Printing membership updates from S&RC

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
sterlingb
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Printing membership updates from S&RC

Postby sterlingb » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:17 pm

(Sorry if this was posted elsewhere, I was unable to find a thread on this.)

Currently MLS will ask you whether you want to print a copy of a membership update for the Bishop. It seems to come at the completely wrong time, because you can't tell what it's printing and whether the Bishop will care. At one point I had made a *lot* of changes to our membership addresses & phone numbers, resulting in two 34-page printouts because I didn't know what was coming down the pipe. (We have 916 members in our ward.)

My recommendation is to add the "Print Preview" button to that dialog, rather than relying solely on the print dialog. (Of course, having typed all this out it occurred to me the print dialog might show "2" in the copies field, and I could print-preview it there. Anyway...I still offer my suggestion.)

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:38 pm

I have to agree with you. The first pop-up gives you the choices of Print Preview, Print, and Cancel. The 2nd pop-up then asks if you would like print a copy for the bishop. At that point, if you didn't preview it, you probably can't guess what's waiting to be printed, or if the bishop needs a copy, and there's no way from that point to go back and preview it.

I have (finally) learned to preview everything so I know how to answer the 2nd question, however, it took a while and one can easily see how a newbie to MLS would get caught by this.

I have a different recommendation. IMO, all of these options should be on ONE pop-up, such as, Print Preview, Print, Print with extra Bishop's copy, and Cancel. (Or something to that effect.) That way, there is no surprise when the Bishop's Copy question pops up and you start looking for a BACK key.
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:02 pm

There is a work around that I use. I prefer to print to a PDF file for situations such as this. The advantages are that the document is not lost for future printing; further control of the print job can be made to include only those pages you actually want printed; the document can be saved for a period of time to permit printing as needed; the document can be reviewed at a later time for more scrutiny; and paper is not wasted for unnecessary printouts. Disadvantages are that each PDF document with membership information must be appropriately protected (This is difficult to do on an administrative computer where everyone who has access to the computer can open and view such a document.); and MLS defaults to the last used printer (print driver) for the next print job. This last disadvantage catches many MLS users unaware at the most inopportune time.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:14 am

Mikerowaved wrote:I have a different recommendation. IMO, all of these options should be on ONE pop-up, such as, Print Preview, Print, Print with extra Bishop's copy, and Cancel. (Or something to that effect.) That way, there is no surprise when the Bishop's Copy question pops up and you start looking for a BACK key.


I don't think the "Bishop's copy" question should be asked in this situation at all. Either a bishop has a policy of wanting copies of everything, or he doesn't. Those doing a Send/Receive may not know the bishop's preference, so they are likely to answer the question wrong, and either waste paper or not print out something the bishop wants. So I think the "Bishop's copy" question should be a System Option, and never asked at all during the S/R process -- it's just one more question in a hopelessly tedious process.

Personally, I would like to see the whole process of printing reports at the end of S/R overhauled. It's really quite silly to ask so many times if you want to print something, and where you want to print it. Although there is some advantage in getting some printing started before the last downloaded file has been processed, it's also common for the processing to be delayed because a clerk wasn't right at the computer to okay the first prompt.

So I would propose that all downloaded files be processed before any prompt is given. Then a screen could be presented with a lot more details. It could list every post-processing report, along with an estimate of the number of pages, and even some details: ("updated membership records for John Doe, Jane Roe, and John Smith", "finance transmission report", etc.). Each item would have a check box to indicate it should be printed, as well as a Preview button. Then all the desired items could be printed at one time, with only one printer selection dialog required.

If it's desirable to allow some reports to be printed to different printers, there could even be an option to not dismiss the screen after printing so that different check boxes could be checked and another printer selected.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:27 am

Alan_Brown wrote:I don't think the "Bishop's copy" question should be asked in this situation at all. Either a bishop has a policy of wanting copies of everything, or he doesn't.

Except when a bishop wants a copy of certain reports, but not others. For example, new move-in reports come to mind. Unfortunately, you can't tell one report from another without previewing it.

If I could somehow pre-select in the system which kinds of reports always got extra copies, then that would certainly solve the problem for me.

Alan_Brown wrote:Personally, I would like to see the whole process of printing reports at the end of S/R overhauled.

I liked your ideas, BTW. I seriously think you should submit them to the MLS team.
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Postby dmaynes » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:03 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Personally, I would like to see the whole process of printing reports at the end of S/R overhauled. It's really quite silly to ask so many times if you want to print something, and where you want to print it. Although there is some advantage in getting some printing started before the last downloaded file has been processed, it's also common for the processing to be delayed because a clerk wasn't right at the computer to okay the first prompt.


It's been a while since I printed these reports, but I agree that it's silly for a person to "tend the computer" while each each report is printed and then answer the next series of questions about the next report.

It's also a "get-it-right-the-first-time" procedure. There's no going back.

I agree with Mikerowaved that you have presented some good ideas.

I like the idea of "report type" because if there are updates to addresses or phone numbers, there shouldn't even be a need to print the report. At least, when I was a counselor we didn't use the hard copy memberships for finding addresses and phone numbers. On the other hand, if a record is being moved out at the request of another unit, the bishop will probably want that report.

For membership reports, I would like to see categories similar to the following:

1. Change to record as a result of a request by another unit

2. Moving a record to another unit by unit request

3. Moving a record into the unit by unit request

4. Within-unit update requests of contact information

5. Within-unit update requests of other information

I think the bishop would want printed copies of 1, 3, 5
I think the clerk would want printed copies of 1, 2, 3, 5

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:30 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Personally, I would like to see the whole process of printing reports at the end of S/R overhauled.


I agree. I'd also like to see the whole thing deferred if the person who is signed in doesn't have Membership rights. That way the Financial clerk doesn't have to deal with membership reports - it's deferred to the membership clerk.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:37 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I agree. I'd also like to see the whole thing deferred if the person who is signed in doesn't have Membership rights. That way the Financial clerk doesn't have to deal with membership reports - it's deferred to the membership clerk.


Well, not the whole thing, of course -- there are financial reports resulting from a S/R as well. Besides, the financial clerk does have Membership rights (to View, but perhaps not to Edit), so that may not be the exact right criterion.

In any case, it is important to process changes as soon as possible, but deferring the printing of reports may have merit.

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Postby EDDIEDOW » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:28 am

Trouble with the "Print Preview" is that it only shows the first page of possibly multiple pages, so you may still not know if you want to print a copy for Bishop or not.
In our ward, I'm both butt't Stake Clerk and butt't Ward Clerk, I don't print a copy for the Bishop. After all is printed I pull out what he wants/needs to see and give it to him. After he's through with it, he puts it in my box and I file it appropriately. That saves a lot of paper and printer expenses for the Ward.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:53 am

E&LDow wrote:Trouble with the "Print Preview" is that it only shows the first page of possibly multiple pages, so you may still not know if you want to print a copy for Bishop or not.


When you do Print Preview there is a "Next" button that will take you to the next page (and First, Previous, and Last buttons as well).


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