With great power comes great responsibility! Take a little time to get familiar with things now; it will save you and your volunteers time in the future. You can do this! This guide pulls together topics from a range of other features, so you've got a step-by-step path to becoming a Services Ninja!
1. Understand the Basics
Take a look the Setting Up section in our documentation. Even though you aren't setting up right now, you'll see a great overview of the components you'll be working with such as:
2. Learn About Your Teams
The most important button you should get familiar with is your Team Settings. You'll use this regularly. It's the gear next to Teams in the sidebar of any plan.
You can set up a different Team Leader for each team if that's how your process works. The Team Leader can handle scheduling, reminders, and replies for their specific team.
When your volunteers accept or decline, an email is sent to whoever scheduled the team. You can customize this if you'd like to someone different to get those. You can also customize which emails this person gets.
This setting will also control the name on the reminders so that your volunteers have a seamless experience.
If your Service has multiple times, like an early service and late service, you may choose to have your volunteers serve at one time but not another. Split Teams helps you do this easily.
If your teams are not currently set up this way and you'd like to enable it, you do that in the Team Settings by Merging Teams into a Split Team!
3. Know the Best Ways to Schedule
In addition, templates are fabulous time savers if you have a regular rotation like a 1st Week Team and a 2nd Week Team. You can even do this for multiple serving teams!
If your worship leader creates plans for the next quarter, your First Impressions Team Leader can import "Team A" and "Team B" to the correct week with one click!
If you prepare your schedule for multiple weeks at a time, the Matrix can be a great way to do this. It allows you to see several weeks at a glance and send only one email to each person with a list of all their scheduled dates (rather than one email for each plan).
If you don't have specific rotating teams, and your volunteers can serve anytime, use Auto-schedule.
4. Important Concepts to Save You Time
Here's the magical trigger that makes your plan live to your Volunteers. Until it's sent out, volunteers don't know they are scheduled and cannot access the plan. This gives you an opportunity to get things "just so" before your volunteers see things.
Reminder emails can be super helpful to your team, particularly if you schedule several weeks in advance. Set them up once and let them go out automatically!
5. Make Friends with the Help Center
This little guide is just the tip of the iceberg on how Planning Center can make your life easier! There is a ? in the upper right of every page - if you ever get stuck, click it!
You'll see suggestions based on what you viewing, and if they aren't what you need, type in your question, and we'll give ya more suggestions.
Still no love? Hit contact us button and let us know what you are looking for. We typically respond in under an hour during normal business hours. We are here to help!