Monday, February 27, 2012

"What was Momma Bear's Phone Number Again?" is designed for groups that stay together and interact on a regular basis. One great tool offered by is the Group Rolodex. Have you had a chance to check it out? Just click the link on the right side of the screen labeled Group Rolodex. It lists all the families of all the groups that you belong to in a mostly alphabetical fashion. Every once in a while I have one family that is alphabetically in the wrong place, and we have a bear of a time getting them home.

Rolodex for Bear family

Families will be shown with their primary phone number, home address, anniversaries, and then the individual members within that family, their birthdays, email addresses and phone numbers. Other family members (such as children or spouses that are not signed up as email receiving members of a group) are then listed with their birthdays. The groups that you have in common with each family are also shown, which can be helpful when you belong to more than one group.

There is a semi-private option that allows you to leave out a select few bits of information from being displayed in the Group Rolodex. If you check the "Hide Contact Info in Rolodex" option on the Family Info tab of "Edit My Information", your address and primary phone number as entered on the Family Info tab will not be displayed in the Group Rolodex. What will be displayed is your family name, member names, email addresses, groups in common, and any other optional information that you have entered, such as wedding anniversaries, birthdays, individual phone numbers for each member, and other family members and their birthdays. To keep these optional bits from being displayed, simply do not enter them. Please do keep in mind, however, that sharing this information can be beneficial to the bonding process within your group. Who doesn't like receiving birthday wishes, or at least being able to send them to others? Personal phone numbers can be very helpful for communicating with each other outside of official group meeting times.

Edit My Information Option to hide your contact info from the Rolodex
If you do choose to make your primary phone number and address private, please know that the leaders of your group will still have access to that information. Also, if you sign up for an item that has been tagged as a "show address" item, such as a hosting location, your address will appear on the signup sheet for that particular event for all members of your group to see.  How else are they going to know where to go for those yummy snacks?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reusable Signup Sheet Templates, the key to! is dedicated to managing small group logistics for groups which meet consistently. And, when meeting consistently, you usually have the same kind of signups, maybe some food items, maybe some dessert items, maybe some donation items... each group is unique, and is designed to handle all kinds of sign up sheets.

Signup Sheet Template information
Other online signup tools want you to recreate the items for which you want your group members to signup for every event. removes this hassle with the use of reusable Signup Sheet Templates.

Before you create your event, you first create a Signup Sheet Template which will later be "associated" to your event. Let's walk through the creation of a Signup Sheet Template. Once you are on the new Signup Sheet Template page from the leader site, create a descriptive name and description for your template so you can find it later. As most events using this template will have a consistent intent for children, you can also set the childcare attendance type here: children can participate, have childcare provided, or are not allowed.

Signup Sheet Template Categories
Then, you begin to create your signup sheet. You can group your signup items in categories, this just gives them a distinctive section on the actual member signup sheet. We've created three categories, one for Hosts, one for Food, and one for Donations. Note that for the Hosts, we've checked both the Mutually Exclusive and the Show Address. We only want one family to host children, and one family to host the adults, not the same family to signup to do both. So, this is how you tell that you only want one family to signup for an item in a category. As this is hosting, we also want the family who signed up to host to have their address visible on the actual signup sheet.

Host Checkbox Signup Sheet Items
Next, we will add signup sheet items to the categories. First for the Hosts. As stated, we want both an adult host and a childcare host. We will use "Checkbox" Signup Sheet Items. These will just display a checkbox upon which members can click to signup for that item.

Our Food signups will be similar, with as many checkboxes and we want families to bring food.

Quantity Signup Sheet Items
Finally, we'll add our donations. We want to donate to our local food bank, so they are looking for canned goods. We've asked our group to provide 100 canned goods. For this, we are going to use a "Quantity Signup Sheet Item. With this kind of signup item, you can specify how many and in what quantity. Each family should be able to bring a minimum of 5 items, but they can bring any multiples of 5 up to 100 items.

That's it. Here's what the member signup sheet will look like once your members begin to signup for the event you created with this Signup Sheet Template:
Member Signup Sheet based on our created Signup Sheet Template!