Tag Archives: SignUpGenius

SignUpGenius – A Walkthrough

Since I just wrote my review of SignUpGenius, I figured I would follow it up with a post about how to use SignUpGenius. Now like before, SignUpGenius does the job although it’s a little ugly and with some annoying ads, but it is pretty easy and if it’s just you or a small team, then this could work for you so read on!

Step 1 – Creating your account

Super easy, all they need is your email, password and your name. From the home screen, just click the Login/Join button in the upper right hand corner.

Then fill out the required info as I mentioned above. Check out the image below. They do make a strong claim that they will never sell or share your data with other companies.

Step 2 – Start your first sign-up

Now that we have an account it is time to create our first sign-up. For this example, I’ll set up a parent-teacher conference sign-ups. So let’s get going.

Once you’re logged into your dashboard, you will notice that there is a button near the top right hand corner that says Create a Sign Up.

Now it will want some basic information. It wants a group and a title of the event. Later on, it will ask you to add email addresses. If you use this group again, those emails will automatically be loaded so you can inform them.

Step 3 – Themes galore!

Yep, they have a lot of themes to chose from. My own personal opinion is that they are pretty ugly though. I suggest choosing a white or light colored background. You’ll see why later. However, picking a theme is pretty easy. Just select what you want and click continue.

Step 4 – Date and time

Since this is a sign up, this is kind of important and SignUpGenius makes it pretty easy. Again, this example is for parent-teacher conferences so I’ve set a start and finish day and then set the intervals for the conferences.

Again, just click Continue to move on.

Step 5 – Slots

OK, this is really the only confusing part and it’s not that bad so don’t worry. Here is the screen for the next step.

You can add something for the Title Slot which might confuse people. I added You and your child’s name for some clarification. What is a little confusing here is that do you need to add that to each of the blanks or just the one? The good news here is just add it to one and it will replicate it. I guess this option is here in case you want different people to work on different things at different times. It is kind of clever but a little confusing at first blush.

You can also add how many people you want for each slot which is kind of nice, but unnecessary for this example.

Step 6 – Settings

This is pretty simple. You can make certain fields required and the like. Check out the image below – I think it speaks for itself.

Step 7 – Preview

The next step gives you a peak of what it will look like. Mine is ugly (see it below).

Step 8 – Invite and make it live

Now that you’ve seen your preview, it is time for the last step. Inviting people (which is optional) and making it live.

You can add the emails manually or by importing them from Microsoft’s email, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL mail or even through a CSV spreadsheet. When you are done, you can send the invites and make it live, just make it live and send no invites or continue to work on the draft.

Once it is live, SignUpGenius will provide you with a link so you can look at the actual live site – check mine out in all it’s glory.

Ahhhh – glorious.

There you have it! Those are the basics and should get you up and running.

http://www.signupgenius.com/

SignUpGenius for Parent Conferences – Not so fast! – UPDATE!

For years parent conferences have been done the old fashioned way. The teachers send home a form. The parents fill out the form, the teacher reviews the forms, checks with other teachers (for students with siblings) and then sets the times and then sends those times home. Then the parents respond back with other ideas and so on and so on.

OR

All the parents just show up at a given time and hope to get in to see the teacher they need to see.

Online sign up sites can help with this and we’ll be reviewing SignUpGenius today.

What does it do?

It lets teachers create their own sign up sheet for parent/conferences or any event that may require volunteers.

Cost?

It is free but they do have paid versions that cost $10-$50/month. You can find more information here by clicking HERE.

Does it work?

Yes – it does.

The Problem

This isn’t so much a problem as it is sticking an oval peg into a perfectly round hole. If your school doesn’t have an online sign up and it is all left up to you, then SignUpGenius is probably a really good solution. Honestly, set up isn’t too bad (I’ll go through with that in a later post) and all you have to do is email out a link to your parents or you can add their email accounts to SignUpGenius and have them send out an invitation email.

The problem comes if you want your entire school on SignUpGenius. Because SignUpGenius is not centrally managed. Meaning that each teacher is responsible for setting up their own sign up sheets, getting it out to parents.

Sure there are ways to “manage” it, but that requires someone to take on a bit more work. Each teacher will have to email their link to a “supervisor” (just a teacher who doesn’t mind taking on a few extra hours of work). That supervisor will make sure that it’s been set up correctly and then email back to those that need help. Then help those people.

Also, other parents can see who signed up for what. I’m not sure why this would be an issue, but if you wanted to schedule in a bathroom break parents may try to take advantage of that time (don;t shake your head – I’ve seen it before).

Another problem is that parents can sign up for more than one time. Sometimes, they just don’t know how to get rid of their first appointment, the other time or they are hedging their bets. Either way it causes a little work for the teacher.

If it were managed centrally, then all this would be taken care of. Allowing parents to sign up for more than one time slot can be controlled by one person, and all the teachers would be responsible for is making sure their name is correct, the room number is correct, do they want bathroom breaks and to be aware of which parent is coming at what time.

If you want to put your whole school on a system I recommend School Bookings. It’s not free, but it is not too expensive either and it is very easy to set up and use. Check out their pricing HERE.

Summing it up

Pros

Good for individual or small groups of teachers. Free for the most part and pretty easy to use.

Cons

Not good for an entire school because it is not centrally managed. Parents can see who has signed up. Parents can sign up for more than one time.
To sum it up, if it is just you or your team – then go ahead with SignUpGenius. School Bookings is just too much. If you want the entire school you will want something that is centrally controlled and managed like School Bookings. You can read my review (a few years old but it still stands up) HERE. The prices most likely have changed and I know the visual appearance has changed a little too.

People signing up don’t have to create an account but it sure looks like they need one and I find that a little misleading. I’ll detail this more in my next post.

Also there are ads on the free version.

Verdict

Should you use it – sure. I’m not a hater here (most times). This would work for individual teachers and small groups of teachers. Need a place for parents to sign up as volutneers? This is good! Want to hold a PD for your staff and want to know who is coming? Yep again. There are uses here but not on a whole school/district level. It becomes messy to scale it up to larger groups.

http://www.signupgenius.com/