Saturday, March 10, 2012

What do you bring to the party?

Have you noticed the text field that appears next to Signup Sheet items after you've signed up for an item? This is a great way to specify what you are bringing to the party. No pressure, but if everyone who signs up uses it, you will have fewer instances of two varieties of baked beans as the only evening appetizer. (Unless of course you are having a baked bean tasting party. Hopefully, that event will not be lasting longer than 2 hours.) Even if you do not know what dish you will be bringing when you initially signup, you can always go back in later after you've decided and add the information.

Pappa and Momma Bear are signed up... but what are they bringing!?!

You could also use that field to make a short note (30 characters max) for everyone in the group to see. The Special Notes box on the top of the signup sheet is only visible to the leaders of your group, but the details field is visible to everyone.  You do have to sign up for an item to do this, however.
What they are bringing is just nuts!

As a side note to the leaders setting up the Signup Sheets, remember that only the 'check box' Signup Sheet items have the optional detail field.  The 'quantity' Signup Sheet items do not have it.  Even though it would save a few seconds of time by setting up a quantity item for multiple appetizers, if you want your members to be able to specify what kind of appetizer they are bringing, you must use the 'check box' Signup Sheet items.

So what are you bringing to your next event?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Group Membership and Leadership Email Address - bonus!

Communicating with your small group should be easier than it is. Finding current email addresses, using internet email lists, all of which is a hassle for small group leaders. Whose email is or isn't on that list, in my contacts, on that slip of paper I got that one time with that email on it... more chaos. has a built in membership email address which can be used to send an email to your entire group. You may choose to use's built in group membership email functionality, or you can choose to use your existing email list system. We think's group email functionality is cooler, and much easier to use, though we may be biased.

Event Notice Email's Group Membership Email
When anyone in your group receives an event notice email, either manually or automatically generated, the last section of the email contains a link to your group's membership email address. This allows anyone in the group to just click that link and send an email to the entire group. (Bonus question: why shouldn't the event notice email be forwarded to anyone ever? Answer: it contains a link to your signup sheet which is yours and yours only. If others clicked on the link in your email, they could sign up on your behalf. We will have a blog on this in the future!)

Group Leader's Site Membership/Leadership email address
Group leaders can easily decide whether to use their existing group list management tool, or to use the built in's group membership email address. Why use's group email functionality? Since already has a current and up-to-date roster of your group member's emails, anytime a new member is added, or their email changes, or a member is removed, or any of the other conditions in which you'd need to update your email list, will automatically keep your group roster up to date with the group membership email list. In addition, can provide a leadership email address which will only go to the group's leaders (those families with leader titles in your group). We've found this to be a fantastic and quite easy way to communicate with the group leaders things which are sensitive or specific to the group leadership.

Group leaders will usually have a default group membership email address provided to them when they first begin managing their group. They can easily change that default membership or leadership email address by clicking on "Change the Group's Details" at the bottom of their Group Leader Site.

Have fun communicating with your group!