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The Session Planner
Improvements to the Session Planner
Improvements to the Session Planner

Discover new way of adding and managing the blocks in your agenda

Andy avatar
Written by Andy
Updated over a week ago

We’ve made some changes to our session planner to make it easier for you to manage the blocks in your agenda. When you create a new session or open an existing session, you will notice a couple of usability improvements that have changed the layout of some key buttons in the Session Planner.

The button to add a new block, group or breakout is now on the top left side of the blocks in your session:

When you click on it, a menu will open and you can choose which type of block you’d like to add to your session:

Similarly, in this menu you will find the options to add a note or import a library method.

Moving blocks within your session

Click on the dotted grip on the top left side of each block, and you’ll be able to drag and drop the block to another position in your agenda.

Block Details: Adding Instructions, Materials, Attachments

The button to add block details such as attachments, instructions and materials is now on the right side of the block that you are editing. Please note, attachments must now be added by accessing the block details area.

Click the arrow button and the block details section will open in the right side panel, allowing you to add your goals, materials, instructions, attachments and any background information you wish to include.

Another way to add block details is by clicking on the dotted button on the left side of the block and choosing the ‘Block details’ option. This menu replaces the dropdown menu which was previously on the top right of each session block.

This menu will also allow you to complete a number of actions regarding your block - you can add a comment, expand or collapse the block, or duplicate the content amongst other things.

The comment button is now located on the right side of the block that you are editing, above the lock Details button:

Once you click on the button you will see the comments field open on the right side panel where you can see all the previously added comments and be able to add new ones.

Expanding / collapsing blocks

The button to expand your block or group has a new look and can be found in-between the blocks in your agenda

You can also expand / collapse your blocks using the dotted menu on the upper left side of any block:

Hide the second main text column

If you'd like more flexibility on how you organise your content in the Session Planner, you can now toggle between a single column and a two-column layout, by hiding the second main text column (”Additional information”).

To do this, choose on the 'Show additional info' option when you click on the 'Session settings' button at the top of your agenda:

Your hidden content will now seamlessly move under the "Block Details" sidebar tab.

If you would like to bring back the Additional information column into your agenda, you can toggle back to show the additional information of the second column.

Will collaborators see the Additional Information column in the main agenda, if I choose to hide it?

This is a session-level setting that applies to every other collaborator of your session. For example, if you create a Visitor Link and you want people only to see the column with the Descriptions of your session blocks, you can hide the Additional Information column and they won’t see it.

Similarly, if one of your session collaborators (with editor rights) changes between single-column and two-column views, that will change the session’s view for everyone else, too.

Colored text and highlighting in your sessions

You can now choose to color or highlight text within your session blocks to give more context for yourself and to your collaborators about your session plan.

Simply highlight the section of text you wish to edit and the formatting menu will appear, where you can choose either the color picker or color background picker to change your selected text.

You can find the color formatting options useful in your session design in a number of ways:

  • Highlight text by status: you can mark certain information to indicate whether they are in their final, or waiting-for-feedback stage

  • Highlight by collaborator: when collaboratively editing an agenda, you might feature the input you added with a different color, so your collaborators can easily see the updates you made.

  • Highlight by type of information: you can mark certain type of information (e.g. tech instructions) with a specific color.

For instance, in the above example you can see a Note made on the top of the session, where three co-facilitators agreed on the color coding convention, so they can easily oversee who adjusted specific parts in the session plan.

Text colors and formatting can be applied in the Description, Additional Information, Background, Instructions and Goal fields of your session blocks, and are available for all users of SessionLab including those on the free, Basic plan.

How will my highlighted text look on the Word export?

There are some limitations in the Word export, related to the color options that MS Word offers. MS Word only offers a limited set of highlight colors, therefore the highlight colors will not look the exact same as within SessionLab, when you export your session into Word.

Your text colors and highlights will look the same on PDF exports.

Flexible blocks on the session planner

The blocks within your session now have a new look, allowing you greater flexibility over how your agenda appears in the session planner. Each field of a block can now be displayed in a column, giving you a table-style view of your entire agenda. You will be able to choose which columns, and the amount of details, you would like to be shown in the planner.

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