Meeting Schedule Assistant

Main Application Window

Introduction:

Meeting Schedule Assistant was originally called SoundRota. The program had become more versatile and required a name change to reflect what it could be used for. Thus, SoundRota was renamed Meeting Schedule Assistant in November 2010.

What is your role in the congregation? If you are the coordinator for the body of elders you will likely want to create a Our Christian Life and Ministry Meeting schedule. If you care for the sound department, then you will want to create a Sound and Stage Report rota. Meeting Schedule Assistant caters *easily* for these types of schedule. But that is not all! Just think about the schedules you currently create for your congregation and it is very likely you will be able to create most of these too with Meeting Schedule Assistant!

When you start the Meeting Schedule Assistant program, this dialogue is displayed. Use the menu options to setup program options and create reports. Creating and modifying schedules is a really simple process. Work through the Options menu first in the order described below and you should not have any problems. At the bottom of the dialogue you can see what the active schedule type is. This can be changed by using the Options dialogue. The active schedule type only applies to regular reports and not Christian Life and Ministry meeting schedules.

Please see the Contacting Me help page if you want to contact me about anything concerning this program. Please see the Revision History to see what the latest features and changes are.

This Help File has been set out in the same manner as the menu items of the Meeting Schedule Assistant application itself for ease of navigation. The following information of this page is only a brief explanation of the various features of the menu of Meeting Schedule Assistant. For a more detailed description of each part, see the remainder of the Help File. (Associated with many of the following paragraphs is a link to the more detailed description).

File Menu

(The highlighted yellow area will dynamically change as and when you save and open data files. This is called the most recent file list.)
File Menu

Create Christian Life and Ministry Report (and)
Create Report
Displays the Our Christian Life and Ministry Meeting Editor dialogue or the Report dialogue pre-filled with a set of dates determined from the program options and the date range that you selected. You can then make your assignments on the schedule. Click on the links for full details.

Open Christian Life and Ministry Report
Opens up a previously saved Meeting WorkBook schedule (MWB file type). It displays a file selection dialogue which you use to navigate to and select your saved schedule file and then displays the Midweek Editor dialogue where you can work with the schedule. Click on the link for full details.

Open Report
Opens up a previously saved Sound Rota Report (SRR file type). It displays a file selection dialogue which you use to navigate to and select your saved schedule file and then displays the Report dialogue where you can work with the schedule. Click on the link for full details.

Note: Opening a saved report will contain all the options available at the time it was saved, not the current options. The only exception to this rule is the exclusion dates selected for the brothers.

Backup Settings
Restore Settings

Use the Backup Settings menu item to copy all program settings, including brother data, from the registry and BIN files into a ZIP archive file. This can be kept in a safe place for doing a restore at a later date.

Install S-89 Assignment Slip Templates
The S-89 assignment slips are used by the MWB Editor. The templates are not supplied with Meeting Schedule Assistant. You have to send a copy of your S-89 PDF file to support@publictalksoftware.co.uk and then you will receive the templates ZIP file.

Once received, you can use this option on the File menu to quickly install the files to the right place on your computer.

Use Restore Settings to restore a ZIP archive file that you created at an earlier date. This is a quick way to get all your default settings and brother data back. Meeting Schedule Assistant will restart automatically for the changes to take effect.

Another use for this facility could be for when you want to install Meeting Schedule Assistant onto another computer, or when you want to pass this on to another brother to use.

Exit
Use Exit to close down the application.

Students Menu Students Menu

Enter next study points
This displays a recent student assignments. As the title suggests, you select the assignment and then specify their next study point. If they are continuing to work on the same study point then you re-assign the same study again. For a complete overview of the study point system please click here.

Reports
At the moment only one report is supported, the Student Counsel Form. The report is based upon the one found in the Ministry School publication (pages 79 to 81 in the English edition).
Options Menu Options Menu

Publishers Database
Displays the Publishers Database dialogue. From here you can add / edit / delete publishers from the application. This is the place where you specify what assignments each publishers is assigned, and what their availability is.

Custom Assignments
Displays the Custom Assignments manager dialogue. Each custom assignment that you add has its own column and heading on your schedules. Use the Options dialogue to specify which of these custom assignments you would like to include or exclude from each schedule.

Settings
Displays the Options dialogue. Most program settings are specified from here.

Headings
Displays the Headings dialogue. This allows you to personalize the schedules you create. Click on the link for full details.

Reminders
Reminders automatically show as popup messages in the Our Christian Life and Ministry editor.

Special Events
Displays the Special Events manager dialogue. By keeping special events correct and up to date, they will automatically get included on new schedules. Special events will also be indicated on the main calendars by using a bold font. You can hover the mouse over the bold dates on the calendar to see the description of the special event.

Google Calendar Options
Displays the Google Calendar Options dialogue. This is a handy feature for sending schedule assignments to your Google Calendar. The idea is that you share this calendar with the publishers and thus have access to what their assignments are using their mobile devices.

Language
Displays a popup menu of supported languages. After selecting a different language the program will automatically close down and restart.

Calendars

Use the two calendars to select a date range to create a schedule for. If all you want to do is open up a previously saved schedule, then you can ignore these settings and open the saved report (see above), since this date range will have no affect. The date range only applies to the creating of new schedules. Also, any special events are displayed if you hover the mouse over the date.

Help menu Help Menu

Check for Latest Schedule Information
The Christian Life and Ministry editor has a feature for downloading the Meeting Workbook content for you automatically. This information is provided kindly by volunteers on a monthly basis. Many languages are supported. This is a handy feature to allow you to see how far the data goes up to so that you will know if you can start to prepare your schedule.

Check for Update
This is a easy way to check if there is a new version of the program available. It will download the program automatically and start the installation process.

Submit a Bug or Feature Request
This links you to the Mantis Bug Tracker. You will need a valid user account. Use this facility to keep abreast of active development of the latest edition. It is your chance to comment on the new features, support other users, and provide your own feedback.