Planning Center Online Tips: The Value of the Matrix, Templates

While the basic functions are quickly learned by most everyone, it’s the array of options that bring out its true power, to where it amazes me today that some worship leaders are not using the software.

Planning Center Online Tips: The Value of the Matrix, Templates
An example of the "Matrix" view using Planning Center Online, as shown by David Erlandson, which is one of the useful features of the software, including templates.

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Planning Center Online Tips: The Value of the Matrix, Templates

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Now, with just a few mouse clicks, everything I need, in the key that I need, magically appears attached to the song file.

This is quite simple to do. Select a song you would like to edit, then select the “arrangement” for the song (it is best to save files into an arrangement, and not the main song page in case you want to do a different version of the song later). From here, click the “+” button and select the service you would like to use.

The ProPresenter integration is actually accessible from ProPresenter’s settings. I am still not totally sold on how all of the functions of this integration, for various reasons, but the basic function of downloading a set list and staying linked to Planning Center, in case the order or song selection changes works well, and we use it every week.

The final function I want to touch on, is perhaps more foundational, but I recently met someone very experienced with Planning Center that did not know about this, so I thought I would share, a feature called “Blockout Dates.” This is accessed from the main dashboard page, and is located under “My Calendar.” Blockout Dates is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to block out dates that you do not want to be scheduled for. This is great if people serve on other ministry teams, have changing work or family schedules, or are simply going on vacation. As the primary scheduler, it is so convenient when that giant warning box pops up during scheduling rather than getting a “decline” email a few days later.

Those of you who are familiar with the software, know that I have just scratched the surface with only a few of my favorite features.

If you have something you particularly like that I have not touched on, please comment below, I would love to learn something new!

If you are not a Planning Center user, hopefully this will be the final push you need to sign up to become one (by the way, Planning Center is not paying me… I just love the software)!




More About David Erlandson
David is the Pastor of Worship at Trinity Church in Mentor, Ohio. In addition to worship leader, he’s also tech director, IT, lighting designer, video producer, and stage designer. He and his amazing wife Sarah, have two little boys that keep them quite busy. When he’s not spending time with his family, he’s fixing the house, reading tech blogs, watching Star Wars, or cheering on the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Connect with David on Twitter @daviderlandson.
Get in Touch: davide@trinitymentor.com    More by David Erlandson

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Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.


Article Topics

Visual Arts · Multi-media · Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Ministry · Ministry Centered Technologies · PraiseCharts · ProPresenter · Services · Software · All Topics

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