Custom Fields?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
fletcher.carpenter
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Custom Fields?

Postby fletcher.carpenter » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:37 pm

Is there any way to add a custom field in MLS? One that would not be sent to salt lake in a send receive but could contain information such as the last time that the member spoke in church.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:34 am

Yes. You can create custom fields that contain info used on the local level only. We used these in my ward to record talents, interests and hobbies to assist us in callings (for example, who plays the piano). However, it should be possible to record what ever info you want in the field.

You can also create custom reports to view the data as well. I'm not sure how well the dates would work in a custom field, but you could see who has a value vs. who doesn't.

See here in the wiki for more.

jonesrk
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Postby jonesrk » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:00 am

crislapi wrote:You can also create custom reports to view the data as well. I'm not sure how well the dates would work in a custom field, but you could see who has a value vs. who doesn't.



When you create the custom field you can say that the type is a date and then MLS treats it well.
Ryan Jones
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Stake Technology Specialist - Software / Stake Assistant Clerk
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:19 am

I'm trying to remember why custom fields aren't used more often. Is it weak reporting tools or difficulty in doing the data entry?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:26 am

RussellHltn wrote:I'm trying to remember why custom fields aren't used more often. Is it weak reporting tools or difficulty in doing the data entry?


Custom Fields are used successfully by many clerks. But others don't use them; my guess is the reasons are:

  1. They don't know about the feature
  2. Data entry is not straightforward (but not too difficult once you know how)
  3. Values stored in custom fields can only be extracted with custom reports (again, not too difficult, but requires some learning)
  4. When values are extracted, they can only be specified one by one in a custom report (there's no way to say "Give me all the custom fields and their values for this member")
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:05 pm

FletchCarp wrote:Is there any way to add a custom field in MLS? One that would not be sent to salt lake in a send receive but could contain information such as the last time that the member spoke in church.


Welcome to the forum!
Yes, I've done this very task in MLS, but to be honest, I've gone back to the much simpler "spreadsheet method" of recording talks for quicker data entry, reporting and sorting. I track who has talked, not who has not. Except for youth, we track youth speaking over a 7 year period...

see our Youth Speakers Tracking list attached in an excel file (I use open office, however) If you need to know how to use it, send me a private message.

try this thread for some ideas on tracking sacrament talks:
converting ward lists into excel
Attachments
Youth Speakers Tracker.xls
(11 KiB) Downloaded 118 times

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:16 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'm trying to remember why custom fields aren't used more often. Is it weak reporting tools or difficulty in doing the data entry?


why I don't use custom fields? First, its a time commitment I don't have. Second, The reporting/manipulating is weak compared with exporting the same data and manipulating it in a spreadsheet. Third, I can share a spreadsheet with others who can understand it, even modify it. Easier to hand off to your replacement...

fletcher.carpenter
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Postby fletcher.carpenter » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:54 pm

Thanks for the help. I will click around on sunday and see if I can find out how to enter it.

colingardner
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Postby colingardner » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:52 pm

I created four new Custom Fields, "besides" talents and interests, that better represent
ward members abilities, capabilities, training, and availabilities...more can be added...
up to 11 such Custom Fields. I chose my new Custom Fields to be: (1) Sports ability,
(2) Music ability, (3) Special training, (4) Food specialty


To "add" new Custom Fields for each Ward Member, which "represents" action knowledge, ability, capability and availability of such Ward Members...do the following:

a. Go to System Options, and click on Members
b. Next click on "Custom Fields".
c. Next will appear the "Add" Custom Field" screen
d. Fill in the "name", "Date or String", and "Description" for each Custom Field....
..........Note: Use only 1 capital Letter for two word titles...only...only one is allowed....


The following table illustrates how this is done:

.................................date or String....
....Name....................String................Description

Sports ability..............String.......Like Tennis, Basketball, golf, etc
Music ability...............String.......Like Play/Teach piano, organ, violin, cello, sing, etc
Special training...........String.......Like Electronics, Barber, Welder, Nurse, Dr, CPR, etc.
Food Specialty............String.......Home-made ice cream, cookies, Dutch Oven Cooking, etc
Heavy Equipment........String......Back-hoe, tractor, or dump truck owner/operator, trailer,etc
Other.........................String......Cherry Picker, sizzer-lift, fork-lift owner/operator, etc

An example of such new Custom Fields, my ow
Procedure For Storing Talents & Custom Abilities &Training, etc.jpg
Procedure For Storing Talents & Custom Abilities &Training, etc.jpg (57.91 KiB) Viewed 353 times
n ward, are shown in jpg form...as well as the above proceedure...(I keep loosing this whole Quick Reply.... so I am putting it here now.)

Potential Talents, Sample Page.jpg
(101.08 KiB) Downloaded 139 times


Each of these new titles,once added... will become available for ANY Ward Custom Report, just as, Preferred Name, etc.

To Add Add additonal talents and interests, as only about 20 are in the standard MLS package as every ward receives. Go to the bottom of where these are, where you will see an "ADD" button...Click on this...and you enlarge this list to accomodate every ward members s talents and interests.

Next Step: Add talents/interests "and: Custom Fields for every member...This is done is done as follows:

a. Click on"membership Records, then clik on "View and "Update", then clike on "more".

b.Click on "Custom Member Field"."

c. Select a Member, then select "Talents and Interests" then
....click on "add".

d. Then select, from the lists shown, each talent or interest,
....separately,(one at a time).

e. Then Select "Custom Fields", then click on "add".

f. Then select each of the Custom Fields (i.e. Sports ability,
.....Music ability, Special training, etc for each Custom Field
.....selected.....by pressing OK.. After filling this box..press..
....."SAVE".

G. Go To Next Individual.

Lastly: Develop a "Custom Report" toprint a suitable report for Ward Priesthood Leaders, Council Members, Bishopric, etc. as follows:

a..Go TO "Reports & Forms" then click on more.
b. Click on "add report" as seen on top of screen.
c. Then under the the Reports/Tools" column select
....."Custom Reports".
d. Under "Criteria" select an age, such as greater than 18
.....years.
e. Under "Format" select select: Preferred Name, Talents
.....or interests. Sports ability, Music ability, Special training,
.....Food Specialty. Six colums of info per page is best...If
.....more kis needed make up an additional Custom Report...

Note: Note the line between each of these "can be" slided
.........left or right...this is done only at the very top of the
.........line....

Enjoy.


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