Top-Down Initial Setup
Before anything else:
- Click on the Guided Tour and UI Basics links.
- Decide your group's security policies.
Then use Configure Group
to setup your password, privilege-level, and self-registration policies.
Populate your people database:
- Read this overview.
your registration form as desired.
- If you are going to use Import People,
specify privilege levels in the import file as desired.
- Use Import People
and/or use admin-Register Person
and/or solicit self-registrations.
When you run your first event:
- Use Create Event to get going.
- Then do the Running-an-Event checklist.
(Some of its items will be real quick
if you can base your new event on a sample event).
Make your website public
- Use Configure Group
to setup the page trim you want (e.g. your group logo).
- Tell people how to access your site.
*This becomes required if
you decide to allow people to self-register, do self-signups, view event schedules, or view signups
done on their behalf.
Build a signup procedure:
- Review these design considerations.
- Click on Make Signup Schedule. Then create the event's signup schedule(s).
As part of this (or from Manage Activities),
create the activities people can signup for.
- If you have info you want people to supply when they signup,
use Make Signup Form to create and update a form for entering
- Click on Setup Auto-Messages. Then specify which actions send
a confirmation message to the affected person.
If desired, customize the auto-messages themselves.
Setup desired info sharing:
- If you want to provide instructions on the event's self-signup page,
enter them on the Update Event Properties page.
- If you want to provide people the big picture of what goes
on at your event, use Make Event Synopsis.
- If you want reports about the signups you get, create them using Make/Output Report.
Solicit and manage signups:
- If/when you want to allow self-signups,
set the event's web stage to Published.
- Announce your event, as described
If desired, save a draft for later use.
- Later, use Email Announcement to send everyone a reminder (or
use it to schedule automatic reminders).
When the event is over:
- If desired, use Email Announcement to send Thank You notes to everyone who helped out.
- Update event's Web Stage when/if desired.
PRESTO's Factory Settings
- Passwords. 4+ letter passwords required, and admin-registers create
a default password.
- Self-registration. Allowed.
- Initial privilege-level. Self-only.
- Group-specific bottom-of-page links. None.
- Top-left corner logo. The PRESTO logo.
- Special email addresses. None.
- Pre-defined reports. Badges, Postal Addresses, and Sign-in Sheet.
- Public fields: Person's Name*, Email Address, Phone Numbers, Postal Address.
- Admin-only fields: Membership Expiration date, Privilege Level*.
- Roles field and Representing registration fields turned off.
- Confirmation and notification messages. Do them for self-signups but not self-cancels.
Do them for all admin signup actions and Allow Editing.
- Signup form. Just person's name.
- Event synopsis. None.
Populating Your People Database
Initially there are no people in your database. You need to populate
your database because only registered people can be signed up.
It is also what enables people to login.
If your group has a computerized list of past volunteers or the like, you
can use Import People to get this list into PRESTO all at once.
For other people, you and/or the people themselves
will have to do Register Person commands to enter this data.
Either way, beforehand you need to think about privileges,
your registration form, and the Roles registration field;
and afterwards, you need to tell your users about your PRESTO website.
Importing Non-default Privileges
Suppose you are planning to do an Import. Suppose further you know who
in the import file should get an initial privilege
level different than the one setup in Configure Group.
If so, you might want to set their privilege levels
within the import file
so that you do not have to do Update Person commands afterwards.
Customizing your Registration Form
Before you populate your database, you need to decide if you want to
customize your registration form. You might want to:
- Add and position fields that are specific to your group.
- Unhide the Roles built-in field, see the next section for more on this.
- Omit some built-in fields from your form.
- Write Help for your fields, or tweak the Help for built-in fields.
You use Customize Registration Form to make these changes. However if you
are planning on doing an Import that includes your group-specific fields,
you can save a little work by doing the
Import 1st — because it will do the Adds for you.
Using the Roles field
Roles enable you to selectively deal with people in your database. For example,
you might want to send an announcement to just the people with some role. Additionally
there are some PRESTO features that rely on roles. Either way, it would be a good
idea to decide what roles you want to use before you populate your people database.
Note: the Roles field is turned off in new groups. If you plan to use
roles, you must go to the Customize Registration page and do an Add Field command
with Field Name set to "roles".
These are: inactive, guest, and sponsor.
The inactive role causes a login attempt to fail
with a "Logins-not-allowed" message.
The guest role must be a person's only role.
The sponsor role must be a person's first role.
(Otherwise they are treated as normal roles and have no special meaning).
The signup of such a person is highlighted with a bluish color in the admin UI.
The guest role means the person is a "limited member". The side-effects
of this are:
- The email address and phone number of a guest is never shown on a self-signup page.
- A login by a guest will fail with a "Logins-not-allowed" message.
The sponsor role allows one to do "anonymous signups"
on behalf of others. That is, a sponsor can be signed up for
overlapping schedule items or multiple times for the same item.
A sponsor signup can later be given to another person, by
displaying the spot's signup form and filling in the Give Spot to field.
A member with this role might be a pseudo-person (like the WeHelp
organization) or a real person. Either way, you are trusting the sponsor to really
"deliver" the number of people she signed up. (So it is okay
for a real-person sponsor to "keep" 1 signup for herself).
When a sponsor uses the self-signup UI,
the signup button never goes away and her signups are shown below it.
Conversely if you do not want sponsor self-signups (or give-to's), simply
leave the email address blank in the sponsor's registration form.
Examples of sponsor usage:
- The WeHelp organization promises to supply
8 volunteers to answer phones at some fundraiser, but who they are
is not yet known OR not ever known. The latter case is always okay but
is particularly for when the actual volunteers are not members of your group.
- You have people who are uncomfortable using web apps. You could make a trusted person
responsible for signing them up by giving that person the Sponsor role.
- The BallBusters league at a tennis club needs to reserve 6 courts each week,
but is not in a position to use Import Signups to
identify who is playing on each court each week. So instead 6 anonymous
signups will be placed in a rolling template.
Orienting New People
Just as you told all your current people how to access your group when it got started
you probably want to give each future registrant the same sort of info.
You can automate this if desired:
- Create email messages in the Drafts folder named: New [category].
(Normally you would enter no recipients. But if there are people you always
want to "CC" when someone is registered, you may enter them).
- Then when some category of person registers, she will automatically be sent the
- The message is also sent when you use Update to give an email-less registered person
an email address.
There are 3 cases for category:
- The message named New  is sent to people who have
no roles in their registration info.
- The message named New [1st role] is sent to people whose first
role is that (e.g. New [Guest] is sent to new guests).
- If no role-specific message exists for the new person, the system
sends New [*] if it exists.
A conditional activity will be
included on a person's self-signup page only if the person's registration
info contains a role with the same spelling as that activity's
Base Name. For details, click here.
Announcing your PRESTO website and/or an Event
It is important to recognize that you are providing a new user interface for your
people. It may be a simple interface, but you still need to get them started.
Also it is a good
idea to test out your instructions on a small group of people before you
make a general announcement.
Last but not least, you might find that saving drafts
of your announcements will save you time in the long run.
Note that your needs will probably change over time. For your first
event, your message might contain both website
and event instructions. Then depending
on how far apart in time your events are, your later event announcements might
omit more or less detail.
The sections below discuss generally the things you must cover.
You of course may need to include instructions that are specific to your
group. The annotated example
below will hopefully give you a sense of the extra things you might want to include.
Finally after your group is up and running, occasionally a new person will register.
So you ought to send her an analogous message to what is described below.
See here for how to automate doing this.
Announcing a Website whose People Database is Already Populated
To do this:
- Go to the Email Announcement page.
- Decide who the announcement is from and who should handle replies.
Large groups tend to prefer using email addresses of the
group rather than personal email addresses.
- You will probably want to set your TO-list to Everyone in Database using
the rightmost dropdown menu.
- Include the address of your PRESTO website in the message,
as described here.
- Include Login instructions in the message:
- For password policy of None, include: "if you need to login,
click on the Login button".
- For the other policies, include: "if you need to login,
enter !p.password! and click on the Login button".
You can type the
!p.password! yourself, or use the Insert-recipient's dropdown menu
and select Password. As shown below,
this is automatically personalized per recipient.
Example Login instructions, and personalization for
user whose Basic/Auto password=3579:
Go to LINK(prestogem.com/vo/example=0+0). If you need to login,
enter !p.password! and click on the Login button.
depending on whether this user has since created her own password.
Go to prestogem.com/vo/example.
If you need to login,
enter 3579 and click on the Login button.
Go to prestogem.com/vo/example.
If you need to login,
enter the password you created and click on the Login button.
Announcing a Website While Relying on Self-Registration
This approach is mostly of interest to groups that are not in a position
to pre-register their current contact list using Import People.
Via whatever mediums you wish to use (e.g. your regular email client), send
a message to your current contact list that includes at least the following:
- The address of your PRESTO website
(as described here).
- Something like:
"If you have not yet registered,
click on the Register link at the top of the page and
then fill in the form and click on the Register button. If you have already
registered, click on the Login link and enter the email and password you
- You might want to mention that instructions are available
beneath the registration form — particularly if you have a tall form.
Announcing an Event
Click on Email Announcement
and follow the instructions above for setting the From, Reply-to, and To fields.
If you are allowing self-signups:
- If this is not part of a website announcement,
you might want to start with some how-to-login instructions — see above.
- Include something that equates to:
"To signup to do something, click on a schedule in the Schedules column of
the What's Going On table. Then click on the button of the desired activity".
(Note: your actual instruction could be quite a bit different. For
example, if you have just 1 event going on and it has
just 1 schedule named Volunteer Signup and it uses a List layout,
your actual instruction might be:
"To choose what you want to volunteer for,
click on Volunteer Signup and then on the Signup for This button of the desired job
and time slot".)
- Tell people how to fill out the signup form displayed when
a Signup button is clicked. If you have not created
a signup form of your own,
this is simply "click on OK and you're done".
- If you have setup activity descriptions, signup-form help, or event-specific
self-signup instructions, you might want to mention that they can click on these
help links while doing a self-signup.
If you are only doing admin-signups or allowing that as well,
you will need to:
- Tell people how to contact you.
- Include a list of the things they can signup for.
- Tell people the info they need to supply so that you can do a signup on their behalf.
Either way, if you have setup automatic confirmation messages, you might want to mention that.
(of announcing your website and telling
already-registered people how to do signups)
(As noted in the message, some of the bullets below may not apply to
your group. Similarly you may want to provide fewer or more how-to details than are shown here).
You can reserve courts, see your upcoming reservations, and cancel
courts 24x7 by logging into our new PRESTO website. You can also still call
To access PRESTO and login:
- Click on LINK(prestogem.com/vo/put your group ID here=0+0)
to go to your group's home page.
- Note: you might want to bookmark this page for quick access in the future.
- If you need to login,
enter !p.password! and click on the Login button.
[As noted above, the !p.password! is automatically
replaced by each recipient's actual info].
To reserve a court:
- Choose a Schedule that contains the court you want. For example, if you want
a court on Tuesday at 6PM, you would click on the Tuesday link in the Schedules column
of the What's Going On table.
- Scroll to a not-taken court/time and click on its Reserve button,
[Your button labels may differ — depends on your activity
types and schedule layouts].
- To complete the process, click on OK in the box that pops up.
- Note: to see who has reservations at some time, click on the Zoom
checkbox to the right of the court time.
[APPLIES ONLY IF you set this up by giving your people
See All Signups privilege or higher].
To cancel a court:
- Click on the reservation's Cancel It link.
- Note: your reservations appear in two places: at the bottom of
Self-Signup Home and at the same
places in the schedule where you made the reservations.
Automatic email messages:
- After you reserve or cancel a court, the system emails you a
[APPLIES ONLY IF you choose to set this up — see Setup Auto-Messages page].
- On the day a reservation is for (unless reserved the same day), a
reminder is emailed to you.
[APPLIES ONLY IF you choose to set this up —
see When to Deliver... on Email Announcement page].
- These messages apply even if you reserved by phone.
Using temporary schedule views:
- This can
be helpful when you are reserving a court via the small screen of a smart phone.
- To do this,
click on the Magnifying Glass icon to the left of a schedule's name.
Then fill out the form as desired and click on the Display View
- For example, if you are interested in available courts on Tuesday
starting at 6PM or 6:30PM, you would
check the Only match items still available to you box,
enter 6 and 630 in the two Start Time fields, and
enter Tuesday and Thursday in the two Day of Week fields.
To design the web pages for your event,
you need to make choices on how to
present it to people. For example,
you might want to create two PRESTO events to describe your overall event
if you put it on over two weekends.
[Always under construction -- more ideas appreciated]
The classic event involves people being someplace for some number of days.
Accordingly the schedules for such events contain on-site activities.
you are actually doing a planning exercise. For example,
you want people to fill out a questionnaire, and you want this info by
some date. In this case, you should create planning
activities whose type is Questionnaire, rather than on-site activities.
You can create empty questionnaires and use the
signing-up or not as the answer to a question. However it is more
flexible to have a questionnaire activity whose signup
form has multiple questions.
For example, suppose you are asking Election Officers about
re-appointment and whether they can work at the November election.
A form with these 3 fields is one way of doing it:
|Field Name||Field Type
|Interested in Re-appointment?||2-item menu (Yes, No)
|Time preference?||4-item menu (Morning, Afternoon, Neither, Don't care)
|Comments?||Multi-line text field
An Event is more than a Schedule
Designing your web pages is only part of the job. You also need to consider the
overall flow of things. In particular,
different kinds of events have different communication needs. For example, for
a book sale, a please-sign-up announcement and a signup-reminder announcement
might meet your needs. But for a party, you might want to send out a Who's
Coming announcement to everyone before the party.