What You Need to Know to Get Started

The Signup Place is an online signup sheets website with many features such as various reminder emails and the scheduling of signups.

You can join The Signup Place by registering. You will get three free signup sheets along with six credits to get you started. Activating or starting a signup page will typically cost two to three credits based on its size. You can purchase credits for $1USD each.

Building Your First Signup

Registering will create your organization’s Signup Place account. You will then be able to access the administration interface where you can manage your member groups, signup templates and signups.

A signup page is simply a table of volunteer slots, just like a signup page posted on an office wall. Each slot is a link that can be clicked to sign up. After clicking, that member’s name will be assigned to the slot.

The Tournament example is small signup table, Sue is currently logged in (indicated by her name appearing in red) Sue can click any "Volunteer" link to take that position. Her name will replace the word “Volunteer” in the table.

This software was originally created for a dog sports club running events that needed volunteers to be coordinated. The club membership does most of the volunteering. Competitors and friends also volunteer. The club membership is maintained in a private group. A private group can only be joined using a link/URL address provided to the members through a website, sent out by email or shared on social media. The friends (non-members) that volunteer join using a public group. The public group can be joined using a link like any group, but it can also be joined from within a signup page. In order to take a volunteer slot, users must be logged in. If a user is not logged in when they click the take link, a page is shown that asks the user to log into one of their groups. Your members will join a group using a join form that you can customize with text and images, as well as a full choice of additional information fields.

Each signup design has a set of groups associated with it that define the user scope of the signup system. A signup specifying only private groups will not be publicly viewable, and all users will need to login to see the signup page and signup slots. A signup must have a public group to be viewable publicly. Anyone will be able to join the public group and take signup slots.

You can publish your signup pages using links on your website, in emails, in texts or on social media. Let group members find them listed on their member home page and list them in an automated Signup Place activation email to group members.

Tech-savvy individuals can design different signup pages and forms to match the look and feel of their own website by playing with the HTML code (this site uses BootStrap). The top banner will have links including a home page that lists signup pages and taken volunteer positions, a list of available signup pages, a login name, and a The Signup Place logo link. There is no page footer. The example below shows Sandy from the "Friends" group in an Organization named "Dogz".

Once you register, the first thing you should do is define the groups for your signup designs to use; private and public. The join-URL-address is provided on the group properties page. A default group named "Members" is created for you that has a simple join form (it should be customized). You can have any number of groups; you designate the desired set of groups on each signup which gives control of who can take in the signup.

The interface uses consistent terminology.

Template A signup design that can be activated into a signup (many times).
Signup An interactive web-based signup sheet with messages.
Table A set of rows, columns, cells (where slot links to take are found).
Cell Intersection of row and column where takes happen. A member can take a cell.
Take The action of a member signing up in a cell. Also a noun indicating cell has been taken, as in a signup take count (takes).
Take Link A link the member clicks to take the cell; the default link text is "Volunteer".
Untake The action of removing a take from a cell.
Taken The state of a cell having had a take done on it.
Needed The number of takes wanted for a cell.
All Taken The state of having been fully signed up (the number needed fulfilled).
Taker The member that has taken a cell.
Takers The set of members that have taken a cell, table or signup.
Happen Date The date on a signup, table, row, column and cell. Used for putting dates on a Signup that are not hard coded - they can be specified relative to each other and other dates
Variable A numeric value on each member of a group used for concepts like volunteer hours.

You can create a signup template from scratch, copied from one of your existing Signups or Templates, or copied from any one of our many samples.

The signup table design interface allows you create the tables. Each signup can have several tables with the take always happening on a link in a table cell.

The properties of each cell/row/column/table are controlled by a powerful inheritance mechanism where all the defaults come from the parent; the top one being the signup properties. Exceptions to the signup properties can then be set at the table, row, and column levels, overriding the properties coming down from the hierarchy. For example, the signup could define the number needed count to be 3. A table could override the 3 and make all that table's cells have 2 needed (needing 2 signup takers). Then a row in the table could override the 2 and make it 5; so that table would have 2 needed in all cells except for a row of 5 needed, all other tables would have 3 needed. Then make a cell in the row need 10. The example signup tables show this configuration.

Features are explained in the property pages; select More... links to get more information. Every feature is supplied with a suitable default value; please don't feel intimidated by all the different options, you can ignore most of them except for name (in table, column, and row). You should look at the different options; you will find many of them useful as your understanding of The Signup Place grows.

You can activate (start) each template into a signup over and over. Dates go in the signup name (by default), not the template name.

Many display values can use substitutions that represent different values that are set at signup display time. Substitutions take the form |ValueToReplace|. The substitution |Date| always represents the object's (signup, table, row, column or cell) happen date using the date format specified on the object. Using |Date| you can create a template that can be used repeatedly (also scheduled showing the correct dates). All the samples are built with soft substitution dates using |Date| and |Time|. Click the More... links for the substitutions you can use, there are lots.

Once you have completed the template definition, you go to properties to activate the template into a signup. Credits are spent on activation. Dates are important to control the signup generated.

Signup Appear Date Date the signup becomes viewable and members can take slots (in the signup).
Happen Date Your event date, used for date substitutions; |Date| and |Time|.
Signup Stop Date Stop taking date, signup will still viewable.
Signup Done Date The signup and all its take data is deleted.

Dates can be set relative to each other in the template so that promoting a template to signup requires only one actual date, typically the happen date. All dates include a time. You can schedule templates to generate signups which requires the dates to have a single real date (all others being relative).

A member can take a slot by touching the take link, or you can optionally create a take form; a form the taker will fill out when they take a cell. It can be configured to include a list of check boxes for the cells in the cell's row or column, which can encourage people to take more related cells and provide a method to untake (by unchecking). On the take form you can ask for information like "What are you bringing to the potluck?" or comments, which can be displayed in the cell with the taker's name. There is also a post take form where a taker can change their take form values and untake using the checkboxes (which can be the same as the take form). By default, members just click on a take (Volunteer) link to take and click on their name to untake (when there are no take forms).

Each group member has their own home page that lists what the member has taken, all the available Signups, variable changes, and variable values including values not done and earned.