News From Charms

Happenings, Updates, Jokes you should know about.

WELCOME TO THE NEW SPACE! (8/31/2014)
Here it is! It's alive! And it should be a lot speedier! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE! And thank you for contacting the migration team. All outstanding migration issues have been addressed, please send any other questions through our usual support channels. THANK YOU.

Still using Internet Explorer? (8/17/2014)
If you are still forced to use Internet Explorer for some strange unknown reason, Microsoft has released a patch for all versions back to version 7. Click Here for more information. If you need help with the patch, please contact Microsoft, we cannot help you. THANKS.

BIG CHANGES COMING! (6/4/2014)
We have just contracted with our hosting provider to dramatically upgrade our infrastructure. This is a major upgrade to prepare Charms to grow for the next 10 years and handle the ever increasing volume of data and files.

Some time in the next few weeks we will need to completely shut down Charms while we migrate all the data from the current system to the new system.

We will aim to do the final migration overnight during the weekend to avoid disturbing you any more than we have to. But we do have to completely shut down access to Charms during that final migration.

Charms is in Scotland, too! (4/29/2014)
The International growth of Charms system users continues, with the A Choired Taste choral group from the UK, a 70+ member community choir in Kilmarnock, Scotland! Check 'em out! http://www.achoiredtaste.co.uk/

Announcing our speaker for UC2014! (4/26/2014)
Actor Glenn Morshower is a Dallas native, and while you may not know his name, you certainly know his work!

NAMM "Best Music Communities" list is Charm-ing! (4/25/2014)
Congratulations to the 2014 NAMM "Best Communities for Music Education" list! It's no surprise to us that many, many of the 300+ districts on the list have the Charms system in place!!! See the entire list, at http://www.nammfoundation.org/research/best-communities-music-education-2014 and see if you're on it!!!

No Heartbleed Vulnerability (4/10/2014)
We are NOT vulnerable to the scary Heartbleed bug you have heard about. Nothing in Charms needs to be changed.

Charms exhibiting at Tn MEA next week! (3/31/2014)
If you're going to TnMEA in Memphis, April 9-11, stop by the Charms booth #224 to learn about new features in Charms -- and bring along a colleague who needs to know what the Charms system can do for them!

Cellphone and Carrier fields added to Director/Helpers (3/25/2014)
There are now fields for Cellphone and Carrier information in all Helper Login profiles (as well as Head Director) -- this is to enable the sending of text messaging to these people through the Charms email system. Go to SETUP > HELPERS, and click the "pencil" icon next to the Helper name to edit/modify their personal information.
You also have the ability to designate that a Helper can be automatically copied on any email/text being sent out.

Scheduled Communications capability is up! (2/27/2014)
You can now schedule email and text messages to go out at a future date, in the Communications area. When you get to the screen to compose your email, you will see a "Send Email" field, with the ability to choose "Now" or "Later" -- If you choose "Later", you can then designate a future date and a choice of three time periods for your message to go out. This applies to both email and also to text messages sent through the email system. A list of messages that are scheduled to be sent is shown in the "Scheduled Emails" tab dropdown screen. If you decide not to send one, and it hasn't gone out yet, you can delete it from here. The Help files in the email area reflect the addition of Scheduling.

Automated Volunteer Reminders is up! (2/21/2014)
BIG NEWS!!!! You can now set up automated reminders for your Calendar Event Volunteers!!!

After you create ALL of your volunteer positions, simply click the "Add Reminders" button. Either use our generic message, or create your own - then choose your send date/time, up to ten days in advance! You can create more than one reminder; for example, one week ahead, then again one day ahead...

Reminders go out by email (and text messaging if they enter their cell and carrier info)...

Read the Help File for details, by searching the Help library for "Automated Volunteer Reminders", or log in to your account and go to https://www.charmsoffice.com/charms/help.asp?p=volnotifs

HOWEVER -- Be gentle to your Volunteers -- don't drive them crazy with reminders!!!

Windows XP going away April 8, 2014 (2/11/2014)
Beginning April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. This means is there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.

If you are using Windows XP, we suggest you upgrade to a new operating system before April 8, 2014. While Charms will continue to work on existing XP machines, we will no longer provide technical support, or back fixes in our code for XP.

NEW - Notifications! (1/24/2014)
In the Hub, you can now see notifications when students create recordings in our studio, upload files, and update their personal information.

To activate Notifications, click on Hub Preferences, scroll to the bottom of Section Activation, and set Notifications to "on".

Want to be Notified about other things? Just let us know!

FREE TEXT MESSAGING -- through the Charms Email System (1/11/2014)
Did you know that you can send free text messages through the Charms email system? Yes, yes, indeed! Simply have your parents/students log in and put their cell number AND CELL CARRIER in their personal information screen -- then these numbers show up in the Group Email loaded address screen. To text, first UNSELECT all email addresses, then SELECT ALL FOR TEXT to choose just the text recipients. Then send a "Plain Text" format email -- wah lah!!!
See the Help File in the Group Email area: https://www.charmsoffice.com/charms/help.asp?p=groupemail

See CHARMS at an MEA conference near you! (1/7/2014)
'Tis the season for State MEA conferences, and Charms will be on the road as an exhibitor... bring a colleague by the booth that needs to know about Charms!!!

NEW! Volunteer Hour Tracking! (12/4/2013)
Phase 1 of the Charms Volunteer Hour Entry and Tracking system is now live and available to all!

This system will allow the administrators to check-in and check-out volunteers for scheduled events, and track their time worked, as well as allowing for parents to enter their own hours for miscellaneous activities worked.

Reports are available, and as people use the system, we have plans to make more reports and expand the system as needed!

Go to the VOLUNTEERS tab in the Calendar area, and peruse the Help Files... Enjoy!

Charms Mobile App for Android (12/1/2013)
Version 1.0 just released on the Google Play store. Includes a basic barcode reading function for Uniforms, Attendance and Inventory.

FIFTY Charms users competing in Grand Nationals!!!! (10/31/2013)
The annual Grand National Championships is happening, November 13-16... and not one, not two, but FIFTY of the competing bands are in the Charms Family -- including last year's overall winner, Carmel High!!! Now THERE are some successful music programs!!! Best of luck to all competitors!!!

New APP Versions Available (10/30/2013)
1.5.1 Apple Parent/Student fixes iOS7 issues 1.2 Teacher allows for screen rotation 1.6 for Android Parent/Student fixes crash issue.

Time Warner Emails Flowing Again (10/29/2013)
Thanks to Charms user Amy Love and Time Warner rep Dave - emails to rr.com users are flowing once again!

22 of 27 Midwest Clinic Performing Groups are Charms users!!! (10/18/2013)
Of the 27 secondary school invited performing groups for the 2013 Midwest Clinic, a whopping 22 are Charms users!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, and we hope you have an excellent trip to Chicago -- and that you're using the Charms trip management features for trip payments, calendaring, chaperones, email, forms, and texting, while you're at it!

The list of invited performers can be seen here: http://www.midwestclinic.org/2013-performing-organizations.html

Enter checks and cash in one Fundraiser Deposit (10/18/2013)
In the Fundraiser student transaction screen, if a student is turning in both checks and cash, you can now use "Multiple Items" Paid By for both, in one transaction... in the popup window, list the checks normally, but for cash amount entry simply put the word "CASH" in the Check Number field. The system will split out checks and cash in the Bank Ledger, and you will see the multi-item listing in the student Transaction History.

Charms App for Directors Is Now Available (7/31/2013)
in the iTunes Store. Here is the link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/charms-mobile/id675818305?mt=8
Android version coming soon!!!

Charms Training Manuals Available (7/30/2013)
We have a limited number of printed, bound training manuals available from our User Conference. These are the same manuals we give to our attendees, and can be downloaded for free under the Resources area in the Hub. Nearly 100 pages , spiral bound, divided into four sections - Basics, Students & Assessment, Financials, Assets & Communication. Covers most everything in Charms in an easy to follow walk-through format. The cost is $35 per book, which includes the postage within the USA. Postage will be higher outside the USA. Please contact our tech support line or email anyone to order a book.

Scan Forms by student now available (7/15/2013)
If you have put a barcode on your collectable forms, you can now choose a student and scan in various turned-in forms for them, in the COMMUNICATE > Student Forms > Collect by Student screen. So, if you have several forms collected for a particular student, you can scan them all in very quickly! To learn how to add a collection barcode to your Forms, go to the Setup New Forms area and read the help file!!!

Don't Show Handouts/Files Icon option in Parent-side settings (6/14/2013)
We've added an option in the Parent/Student Prefs. to "not show the Handouts&Files folder icon at all" on the parent-side access. If you want make the "Documents" area UNavailable to your parents/students, simply click "Not At All" in your "Show Handouts Button" preferences setting.

Charms at Conn-Selmer Institute this week!!! (6/9/2013)
If you or a director friend is attending the 2013 Conn-Selmer Institute in Mishawaka, Indiana, this week, make time to stop by the CHARMS exhibitor table to talk about the latest developments with the Charms system!!!

New Version for Android available (5/28/2013)
Version 1.1 of the Charms Parent/Student App for the Android devices is now available, fixing the wrong school name appearing. Over 500 downloads in the first week! THANKS!

AOL Emails resolved! (5/23/2013)
We have received confirmation from AOL that our mail sending process is now whitelisted. Within 24 hours, all should be back to normal. Thanks for your patience!

Charms App on Android! (5/21/2013)
The Charms App for parents and students is now available at the Google Play Store for Android devices. Enjoy!

Charms App 1.2 now available (5/4/2013)
Still more iTweaks and iUpdates to the Student/Parent App, available at the iStore for your iDevice.

SBO Article featuring Noteflight! (4/26/2013)
SBO Magazine

Charms Recording Studio iTunes App! (Parent/Student portal!) (3/27/2013)
Today marks a big milestone for Charms -- we have an iPhone / iPad / iDevice App, available for FREE through the iTunes store. This is a parent/student/member-side portal App -- but what's special about it is that, in addition to the informational button areas normally available for viewing, the CHARMS RECORDING STUDIO is part of it - at NO EXTRA CHARGE!

Yes, you can now record yourself with your iDevice, and even play along with accompaniments, and upload the file for review -- just like using a standard PC/Mac at home or school! The Charms Recording Studio is the ONLY online studio that merges your recording with an accompaniment track. Cool, eh?

Visit the iTunes Store, at
https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=624145958&mt=8

And yes, Android is not far behind....... spread the word!

Shared Inventory capability is up! (3/25/2013)
You can now assign an Inventory item to multiple people simultaneously, for shared items. Simply select the additional person in the Assign/Return or View/Update screen for the item, and update the screen. All people assigned to an item will be shown in the Assignment History, as well as in Reports. Note that RETURNING an item through barcode scanning will return it FROM ALL. If you are just returning from one person, do this from the individual screen.

Exclude certain Fixed Payments from online payment (3/21/2013)
You now have the ability to exclude a Fixed Payment from parental online payment capability, in the FP Setup area. This is best used where, for example, you don't want your parents to have a pay an significant extra charge for something like a $5 FP -- especially if you have a set dollar amount "handling charge" associated with your online (PayPal, etc.) transactions!

Student Uniform History is up... (3/20/2013)
In a parallel tweak to student histories listed on the individual uniform item screen, now the Student Assign Uniform screen has not only what is currently assigned to the student, but also what uniform pieces have been turned back in in the past by the student (from this point forward, that is!). There is also a Uniform Assignment History report available, in the REPORTS screen. Again, this lists uniform items that have been TURNED BACK IN, from this point forward.

Uniform Assignment History is up... (3/11/2013)
As of today (3/11/13), assignment history is now shown for UNIFORMS, in each individual uniform item info screen. Currently assigned uniform items will show their current assignment date and person. Remember, a uniform piece can "officially" only be assigned to one person at a time...

Congratulations to National ACDA Performing Group Charms users! (3/11/2013)
Texas Boys Choir, dir. Brian Priddy Marcus HS Treble Choir, dir. Jason Dove Plano Sr. High A Cappella – dir. Derrick Brookins Midway MS Boys Choir – dir. Tammy Benton Arlington Martin HS Chamber Singers – dir. Kay Owens Sloan Creek MS A Cappella Treble Choir – dir. Christina Chapman Arlington HS Colt Chorale – dir. Dinah Menger Dr. Phillips HS (FL) Cora Bella – dir. Andrew Minear

Event Volunteer Signup Notification is up!!! (2/28/2013)
Charms just got EVEN MORE AWESOME, for you Calendar Event Volunteer Coordinators.... Now, when you create a calendar event and specify it to include volunteer slots, you can receive email notifications when people sign up for slots. Simply enter the email address of the person to be notified of signups for that event, either in the event creation screen or in the administrative calendar volunteer management screen for that event. Check it out!

Technology blogger likes Charms! (2/22/2013)
The author of the "Tech In Music Ed" (techinmusiced.wordpress.com) blog has written a very complimentary, brief review of the Charms system. Check it out, at https://techinmusiced.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/charms-office-assistant/ Comments on the blog are closed at this time, despite the Magic 8 Ball picture that seems to encourage you to click on it to "Talk about Charms"... but it's a nice endorsement! Thanks, Chris, and we hope you'll implement Charms in your school music program!

Text messages are FREE through the Charms email system... (2/7/2013)
Did you know that you can send free text messages through the Charms email system? Yes, yes, indeed! Simply have your parents/students log in and put their cell number AND CELL CARRIER in their personal information screen -- then these numbers show up in the Group Email loaded address screen. To text, first UNSELECT all email addresses, then SELECT ALL FOR TEXT to choose just the text recipients. Then send a "Plain Text" format email -- wah lah!!! See the Help File in the Group Email area: https://www.charmsoffice.com/charms/help.asp?p=groupemail

Charms exhibiting at Ohio MEA, Feb 7-9 (2/2/2013)
If you're attending OMEA in Columbus, visit the Charms booth #437, and bring along a colleague!!!

Charms exhibiting at Arizona and Utah this week! (1/28/2013)
If you're attending either Arizona MEA or Utah MEA, stop by the Charms booth at those conferences!!!

Charms exhibiting at GMEA this week (Jan 25-26) (1/23/2013)
If you're attending the Georgia MEA conference, hit Booth #409... and bring along a colleague who needs to know about Charms!!!

25 Charms Schools Performing at TMEA (1/15/2013)
Charms schools are well represented at TMEA this year! Of the 35 ensembles invited to perform, 25 of them are active Charms users. We'll have a big sign congratulating all the Charm schools (pun intended) at our booths this year.

Charms exhibiting at January MEA conferences! (1/4/2013)
Keep an eye out for the Charms booth in January, at the following state music educator conferences: Florida (1/10-1/12), Indiana, Michigan, and Oklahoma (1/17-1/19), and Georgia (1/24-1/26)!!! Stop by the booth, and bring along a colleague whom you think would benefit from learning about the Charms system!!!

CHARMS exhibiting at Midwest Clinic (12/17/2012)
If you're attending the Midwest Clinic in Chicago this week, be sure to stop by one of the TWO Charms booths, either #540 or #1042 -- and bring a colleague whom you think would benefit from learning about the Charms system!!!

PUBLIC SHOPPING NOW AVAILABLE! (12/13/2012)
The Charms shopping center/online store is now available to everyone who has access to your public Charms area!

Grandma Jones in Joplin, Uncle Ernie in Emory, and Cousin Willie in Walla Walla can now login to your Charms public site, register with the cart, and order all your spirit wear!

A groaner... (12/11/2012)
Michael asked Rebecca why the new kitchen floor was covered with a pattern of baby sheep. She said she'd always wanted lamb-in-it flooring.

New Inventory Add Feature in Online Store (11/29/2012)
When you need to add or subtract inventory quantities in your Online Store, now go to the Store Items screen and click to edit the particular Item. Click on the existing Inventory count, and a new window pops up, asking for the new quantity, and lists prior modifications for you so you know what's been added when. Then click SAVE to make the change!

Instrument inventory assignment history is here! (11/15/2012)
As of 11/14/12 - all instrument inventory assignments and returns are kept in a history file and displayed on the individual instrument's inventory detail screen, in the lower right. Yes, it's finally there! CURRENT assignments are already shown, with their assignment date... When desiring to assign the instrument to another student, first RETURN the instrument (or update it to UNASSIGNED), then reassign it out. Cool, eh?

Online Store Update #3! (11/1/2012)
Partial fulfillment of store orders is now operational! So, we now have: partial fulfillment, quick student ordering and check out from within the teacher login, and self-defined fields for customization.

Soon we'll have a way for the general public to be able to register and place orders as well. But that's even more complicated so give us a bit. And Mind the Gap.

Online Store Update #2! (10/30/2012)
Now teachers and other Charms administrators can place orders and collect money for students/members directly inside the administrator area of Charms without having to login as a student!

Just go to the store as usual, select "My Store", and then select a student from the drop down list of students.

Online Store Update #1 (10/25/2012)
The first of five planned major updates - Personal Fields - to our online store is now live!

For each size and style, you can create up to 3 personal fields for customization, embroidery, names or whatever other information you need. The fields can be made required, optional, or informational only.

Other updates coming soon to the store include Partial Fulfillment, Ordering for Students from the Teacher screen, Opening the store to the General Public and Transactional Additions to Stock.

New 'Setting Up Bank Accounts And Budgets" guide available (10/19/2012)
If you are new to using Charms, we have put up a new step-by-step guide to setting up bank account ledgers and budgets in your Charms account. Go to the Finances area, to the ACCT. LEDGERS tab, to "Setup Account Ledgers" screen -- there, you will see a link to the .pdf document. This document takes you through creating a bank ledger and the hows and whys of setting up a budget, in simple, non-CPA-training-required language... Check it out! Also remember, you can access the .pdf files of our Summer User Conference training manuals, in the HUB > Resources screen!!!

Charms recommended in Utah Journal (10/18/2012)
Thanks go out to both Vince Burgoyne (Pleasant Grove HS) and Angela Pontious (Highland High School) for their (unsolicited) prominent mention of the Charms Office Assistant system, in separate articles for the "Music Technology Issue" of the Fall Utah Music Educators Journal!

Click Here to read the articles!

New Parent/Student-side icons (10/16/2012)
Just FYI -- The old "buttons" on the Parent/Student side have been replaced with various icons... Log in as a parent and check 'em out! (Everything is still in the same position as before...)

Show any Helper email on the 'Email Staff' listing (10/15/2012)
Now, you can choose to display ANY Helper email address on the parent/student-side "EMAIL STAFF" icon listing. See the Setup > Helpers screen, and create new or edit an existing Helper account. Consider including the duty of the helper in their name entry, separated by a comma.

New Volunteer signup feature!!! One-button signup! (9/17/2012)
There's a new button on the parent-side Volunteer signup screens... When a person clicks on a yellow hand and signs up to volunteer for an event, the system now asks if they would like to save their information (in a "cookie") for other signups. If so, when they want to volunteer for a particular position on another event, all they have to do is click the two-headed "ENTER SAVED INFORMATION" button, instead of re-typing all their contact info. Wah-lah! Note that there is also a button to CLEAR OUT saved volunteer information, in case of an error.

Charms and Noteflight announce partnership! (4/11/2012)
Noteflight, the leader in online music notation software, is now available through Charms Office Assistant! Charms customers have the opportunity to create a private Noteflight music community as part of their existing Charms account. Noteflight is the only music notation program designed for our connected world. Because Noteflight is an online app, accounts can be used from any computer with Internet access. Students are no longer tied to a music lab: they can work on music at school, at home, at the library... anywhere that's connected. Being online also makes sharing work between students and teachers a breeze! See a demo of Noteflight

Charms endorsed in Teaching Music magazine! (2/14/2012)
Thanks to the folks at NAfME, for naming Charms as a "One Tool To Rule Them All" in the February issue of Teaching Music (see pg. 34)!!! We like it!!!

Center Grove (IN) MS Winds playing at InMEA (1/18/2012)
Congrats to Charms user Center Grove Middle School North Wind Ensemble, under director Michael Bolla, for being an invited performer at this week's Indiana MEA conference in Ft. Wayne!!!

Inventory now on Charms Mobile (1/10/2012)
A basic inventory lookup, including student assignments, has been added to the Charms Mobile.

Enjoy!

Calendar Event Change notification option (1/10/2012)
You now have the option, when you make a change to an existing calendar event, to send an email to the affected groups notifying them of the change. If you choose to send an email, you are taken to the Group Email screen, and the groups associated with the event are automatically selected. We are also looking into creating this notification capability when a new calendar event is first created....

Fort Walton Beach and Randy Folsom! (11/16/2011)
Congratulations to Mr. Randy Folsom, Director of the Fort Walton Beach High School Band, on his induction into the Florida Bandmaster Association Hall of Fame on November 13, 2011. FWBHS Band has earned Superior ratings at FBA marching, jazz and concert District and State events for 40 years. Mr. Folsom has been the Director of Bands for 23 years.

Bellsouth Update - Fixed! (10/17/2011)
According to a tech person at the Bellsouth/Yahoo/AT&T/SBCglobal group whatever block they had on us is now removed. Please send to these folks and let us know if you get any bounces.

Bellsouth/Yahoo Mails being Blocked (10/11/2011)
Folks, if anyone out there in Charms land has a bellsouth email account and is willing to endure their lousy tech support for a while, please contact our office so we can get them to stop blocking mail from Charms teachers to Bellsouth recipients.

THANKS

Sync Your Calendar to the Windows Phones! (9/28/2011)
Thanks to David from Utah (a Charms parent AND a Microsoft employee) we now have the instructions to sync your Windows 7.5 phone to the Charms calendars!

Login to Charms, click the Calendar to find the steps.

BASTROP COUNTY NEEDS HELP! (9/9/2011)
As you have probably seen, wildfires in Texas are burning out of control. Hundreds of homes in Bastrop County (near Austin the capital) have been destroyed.

Wayne King of Smithville High School is organizing a donation/volunteer drive in the area.

If anyone can volunteer in Smithville to help with donations, they could sure use it. CURRENT NEEDS: VOLUNTEERS, pet kennels, toiletries, mens/women's/children's socks, new packages of underwear, bandaids, HEAVY DUTY work gloves, benadryl, baby food, formula (all kinds), chapstick, visine, baby tylenol/ibuprophen, new pillows, air mattresses, towels, sleeping bags, washcloths, diapers, laundry baskets, bleach, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, school supplies in backpacks and we need VOLUNTEERS.

PLEASE DO NOT bring clothing, furniture, dog/cat food.

The DROP OFF location is the at the corner of 1st and Ramona Street in Smithville. This is also one of the places where lots of volunteers are needed.

For further information, please contact Mr. King: wking@smithvilleband.com

THANK YOU!

Calendar Syncs Restored! (8/20/2011)
We found out what was changed by Google and Apple and have made the changes in Charms so the Sync is working again! For the iPhones, we have tested with OS4, so please let us know if it works with the older devices as well.

Direct Volunteer Signup Link Now Available (8/10/2011)
When a calendar event is created that asks for Volunteer signups, the 'director/helper side' Volunteer Signups screen now includes a "DIRECT LINK" that you can send your parents which will take them right to the signup page for your event!!! Check it out, on one of your volunteer events -- and when you're short of volunteers, send 'em the link to your event signup!

Charms User Manual Now Available! (8/2/2011)
A User Manual for the Charms Office Assistant was developed for our NCIS User Conference in June, and has now been uploaded into Charms. Full-Access Users (Head directors, assistant directors, full-access users) can find the manual in their Charms accounts under the HUB>Resources area. There are four .pdf files: Basics, Boosters, Treasurers and Teachers. Please be sure to pass these on to your limited-access users!

QR Codes for the Charms Public Calendar (7/25/2011)
We had an interesting phonecall recently -- a director wanted to use QR Codes (i.e. "2-D Barcodes") to direct people to their Charms calendar. This is very easily done - simply copy the link for your Charms public calendar from your Profile area, then go to an internet site that creates QR codes, and enter that link address for your calendar. Voila~ -- you've got a QR code that takes people right to it! Remember, though -- it's the PUBLIC Calendar -- so be sure your events are being posted there that you want to be there, by clicking "SHOW ON PUBLIC CALENDAR" when you create the event....

Google Calendar Sync not working (thanks to Google) (7/25/2011)
Unfortunately we are going to have to remove our instructions for syncing the Calendar with Google for the time being. Our link is supplying the correct information but there appears to be an issue on the Google end of things. If you wish to continue using Google, the manual export of the Charms calendar to iCal format and import into Google still appears to work properly.

New "Student Summary" available (7/22/2011)
A new feature just added to the Director/Helper side of the Charms system is a handy "Student Summary" screen. Go to any student's main information screen, and 'mouse over' their name in the blue box to bring up the Student Quicklinks dropdown list. Near the top of this list is "Student Summary" -- a summary screen that shows what inventory, uniforms, library, financial data, attendance and Groups the student has, all in one place... Try it out!

Calendar Event Start and End Time Settings are here! (6/17/2011)
Now you have the capability to designate start and end times for your Calendar Event -- making it time-compatible with external calendar sync processes! Now your Charms event won't show up on calendar exports as an "All-Day" event, when it's really only 9AM - 11AM... Try it!

Inventory Labels! (6/3/2011)
Inventory labels can now be ordered directly from your Charms account with the same process as we have for our Uniform labels! The paths are Inventory>Barcodes>Order Labels and Uniforms>Barcodes>Order Labels.

Silence those cellphones... (5/31/2011)
Sign posted outside a concert hall: " If any of your noise making devices go of during the performance (cell phone, ipod, pager, ext...) you will be forced to go on stage and play the bassoon."

New Library Custom Report feature (5/19/2011)
There is a new Report generation feature in the Library section of your Charms account -- go to Library > Reports, and look for "Build Your Own" - and have it your way!

Cathy Benford solves iPhone Problem (5/2/2011)
It's an iPhone problem, but Cathy figured out that we needed to adjust a meta tag so the iPhone sends Charms Mobile to Safari rather than creating an independent App.

We sent this off to Apple for them to fix it as well.

They told me to Press 1 for English.

THANKS CATHY!

Norah Jones, Renee Zellweger, and Fine Arts in Schools (3/18/2011)
Renée Zellweger might have won an Academy Award without the theater courses she took at Katy High School. And it's possible that Norah Jones may have won multiple Grammy Awards even if she hadn't attended choir classes at Grapevine Junior High School. But in each of these cases, and in countless others, a quality fine arts education in Texas public schools is at the foundation of their success.

An article by Robert Floyd, Executive Director of the Texas Music Educators Association

Corpus Christi Caller Times

Charms changeovers have begun... (3/9/2011)
Welcome to the first phase of the new Charms redesign! The new main website page is up and running and we are very close to having the actual new Charms internal program up and running as well. Our target date is April 1 (no foolin'!) for the switch to the new Charms layouts.

Get ready for even GREATER functionality of Charms!!!

Fire rescue tale (joke) (3/7/2011)
The factory was ablaze, and the local firemen were standing around, helplessly - the fire was just too hot, and no one could get close enough to do anything! The factory company President appealed to them, saying, "All our patents and vital inventions are in the safe in there! I'll pay $100,000 if you can rescue them!" The firemen just shook their heads. "I'll pay $250,000!" Still, no one would make the attempt.

Suddenly, a rambling old firetruck from the neighboring town's volunteer fire department came speeding towards the blazing inferno, siren screaming, manned by a bunch of retirees. The truck drove right into the middle of the blaze without even slowing down, and the firemen jumped out and started working frantically to put the flames out around them!!! Sure enough, they got the fire under control, and the documents in the safe were rescued!

The company President was overjoyed, and told the head of the Volunteer Dept., "You men have saved my vital documents, I'm going to pay you $500,000!!"

The chief looked at him, looked at his comrades, and said, "Well, maybe NOW we can afford to get the brakes fixed on that truck!"

CHARMS HAS MOBILE APPS!!! (2/12/2011)
Did you know that Charms has Mobile Device capability? Log in with your smartphone, iPad, or even your regular computer, to www.charmsoffice.com/mobile and check it out!!! Work with Student Info, Library, Calendar Events, Attendance, Volunteers, Uniforms, and even Student Recordings!

Charms at TMEA, NwMEA, CMEA, KMEA (2/8/2011)
We're on the road again (to quote Willie)... Come say hello to the Charms folks at our exhibitor booth at MEA conferences in Texas, Washington, California, and Kansas through the month of February!!!!

Two Ants (1/26/2011)
Two ants on a bar are singing "We've Only Just Begun". A man leans over to the bartender and says, "Hey, What's up with the singing ant?" The bartender replies, "Those are Carpenter ants."

Midwest Clinic a great success! (1/4/2011)
We had a GREAT time at the Midwest Clinic, and truly enjoyed meeting customers new and old... We really appreciate the positive comments and constructive suggestions! Watch for the new website look, coming soon!

MIGRATION COMPLETED! (11/26/2010)
To our new mega-server! This was our largest migration to date and we thank you for being patient while we were down.

We have tested extensively, but experience tells us we might have overlooked something. If you come across an error screen - don't panic, but please let us know right away so we can DEAF the issue (Drop Everything And Fix). You know we will.

THANKS AGAIN for all your support.

New Fee Reports listings (11/18/2010)
The Fee Reports area now has the capability of listing all unpaid or paid fees across your entire student organization, showing who has (or has not) paid what for all fees. Check it out!

Send Attendance Email from Charms Mobile (11/1/2010)
Now you can send attendance updates to parents and students from Charms Mobile! Click the little email icon and the program will automatically send a formatted simple message to each absent/tardy student (and their parents) who have an email address.

No typing required!

CHARMS CALENDAR - PHONE SYNC! (10/13/2010)
Is ready for you to try! When you login to the parent area, click on the calendar and click the link for the instructions! Let us know how it goes!

Something NEW - Something BLUE!!! (9/28/2010)
Noticed our new filters? When you select a filter for a list of students anywhere in the program, the list turns blue and stays filtered while you visit other screens!

We're rolling this out as we write them, so more and more screens will have this new Persistent Filter!

Enjoy!

NEW RECORDING STUDIO! (9/5/2010)
Our long awaited new recording studio is now available to all Charms users with a Windows computer. (Mac version coming soon).

The new studio is a pure Java application - meaning no complex installation process. A few clicks to confirm, and the studio is installed!

Select from pre-loaded accompaniment files, or select from created assignments, or just record without accompaniment.

You can even adjust levels and change the tempo of your accompaniments without affecting the pitch!

Express Industries Alliance! (7/26/2010)
We are pleased to announce a new strategic alliance with Express Industries a major fundraising company!

For the first time, you can easily import your fundraising student accounting information DIRECTLY to your Charms account!

For more information visit Express Industries

PayPal Discount for 501(c)(3)! (7/22/2010)
We have just learned that PayPal offers a discount on their fees for registered charities with 501(c)(3) status.

The base rate is 2.2% plus 30 cents for the first $100,000. After that it drops to 1.9% plus 30 cents per transaction.

Please contact PayPal directly with any questions as to the status of your organization. (Thanks Dana!)

PayPal instructions on Finances screen (7/21/2010)
For those using or planning to set up PayPal, we have put a comment and link on the main Finances screen that takes you to a document that describes both how to set up PayPal and how to add a "handling charge" to offset the fees PayPal charges your organization for credit card transactions.

User Conference a Great Success! (7/7/2010)
We had over 40 attendees at our first-ever Charms User Conference!!! It was an excellent three days of classes, conversations, food, and recreation -- and we appreciate all who participated! Let's do it again next year!

YAHOO BLOCK LIFTED! (really..) (6/22/2010)
This time for real! Turns out they were classifying Charms incorrectly. The block also included sbcglobal.net, bellsouth.net, charter.net, and a few other email domains run by Yahoo.

Hopefully this should end the problem of undelivered Yahoo emails to real addresses. Now if we can get AOL to cooperate.....

New Today in Charms! (6/18/2010)
1) default bank account/activate budgets moved to setup bank account screen.

2) trips are automatically created as a group for easy form collection from students on trips.

New Macintosh Opticon Drivers Available (6/9/2010)
For the Charms users using the Opticon on the Mac, go to Hub > Resources to download the newest Macintosh Opticon driver/software.

Did you know....we now offer monthly subscriptions? (5/26/2010)
Does your Charms account expire in July but your budget not come in until September? We feel your pain! Most of us here in the office were once teachers so we completely understand how school and booster budgets work! We have begun offering a month-to-month subscription rate to help our users keep their Charms accounts running until the fall. Please contact Rebecca Baker (RBaker@charmsmusic.com) for a quote.

NEW FINANCIAL SCREEN! (5/25/2010)
YAY! It's finally here! A way to mark multiple fees as paid by transfer from the miscellaneous ledger! Makes transferring multiple fees very easy. It's so easy a caveman can do it.

Testing Email Handling (4/29/2010)
We're always trying to improve Charms and due to the recent issue with Yahoo mail accounts, we are trying a new approach to sending email through Charms.

Starting today we are restoring your email address to the from line as On Behalf Of.

Please let us know if your recipients have trouble receiving their email today.

YAHOO BAN LIFTED (4/27/2010)
According to someone at Yahoo, the ban against our IP address sending mail to Yahoo addresses has been lifted.

Please let us know if you continue to encounter problems with Yahoo. They suggest that the individual users can enter your email address (or the modified one we use to send) in their address books to ensure delivery.

YAHOO Emails Bouncing (4/26/2010)
We have been informed that Yahoo has decided to block all emails from Charms. We have contacted Yahoo (yet again) and have submitted their required documentation. We hope to have this resolved shortly. THANK YOU.

Charms User Conference (3/10/2010)
This year, Dorian Business Systems, Inc. will be hosting a Charms User Conference! The user conference will include training sessions, presentations by your fellow music and fine arts directors as well as fun local food and activities. Please take this short (JUST 10 questions!) survey so we may better plan out the best conference for you! If you are interested in attending this conference, watch the website for an opportunity to sign up and to receive more information. Click or copy and paste the following link into your web browser: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8D3G7TB Thanks for using Charms! *NOTE: Fun as it may be for some to do surveys (?) PLEASE do the survey only once. THANKS!

Charms on Facebook (2/2/2010)
Come be a fan of Charms on Facebook! Just search for Charms Office Assistant and keep in touch with us and other users around the globe.

HTML Email now available! (1/19/2010)
Michael Baker has announced that the new HTML Email system in Charms Office is up and live. It works basically the same way as before, but the actual Prepare Email screen is a different screen now, which allows users to make the input box bigger and set that screen to a 40 minute timeout rather than the 20 minute on the other screens. Also, we are using a better HTML formatting toolkit, which has a "Paste From Word" feature which strips out the Word/Outlook formatting gibberish that was causing some problems. And it has a Spell Checker button! That's just for you, Derrick! We've tested this in all the browsers on Windows and on the Mac and have not encountered any problems yet. Let us know if you do! Our building is progressing nicely and if all goes well, we should be back to normal office hours, phones, fax, etc. by February 1. Thanks for your patience!

*** URGENT RENOVATION NOTICE ***  (11/18/2009)
Starting Friday, November 13, our office will be undergoing a major renovation and we will be working from home, Starbucks, Panera, public library, etc.

We will still try to provide telephone support, but ask for your patience during this process. If we can't answer your call right away, please leave a message and we will call back as soon as we can.

Our fax machine will be offline during this time as well, but we will still have Mr. Blinky and email available.

We expect the project to be completed just after the New Year. THANK YOU!