Using technology to streamline worship preparation!

I have a number of workflows which get me started in weekly worship planning. They are very useful to me. For instance today I have outlined the readings hymns and structure of next week’s worship services, while, at the same time, populated the words of readings and hymns into an OmniOutliner document which will eventually become the basis of the screen and large printed versions of the service.
This is particularly useful when, like me, you are leader of an Anglican congregation which uses one of a number of frameworks of liturgy.
Do others regard this as an appropriate way of drafting a structure for worship (in their own tradition of course) or would any be interested in finding out more about the various workflows?
When we have limited assistance in a small church such workflows make such processes manageable rather than utterly exhausting. Thoughts? (I nearly said ”iThoughts”, hint hint)
Stephen

Planning Center Services is what we use and it’s indispensable. The ability to map out regular service details and assign people to positions is just really well done.

Re Planning center and similar applications. I have zero budget for ongoing subscriptions and despite the obvious attractions of such systems, it is out of my league.
I use WordPress for rosters and a printed magazine, volunteers record donations.
I am interested in the applications and workflows others use for preparing content. And to share my own.
Thanks for the suggestion.

:blush: This is why I suggested Planning Center, but I understand your budgetary requirements. Planning Center for us does everything and saves us so much time. I’ll be curious to see what others use though. :+1:t2:

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We use Worship Planning, but I’m looking at moving us over to Church Community Builder at some point soon, which would overtake it.

Outside of paid software, I know that setting up simple spreadsheets can work really well for this sort of thing. I’ve seen a number of smaller churches do so with great success.

Markdown in service preparation.

All of us rely on the actions and inventions of people in the past, from the ancients who created letters to convey sounds in writing, to the scientists who discovered that colours are combinations of three cardinal colours for digital images, to the engineers who created means of turning electricity safely into heat to cook our food.

Try to identify one such invention that has made your life easier in your work and leisure today.

A very small but helpful invention on the world of writing is a simple style technique called Markdown. Invented and developed by John Gruber and Fletcher Penney, it uses simple texts like asterisks and underscores, vertical bars and hash tags to convey to computers thee style of text the author wants.

It can be written on any text editor - as it is simply text - but can then be used in a number of different situations to create styled and formatted text. This relatively simple process relies on a knowledge of CSS and the use of a processor to apply the styles in the CSS to the markdown text. On the MAC I use Brett Terpstra’s “Marked 2” for written documents and Unsigned Integer’s “Deckset” for presentation purposes. The same markdown text is also used on the iPad using 1writerapp.com’s “1Writer” or omz:software’s “Editorial” to show me the formatted text document containing both the presented text, and additional speaker notes.

Why Markdown?

My most frequent use of markdown is in writing service text, sermons and magazine materials. These need to be shared with people using Microsoft’s “MSWord”, or Serif’s new “Publisher” app, and any change in the transition from macOS to and from Windows 10, introduces errors, complexity and uncertainty. The simple content of a markdown text file reduces the risks and the size of the content being shared. From a productivity point of view, it also takes away the temptation to start fiddling with fonts and spacing in the document until the document is complete.

With Drafts and BB edit as my text editors, chosen depending on the route from markdown to output, my desk is a happy productive place.

@joebuhlig I also was going to suggest something like using Google drive and Google Sheets to coordinate worship planning.

This is a challenge I have encountered. Our pastors at our church embrace trying things and are able to work well with collaborative tools (google docs, etc). I lead a worship team at our church that helps plan and support worship. This group is more rooted in pen/paper. At times, it’s been tricky to try and make everyone happy. It continues to be a work in progress.