this form.
Updates to Automatically Generated Giving Numbers
A couple of months ago we released an update to automatically generated giving numbers. Previously we had a more random way of generating giving numbers which caused problems due to the restrictions that existed (such as running out of possible giving numbers if you set your limits too low).
To alleviate this we’ve removing the randomness from the system and making this more sequential. In this method, we’ll simply be looking at the highest existing number, and simply using the next number.
This method simply allows us to ensure that when a new giving number is getting generated, we’ll always have a number to give them. This will ensure we have a number to give every time it’s required.
Chord Chart Improvements
To make chord charts easier to use, we’ve recently made some changes to how chord charts can be configured to suit your desired look and feel.
Two Columns in Portrait mode
After adding in two-columns for landscape we had a number of people asking for two-columns for portrait charts too, so we’ve added this in, just for you!
Bold and italic lyrics, page and column breaks and colored chords!
That’s right. We’ve added a number of additional options for formatting in the chord charts!
More flexibility when adding chords to lyrics
Previously, this was the only way to add chords to your lyrics:
Verse 1 [D]Amazing Grace, how [G/D]sweet the [D]sound That saved a wretch like [A/D]me I [D]once was [D/F#]lost but [G]now am [D]found Was blind but [A/D]now I [D]see
You can now enter these same chords above the lyrics follows:
Verse 1 D G/D D Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound A/D That saved a wretch like me D D/F# G D I once was lost but now am found A/D D Was blind but now I see
The chord chart that gets generated will look exactly the same.
- Added new settings page under Account to allow you to customize your password requirements
- Added the ability to export a list of tickets along with registrant data for events
- More data is now sent to Stripe and PayPal for event registration payments
- Enhanced search to find names that sound like the search term (searching “stewart” should return people named “stuart”)
- Form admins can now preview un-published forms
- Improved the speed of sending email invites for events
- Made what services appear on the roster more consistent, so any service on the current day should always appear even if it started in the past
- Improved handling of members who have chosen to hide their photo from the member directory
- Improved translation of check-in search text
- Improved how hidden photos appear in the member directory
- Added ‘Edit Multiple Services’ link to the main services menu for easy access
- Improved people search in most areas to help assist with typos
- Adding a song to a service should now remember the settings you used last time
- Improved the instructions for creating your ViaNett SMS integration
- Countless small bug fixes and improvements
Other things we’re working on
These features aren’t all we’re working on, but they’re the largest things that will be out in the new year. Some of the other things we’re working on includes:
- Accept Tithe.ly payments within Event Registration
- Adding custom fields to groups
- Version 2 of our API
- User interface updates to groups, reports, services and songs
Hopefully, these upcoming changes make your experience of Elvanto just that little bit easier. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to our Releases Site to stay up-to-date with when these features get released.
Last week we released an update to the Member Roster page. While on the surface it looks similar, we have made lots of small improvements under the hood and a completely new media player that we’d love to tell you about!
The media player now launches at the bottom of the page so you can continue using it when viewing the current service or browsing other services.
Whilst we previously had some video integration with the player, it was limited in what it could play. Exciting to us (and hopefully to you too), we have added YouTube and Vimeo integration into the player and these will play in the playlist alongside your other audio and video files.
Video is too small? Click ‘Expand’ and voila, nice and big for your viewing/learning/listening pleasure! Or, click ‘minimize’ to tuck the media player completely to hide it but keep playing!
We’ve also taken great care in improving the ease of access to song charts & lyrics. We now include all relevant files, whether attached to the song, arrangement or key, in both the service plan and the songs box. This also now includes the generated number/roman numeral charts.
We are working on improving the integration of swap and replace in both the member area and in the upcoming version 2 of the mobile app. This will make creating, and responding to, swaps and replaces easier than ever.
The mobile app version 2 will also include a brand new media player supporting playlists and background controls from your device.
For all those ‘techies’ or if you just like to read the fine-print, our releases website has had facelift. And if you’re really ‘bleeding edge’ it now offers the page feed in the new (and hugely popular) JSON Feed format!
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, we’d love to hear your feedback!