Print-happy MLS

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
joachimvalgren
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:24 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Print-happy MLS

Postby joachimvalgren » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:42 am

As I'm sure everyone has noticed, MLS really likes to have stuff printed out. I just file these things and kinda ignore them, mainly because I have yet to figure out a good use for a printout telling me that a new member has been moved to my branch.

So I'd love to hear what you guys do with all these things MLS wants us to print?
Do I even have to print everything out, like it wants me to?

Thanks!

Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:14 am

If its to do with finances it gets printed and filed appropriate monthly finance transactions
folder.

With membership we print out all new member information a copy for the Bishop and one for the clerk. All other membership information for the most part does not get printed at all unless we are working on a problem record then we will print the report that tells us what we have done once the problem is solved we shred the report. We don't print membership items that are just a record update we have yet found a need to keep that information.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:45 am

Keep in mind that the move-in is one of the few times you'll know if you're getting the membership record of someone who is still under formal probation or other "active" disciplinary action. After that, the bishop has to specifically look for that information. MLS won't just volunteer it.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

mwgrover
Member
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Broken Arrow, OK, USA

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby mwgrover » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:47 pm

For membership-related printouts, we keep three folders throughout the year: one for printouts of records moving in, one for records moving out, and one for recorded ordinances and other misc. changes (deaths, marriage status, new babies, etc.) We then file the three folders under one big folder for that calendar year and keep it for three years. We then shred the printouts from three years ago.

We only print one copy - one extra just for Bishop seems like a waste of paper. The ward clerk makes note of all changes and presents the information to the bishopric during bishopric meeting. We do not print copies of membership records. We do print copies of IOS's that have been updated due to ordinances being recorded, new births, etc. and we give them to the families for their records.

We do not print confirmation copies of routine changes such as phone numbers, preferred names, and typo corrections.

Some of the benefits we have found to printing and filing those specific printouts include: being able to go back and locate old or new addresses for members who have moved out of the ward in case we need to send them something like a donation printout; being able to look back and see when a member's records moved into the ward; verification that certain changes were requested in case something doesn't get processed correctly on SLC's end; and we also use those printouts when we receive records for the bishopric to read in sacrament meeting.

There does not seem to be any churchwide guidance or rule on which things to print or how to use them or how long to keep them. It is left up to each unit to decide what is best for them. This method has worked well for us.

jdlessley
Community Moderators
Posts: 6522
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:30 pm
Location: USA, TX

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby jdlessley » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:11 pm

The only thing we print to paper are financial records needed for an audit. We are even thinking about not printing that information on paper but printing to a PDF. When the print prompt is displayed we do a print preview to see what the print job is about and then print to PDF anything we think we might need in the future. All these PDF files are stored on a 8GB thumb drive that is locked in the filing cabinet. There are some files that get printed to paper afterwards but those copies are shredded when no longer needed. The bishop is happy looking at electronic file copies. The bishop deletes files with sensitive information after he has seen them or after he has printed a paper copy.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

joachimvalgren
New Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:24 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby joachimvalgren » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:47 am

Thanks for the input and ideas, guys!
I see that there are very different approaches to this, but as long as there's no official guideline for me to follow, I feel fine in cutting down on my printing. As jdlessley mentioned I'm able to use the print preview, so I'll just use that to determine if I need to print or not.

bryced
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:19 am

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby bryced » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:38 pm

Bishop doesn't have time to be reading the mountain of paper that MLS spits out for him. We print everything to PDF and ignore it. Besides being wasteful, all those papers are full of sensitive information and are supposed to be shredded but never end up getting shredded.

Also, changes made in the online directory cause MLS to print a whole sheet of paper. Fix the formatting for a persons address and bam, MLS prints a paper. What website prints a piece of paper for every database change?

In my current office we have file cabinets of records all the way back to 1990. I've started shredding but it will take literally years to catch up. Would it be so hard for MLS to make some sort of weekly summary instead of creating thousands of hours of pointless work? Or maybe just an on demand report of events that happened?

I'd love to see a report that just listed for the last week:
- who moved in
- who moved out
- what personal information changed
- what callings changed

dannykos
Member
Posts: 295
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:26 am
Location: UK, East Grinstead

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby dannykos » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:29 am

russellhltn wrote:Keep in mind that the move-in is one of the few times you'll know if you're getting the membership record of someone who is still under formal probation or other "active" disciplinary action. After that, the bishop has to specifically look for that information. MLS won't just volunteer it.


**Pedant alert** ;)

Formal probation doesn't appear on a membership record.

Gary_Miller
Senior Member
Posts: 1216
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:42 am
Location: Emmett, Idaho

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:19 am

bryced wrote:Bishop doesn't have time to be reading the mountain of paper that MLS spits out for him. We print everything to PDF and ignore it. Besides being wasteful, all those papers are full of sensitive information and are supposed to be shredded but never end up getting shredded.

Also, changes made in the online directory cause MLS to print a whole sheet of paper. Fix the formatting for a persons address and bam, MLS prints a paper. What website prints a piece of paper for every database change?

In my current office we have file cabinets of records all the way back to 1990. I've started shredding but it will take literally years to catch up. Would it be so hard for MLS to make some sort of weekly summary instead of creating thousands of hours of pointless work? Or maybe just an on demand report of events that happened?

I'd love to see a report that just listed for the last week:
- who moved in
- who moved out
- what personal information changed
- what callings changed


MLS give you the option to preview before printing and then not print it at all. I always preview everything first and only print what is needed.

User avatar
gregwanderson
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:34 pm
Location: Huntsville, UT, USA

Re: Print-happy MLS

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:47 am

bryced wrote:I'd love to see a report that just listed for the last week:
- who moved in
- who moved out
- what personal information changed
- what callings changed


I love this idea too. But, just as the Word of Wisdom is adapted to the weakest of all saints, MLS appears to have been written for the weakest of all hard drives. It assumes there will be sudden failures resulting in lost data that cannot be recovered and/or corrupted databases aplenty. Why else would it demand multiple backups daily and a hard copy of every communication with CHQ? Of course, in my personal experience I've never had a hard drive fail without showing warning signs well in advance. In fact, the only hard drive I ever had to replace didn't fail before I could replace it. And that was a computer that was used a lot more than the ward's MLS machine.


Return to “MLS Support, Help, and Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest