Here’s how we’ve organized our Elders Quorum: We have a Google Sites site, and it links to all the important documents people might need.
After the home page, we have a page for the sacrament. There’s a Google Spreadsheet embedded in the page that can be edited by anyone on the web. So our Elders use that page to easily sign up for preparing, blessing, and passing the sacrament. Our Sacrament Coordinator makes sure the list is always filled out ahead of time, and he does a great job.
The next tab lists the teaching schedule with another embedded Google Spreadsheet. Only the instructors and the presidency have editing privileges for this doc. But the whole quorum can see the schedule and keep up with the reading. If an instructor can’t teach during his week, it’s easy for him to coordinate swapping days with someone else. Our instructors have been doing super well with this too.
Next we have a page that lists District Leaders (in case anyone missed the memo). There’s a link to a private Google Spreadsheet in which home teaching is recorded. The district leaders and the presidency are the only ones who have access to see or edit this doc. I’ll show you a bit of it below.
This is the home teaching spreadsheet. It lists companionships and the elders and sisters they’re assigned to look after. District leaders can report directly whether those individuals were served (according to the goals set by districts—and these actually vary slightly by district). They can also insert comments on each individual for every month so there’s a running record of how people are doing. A spreadsheet like this also makes it a cinch to give a monthly report to the Stake Presidency (you can tally numbers automatically).
Here’s the TEMPLATE for this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AkLuDGvEmEgJdC15M0xETkR4R3RTWHpJdmhTNXhPLVE&usp=sharing
Finally, we have a tab for the presidency—which is a list of links to some private Google Docs that the presidency uses to collaborate. Only the presidency can see and edit these docs.
This has been a helpful one-stop hub to keep our quorum communicating and collaborating.
We’d like to hear what you think and whether you’ve implemented anything similar. If so, how’d it go?
And one more thing:
We may be a singles ward, but we’re a serious Elders Quorum. We work hard, and we play hard. It’s rough and tumble—it’s wild and wooly—but IT IS FUN.
This is awesome, thanks for sharing! What a great idea. I have the Google Docs all setup similarly to what you have, but never thought about integrating everything into one Google Site.
In the screenshot of the spreadsheet, you can see basically all the data we collect. The only thing you can’t observe is that the cells are limited to four responses (validation): Hit, Miss, EQP, N/A. And then it just totals those entries at the top so we’re all ready to report to the stake presidency.
As a presidency, we have discussed the privacy issue—all the district leaders can see who has and hasn’t done their home teaching. But so far we’re okay with that. (We like to be proud of our hits and our misses—after all, nobody’s perfect.) I like your idea of using a form though. Sounds more complicated to set up, but it fixes the privacy problem.
Thanks for your feedback!
I googled for “Elders’ Quorum website” and this was one of the *relevant* hits. I like this idea. I’ve been using a weekly e-mail newsletter with links to various google docs and spreadsheets, but I like the idea of putting everything into a website so that it’s accessible at any time.
P.S. my wife Sarah is your cousin and she thought it was great that I stumbled on your article.
Do you have a copy of your form that feeds the spreadsheet? We have mulled using a similar process, but got hung up on how to set up the form. Thanks for the suggestions.
We actually did use forms. Instead we had the district leaders edit the spreadsheet manually.
I’m curious to see what improvements you’ve made over time. I’d love to implement this in my Quorum. You may not be there anymore, but I’d like to see the final product if I could.
This was in a singles ward, so this went on for about a year total, and we didn’t iterate much after the intitial plan. I’d love to hear your thoughts or innovations though.
I think overall it is a good idea. We do most of our YSA stuff on Facebook nowadays just because it’s easy. I’ve tried doing Google Sheets or Excel for HT or member records but I always have to do it manually which was and is a massive pain. Any plans on how to get data from LDS tools or MLS into the website without having to be manual? Also, what was the response of your ward? Did the sacrament page get filled out usually? Any way to set up reminders for the Elders? Like if they sign up to pass, they get an email or something the Saturday before reminding them?
Lots of questions I know. Feel free to answer/not answer any or all
We never imported data from LDS tools. And our home-teaching district leaders liked the system. Lots of the rest didn’t use it much. It’s hard to get high compliance levels. Not sure about reminders either, but I’d love to hear your ideas.