LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Discussions around the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch versions of the LDS Tools Application.
djdinut1
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LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby djdinut1 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:36 am

Why is there no service assignments feature in the LDS Tools app? Leaders should have the ability to create service assignment lists and designate members to fill them, such as cannery, dairy, or other welfare assignments, and create custom assignments such as ward building cleaning, building snow removal, temple sealing sessions, etc. This feature should include the ability to print lists of assignments by date ranges with those assigned to fill them, and being able to send out text and email reminders to those assigned. It must have the capability to unassign and reassign members from and to different assignments. Our ward is managing assignments solely on the "STP" principle: "Same Ten People" (the same ten people are showing up for most assignments). This is because the ward has no reasonable method to make and track service assignments. When I served in the bishopric, I spent a couple of weeks every autumn making assignments for the coming year. I created it all in EXCEL and printed the assignment cards in WORD. While the system we created was extremely effective, there are only a handful of people in any ward with the computer and organization skills to create such a system. LDS Tools could handle this well since it has access to the ward member database.

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sbradshaw
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am

LDS Tools allows you to create custom lists ("Lists" section of the app). You can create a list called, for example, "Ward building cleaning," and add or remove members. You can also mass email or mass text the members of the list (though there are limitations on the number of people that can be texted at a time, varying by cell phone service provider).

The only downside of this system is that the list is tied to a single user's LDS Account (yours, for example) and can't be shared with other users (you can email the members' names to someone else, but you can't create a "shared" list that multiple people can edit). But that's about the same as an Excel spreadsheet would be.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

djdinut1
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby djdinut1 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:15 pm

Thank you. That's a helpful suggestion but isn't very practical. That would mean that if we have a ward building cleaning assignment every Saturday during the year, I would have to have 52 lists to contain only those people designated for a specific week. Also, it appears any lists I create in the LDS Tools app do not sync to my lds.org account. Is that right? So, I have no backup for information that may have taken me hours to enter.

djdinut1
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby djdinut1 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:16 pm

Do you know if the developers are working on any kind of a solution for making service assignments? I don't want to start up with a third-party app and find out later I should have waited.

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sbradshaw
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:24 pm

Custom lists do sync to your LDS Account, and are available on any installation of LDS Tools that's signed into your LDS Account (for example, if you had a phone and a tablet, it would sync between the two using your LDS Account). They're not available in the browser at LDS.org, but they are synced to and from the Church servers for the LDS Tools app.

I don't know if any assignments features are on the roadmap, but I don't think your request is very common (I haven't seen people asking on the forums about how to manage assignments or requesting such a feature in LDS Tools), so I doubt that it's crossed the developers' or product managers' minds. You could send the request using in-app feedback and see what they say.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

djdinut1
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby djdinut1 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:26 pm

Thanks.

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johnshaw
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Re: LDS Tools and Service Assignments

Postby johnshaw » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:18 pm

Developers work on whatever Church Department requests they work on and their immediate Priesthood leadership authorizes as a priority. They are less concerned with what Members want out of the app than what they want to see the app provide to members... Because many of them are also member-consumers of the app the list of desired functionality sometimes overlaps, however, there is only a single android developer and likely a similar number on ios to implement these tools that also limit their ability to deliver on systems.

Also remember, in the OP, the question about assigning tasks, etc... has to have a backend component, likely needs to be developed online first and then moved to the app, etc... it's a very large process and not one that the Church spends a ton of resources on. So we sit are appreciate the efforts, even if a ton of us would give 11% tithing if they'd add a department of mobile app developers... it's not our call...
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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