We use MLS Exports for a printed Directory - what do you use them for ?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:48 am

We use MLS Exports for a printed Directory - what do you use them for ?

Postby atticusewig » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:40 am

My Bishopric is a little old fashioned. They like to have a paper
version of the ward directory printed out on one sheet of paper
and given out to the families in our ward. Apparently, not everyone
has a computer, internet access, or a ward website account.
But the majority do have telephones and know how to read.

As a clerk, I used to use the legacy word processing format
passed on to me by a former clerk, making all the changes by
hand, but as our ward has become more dynamic as far as
people moving in and out of the ward goes, this has become
too time-consuming and tedious. Plus what is the point of a
computer if you can't make it automate things for you ?

So we switched to a spreadsheet. Here's how it works:

Sheet 1 of the Spreadsheet is one side of the ward directory
Sheet 2 is the other side
Sheet 3 is where we copy and paste the PalmFamily.csv data.

Then basically, each line from Sheet 3 fills the appropriate columns
into Sheets 1 & 2.
We chose the PalmFamily.csv because it lists HofH and Spouse,
which is what we like in our directory.
Our format is Primary Tel #, HofH and Spouse, Street, City, 2-letter State, Zip.

One thing we have noticed is that it is best to keep up with Perferred Names in
MLS, because long full names such as Florence Natasha Heisenberg, when
coupled with a spouse with an equally long full name can overload the
spreadsheet cell.

It takes some time to set up, but once set up - just requires a copy and paste
from the PalmFamily.csv to update the directory. For those of you who want
more info, or a copy of the spreadsheet we use, Private message me with your
email and whether you want it in .ods, .sxc, or ubiquitous .xls format.

So has anyone else come up with clever uses for the MLS exports ?

- Atticus Ewig

Eric Werny-p40
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:21 am
Location: St. George, Utah

Non-Techy Bishop

Postby Eric Werny-p40 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:12 pm

I have the same problem, my good Bishop is totally non-techy. I love the this guy.

It would be nice that you could download or print a real look at a member or family.

But as the system stands now, we have to take into account that this is a world wide
piece of software, and we have users that are at so many levels.


Eric Werny
St. George 5th Ward Membership Clerk

Jim Mason-p40
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:02 am

Lots of move-ins / move-outs

Postby Jim Mason-p40 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:25 am

I'm the 2nd counselor in a ward covering a lot of apartments (think acres and acres). Even though our Stake prints a directory each year for us it is usually out of date by the time we get it off the press. We use the print outs to help addresses for visits. When you have 4+ families moving in and out each month it's impossible to "know" their addresses.
Jim Mason

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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:52 pm
Location: USA

Postby tleish-p40 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:03 am

This is what I did with the CSV export in both our Ward and Stake:

See A little History in: [thread]203[/thread]

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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

Use custom Reports

Postby fraserredmond » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:05 pm

Those of us not blessed enough to live in North America and don't have the Local Unit Websites also have to do a seperate printed directory.

My branch used to use a manually edited word doc too until recently. Now we use the custom reports feature (under reports) to set up a report, which outputs the "HoH & Spouse" field along with phone, address, and city.

Like many units, half our families are lessactive and wouldn't want to be on the list, so for them we've added a custom-field called phonelist and set that to 'y' for the HoH of each family that does want to be on the list, and filter on that in the custom report. (I believe church policy is to not put anything on a members record to label them as less-active in case it causes future offence, so make sure you name it something innocent like "phonelist"!) You can then also make a second report that filters to show the families that don't have the phonelist=y set to see if new-move-ins/etc need to be added.

Then the trick is to bring up the report's output, click on a name (anywhere) and press Ctrl-Shift-C which coppies to the clipboard, as tab-seperated text data. Then paste into your word-processor and set up the tab-stops appropriately (then next time you can paste over the top of the old data to keep the tab-stops.

At the end of the list we had space to put additional contact info for the bishopric/auxilliary leaders, temple, stake, etc.

Now we just keep MLS up-to-date, and copy and paste and print every couple of months when enough people have changed.

BTW, I've set it up to be two columns, landscape so that we can fit everyone onto one page, and then on the back photocpy a street-map of our ward area.

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Location: USA

Postby daddy-o-p40 » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:10 pm

One Page Ward Directory
We also use it for ward directories. We have a MS Word mail merge template which contains the ward leadership info and merge it with the palmfamily.csv we get from MLS. It is not as elaborate as the XML solution mentioned elsewhere in the forum but is far simpler to implement for the masses.

Household Report for the Bishoprics PDAs
Our Bishopric also uses the palmfamily.csv to import into MS Outlook. This way they sync their blackberry's and have this info for recommend interviews, etc..

Attached is the one page directory, which is used in conjunction with your wards palmfamily.csv, along with the steps to import it into Outlook. Shoot me an email if you need any info on how to use these tips of ours.
Import the Church Directory Into Outlook.zip
(37.51 KiB) Downloaded 202 times
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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Location: Tulsa, OK

Postby bhofmann-p40 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:51 am

We use it to import into handheld devices also. The Bishop imports the whole ward into his blackberry so he always has easy access.

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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

Blackberry jam

Postby fraserredmond » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:24 pm

We live in a farming community, so our bishopric counsellors don't even have email, let alone Outlook, let alone Blackberry's! :-)

I suspect the only thing that would come to mind for them hearing about Blackberry's would be picking from a bush to make jam.

So the printed directory is king here. Even then just having a technically-minded clerk (me) around has made a huge improvement to how they do things - shows what a big range of expertise the Church IT Dept has to deal with.

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