The schedule is an important component of any guide. In Builder, we provide tools to help you build a robust, well-organized schedule.
You can manually enter sessions one by one, or you can use our schedule template spreadsheet to import data in bulk. Each guide can have only one schedule. All of your sessions live in this one schedule however you can use schedule tracks to organize your sessions and create multiple views. You can even manage and verify session attendance if you would like.
This brief video outlines the process. For details about how to add sessions, see below.
Displaying Schedule Sessions
Your app, guide, and Guidebook Web page will localize session information to the attendee's device.
The schedule module layout will change depending on the number of sessions in your schedule and when these sessions occur.
Manually Adding and Editing Sessions
If you have a smaller schedule, you can manually add content in Builder one session at a time. Manual entry is a great option if you’d like to quickly make edits to a few existing sessions too.
In Builder, open the guide you are working on. From the guide-building screen, click on the Schedule. Then click the blue New session button.
Session Name: Provide the title of the session here. This is required.
Duration: Set the date and time when the session occurs. This is also required. You can use the number keys or arrow keys to select the time. If the session is all day click Full day session? Don't need an end time? to select just a date.
Location: Set the location where the session takes place.
Tracks: Assign the session to a track, or multiple tracks, to indicate the topic, audience, or any other tag you’d like to use.
Description: Use this space to include anything your users need to know about this session. You can use the formatting tools to modify the formatting and input links, or switch to the HTML editor by clicking the code button, which is represented by two angle brackets.
Image: Upload a 640 pixel width x 240 pixel length JPG or PNG header image to add branding to your session.
Manually Editing Sessions
To edit an existing session, click on the name of the session. You’ll see the Details fields, plus tabs with a few additional tools.
Links: Use this tab to link to other sessions, list items, URLs, or PDFs.
Collaborate: Use this tab to invite people to edit the content of this particular item. Anyone you invite to edit a session via the collaborate tab does not need a Builder account and will not have access to any other content in your guide.
Quick Info: Manually add quick info information to sessions from this tab.
Add Schedule Sessions using a Template
The schedule template spreadsheet lets you quickly add multiple sessions to your guide at once. Using a template is recommended if you have a lot of sessions. You can download a copy of the schedule template at the bottom of this article, or you can find it in your guide in Builder.
Before you get started with your schedule template, make sure you have gathered as much session data as possible. This includes session names, dates, times, locations, descriptions, and tracks (if applicable).
Downloading the Schedule Template
You can download a copy of the schedule template at the bottom of this article, or you can find it in your guide in Builder. To find it in Builder, click on your schedule module, and then click Data Import/Sync. You need to use our template or else Builder will not know how to read the data.
Near the top-right corner of this window, look for Templates. Click either Schedule (XLS) or Schedule (CSV) to download a template.
You can use Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, Apache OpenOffice, or LibreOffice to open the template files. Please keep in mind that Excel may not handle special characters (like accents) well. Excel cannot encode in UTF-8, which is the preferred text format that Guidebook uses. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free to download from the links above.
Adding Session Data to the Schedule Template
Now that you have a schedule template, it's time to put your session data into the spreadsheet.
Do not change Row 1 in the template spreadsheet. If the column headers are changed, Builder will give you an error as it will not be able to read the spreadsheet properly.
Schedule Track titles may be no longer than 80 characters. If you are assigning a session to multiple tracks, separate each track name with a semicolon.
If you leave “Allow adding to my schedule” blank, it will be “TRUE” by default. This means your users will be able to add sessions to their My Schedule module. The columns from “Allow adding to my schedule” through “Allow Waitlist” pertain to session attendance management.
The only required columns are Session Title, Date, Time Start, and Time End. Before adding your data, be sure to delete the sample data that downloads with the template.
You can use 12-hour or 24-hour format in the time columns. Note that in Builder, the times will show in 12-hour format, and on users' devices the time format will be according to the settings on the users' device.
If you're unsure about how to enter your data into the template, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we're happy to assist.
Uploading a Schedule Template into Builder
After you've added your data to the spreadsheet, you're ready to import the template into Builder.
In your guide in Builder, click on the schedule menu item, and then click on the Data import/sync button. Click Select File on the left side of the screen, under the “Import schedule” heading.
This will open a file browser for you to select the schedule template you were working on. Then click Import data.
Now you will receive an email that says “Success” or “Whoops!” (Make sure to check your spam folder if you don't receive this email.) If you see a Whoops! message, please make note of the error message details provided and read through the section below regarding template errors.
Schedule Template Errors
We know how it feels to get a "Whoops" email from Builder. Below we've listed common error messages you might receive when trying to import your template spreadsheets.
Please review the information below, make the appropriate changes, and re-import your spreadsheet.
Invalid Date/Time Format
If you receive this error:
- Please make sure that your Date is written in MM/DD/YYYY format for each session.
- Please make sure your Start Time and End Time are in HH:MM AM/PM format for each session.
- Please ensure that there is a Date and Time in the Registration Starts column. If this is not required in your schedule, leave the column blank.
Keep an eye out for a stray apostrophe (') in any of your Date or Start/End Time cells. To check for and remove a hidden apostrophe, click on the column or the cell where you can see the apostrophe ('). Click on Data from the ribbon at the top of the screen and select Text to Columns. Under Separator, type an apostrophe (') in the box for Other. Check Other and click Apply. This should remove any hidden apostrophes and convert the cells to the right format.
Invalid Column Name. It appears you have renamed the template columns, or you are using an old template. Please correct.
This error indicates you may be using the incorrect template. The easiest way to troubleshoot this is to download a fresh copy of the import template and copy your data over, without modifying any of the column headers in Row 1. See the above information about downloading a template from Builder or the bottom of this article.
There are special characters that we cannot recognize. Take these out, then try reimporting your file.
If you are using Excel to create your file, please save it as a .xls file. Do not use the .csv filetype. This will ensure that characters are encoded in the appropriate format. If you are using LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice, please ensure that you save your document as a .csv in the UTF-8 encoded format.
Your schedule track name is too long. The name you specified is: [track name]
When using the schedule template importer, each schedule track name may be no longer than 80 characters. After shortening your track names, your template will import. If the track title is too long, some users will not be able to see the entire track title on their device screens.
Either a .xls or .csv file is required.
Builder can only read .csv or .xls versions of the template spreadsheets. If you are using another filetype, please Save as either .csv or .xls. If you are using .xls and still receive this error we recommend switching to .csv to be on the safe side. Some versions of Microsoft Excel save certain items (typically dates) in a format that Builder has trouble reading.
Error: we could not find the specific image
If you are importing images along with your Custom List template, please review the instructions. Builder will look for a filename of an image that exactly matches the filename you type in the spreadsheet. This means capitalization and filetype must match perfectly. Also be sure you import a zip file of pictures, not a zip file of a folder.
We could not read your file due to an encoding issue.
This error typically occurs when an .xls file was downloaded from Builder, but it's saved as a .csv. To troubleshoot, try saving the file as a .xls instead, or re-download a blank .csv template from Builder and copy your data into the template, saving the template as a .csv.
How do I set the date and time for a session? The date/time picker doesn’t seem to be working.
To set the date, click on Start time to the right of the calendar icon. This will open a calendar you can click through to find the date you need. Click on the date.
To set the time, click on the hour and use your keyboard to set the hour. Use the numbers at the top of your keyboard, or use the arrow keys (up and down) to set the hour. Then click on the minute to enter the minutes. If you have a number pad attached to your keyboard, this number pad will not work for date/time input. Please use the row of numbers at the top of your keyboard, above the letters.
Click on the AM/PM to adjust. Tap a on your keyboard for AM, or tap p on your keyboard for PM. You can also use your up and down arrow keys to select AM or PM here.
I have a lot of similar sessions. Can I copy and paste session data in Builder?
You can use the schedule template spreadsheet to copy and paste session date down multiple rows and make quick additions and/or edits that way. There is no copy and paste within Builder when using manual entry.
In what order will my sessions appear?
The schedule will order sessions chronologically. If there are sessions that take place at the same time on the same day, these sessions will appear in alphabetic order for that time period.
When I try to open my CSV file, a window pops up asking me to select punctuation, such as "tab", "semicolon" or "comma". What should I click?
Deselect all options except for comma, and then press OK.
When I convert my Excel file into a CSV file and open it again, there are strange marks in the text (i.e. white question marks on black diamonds). What do I do?
This is probably a side effect of using non-standard characters in your text fields. Many characters that appear when typing in Microsoft Word/Excel, such as the n-dash or curly quotation marks, are proprietary and non-standard. When transported into a CSV file or a UTF-8 encoded file, they fail to render properly. We recommend uploading this file in .xls format to avoid this encoding issue or by editing using either of these free spreadsheet editors: Libre Office or Apache Open Office.
When I import my XLS file, all of the dates appear to be 4 years old...Help!
This is a well-documented Excel issue that traces back to the way Excel calculates dates (there are two methods: the 1900 method, and the 1904 method). While you can use CSV imports to skirt around the issue, this support article outlines how to adjust your Excel settings to solve the problem: http://www.accountingweb.com/technology/excel/when-excel-dates-mysteriously-shift-by-4-years.
I have uploaded some sessions to my schedule. I would like to make changes and/or add more sessions. How do I do that?
We recommend exporting your schedule data so you have one spreadsheet with all of your sessions in one place. Make changes to your data there and/or add new sessions to that spreadsheet, then re-import it into Builder. You'll notice the exported data will have Session IDs; Builder generates these for you so it can keep track of your sessions without duplication or loss of data.
My session data doesn't fit into these columns. How do I add the session data I want?
If you change the column headers or add your own columns to this spreadsheet, Builder will not be able to read your data. Use the Description field to contain as much information as possible about your session. You can use the concatenation formula (combining cells to put data in one cell), and HTML for linking items like phone numbers and email addresses. Some information may be best included via linking.
I am using Schedule Tracks, and I want to assign one session to multiple tracks. Can I do that in the spreadsheet?
Yes. Include multiple track names in the schedule tracks cell by separating each track name with a semicolon. For example: "Track 1; Track 2; Track 3". Don't forget that schedule track names may be no longer than 80 characters each.
Some of my sessions last all day, so I don't want to put a specific start and end time. How can I show this in my guide?
Type the words “All day” in the Start Time for an all-day session. Leave the End Time blank. The End Time can only be blank when the Start Time says “All day”.
I have concurrent sessions that aren’t showing up in the right order on the app. How do I reorder the sessions the way I want?
You can use the schedule template spreadsheet to set a specific rank to order your concurrent sessions.