Reservations worth it?

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:00 pm

RussellHltn wrote:
Gary_Miller wrote:Without an event attached to the reservation it will not show up on any Calendar.


Indeed. How many of the youth have smart devices? Wouldn't the youth leaders like to have their events show up on them?
The bishop is not concerned that the youth will not attend mutual simply because it is not an event on the calendar. Mutual is a standing activity that every parent and youth knows about. He feels they don't need an electronic reminder or an event on a calendar to know it is happening.

He only expects youth mutual activities that need special announcement posted on the calendar.

RussellHltn wrote:While I respect some of the bishop's concerns, I think he's moved way over to the oversimplified side of a good balance.
Our ward has never used the online calendar for regular mutual activities. In fact the only youth activities that are put on the online calendar are those that are not at the meetinghouse, require room reservations on mutual night, or room reservations on non-mutual days.
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Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Since it a standing activity then all other units know it your wards night as well so there's no need to make a reservation on line calendar as well. Heck while were at it why don't we just go back to the old paper calendar it sure would make things more simple.

We'll just call it Mutual Night, activity to be announced.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:59 pm

Gary_Miller wrote:Since it a standing activity then all other units know it your wards night as well so there's no need to make a reservation on line calendar as well.
Actually that is how it had been done until recently when someone from another ward inadvertently scheduled the wrong time for an event that booked rooms during the mutual period. A reservation was put into place to prevent such a thing.

Gary_Miller wrote:Heck while were at it why don't we just go back to the old paper calendar it sure would make things more simple.
No need for disdainful sarcasm!
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Postby lajackson » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:16 pm

The new calendar paradigm transition has been a very difficult one for us, and we are not there yet. One of our challenges is the very one being discussed here, when is it sufficient to just post events, and when should reservations be used. We are still trying to find a good balance in this area.

We are also stymied by having three (yes, three) wards trying to use the same building on the same evening for activity night (and it seems every other activity not held on Sunday). Needless to say, it is supremely difficult to keep up with the calendar.

And our poor building scheduler, who does not really schedule the building as we have discussed in other threads, doesn't even use a computer.

But, we are taking the position that the bishops still are in the best position to oversee these things and make decisions as to how the Calendar tool will be used within their stewardship. Some take the more simple approach (everyone knows it is activity night and nothing further is needed), and some take the more specific approach (room 101 is yours for 17 minutes, room 104 is yours for 22 minutes) right down to the gnat's eyebrow.

Each method is extreme in its own way, and as the bishops and their leaders become more experienced, we see them moving (albeit slowly) in a direction more toward the middle. There are bumps and glitches along they way.

Gary_Miller wrote:Heck while were at it why don't we just go back to the old paper calendar it sure would make things more simple.


Sometimes I think we forget how many problems the old paper system actually had. Having stepped into the electronic world, we do not have anyone who wants to go back, as tempting as it sometimes seems.

However, we still do print out calendars from time to time to use as security blankets. [grin]

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Postby craiggsmith » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:35 pm

Our youth leadership said that one of the reasons they didn't want to put the events on the calendar was because they were afraid youth wouldn't come if they knew what the activity was. Of course, they don't have to put anything in the description if they don't want to. We had an inactive girl decide to come one night recently, and that night it was somewhere else and she missed it. It might have helped to have it on the calendar.
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Postby TinMan » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:40 am

craiggsmith wrote:Our youth leadership said that one of the reasons they didn't want to put the events on the calendar was because they were afraid youth wouldn't come if they knew what the activity was. Of course, they don't have to put anything in the description if they don't want to. We had an inactive girl decide to come one night recently, and that night it was somewhere else and she missed it. It might have helped to have it on the calendar.
And here is another problem I see with this whole discussion. Are we relying on "electronic media" too much? Aren't we constantly preaching against it? If I have a single recurring event every Tuesday that says "Mutual, 7:00 PM" then it becomes the responsibility of each leader to see that each youth in his stewardship knows what is going on, rather than relying on each inactive youth to subscribe to the correct calendar(s) for their situation. Personal contact and invitations are important. Especially if the class moves their activity to another location.

Isn't that why texting was invented?

:)

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:56 am

TinMan wrote:Especially if the class moves their activity to another location.


Update the calendar and the ones who subscribe will know.

If you rely on personal contact and don't update the calendar, someone will get left out.

Maybe it doesn't apply as much to the youth, but a know a number of adults that have disabled texting on their phones.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying it's wrong to use personal contact, only that it's a fallacy to believe that personal contact will reach 100% of the youth 100% of the time, or that it makes it unnecessary to not keep the calendar current. (And how many youth having been contacted will later ask "where was that again?" "Is that this week or next?")
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TinMan
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Postby TinMan » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:37 am

Gosh. Makes me wonder what we did 3 years ago before the new calendaring system came out...

;)

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Postby aebrown » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:51 am

TinMan wrote:Gosh. Makes me wonder what we did 3 years ago before the new calendaring system came out...


In my experience, we need to use multiple communication methods if we really want to reach everyone. It has always been so, even before the calendaring system came out. So we put events in the ward bulletin and on the calendar on LDS.org, and also in the monthly newsletter. We remind people in various meetings, and we sometimes send out text messages and emails, and we also use the phone and face-to-face reminders.

I'm not saying we use all these techniques for all events (that would be a bit much!), but if we relied on only one method, we would miss some people. Each person has different preferences as to what method connects with them. And even if you reach a person one way, they may still forget. An electronic calendar is simply one more method of communication. It has the virtue of being accessible at just about any time by a high percentage of the people, and it is well positioned to be the official record of what, when, and where, but it's not the only option.
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Postby Gary_Miller » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:33 am

I was one of those who never used the on calendar at all. Reason being was it was never accurate. It was only being used as a Building Scheduling tool not an activity information tool. No one ever talked about looking for something on the calendar. Because nothing was there and the tools in the "Classic Websites" were not being utilized or kept up to date.

Then almost a year ago my calling changed to Assistant Ward Clerk - Finances and at the same time our current Ward Clerk was called. We were sustained and set apart on the same day. In our quest for information on how to magnify our callings and get the most out of the MLS we discovered the WIKI site alone with the Tech Forms. I could not believe the wealth of information out there, along with learning about the different projects the Church is currently working on in the technology arena.

Then for Fathers day my wife and kids bought me a tablet. I had been looking at them for a couple of months trying to figure out which one would be the best for my business (I operate a Farrier business), as well as the other neat things I could do with it at church. However, I had decided that for the cost it was not piratical for me I was running a paper calendar for my business and that worked just fine. At this same time I also went from dial-up to broadband so I was forced to change my e-mail address.

That's when I really noticed Goggle for more than a search engine. The tablet I have (Samsung Galaxy 2) is mostly goggle based. I started using the feature that goggle offered. I started scheduling my business appointments on my goggle calendar. I started using LDS tools and other features the church was offering.

That's when I rediscovered the "Church Calendar" and learned how powerful it could be if we only used it. I saw that it could be used as a activity calendar while at the same time a building scheduling tool that was way cool. Then when I discovered that anyone with editor rights could add events to the calendar and there was no longer a need to go through a Building Scheduler to book events, I was sold. Since then I have been talking up the calendar to the ward leadership and just a couple of weeks ago got the Bishop on line. Now our ward is starting to use the calendar, and although there are some things that need fixed at the stake level to use it as designed activities are starting to be placed on the calendar. We still have a ways to go but we will get there.

The reason I brought all this up is, because I was not sold on using the calendar until I really started using it. It is such a powerful tool if used properly. Its my belief that once you get the organizations using the calendar for their activities. I mean all their activities right down to whats happening in the Beehive class on a specific mutual night. That it will become the place where everyone will go for information on whats happening in the ward.

However, if your ward never uses it for the powerful tool it can be, one for getting information on events happening in the ward. Then the calendar just becomes a place for keeping track of building reservations.


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