Category Archives: New Stuff

Contains details of our new feature that we have released.

Text Messages are GO!

We ticked off another one of our ‘big ticket’ items the other day – adding support for text messaging into teamstuff. So that we’re clear, we’re talking about the ability for teamstuff to notify you via a text message straight to your phone. So when the coach cancels training – you get a text message – rather than a push notification or email.

There’s probably two key benefits to go for text messaging as your preferred communications style.

  1. Every mobile phone in the world can get a text message (!) ( as opposed to push notifications which are restricted to Android and iOS phones )
  2. Text messages are inherently ‘louder’ and harder to ignore than push – so they’re more easily noticed by your team members

There’s also one big downside for teamstuff – they cost us real money – per text message. So we’ve introduced text messages as a paid feature – in fact our first paid feature. So the idea is that if you the user ( not the team, not the club ) would prefer text messages, then you buy a ‘bundle’ of messages. We still think that there’s a place for push notifications and for emails – but if it’s your preference to get text messages, well we now support that too. No problems! Take a look into your Account Settings on the web.

Adding your Phone Number

Just jump online, and find your Account Settings. From here, you can choose to get Text Messages rather than Push Notifications. To do this, you’ll then need to register your mobile – and verify it’s yours. Like Google – we’ll send you a random code to your mobile to prove it’s you.

This is where you update your phone number, and choose Text as your preferred notification style

This is where you update your phone number, and choose Text as your preferred notification style

Now that you’ve registered yourself, you’ll need to buy a bundle of text messages. Now the cost of these varies by country – for me here in Australia they are relatively expensive. The effective price you pay varies too based on how many you buy, but to give an indication they vary from 2c to 3c per text in the US, and from 10 to 13c per text in Australia.

Just in case you’re interested – we are using stripe.com as the payments provider. Many reasons why ( including easy ability for us to integrate into ) , but one of the best reasons is security. Teamstuff never deals with credit cards – stripe does all that hard work. Once a transaction is successful – they’ll let us know and you get your bundle of text messages.

OK – after that – you might want to look at your Notification Settings. These let you personalise what you receive from us and how you receive it.

Allowing you lots of choice about when and how you might be notified.

Allowing you lots of choice about when and how you might be notified.

And the end result – the teamstuff central servers start talking to your phone directly using text messages.

Note : We support the US and Australia for text messages at the moment. More coming soon.

Why Can’t You Use Your Own Text Account?

Most all people with mobiles can send text messages – and very often it’s a lot cheaper than what we pay for. So we’re frequently asked whether we can integrate from your own account. And the very clear and simple answer is no – it’s not possible. The text messages we send come from the teamstuff servers ( for example, when sending a reminder text message for a duty ) – not from your phone – so we pay integration partners ( such as twilio amongst others). We have no ability to send a text message spontaneously from your phone, or your account.

Know Thy Team ( Do You? )

How many teams are you a part of? How many new players and new parents are you suddenly spending a large portion of your weekend with? One of the challenges of teams sport is trying to remember everyone – both who they are and which player belongs to which parent. Teamstuff now has you sorted. How? Just go landscape.

When you are next at the game or training – jump onto the app, and go into landscape mode. That is – just turn your phone 90 degrees. Boom! Some magic happens here and you’ll see your team in a whole new way.

Here’s my “Incredibles Football Team” in all their glory.

So straight away – you can see all the players – beautiful hi-res photos with names and numbers. Sweet! But what if you have lots of players – well that top panel is scrollable left and right. So just slide it anywhere you need. To get more details on a player – touch their profile at top. Down below you’ll see some more details, including parents if this is a kids team. But what if you don’t know them yet by name? What if you just watched number 15 make a saving kick out of defence? Got that handled too. Touch the person icon on the top bar – and it shows some display choices.

Now you can show by player numbers, and suddenly it turns out that the brave player who cleared the ball is actually Noah! “Great kick Noah” sounds a whole lot better than “Great kick number 15 whoever you are” now doesn’t it?

You can also sort by the parents on the team – a great way to quickly put those faces to names.

Contacting Players and Parents
There’s plenty of times when you’ll want to contact other players or parents in your team. And the team display has this covered. Just find the player or parent – and touch on their photo on the player card. Suddenly you’ll see something like the following.

In the example above, Vigle is Decalano’s dad – and he’s only listed his email in teamstuff – so that’s the only choice you have. But if he had his mobile you’d see other choices there too – such as texting or calling. Note of course that we respect your privacy choices – so the amount of contact information seen here is of course very much under your control.

Updating Photos and Player Numbers
The last trick here to make your life easier – is that coaches and managers have the ability to set the players team number and their photo directly from the player card. Just touch the number to update it – couldn’t be any easier.
For player photos – coaches and managers can only  update the players profile photos if none have been provided by the player or parent. It’s a great way to get the team setup on the first training – and let parents and players improve from there should they want to.

We’ve already had some fantastic feedback on this feature – and we hope you love using it as much as we loved making this little beauty.

Just another lazy 4 features or so…

So after we finished celebrating our little award a couple of weeks ago, we got back to the software. What’s the next set of stuff we should deliver? So here’s the next set of useful features we thought you should know about…

Transferring a Player ( or sharing )

We’re really concerned about privacy, so we’ve maintained a fairly strict approach to how players join teams. And in the past there’s only been one way into a team – the player accepts the invitation  ; either inside the app or via an email. But in the real world, there’s plenty of times when coaches and managers need the ability to swap players between teams. The obvious example might be an ‘A’ team and a ‘B’ team. If you have an outstanding game in the B’s – you might be promoted. Eventually we realised that there are no real privacy issues here – since the teams are within the same club, or run by the same coach/manager.

So now we’ve added support for that real world transfer of players – between teams that share a club/manager/coach.

share_xferSo just to the left of the Players – there’s a new icon to request a transfer. Hit this and you get some options like the following;

xfer_options

In this one above, I’m transferring Adam from my team to the Mighty Mice A team ; and sending a notification directly to Adam’s phone. When I save this transfer, then the following happens;

1. Adam gets taken out of the Mighty Mice U8 team

2. And transferred into the Mighty Mice A team, and

3. Adam will get a push message on the phone that looks like the following;

xfer_push

Note: Sharing a Player is the same process – teamstuff just leaves the player in the original team. This is a great way to introduce an emergency or spare player from one team to another to make-up the numbers.

Profile Pictures are now Mobile

You can now tap on your profile picture in the iPhone smart app – and use your phone’s camera to take a profile picture of your kids. Easy, easy, easy!

change_profile_picture

Family Schedule Page ( hello grandparents! )

We’ve got a new option now – the publicly accessible Family Schedules page. It’s turned off by default, and when you turn it on we publish a simple list of your games for you and all your kids. You can scroll forward or back to see each week of games, and we include only the minimum set of information for your extended family – time, place and kid names. Because your grandparents might have favourites too!

fsp_settings

So; some things to note. If you look above, you’ll see the link to the URL is really hard to remember. This is very deliberate – we want you to share this with your extended family and friends, but beyond that, we want to protect your privacy. So that very ugly set of characters is in fact 32 characters of super randomly generated bytes. That make it pretty hard to find or to guess. Because it means that there are exactly 1 in 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 chances that someone will guess your Family Schedule Page.

I don’t even know how to pronounce that number ; I do know I’m happy with those odds. My family is on it ; reckon you’re safe to do the same. Remember it is optional – turn it on under your Account Settings.

family_schedule

Ding-a-ling Reminders Got Louder….

If you have some parents or players who need reminding each week to set their attendance – we just made that process a little louder. We now send emails and push notifications when coaches/managers hit the ‘remind’ button. This is a great one for coaches and managers – use responsibly. Or not! 😉

+ 2 more things

OK, we did this before the awards. Rostering players on/off is now beautifully handled within the application. This is for those cases when you might have too many players for a particular game; so some shouldn’t even play.

And we also added coach/manager override on attendances. Because sometimes parents/players don’t always do what they said they would!

Enjoy

Coach

We had a little lightbulb moment the other day. Strangely – when I was unwell.  Let me explain.

I was feeling rubbish ( my wife called it early – man flu ), but I knew there’d be no training  that night. No dramas – I’ll cancel it using teamstuff. The product that I’ve helped put together, with team based messages for just this very occasion. So I pushed out a team message online – “No training tonight.” And felt marginally better – it’s kinda nice to have a real world problem solved with software you helped make.

But….a little voice in the back of my head kept nagging away….”Did everyone get that message? ” Because it turns out that some of the parents in our team aren’t quite as obsessed with their technology as I might be. They might go whole days without checking email ( gasp! )- let alone an application on their smart phone. And then I remembered that about 1/2 my parent group struggle to find push notifications on their phones. Because push notifications are not the same as text messages; and the difference is all human. We’ve been trained over many years to expect, find and respond to text messages. Push notifications are pretty new; and they’re optional – you can turn them off without understanding how it might be useful, and many people do.

So back to my nagging voice ; now it’s upping the volume, and changing the tone.

“Betcha someone’s missed the message. They’ll turn up to training – and get a nasty surprise. And as the coach who’s cancelling ; they’ll be blaming you.”

So I could blame teamstuff….and suddenly I’m really not feeling well. Problem with that nagging little voice – it was right.

So we got to thinking – how could we help, rather than hinder? We’re trying to steer clear of actual text messages – they cost us actual money. So that got us thinking – could we actually be better than text? And the answer is abso-bloody-lutely.

So we’ve added a key feature to the messages in teamstuff now ; a ‘Got it’ button. You push a message to your team – and your team now responds to that message ; strangely they hit ‘Got it’. And since we now know who has the message and who doesn’t – we can extend the usefulness – by showing the coach/manager who hasn’t received that message.

Example view of players who haven't read a message.

Example view of players who haven’t read a message.

Go one step further – one touch to communicate with that small set of parents or players. So suddenly – you cancel training – and now you know exactly what’s happened with the team message. And it’s really easy to cover the few that haven’t responded. And that little nagging voice in the back of the head – well now it’s moved on to the Grand Final of our local, indigenous, crazy football game. Whole town goes mad. Including me ; since my team is the favourite. Possibly just in my head.

OK, some extra features for the team when you send the team messages;

1. The push notification still goes out, so depending on their settings, they should get a beep/vibration/pop up on screen.

2. We always show messages in the alerts section now. Along with a big obvious Got it button.

Message now in alerts

Message now in alerts

3. We have a badge count now directly on the teamstuff icon – which shows the number of messages in teamstuff waiting to be ‘Got’.

Teamstuff icon showing messages waiting for you

Teamstuff icon showing messages waiting for you

And for players/parents without smart phones – we send emails. And the emails contain a ‘Got it’ button – so the loop is completed for the whole team.

Hope that all helps ; and Go the Mighty Hawks on Saturday!

Coach

Because practice makes perfect….

…so now you can schedule training right from within Teamstuff!

Now most people’s training will be same place/same time each week; no dramas at all. We’ve got that covered. But plenty of other teams tell us their training is a little less regular – so just like games, you can add individual or one/offs. Easy peasy; and each training session has who’s coming and who’s not; as well as support for duties – just who really is bringing the oranges!.training

So for managers and coaches – you’ll see something like this little button on the right ; same place you’ll find add games.

training calendar

And for players and parents – you’ll see the new training schedules show up on your calendar. A lot like the following calendar – where you’ll see my training sessions set for a Tuesday.

Triangle = training right! So in the schedule shown here – I have 3 scheduled trainings, and games on Thursday 28 ( which I’m going to ), game on 7th which I’m not, and a bye on the 14th.

Enjoy your time on the practice court/field/rink wherever!

Oh – one last note ; we’re still working on the mobile versions to integrate the training schedules. Give us a couple of weeks! 😉

January brings….more team stuff

Phew – the holiday season is finally over. And yes, there are beaches and BBQs and far too much sun in this part of the world. So it was nice to get back into TeamstuffHQ to get cracking on some nice new features – as requested by you! And please don’t be shy – if you’ve got ideas, let us know – because we actually do listen, and we actually do make the features you demand!

Cracking Feature 1 – Create From Spreadsheet/List of Players

We’ve been wanting this feature since Day One; the ability to use a spreadsheet or a list of players to create the team. In fact, we’ve always wanted you to create even large teams in under 60 seconds. But just how do you go about making this easy for coaches and managers? And not just easy, oh no – we wanted easiest! So after months of meticulous procrastination  brainstorming we finally worked out it. Basically – if you have a list of emails addresses for your team – in a spreadsheet, in an email list, in a document – wherever; then you can cut and paste that directly to Teamstuff – we do some computery ( that’s a word, I’ll have you know ) magic and you have a team. Try it – we think you’ll LOVE it.

Cracking Feature 2 – Player Profile Photos

Nice and simple feature – players can upload a photo of themselves, and team mates will see that photo next to the name. This is an excellent feature for big teams ( see Cracking Feature 1 ) – I’ve been to more than one game where I have no idea who number 17 is. And I may have been the coach….(cough). Player photos make that a little easier!

Cracking Feature 3 –  Player Positions

Players can now add their positions to their profiles for each team – so they might be a guard in basketball, and a wing in football, and a goalie in their hockey team. No problems – we’ve now got that covered!

Cracking Feature 4 – Team Logo

If you have a team logo – upload and you’ll see that against your team listings. Makes it much easier when you’ve got plenty of teams in play.

Hope you enjoy the new features!

 

Emails, more emails (and Blackberry users….)

Do you love emails? Are you a little like me – with 16,980 emails sitting in your inbox. Oh, sorry got that wrong. That’s 16,980 unread emails in my inbox. ( seriously ) Anyhoo, moving on – email’s great, and we’re adding some additional features for email.

Email Feature 1 – Multiple Email Addresses for you.

Teamstuff calls this the ‘Sue B’ feature; and you’ll never guess why. Yep – it’s because someone called Sue asked for it! Coach gets pretty crazy on Fridays!  So we’ve added the ability for you to create additional email addresses under your account settings. Teamstuff will send emails to your main login email address – and now also to each of the additional emails you nominate. And since this is done at the ‘you’ level – do it once and emails from any and all your teams/kids and their teams will get sent to all the emails you’ve given us. Nice.

additional_emails

Email Feature 2 – Game Reminders

Teamstuff’s got plenty of ways to let you know when/where your game is. You can do it on the web, on your smart phone – and now – via email. Again – it’s a setting on your personal account – tell teamstuff you want email reminders, and tell us when you want them. 2 days before the game? No problem. 30 minutes before the game? No worries. Tick . Done. And what do you get ? As you’d expect- a beautifully presented email with all the game details; where, when, who’s playing; and who’s on – duties.

Settings for Reminders

It’s nice too; but nowhere near as cool as the next feature….

Email Feature 3 – OMGosh – Reply Yes or No to Game Reminders

You can now tell teamstuff whether you’re attending a game directly from your email. So this is a cool feature for the Blackberry users out there. You know, because you don’t have a smart phone. With apps. So when you get an email game reminder, just hit reply; tell us yes ( for coming ) and no ( for not coming ). We did a little bit of tech magic in teamstuff land, and we can use your email replies to set your attendances. In a snap. So with a couple of clicks on your account settings; suddenly you’ve setup a super simple, and super easy way of knowing where you’re supposed to be; and telling your coach whether you’ll be there. All without remembering your password, or changing your phone. Sweet! Oh – and this one’s for Jacqui. See – we do listen to our users! 🙂

Enjoy the new release!

It’s our duty to tell you….about Duties!

We’ve just released a new and exciting feature for all our teamstuff users; Duties. “Woo too!” I hear you say ; because as it turns out duties are the boring stuff that we all have to do from time to time. Like bringing the oranges, or the drinks – or doing the score sheet, or being the ‘umpire escort’. So yeah, you’re right – duties isn’t super exciting. But it is one of the necessary components of the sport you love – and now we’re supporting it just the way you need.

On the web – managers and coaches can now add as many different duties as you need, and assign the players or their parents  to those duties. Duties come under the details of an individual game of course – so look for the ‘person with clipboard’ icon ( the one on the right as below )

duties

And of course you’ll need that information when you’re out and about; so it’s all available mobile too. Enjoy!