Prior: Part 15: Rules to Calendar and Live By: Some More

Over the years, I have developed the following rules to ensure the digital tools’ success. All you have to do is follow them when you enter an event on one of the calendars or manage the calendars. Using them will solve and prevent a lot of problems. These basic rules can be used as a quick reference guide/checklist. This is the third post of these rules.

Here’s today’s checklist:
  • Always calendar and schedule building resources for all events.
  • Make information detailed and complete. Answer all the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how.
  • Correct or remove inaccurate information immediately.
Always calendar AND schedule building resources for all events.

“Creating an event with a specified Church location will reserve the specified building and rooms for the event. You do not need to contact a building scheduler to do this for you.” link

This is done at the same time and on the same digital form. If you don’t schedule the building you aren’t really creating an event, are you? You cannot expect to hold the event in the building unless you reserve the building resources.

I know there are some problems that occur. One involves not being able to schedule what you want because it isn’t an option on the form. This is the stake’s responsibility. Only the stake has the ability to add all the relevant rooms and equipment to the scheduling form. If it isn’t there, take it up with them. They CAN do it, whether they know it or not. The stake clerk is the first one to query.

Another problem is that people aren’t scheduling setup and cleanup times. You need to do this, even if it is only 15 minutes. You cannot expect to start your event at the exact same time another event is ending even though the computer will let you do this. There must be some dead time in between events, even if it exists only for people to leave the room.

Ideally, you should be able to schedule equipment as well. However, I’ve not been in a stake yet that had this under control and added to the room/equipment list but there’s always hope.

Make all the information detailed and complete. You MUST answer all the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how.

Digital tools are for DETAILS!

We need to get away from the paper system tradition of only listing the name of the event, the time and the date. People need to know more and with the digitals tools they can!

When any of this information is absent, people will know that some sort of event is happening, but they won’t have enough information with which to participate. This is horribly alienating and damaging in so many ways. It’s like saying, “We’re having a party and you’re not invited!

Never leave off anything necessary for people to fully participate in an event. I’ve even conducted my own assessment of this in the past. For example, I reviewed all the stake and ward events over a three month period and determined that even the basic information for minimal knowledge and participation was missing over 60 percent of the time. I confined my analysis to past events so no one could claim that they were working on it and I needed to be patient.

Never assume people know anything. Always assume everyone is clueless and needs as much detail as possible.

Real Life Example: Trunk or Treat event

My ward recently held a Trunk or Treat event. I’m not going to criticize this effort because I happen to really like events like this for reasons I’ll explain. It is just that more information would have really been helpful to allow everyone to participate fully.

It was a well-attended, fun and successful event by all accounts. However, people like me have lingering questions. One reason I like Trunk or Treat is that single people can be involved. This does not hold true for most Halloween events and traditions.

If you don’t have kids, you don’t have any reason to be up on Halloween type events like this. When traditional trick or treat got scary, kids stopped coming to my home. I heard about Halloween parties for the kids at school and at church but I had no reason to be involved.

What’s more, if single people do try and insert themselves or get involved in kids’ events, people’s current paranoia will likely suggest they are a pedophile of some sort. This is especially true for men. Good men steer clear of these situations. As a single woman, I had to be careful too.

However, it is so much fun to see the little ones all dressed up, excited over the events and candy and just cute as the dickens. It’s fun for us too, regardless of our age or status. I want to be involved in Trunk or Treat.

But I have questions the publicity simply didn’t answer. For example, it said, “Trunk Set Up: (decorate your trunk and have candy to pass out). Although I’ve seen some pictures of some decorated trunks and know some basics, how exactly does that work?

If I’d been to an event, even one Trunk or Treat event, in the past, I would know something like where and how do I park? Who can tell me? Will someone guide me when I get there? I can assume it takes place in the parking lot but other than that I’m clueless.

How much candy? I don’t have a clue as to how many kids are Primary age. I don’t have anything to guide me on how to prepare. I don’t have kids now and I’ve never had kids in the past. Help! How many kids, approximately, should I prepare for? I don’t want to run out of candy or be unprepared for something.


There are others like me!

The publicity we got was probably suitable for most people, especially those already familiar with these types of events and certainly those who have children. For others, we need more information.

Luckily, the “Event Details” portion of the digital calendars allows for this information. You can put quite a lot there. You just can’t divide it into paragraphs or format it in any way. I can live with that problem as long as the details I need are there.

Please, give everybody enough information to fully participate! Don’t just give us cryptic information and expect us to somehow know the rest. We often don’t.

Digital tools can and should contain details.

Correct or remove inaccurate information immediately!

Inaccurate information is always corrected quickly when given verbally or in the paper tools. Why it is allowed to persist in digital tools is puzzling.

This was a severe problem in one of my stakes. People were showing up for events that had either been rescheduled or canceled altogether but no one had bothered to update this on the digital calendars.

Obviously, this is a problem for these poor people and the non-existent events they are trying to attend. However, there are larger implications.

When you allow inaccurate information to persist on the digital calendars, you are training people to believe that information on these tools is unreliable. This holds true for all events, even if the information for other events is reliable. This could impact things now and far into the future.

In the past, the Church had counseled that if we are going to use the tools, they need to be kept current. This is still excellent advice.

Assignment for Leaders:
  • Review the events to see if people are scheduling building resources properly. Contact those who aren't and encourage them to do better and/or change it yourself.
  • Review the information currently on the calendars. Seek to make it complete, especially anything under your jurisdiction.
  • If you see any inaccurate information, get it edited/removed immediately!
Assignment for Members:
  • Commit to scheduling all building resources if you ever have to enter an event on the calendars.
  • Review the information currently on the calendars. What additional information would be needed to make it complete. Ask the requisite leaders for it.
  • If you see any inaccurate information, check who last updated the event information and ask them to edit/remove it.

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