Hi all. Sorry for two posts in quick succession!
Recently, I have found out that several churches never found the One Date Donation Entry window, for quick entry of lots of donations all made on one day (e.g. the Sunday collection).
I also had a couple of bizarre support calls, where the described problem was that each week’s donations disappeared (from both the main window and all reports) after they entered the next week’s donations. It turned out that the users were entering the donations on the main widow, and rather than pressing F2 (or clicking New) to create a new line for the new donation, they were overwriting the fields from the previous week’s donation each time, thus replacing the old donation with the new one!
To address both of these concerns, I have come up with a set of changes/improvements to make to donation entry, which I want to run by you, and also ask you about a couple of naming issues. Here are the changes:
- Remove the New (F2) button.
- Whenever a new donor’s donations are displayed, an empty row for a new donation will immediately be added (as if you pressed F2 or the New button in the current program, but without putting you into edit mode, so you don’t have to use Save or Cancel before you can do anything else!). As usual, the default date and category will already be filled in to this empty row.
- It will go into edit mode when you enter the Amount field, or change any other field on that new empty row or any other row, and then you will have to press Save or Cancel to continue as usual.
- The menu option File -> New -> Donation F2 will be renamed to File -> New -> Donation (Edit empty row) F2, for clarity. This means that although there is no longer a New (F2) button above the donations, those who are used to using F2 to get into editing a new donation can still do so. (Or, just click the mouse into the new donation.) All this menu option or F2 will do will be to put you into the Date Received field for the empty row for a new donation, rather than adding another empty row.
- There will be a new option on the Donation tab of Maintenance -> Main Window Options for the donation Sort Order, choosing between “Oldest to Newest” (the current behaviour, which will be the default) and “Newest to Oldest”. (This is not directly related, but I’ve had it requested several times, and personally I think Newest to Oldest maybe more helpful.)
- The new empty row that’s added for inserting new donations will be at the end of the list when the sort order is “Newest to Oldest”, and at the start of the list when it is “Oldest to Newest”
- Where the New (F2) button used to be, there will be a new button, tentatively labelled Batch, that runs File -> One Date Donation Entry.
- File -> One Date Donation Entry will be renamed to something else, for clarity.
So first of all, how do these changes seem to you? I think they will actually simplify data entry of donations on the main window, and help avoid stupid errors like that described in the 2nd paragraph above. (Errors like that could cause some users trying out DONATION to think it’s buggy and give up on it, without even asking me what’s going on!)
I’m not entirely happy about the inconsistency these changes add, where there’s a New (F3) button for adding a new Donor, but adding a new Donation is automatic and doesn’t need a button. But given the layout, it makes sense, because obviously you have to display the existing donor when you select it from the list.
I want your assistance to help think of wording changes, though. The new button, that I said was tentatively called “Batch”, has to have a shortish one-word name so it fits into the current design, without taking up a lot more screen space. Any better ideas than “Batch”? I’m hoping that by having this button in the row of buttons above the Donation details, users in Churches who never found File -> One Date Donation Entry will at least think to try this, and then see what they were missing!
And what about a clearer name for One Date Donation Entry on the menu? I have considered “Quick Batch Entry” (to tie in with the “Batch” button), and “Sunday Collection Entry” (though I think that’s too specific to Christian churches, and not even all of them have their main services on Sundays). Any other ideas? I could go a bit longer, like “Quick Batch Donation Entry”, or “Sunday Collection Batch Entry”, or “Daily Collection Batch Entry”? What’s your preference?