When you have finished making manual modifications to a schedule, you should save the schedule in MSP before exporting it as a Word document or web page for free-form text editing and printing.

A video tutorial for this topic is also available.

Saving Your Schedule

Saving the schedule inside MSP, as opposed to simply exporting the schedule directly to a printable format, brings several benefits. First, if you need to review or to change this schedule later, you can open it back up with the program and have access to all of MSP’s modification and analysis tools. Second, changes made to a schedule saved in MSP will be integrated into the historical scheduling data on file for that scheduling period, which affects how frequently ministers are auto-scheduled. Third, you need a copy of the schedule in MSP’s format in order to use the Emailer to send email reminders to your volunteers that contain the list of services for which they’ve been scheduled, and to use as “Live” for the Web Terminal.

To save the schedule in the MSP, go to the File menu of the open schedule and choose “Save.” Your schedules will (by default) be saved on MSP’s secure internet servers. When you want to open the schedule again, you can find your schedules in the Schedules pane inside of MSP. In order to edit or print the schedule with a word processor such as Microsoft Word, you need to export the schedule (in the open schedule, go to the File menu and select “Export Schedule”).

Posting a Schedule Online

Once your schedule is ready to be shared with volunteers, you will want to post your schedule online, which, in the program is called “making it live.” When a schedule is “live,” information from that schedule is displayed in the Web Terminal and used in emails and tokens. Volunteers can see their scheduled shifts on the My Schedule tab of the Web Terminal and request subs for any shifts 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 Full Schedules tab of 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 or 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. The following settings are related to making a schedule live and creating Live Schedule Posts.

If you have not yet saved your schedule:

1. Go to the File menu at the top of your screen and select Save.
2. A dialog box will appear asking you to name this schedule.
3. You can then also choose to check a box to make the schedule Live. Once checked you will be able to choose from the following options to customize the layout of your schedule online:

  • Customize the online layout and other options for this live schedule now
  • Just use the default layout and options for now (can be changed later)
  • Clone Live Schedule Posts from: [drop down of previous posts]
    Note: The last one will only appear if you have already made a Live Schedule Post to the Web Terminal in the past. Doing so will keep the same Online Layout and Options but update with the information from the new schedule.

If your schedule has been saved, but not yet made live:

1. Go to the File menu and select “Make schedule live.”
2. A dialog box will appear with the same Online Layout and Options as described above.

To post additional Live Schedule Posts, go to the File menu and select “Create additional Live Schedule Post…”

Customizing Online Layout and Options

If you choose to customize your Live Schedule Post, you can customize the following options:

Settings to export schedules can be accessed by clicking on the headings in the left hand pane.

Layout Settings Pane

These settings control the general layout of the schedule in the exported document. There are several layout options available. Additionally, each layout will have a separate set of checkboxes below in the layout options to help customize that layout.

Tabular (ministries as columns, services as rows)

This layout option formats a schedule as a table, with a column for each ministry and a row for each service. Each cell lists the volunteers scheduled for that and service date. You may group the services for each week into separate tables, or create one large table that shows all services.

shows a tabular layout of a schedule with service times as rows

Tabular (services as columns, ministries as rows)

This layout option formats a schedule in as a table with a column for each service and a row for each ministry. Services from each week must be grouped into separate tables. This layout is recommended if you are exporting a schedule that includes a large number of ministries, since it often saves space compared to the tabular format with ministries as columns and services as rows (above).

shows a tabular view of a schedule with ministries as rows

Interactive Calendar View

If you are creating a Live Schedule Post, an Interactive Calendar View layout will be available. This layout will create a Live Schedule Post on the Web Terminal that looks similar to the schedule when viewed inside of MSP. When a volunteer is logged in, the dates on which the volunteer is scheduled will be color coded in green. Dates on which open positions exist that the volunteer qualifies to fill, including unfilled positions and open swap requested positions, will be highlighted in blue.

shows a schedule with an interactive calendar layout

List of services with scheduled volunteers under each

This layout option produces a long list of services ordered by date. Under each service all volunteers scheduled for that service are listed in one list containing all ministries.

shows a schedule posted as a list of services with scheduled volunteers under each

List of volunteers with scheduled services under each

This layout option produces a long list of all volunteers ordered by last name. Under each volunteer appears a list of services for which that volunteer has been scheduled along with the ministry in which he or she has been scheduled at each of the services.

shows a schedule displayed as a list of volunteers with scheduled services under each

Document Settings Pane

The remaining settings in this pane allow you to add text to the beginning or end of the exported schedule.

Title

The “title” of a schedule is displayed in large font at the top of the schedule.

Header/Footer

The “header” is displayed just below the title in smaller font, and is useful for ministry head contact information or general instructions. The “footer” is placed at the end of the schedule after all other information

Included Ministries Pane

Only the ministries that are selected in this pane will be included in the exported schedule. If the schedule is being exported in one of the tabular layouts, only rows or columns for the selected ministries will be included. If the schedule is arranged by volunteer or in the mailing label format, only the volunteers that are qualified in one of the selected ministries will be included in the export.

When creating a Live Schedule Post, you will also see the option at the bottom of the list of ministries which says “Only show this schedule to volunteers in the included ministries,” which will automatically hide the schedules from volunteers not qualified for the selected ministries.

Included Services Pane

Using the controls in this pane you may specify which of your services should be included in the export. You may also limit the export to a certain date range by selecting the appropriate option in this pane.

The “Only include services whose ‘Description / Location’ field contains” option may be used in order to filter the included services by their description field (you can edit this field by clicking on the service time in an open schedule and clicking “Edit Service”). This option is useful if, for example, you have services in two different locations (e.g., church, chapel), and you’d like to export a separate schedule for each location. By entering one location in this field you can export a schedule for just that location.

When creating a Live Schedule Post, you will also be able to select the, “Don’t include services that took place more than a week ago.” When selected, schedules posted online automatically will drop off older dates and only show current and future schedules.

Included Volunteers Pane

In this pane you may select more precisely which volunteers to include in the export. Only the volunteers you select in this pane will appear in the exported document. Note that you may use the filtering controls below the list of volunteers to aid in selecting the volunteers to include.

Name Modifiers Pane

This pane contains options that affect the form of each volunteer’s name in the exported schedule. For example, you may specify that the first or last names of volunteers should be abbreviated to a single initial. (Note that if two volunteers share the same first initial and last name those two volunteers will always have their full name displayed, even if the “Abbreviate volunteers’ first names to a single initial” option is turned on.) You may also choose to put “(sub)” after the name of substitute volunteers or even to put each volunteer’s phone number after their name. The last four options bring up the filter settings dialog box where you can specify to whom the modifier should apply.

When you are done adjusting your settings, you may click the Save button in the lower right hand corner of the dialog to post your schedule to the Web Terminal. Note that if you plan on using the same settings again, you may save the settings by clicking the “Settings… – Save settings” button at the bottom of the dialog so that you retrieve these exact settings later simply by clicking the “Settings… – Load settings” button.Additionally, you can use the “Settings… – Clear Settings” option to start fresh with the default settings.