Add Schedule Sessions: Template Import

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The schedule template spreadsheet lets you quickly add multiple sessions to your guide at once. 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.

Please don’t change anything in Row 1 of the template. Builder is pretty smart, but it needs some help sometimes. Please keep these column headers unchanged so Builder knows how to read your data correctly!

In this article, we will cover:

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). 


Watch this video to learn how to download the template, add session data in the template, and then upload the template into Builder.

 


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. Click on your schedule module, and then click “Data Import/Sync”.

ImportButton.png   --  Screen_Shot_2017-05-31_at_1.48.19_PM.png

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. 

Note: Please don’t change anything in Row 1 of the template. Builder is pretty smart, but it needs some help sometimes. Please keep these column headers unchanged so Builder knows how to read your data correctly!

SampleTemplate.png

Schedule Track titles may be no longer than 40 characters. 

If you leave "Allow Checkin" blank, it will be TRUE by default. This means your users will be able to add sessions to their My Schedule module.

The "Checkin Begin", "Limit Spaces", and "Allow Waitlist" columns pertain to session attendance management. Click here for more details! 

 


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. Click on the "Data import/sync" button. 

Then click "Select file" on the left-side of the screen, under the "Import schedule" heading.

select_file.png

This will open a file browser; please select the schedule template you were working on. Then click "Import data".

  • Note: Builder will ask if you would like to "Replace duplicate entries". If you leave this disabled, Builder will add your sessions as new data. If choose to enable this option, Builder will look for any existing sessions with the same name and overwrite them with the information in your template. Please be absolutely sure you need to overwrite data before enabling this option. 

Now What?

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 check out our handy troubleshooting article here

 


Pro Tips and FAQs

Are you looking for help with an error? Click here for our troubleshooting notes.

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. Click here to learn how to export your schedule spreadsheet. 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. Click here for help with concatenation (combining cells to put data in one cell). Click here for help with HTML for things 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 40 characters each.

 

Some of my sessions last all day, so I don't want to put a specific start/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. ***Note: 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. In the spreadsheet, add a column called "Rank" right after the Description column. ***This is the only way you can edit the column headers and have Builder still read your data properly. 

For sessions that start at the same time on the same date, you may add a number to the Rank column. Lower numbers will appear first in the app. You will not see this rank order reflected in Builder.   


If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at Support@guidebook.com!

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