First batch of changes in 5779

Several small enhancements are now live:

  1. If you print labels from the member query screen, the first line of the label now shows the individual member name, rather than the family formal name.
  2. On the household/family query screen, you can now query by date resigned, and by reason for resigning.
  3. For the notes/memos–you can now receive an email with your individual tasks that are past due (which appear in red), or due within the next seven days.  Your administrator can determine the timing and frequency of those “push” emails–for example, the system can send the emails at 11 pm, seven days a week; or, if that seems too often, perhaps 5 am Monday through Friday.
  4. Pertaining to Yahrzeits, where some notifications are by Hebrew date, while other notifications are by Gregorian date–a single export button now gives you two tabs.  The first tab matches the top part of the screen; the second tab matches the Gregorian portion of the screen.
  5. When producing a directory, beside each email address is the person’s first name.

In addition, there is one change intended to solve a reported problem that manifests itself as the cryptic message “502 Bad Gateway nginx/1.12.1.”

Audit Trail

ShalomCloud now captures an audit trail of changes and deletions to certain critical portions of data–initially, Yahrzeits, Families, and Individuals.  This video shows how it works:

ShalomCloud Audit Trail from Norman Snyder on Vimeo.

In a nutshell, the audit trail captures when the change occurred, by whom, what changed, a version number, and the content of each changed field both before and after the change.

On deletions, it captures the entire record that was deleted–thus enabling you to re-add a record if it were inadvertently deleted.

Send Text Messages! (SMS)

Asked for, and now delivered–the ability to send text messages from ShalomCloud.

Apparently text messages reach over 95% of their intended audience, whereas email is doing well to reach 30%.  Therefore, for short, time-sensitive announcements (service time changes, reminders about classes and events), this might be your preferred channel for reaching a selection of congregants quickly and effectively.

ShalomCloud Text Messaging from Norman Snyder on Vimeo.

Labels–Starting Where You Wish

Suppose you’ve printed several labels, and now have a few more to print, for a selected audience.  You’d like to start where you left off, rather than inserting a whole new sheet of labels.

For example, suppose you’ve asked the system for a list of Board members:

starting_labels_screen1

Now, you want to print labels for this audience–and the latest sheet of labels used the first row and the first label of the second row–a total of four labels.

Simply change the starting label number to 5:

starting_label_position_2

The result will be a sheet that looks like this:

starting_label_position_3

Next time printing labels, you’d start with 12.

Email Templates Now Available

Now live and in production–email templates.

  • Format and save email templates, using a familiar-looking toolbar.
  • Not only static content–able to substitute values from family records, individuals’ information, and Yahrzeits.
  • Watch this video (6 m, 13 s) to see how to create a template, and to see how to send emails using the template.
  • email_templates

Field selection on Yahrzeit queries

Some time ago, in response to how crowded with fields was the Member query, we made available check boxes by which the user could select which fields should appear on the reports and spreadsheet downloads.

The same selection ability is now available on the Yahrzeit queries.  This makes for a more device-responsive, cleaner appearance.
Yahrzeit_field_selection

 

Next set of Yahrzeit Enhancements

Realizing that this is fairly dry material, we nonetheless wish to mention several small enhancements within the Yahrzeit capability:

  1. ShalomCloud has for some time offered “tags,” alternatively dubbed “attributes,” for Households and individuals.  Yahrzeits can also now be associated with tags….which means you can also query and report by those tags.
  2. If your congregation maintains plaques for Yahrzeits, you might be interested in a new query–displaying all the Yahrzeits with no plaque.
  3. In the same vein, the application has long been able to show and display Yahrzeits and relationships to people in the congregation.  Now we flip to the opposite question–showing all the Yahrzeits for whom no relationship exists.
  4. Next occurrence of Yahrzeit, as of a user-entered date.

 

 

Organizing for the High Holidays

As you’re gathering momentum (or just starting) to prepare for the holidays, allow me to recommend something a tad bold and different, but which should help mightily.

Does this describe your situation? (1) Many events to orchestrate and coordinate; (2) Several people, and several committees, with varying responsibilities; (3) A mix of professional staff, office personnel, clergy, and off-site volunteers, all with different tasks and ideas; (4) a flood of emails roaring across the landscape, some with too narrow an audience, some with too wide an audience.

What to do?  Suggestion–open a Slack channel.  

What is Slack?  It’s a tool to collaborate online.  Everyone involved in planning for the holidays (or for any large event, for that matter), can be a member of the Slack channel, and can post questions and answers, by topic.  For example, you could set up topics such as Seating, Children’s Services, and Assignment of Honors.

Let’s spell out a few advantages of this way of collaborating:

— All communications happen in one place, segmented by topic.

— All content can be searched from one location.

— If there are documents to be shared, that can also be done within Slack–even if you use tools like Google Docs or Dropbox to house them.

— If the need arises for private communication, that can be accommodated within Slack.

— There are iPhone and Android apps for Slack; thus, team members don’t need to be in front of a PC to fully participate.

If your holiday preparations flow smoothly, and coordinating among the widely varied participants poses no challenge–well, keep doing what you’re doing. Otherwise, consider giving this intuitive, popular tool a try.

Please feel free to subscribe to this blog, using the form in the panel on the right.  Or, if you’d like to join our own Slack channel,  synagogue-management.slack.com, drop us a line.

 

 

 

 

 

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