Back in May, we published an article on How to Get the Most Out of Playtime Scheduler. It was an article geared towards the average user or session participant. If you are one who often creates the sessions or schedules play times, then this follow up article is for you!
Playtime Scheduler offers three types of accounts — free, premium, and power. While free is obviously free and the most cost effective option, for a small annual fee ($25 for premium and $35 for power), you can access additional features. The additional features, available only to premium and power users, will allow you to make the most of Playtime Scheduler and make session creation and management a breeze.
Here’s a comparison of the the various account levels from a session creation perspective:
The free account allows you to create public and private (invite-only) doubles play sessions, set the maximum and minimum number of players for the session, and specify your desired skill levels for the participants. Private or invite-only means you are only inviting specific people that you have selected to attend your play session.
The premium account allows you to do all of the above, plus specify the play format – doubles, singles or drills; specify genders – so you can create a men’s doubles or women’s doubles sessions, or have Playtime Scheduler make sure you have an equal number of male and female players for a mixed doubles session; prevent participants from adding guests (so only registered Playtime Scheduler users are able to participate in your session); and prevent players of the wrong skill level from joining your session by making the session appear as a private session or by blocking sign up altogether.
The power account allows you to do all of the above plus gives you access to some additional features that are very useful.
- You can enable the wait list feature and specify the size of wait list desired (how many players deep). This makes session management so much easier because when a player drops out of your session, the next person on the wait list automatically moves up. This means you don’t have to text people whether they are in or out of the session because Playtime Scheduler automatically sends these notifications.
- Create events. You can highlight specific play sessions by giving them a name (e.g. if it’s someone’s birthday or if you have a special out of town visitor or pro joining the session).
- Set a maximum number of guests for each participant. Premium users can allow or disallow guests but power user can set a limit. Rather than allowing an unlimited number of guests, you can limit each participant to one/two guests (or whatever number you choose). This will prevent one person and all of their friends from taking up all of the spots in your play session. Additionally, premium and power users can add the names of their specific guests to the list, which is another useful feature that I often use.
- Create repeating sessions (up to 8 weeks). If you play every week on the same day, at the same time, with the same player criteria and session settings, you can create multiple sessions all at once rather than creating these one at a time. This is a real time saver! There is a limit of 8 weeks to ensure that there aren’t any outdated sessions that are no longer valid that people have just forgotten about.
- Create sessions you don’t plan to attend. With a free account, you’re always listed as the first player in your session so you would (a) have to increase your maximum player count by one if you’re not actually playing because you’re taking up a spot or (b) remember to take your name off the list once others have signed up. As a power user, you can choose whether or not to list yourself as a participant. This is great if you want others to be aware of a session but aren’t actually playing.
- View a log of session activity. You can see not just who is signed up for a session but when they added or removed themselves. If you are suddenly short a player, you can easily see who dropped out at the last minute by checking the activity log.
- Block specific players from your sessions. This goes along with the above feature in that if you notice that someone always drops out at the last minute or if you have someone who is constantly a no-show, leaving you in a bind, you can block that player from future sessions you create. I’ve personally never had to use this feature but it’s nice to know that there is an option to block players. It doesn’t have to be for no-shows or last-minute cancellations. Maybe you just don’t like someone. If you’re a power user, you can block them.
- Delete players or notes on your own sessions. It’s nice to have this control over your session. I’ve never just arbitrarily removed someone from my session because I wanted someone on the wait list I like better to move up. However, there have been times that someone will text me that they can’t make it and they don’t remove themselves from the list so then the wait listed player can’t move up. In this case, I like that I have the ability to delete them. Sometimes the notes section can get cluttered so it’s also nice to have the ability to delete notes that may no longer be relevant.
- Ability to invite players by pasting in a list of email addresses (separated by commas). This allows you to add multiple people to your invite list in one go rather than adding one person at a time.
It’s not really necessary to upgrade to a premium or power user account unless you plan to create sessions but having a paid account does have advantages from a general user perspective.
- You can create a less cluttered calendar view by turning off individual locations so they’re not displayed, hiding private sessions you aren’t invited to, hiding sessions that aren’t for your gender/level, and hiding sessions for skill levels that aren’t relevant to you (e.g. too high or too low). Additionally, you can assign custom colors to locations so you can easily scan for sessions that might be of interest based location/proximity.
- You can also declutter your email inbox by customizing your email notifications to only trigger for specific locations.
Given all of the above information, if you feel that the additional features will be of benefit to you and you choose to upgrade from a free to a premium or power user account, be sure to add my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to the “referred by” box. There’s currently a promotion on Playtime Scheduler that will give us both one free month through the referral program.
If you have questions or need help making the most out of your Playtime Scheduler account (free or otherwise), do not hesitate to reach out. See you on the pickleball courts!