Calendar Best Practices

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:59 pm

macsense wrote:We want to set up a missionary dinner calendar using the new calendar system. How do we go about creating a calendar where anyone in the ward can enter an event?


This was discussed several months ago on the thread Beta calendar event submission. At that time, there was no ability to do this, but it appears that it can now be done. Just create a calendar called "Missionary Dinners" and then members can submit event requests using that calendar. They will choose the "Create Event" button, then select that calendar and fill in the rest of the event details.

Update: But it looks like I spoke too soon. If you are not a calendar editor, you can go through all the above steps, but then when you try to check for conflicts so that you can save the event, you are told that you are not an editor for that calendar, and so your only option is to cancel. That doesn't seem too friendly, but I imagine it will be smoothed out as development proceeds. What I don't know is if the Create Event button will be disabled, or if members will be able to submit requests.
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jsnauvoo
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How would you schedule an event not for a "Unit"?

Postby jsnauvoo » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:49 pm

We have a member of the Church who schedules a few music concerts/recitals a year. They are performed in the Cultural Hall, and there is no charge for the concert. In order to schedule the resource I was thinking of setting up a seperate Meetinghouse calendar, rather then posting to the Stake Activities calendar.

Does anyone else have a suggestion to post this?

Thanks!

Jared

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:42 pm

jsnauvoo wrote:We have a member of the Church who schedules a few music concerts/recitals a year. They are performed in the Cultural Hall, and there is no charge for the concert. In order to schedule the resource I was thinking of setting up a seperate Meetinghouse calendar, rather then posting to the Stake Activities calendar.


You need to schedule the resource, but a resource can only be scheduled in conjunction with an event. It appears that you don't want this event to appear on the stake activities calendar, so it must be on some other calendar.

It seems that it could be useful to have a calendar devoted to events that use a resource but don't create an event you want to publicize. This could then be used for all sorts of things in addition to the specific case you mentioned:

  • Use by another unit (that doesn't meet in your building) of all or part of your building
  • Use by a family or other organization (e.g., mission reunion) of all or part of your building
  • Use of a projector for an off-site purpose
  • etc.
You'd probably want one such calendar per location. No one would need to subscribe to it, except for the building scheduler and maybe a couple other interested people.
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sommercorn-p40
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Duplicate entry vs multiple calendars

Postby sommercorn-p40 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:12 pm

kisaac wrote:Two issues here. I don't think the combined calendar is the answer as more calendars = more confusion. Double entry isn't the answer, because that opens up the chance for mistakes and perhaps resource scheduling issues.

Issue one: Members may see two events for the same combined activity on that date because they subscribe to both the YM and YW calendars, and it needs to show on both. Can't be fixed now, but no big deal.

Issue two
: Making events show/post or enable copying to more than one calendar is a big deal, and needs to be resolved by programmers. The combined YM/YW activity is a good example. There are many more times that events should show on several calendars: Priesthood Preview is a Primary, Young men item. Many stake events really should be duplicated onto ward calendars, like stake conference and stake leadership. Service assignments might involved HP, Elders and Young men.


I would really like to see the ability to have more than one calendar subscribe to an event. Is this going to be possible with the Feb 2011 release?

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re: Feb release

Postby tomjohnson1492-p40 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:29 pm

I'm not sure. A lot of people have asked for this.

You actually bring up a point I hadn't considered before. If people duplicate the same event on two calendars, and the event has a resource or location selected, you actually can't duplicate the event on a second calendar because the calendar will think that you're double-booking a location/resource, which isn't allowed. So you won't be able to save the event. The only way to do this (in a way that has a location/resource selected for both events) is with a third calendar.

Also, if you input the same event on multiple calendars, since members are auto-subscribed to all calendars, they'll see duplicate instances of the same event in their calendar view (unless their either untoggle the irrelevant calendar or unsubscribe from it).

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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:52 pm

tomjohnson1492 wrote:You actually bring up a point I hadn't considered before. If people duplicate the same event on two calendars, and the event has a resource or location selected, you actually can't duplicate the event on a second calendar because the calendar will think that you're double-booking a location/resource, which isn't allowed. So you won't be able to save the event. The only way to do this (in a way that has a location/resource selected for both events) is with a third calendar.


However, the second event doesn't have to reserve the resource, so you can save it by simply specifying "Other Location". You still have the field where you can describe the location, so people will know where the event is being held. That's easy enough to do.

tomjohnson1492 wrote:Also, if you input the same event on multiple calendars, since members are auto-subscribed to all calendars, they'll see duplicate instances of the same event in their calendar view (unless their either untoggle the irrelevant calendar or unsubscribe from it).


That's the big problem with double scheduling an event. In most cases, neither calendar is irrelevant, so they can't hide it or unsubscribe. There just happens to be the same event on both calendars.

But creating a third calendar isn't really much of a solution, either. If you were to have one calendar for each youth class, you would also need a YM calendar, a YW calendar, a combined Youth calendar, a Priests/Laurels calendar, a Teachers/Mia Maids calendar, and a Deacons/Beehives calendar. Oh, and sometimes we need a Priests/Teachers calendar, and a calendar for the four classes age 14+ -- it gets pretty ridiculous.

The only practical solution to avoid all these problems is to make the software more complex and allow selection of multiple calendars for a single event. But that raises issues regarding editing rights, and it complicates the user interface. Is it worth the cost in development and complexity? I don't know.
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solutions

Postby tomjohnson1492-p40 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:03 pm

There's no doubt that the functionality to publish the same event on multiple calendars is coming soon. I don't know how tricky it would be to implement it from a programming perspective -- it may be simple or difficult, but it is planned. Right now I'm just looking for workarounds to recommend in the help.

Managing calendar subscriptions in the new calendar puts more burden on the user to define what events he or she sees. I don't have a problem with a ward having 100 different calendars, but I can see how this might get complicated. Suppose an activity is relevant to the Beehives and Mia Maids, but not the Laurels. Another activity is relevant to the Laurels and Priests, but not the Beehives, Mia Maids, Teachers, or Deacons. Another activity is relevant to all groups. Another activity is relevant only to Deacons. Another to Teachers and Priests, but not Deacons. Another to Deacons and Beehives, but to none other.

Obviously one couldn't create a calendar to accommodate all of these possible combinations. What solution would you recommend? Maybe it would be better to just create standard calendars for each group, and when events apply to other groups, then put them on a combined youth calendar, or something. Or maybe just have a Youth calendar where all activities are posted. Then youth can look at the activity and description and see what applies to them.

All of you who are planning your calendars for the year, how are you handling this scenario?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:13 pm

tomjohnson1492 wrote:What solution would you recommend? Maybe it would be better to just create standard calendars for each group, and when events apply to other groups, then put them on a combined youth calendar, or something. Or maybe just have a Youth calendar where all activities are posted. Then youth can look at the activity and description and see what applies to them.


For our stake calendar, we have decided just to have one youth calendar, and I think that will work fine, even though some of the events are for youth 14+, a couple are for Priests and Laurels, and there are two stake YW camps. There are a large number of scouting-related events, and so we might split out those events onto a separate calendar. But the number of events is small enough that I think it is easy enough for people to ignore the events they don't want.

No matter how you break down the calendars, you will have situations where an event doesn't apply to every subscriber. That's okay. I don't complain when my wall calendar has Veteran's Day listed but I don't get the day off work.

However, where a ward has many more youth events, I can see a single youth calendar as being problematic. I have ideas how to handle that, but I'll yield to those at the ward level.
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Postby tomjohnson1492-p40 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:29 pm

Your method seems to make the most sense. I updated the help with this discussion here: Publish Events to Multiple Calendars at Once.

The calendar setup wizard creates a YM and YW calendar by default, so users are automatically thrown into the question of what to do with combined activities. Perhaps if we had just made one calendar, "Youth," the question would not be so common. But as the calendars become more general, it also shifts back to the old model.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:39 pm

Just thinking out loud....

I like the idea of standard calendars. That would allow most subscription choices to transfer when a family moves to a new unit. It could also simplify the rights management - leaders of a given organization would automatically have rights to edit their organization's calendar.

An event would be created by someone with calender rights and that calendar would become the "event owner". Then the event could then be added to other calendars. Since it's just one event, it should be easy to insure that everyone only sees the event once no matter how many calendars they are set to view.

The whole topic of what organizations can add events to others could be a bit of a headache, but I think it's do-able. And since only leaders should have access in the first place, the odds of abuse seem somewhat small.
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