Ward Area Book App

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juanjflores
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Ward Area Book App

Postby juanjflores » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:58 am

This app would be more suited for tablets due to the larger screen size (but phones r fine as well). The larger screen size will provide a real page like view of the pages. This idea came from the fact that shortly before I finished my mission (in late '08) an instruction was given to all wards to have a Ward Are Book. This Area Book was to resemble the Area Book the missionaries now use. Currently, I am the Branch Mission Leader and I'm a big advocate for mobile apps and things of that nature (such as carrying as few things as I can). Currently, I do not own a tablet computer, but if this app were to be developed, I would definitely buy one. The application will be synced with lds.org in order to provide the user (Ward Mission Leader) with both ward & stake directories & events. Due to this, the Ward Mission Leader may edit any contact info that may be wrong (phone #, address, e-mail, spelling).

Opening the app:
In order to open the application, the user would be prompted to sign in using his lds.org credentials (as a safety feature). Now, for convenience and increased productivity, the user may choose to be greeted by one of the following pages/home screens.

"Follow Up" page. This page would contain a list of items/tasks to complete. It will also be able to sync events/tasks with other calendars (such as Google Cal.).
Such as:
* Assigning fellowshippers
* Coordinating meals for the missionaries
* Assigning Home/Visiting Teachers to resent converts.
* The receiving of the Priesthood by a recent convert
* Seeing that the recent converts receive the "New Member" lessons
* Preparing the baptism program (which can be done in app)
* etc.

The page will have 4 columns. The columns will be:
* "Assignment" - input assignment
* "Assigned to" - who is in charge of doing it w/contact info
* "Complete by..." - set date by which assignment is to be completed
* "Completed" - put a single X once completed

"Table of Contents" page. From here, the user can navigate to any portion of the Ward Area Book. The contents will be the same as they are found in the current Area Book, with additional sections created by the User. For example, I have inserted additional sections in order to separate "Teaching Records" by auxiliary organization.

"Ward Mission Plan" page. This page will, obviously, contain the Ward Mission Plan with an "edit" option. This "edit" option will allow the Ward Mission Leader to update any of the goals and be able to create a "Year to Date" report. From here, the user may choose to share this report with whom it may be appropriate via e-mail (the user may be able to chose from his contacts, from the ward & stake directory to which this app will be synced, or manually enter an e-mail address). For example, the user may choose to share this with the auxiliary leaders in order to help them stay focused on their goals (The way I formulated the Ward Mission Plan for our unit was to have each organization set their own goals and plans for the year. From this, the Ward Mission Plan was formed). Having the ability to create & share a "YTD" report with them will help us all stay focused & accountable. The "YTD" report will also include specific information such as the names behind the numbers.

Tools:
The app will be synced to lds.org. Which will populate the app with the following information:
* Ward & stake directories (the user will be able to edit any information that may be outdated or incorrect).
* Ward & stake events.
* Branch Leaders & Organizations as it found on lds.org
* The ability to take & sync pictures to lds.org

This app should also include an option to create, save, edit, share, and print documents. Such as:
* YTD report
* Baptism program (user can chose from various templates)
* Teaching Records
* New and Returning Member report
* Follow Up report
* etc.

What happens when the Ward Mission Leader is released??? Well, since the app is synced with lds.org (which is synced with MLS), once the new Ward Mission Leader is called, the change is updated in MLS and reflected on lds.org, then the new Ward Mission Leader will have to create an lds.org log in & be on up and running (the old Ward Mission Leader will no longer be able to log into the app, unless he holds a calling which would authorize him to do so. The list of such callings is below). Since lds.org will recognize the user's calling, the app will either log him in or deny access when entering his lds.org credentials.

The app will also give the Ward Mission Leader the option to "Share" access to his Ward Area Book with others. These others will be his own Bishopric, Stake Presidency, Stake High Councilmen over missionary work, Assistant Ward Mission Leader, and Ward Missionaries. The Ward Mission Leader may be the only one with the option to share (the app will know who is who since it is synced with lds.org, and lds.org is synced with MLS). The "Share With" screen will be automatically populated with the names of those authorized to access the Ward Area Book and there will be a check mark next to their names. From here, the Ward Mission Leader may chose who will have access to the app by selecting the check mark next to their names.

Since the app will grant access to the Ward Area Book & content to more than one individual, it will need a "Notifications" feature. First of all, the Ward Mission Leader (along with the Assistant to the Ward Mission Leader and the Ward Missionaries) will be the only ones with "edit" privileges. This means that they can create and edit anything within the Ward Area Book. The Bishopric, Stake Presidency & High Councilmen will have "read only" access to the Ward Area Book. Now that we've cleared this up, the "Notifications" feature will be similar to Facebook. In the sense that a notification will come up on the phone's status bar (Android), the # of new notifications will be displayed of the app's icon (iPad) when a change is made. This will keep all parties informed of any changes. Upon opening the app, the user will be greeted by a pop-up window titled "Recent Changes" (these will be any changes made since the user last logged into the app). The same will apply for reminders (such as assignments, tasks, events).

Lds.org sync. This right here will be one of the BIG tools for this app. Those of us familiar with lds.org will know about the "Tools" tab. Here, the new tool to add will be "Ward Area Book" (Ward Area Books for Stake Presidency & High Councilmen). From lds.org the authorized users will be able to access all of the material available through the app. Which will allow the users to print documents, start or finish any edits, etc.

UI:
I think it would be cool if the pages are displayed @ full screen. But, in order to keep the feel of a binder, the user could select "section" from the bottom of the screen & by so doing, the tabs will be revealed on the right side of the screen (just like the dividing tabs in a binder) from which he can tap. Once in the desired section, the user can flip through it's pages & the pages would turn as a real page. Also, the user will be able to add pages to each section. Teaching Records, etc. The user may also be able to re-name the tabs to his liking.

Price: idk about you guys, but I think an app like this aught to be a paid app since it requires/offers a lot of great features.

Any who, these are all of the ideas I could come up with right now. I didn't have them written down so I was just brainstorming. I'll be back to add any other ideas that may pop in my head. Feel free to add/give any suggestions :)

ps. I know that there is a web based Area Book project in the works (Digital Area Book). This project mentioned the ability to have the full-time missionaries sync info with it, but I don't think the full-time missionaries aught to worry about updating us digitally. They have their own Area Book to worry about, and with the strict computer usage rules that they have; updating a digital area book doesn't seem like something they should do. Besides, they should be out & about, not sitting @ a computer. This is my opinion @least.

tortdog
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Location: Austin, Texas

Postby tortdog » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:56 am

Let me know when it's ready!

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:12 pm

Much of this is good, one thing that would need to be done is to sync with the Mission Area Book application so that data from that, such as progress records, some selected call-in summary totals (such as number of discussions where a member was present, etc.) and teaching records, would be synced with the application. Both would be accessible via LDS.org credentials I would think.

As to 'price', it would be free, given it in the end may end up as an official Church application and given it would be, in its web version, accessible from the tools menu on lds.org.

juanjflores
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Postby juanjflores » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:37 am

JamesAnderson wrote:Much of this is good, one thing that would need to be done is to sync with the Mission Area Book application so that data from that, such as progress records, some selected call-in summary totals (such as number of discussions where a member was present, etc.) and teaching records, would be synced with the application. Both would be accessible via LDS.org credentials I would think.

As to 'price', it would be free, given it in the end may end up as an official Church application and given it would be, in its web version, accessible from the tools menu on lds.org.
your comment gave me an idea. I hadn't thought of a more productive way to utilize the "Progress Records" until now.

Progress Records
those of us familiar with these know that the missionaries aught to report the wkly Key Indicator totals at the bottom on this report. What if, the app collects these numbers (the user would obviously input the #'s into the app) & a year to date graph is created from this. Over the course of time (yrs down the road) a yearly comparison can be done of the progress. I think this would allow the wards to better focus their efforts on specific Key Indicators. As far as the YTD graph is concerned: let's say that the "Lessons with a member present" are higher than "Investigators who attended church"; now, the Ward Council can direct their efforts more effectively to increase the church attendance amongst the investigators. The benefit to comparing the YTD graphs with previous yrs is to see what the strong & weak points were yrs past & figure out a way to increase productivity for the yr to come (this would also help create more specific plans when composing next yrs Ward Mission Plan). The app would also have a "Share" option (idk if every stake does this, but, both on the mission & now, the stake high councilmen collects the monthly totals for each Key Indicator. Along with the additional "Members Re-activated").

logan_s
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Postby logan_s » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:46 am

In the meantime, you could just use this:

http://discogenie.dyndns.org/areabook

juanjflores
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Postby juanjflores » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:27 am

logan_s wrote:In the meantime, you could just use this:

http://discogenie.dyndns.org/areabook


What r the system requirements?

logan_s
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Postby logan_s » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:59 am

Pentium III or above, Java 1.5, 800x600 resolution.

It's not made for anything smaller than a netbook, if that's what you're asking.

juanjflores
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Postby juanjflores » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:49 am

logan_s wrote:Pentium III or above, Java 1.5, 800x600 resolution.

It's not made for anything smaller than a netbook, if that's what you're asking.

so it's not for mac?

juanjflores
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:47 pm

Postby juanjflores » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:51 am

i'm thinking of waiting for the HTC Evo View 4G tablet to come out so i can take some app developing lessons & try to do it myself. so far no one has contacted me about getting this off the ground....

logan_s
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Postby logan_s » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:04 pm

I've tested it on mac just fine. Basically any computer can run it. If I owned a phone I would probably port it to that, but I'll just have to wait on that one.


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