One of the most helpful features that I’ve found in my church management software has been the Planning Center Workflow feature. This feature is located within the people app, and is accessible both from mobile devices and computers via an internet browser.

What is a Planning Center Workflow?

Basically a workflow within Planning Center allows you to create a software system to perform and track tasks that you will be repeating on a regular basis. The system can even remind you to do certain tasks if you desire.

People are the center of workflows. When you add someone to a workflow (covered below), the system will create a “card” to be added into their record. This card can be accessed anytime you view that person’s record in planning center people, and when you are creating or using lists in planning center people.

How does a Planning Center Workflow Work?

Workflows can remind a person to take particular actions. They can also ensure that a system or process is performed in the same way every time by breaking it down into small steps. After each step is finished the user will mark it as completed, sending the person to the next step in the workflow. Planning Center will even send you a reminder if you have cards that are awaiting your action.

How do I Create a Planning Center Workflow?

You have to create a workflow. There are no pre-made workflows in planning center people. However you are welcome to copy and adapt the workflows that I talk about on this blog. We are all on the same team!

You will need to name the workflow and then assign it a category and select “create workflow.” Then you will be returned to your list of workflows. At this point you can select the workflow you just made. Now you will want to click the “Add a step” button in the middle of the screen.

You will then need to fill in the details of your step, as I have in the screen below.

Planning Center Workflow 1_image

I’ve given this step the name, “Schedule a Meeting”. I’ve written a description of what I expect to happen during this step, “Receptionist will input data and schedule a meeting”. Next, I’ve also selected a default assignee, in this case our receptionist. Note that you can have different assignees at different steps as you will see in the next step I create. Finally, I have entered that there is an expected response time of 3 days. So, after three days the system will send our receptionist a notification that the card is overdue.

Now I’ll create another step called “Meet with the person” following the same procedure.Planning Center Workflow 2_image

Notice that I have changed the assignee to myself. This will cause the following actions to occur. First the card will be assigned to our receptionist to schedule a meeting. Then she will mark the step completed. At that point I will receive a notification that I have a card that requires action. So, planning center handles the communication in this process automatically.

How do I Assign Someone to a Planning Center Workflow?

You assign people to a workflow. You can do this by viewing their profile and clicking the “Workflows” tab on the left-hand side bar. Or, you can click on the “workflows” tab at the top in the blue ribbon. Then, you select the workflow and then press the blue “Add someone to workflow” button on the left-hand side. Then you can type in a name and if they are in your system select that name. If they are not in your system, you’ll have the option to “create a new person.”

Conclusion about Planning Center Workflows

I hope that as a result of this blog post you will be able to create your own planning center workflow and assign people to it. I think I should note that you can access your workflows from the mobile app. It’s a great feature because most of the time I’m talking to someone I’m not sitting at my computer. At Greenwood, we use workflows to ensure that people receive the level of pastoral care that we strive to achieve. By using workflows to track the progress of our pastoral duties we are able to easily keep records of actions and rest assured that we did not forget someone. We have found that as our church grows and our workload grows, workflows are integral for us in scaling our same standard of pastoral care.

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