The past few months we have been busy developing and yesterday we finally launched The Lambing Book App on iOS devices (Android version coming soon)! This app is very similar to our calving book apps only it is designed for sheep. If you have used either of our calving apps, you will definitely be able to sense the similarities.
Happy New Year! Just like last year, I apologize for being quiet but this year brings a lot of new changes to The Calving Book. Along with a ton of new features between last May’s update and this most recent update, we are also changing our pricing structure.
As we have been adding new features that allow for a more personalized experience, we have discovered that it takes more storage space. This led us to change our pricing structure. We will now be charging an annual database fee of $14.99 (USD) instead of the one-time fee of $24.99. Users are automatically enrolled in a 30-day free trial before their subscription begins. Since the transaction is handled by the App Store and Google Play Store, like before, you will have to subscribe in with the app store that aligns with your device. User accounts will note which app stores users have subscribed in so an operation will not need to subscribe more than once per platform.
If you have downloaded either one of our apps in 2017 or 2018, please call or email us (provide your username and the devices you use the app on) and we will extend your trial period so you don’t have to pay again right away.
Let’s talk features!
At the end of May 2017, we added a “Sires” page. From that page, you can look at a group of calves and analyze averages weights. We have also been working on our “Cows” page. From this page, you can enter and analyze vaccine records and purchase information, easily access cow history, and mark cows dead or cull (similar to calves). We are also in the process of revamping the “Cow History” page to make it easier to use. You will find some changes in this update but we have a few other things planned.
Of course, this update also comes with a lot of bug fixes and an overall enhanced user experience.
Here are a few good refreshers to get you ready for calving season.
Delete old books. All data will still be available in “Cow History” but this helps speed up load times.
If you choose to take advantage of shot records and the check boxes associated with each calf here is the color code system:
Royal blue: calf has been treated in the past two weeks
Sky blue: cow/calf pair has been paired out
We have a few more updates planned for the time being but as always, we love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to contact us with any comments and questions!
I know it has been awhile since you have heard from us but we have been busy making improvements to the app. As calving season is about to start firing up for most people, we have been busy adding features to The Calving Book Plus (pro update coming soon!). This update will be our big update of the season, but we will, of course, be continuously rolling out new features as necessary. Also, refer to this post from last year for tips regarding the new season.
This most recent update contains:
Navigation menu available on all pages
Notes page addition
Keywords list located on ‘Books’ page
A lot of these changes are relatively minor but we hope that they will be a great asset to you. Please keep reading for an explanation of some of the features.
Pretty self-explanatory…we are in the process of making the app look less cluttered and more modern by making a greater contrast between the background and the buttons.
Along with the new look we are using, we also added a navigation menu to every page. The calving records page still serves as the “home base”, but now it will be easier to jump from one page to another.
The sire page is very similar to the ‘Cows’ page. We are constantly working with it to make it more in-depth! Stay tuned for further advancements!
The cull report is similar to the pairout and dead report. It can be found on the ‘Reports’ panel.
As some of you may have noticed, we have added the ability to color-code calf records. It has been brought to our attention that it would be nice to see at a glance whether a calf has been treated lately or not so we have added another color to the lineup-royal blue! If you enter in a shot record for a calf, on the main screen where the records are listed, the calf/cow id will be royal blue for TWO WEEKS ONLY. After those two weeks, it will go back to the default color.
Royal blue: calf has been treated in the past two weeks
Sky blue: cow/calf pair has been paired out
Please note that you can use these features however you want as long as you know your system.
We have replaced the ‘Alerts’ page with a notes page. All records entered on the alerts page have been converted to the ‘Notes’ page. Further development to come!
This update also brings the ability to use The Calving Book Plus on your computer. Please note that this feature is not available to Pro users.
Steps to use:
Log into the app on your mobile device (make sure you are updated to the latest version)
From the navigation menu, click ‘Help’.
There you will see either your access code if you have one, or you will have the opportunity to generate one if needed.
At the top of the page, click the ‘Online Access’ button.
You will now be taken to a page that looks similar to how the app looks on your phone. Log in as you normally would but in addition to a username and password, you need to enter the access code from step 3.
Please note that while most features are available on the computer, some are meant for mobile devices only.
The Calving Book Plus has been launched in the Apple App Store! Android version coming soon! The past few weeks have been completely crazy as I have been working non-stop to get this app released and also get the update to the pro app out. Below you will find a tutorial for the plus app.
Use your real e-mail and a password you can easily remember to create an account. If you created an account with either the lite app or the pro app, you can use the same username and password. All data is transferred.
(1)Here is where all of the calves will be listed once they are created. The menu on the left under the header is where you can select which book you want to view. The menu on the right sorts the records. (2) If you click on the calf you want to view, it will take you to the details page where you can edit or delete the record. (3) This is just the view of the same page only scrolled down a bit. If you check either “Dead” or “Paired Out” it will change the color on the main screen. Red is dead, blue is paired out, and black is neither.
CALF DETAILS CONT.
Adding a Calf
To add a calf, click the + button in the upper right corner the panel which houses all of the fields that are available. (If you want one that isn’t there, let me know!) It is essential that you pick what book you want it filed under so you will be able to see it later. Know that the data picker defaults to the current date but you can change it if you need to. When your network connection is non-existent, you will receive a notification saying that the calf is saved locally and will be synced when a better connection is established.
You can customize the fields by going to the “Settings” page and checking the boxes of the fields you want to see and clicking save.
The menu button is located in the upper left corner of the main screen. From this panel, you can navigate throughout the whole app.
Adding a Book
The “Books” page is where you can create an unlimited number of books. This is a useful tool especially when you want to divide records in terms of year, location, or anything else you could think of. Simply enter the name of the book and click enter or return. NOTE: YOU CAN ONLY USE LETTERS AND NUMBERS. NO SPECIAL CHARACTERS.
The “Alerts” page is pretty straight forward. The “Add Alert” button is at the bottom of the page and it will open a panel with the tools to create the alert. The picture below is the expanded view of an alert.
The ability to add breeding records is new to the line of The Calving Book apps and is only available in the plus version of the app. The great thing about the newly added breeding records is that most of the page works offline. You can create, update, and delete records without a good network connection.
The arrow in the upper right corner will open a popup that gives you the option to add a calf or edit multiple records. (1) Add calf panel: As you type a Cow ID, it searches your previous calving records for possible matches in a Cow ID. You can click on the ID and it will appear in the box. (2) The search bar searches based on Cow ID and Keyword. (3) This popup appears if you click on a record. (4) This is the update all panel. If you leave a field blank, it will not update that field. Or in other words, only the fields that have a value or a changed value will be updated. The select menu towards the bottom of the panel will determine what records are updated. Select the keyword that is tied the records you want changed. (5) Before update…(6)…after update.
The ability to add preg-checking records is also new. It works very similarly to the breeding records page. Your records are all interlinked. So while you are creating a pre-checking record, there is, again, a list of options that could possibly be what you are looking for. When you click on the Cow ID, it will automatically select a keyword for you based on what the keyword was on the selection you made. You cannot update multiple records at a time.
You can create, update, and delete records without a good network connection.
Weaning records are also among the new features of this app and again, it works similarly to the breeding records and the preg-checking records. Your records are, again, all interlinked.
The export feature as not changed. You still simply enter your e-mail in the box and click send.
Every day brings us closer to calving season. For some, it is time to start thinking about what you want to use as your calving book. Here are some tips to help you you the process started.
For the people not using an app:
If you are not using an app to keep track of your calving records, it is definitely time to consider it. We are living in a world that has technology everywhere and the agriculture industry is not an exception.
I have found that the people contacting me for more information about the app are most commonly asking about using it on multiple devices. That is EXACTLY why I began developing a calving book app. You can have this app on all of your devices (iOS, Android, and Amazon). As long as you sign in with the same credentials, you will have access to your whole calving book at your fingertips.
Another thing to consider is that if you use an app like The Calving Book, all of your data is backed up to the cloud so even if you ruin your phone, all of your data is still saved. If you have a traditional paper/pen calving book, once you ruin it, you’ve got nothing.
If you are fearful of the transition from a hard copy to doing it all electronically, fear not. This app was designed with simplicity in mind because we wanted to make sure that it was easy enough to use without having to mess around with it a lot.
For the people using the ‘Lite’ app:
If you tried out the ‘Lite’ app last season, BRAVO!! That is a big step for some people. Hopefully you liked what you saw. The purpose of the this version isn’t to be your calving book forever. It is supposed to give you a little taste of what you’ll get if you upgrade to the ‘Pro’ or ‘Plus’ version. It simply isn’t designed for use over multiple years or for many calves for that matter.
If you are considering upgrading, keep this in mind…if you do, you’ll have the ability to separate your calving book into different books (or folders). You will be able to easily sort out what was from last year and(or) you could sort calves out by pasture. Another one of the many advantages to the ‘pro’ app is the ability to search. It isn’t convenient to scroll through a ton of records so there is an easy-to-use search bar at the top of the page.
These are not the only differences between the apps so for a comparison of them, check out this post.
December 2016 Update:
In the past year, we have taken the Lite app out of the app stores. It was no longer an accurate representation of what our other apps are. While you can still continue to use it if you already have it, we highly recommend updating because of the added features!
For the people using the ‘Pro’ app:
There isn’t a lot to think about if you have already purchased the ‘pro’ app. One thing that I would recommend is to delete old books or books that you don’t use. If you go to the ‘Books’ page then click on any book, you will have the option to delete. This will not delete all of the records, but it will prevent them from loading at start-up, which will make it run faster.
Don’t worry about not being able to access the old records since you deleted the book they were stored in. There is a ‘Cow History’ page where you can see the details of every calf you have created.
If you have any questions, do not be afraid to contact us at any time.
I know that it might be a little early to be thinking about calving season but I think it is important to fill you in on what we’ve been working on all summer.
First off, we are excited to announce that we are adding a third app to our line, The Calving Book Plus. (A release date is not set yet but it will be soon!) This app will have a very similar set up to The Calving Book Pro, however, it will have a place where you can enter your breeding, preg-checking, and weaning records. Originally, the new features were just going to be part of the pro version but after thinking about it a little more, we realized that in doing that, one of our main goals could be compromised.
Besides needing to have the records exactly where you wanted them at all times, we wanted it to be simple. People don’t have time to mess around with an app for hours trying to figure it out. Don’t get me wrong, The Calving Book Plus is also incredibly simple too but it is more than just a calving book.
So besides adding breeding, preg-checking, and weaning records, this app will have more offline functionality. Instead of being able to just add calves offline, you will be able to create new records of everything offline. (books, alerts, calves, etc.) Also planned is the ability to view all calves and other records offline. This is the part of the process that isn’t quite finished yet so this could possibly change.
No major changes are coming to The Calving Book Pro. We will add cow history but that is all that is planned for now. With that being said, please contact me if you have any ideas. We want to make sure that we have a diverse app out there that works well for everyone. You can email, call, text, or Facebook message us! Whatever works for you!
So I’m sure you’ve probably noticed that there have been some really cool changes to The Calving Book Pro in the last few weeks. Two that I am really excited are the offline compatibility and the option to export your calving book. The offline feature came a little later than I originally hoped but a lot went into perfecting it so it took just a little longer. The export feature came just in time for most people because calving is winding down for the year. Here is a little bit of an explanation on each.
When you want to create a calf when you do not have any service, your phone will automatically detect the lack of service and then save the calf information locally. In the case that you have minimal service, turn your phone or device on airplane mode. You do, however, need to be signed in prior to wanting to use the app offline. Your session will last 3 hours before you have to sign-in again. In the case that your books will not load because of the poor connection, there is a pre-made “Offline Book” where you can save calf data. Once you are connected to the internet, you can move entries around to where they need to be.
The export feature is pretty simple to use. You simply click the info button in the upper left corner of the main page, then you click export. From there, you enter your email address and click send. The app will generate the files based on whatever book you are currently in then send them. You will see a confirmation that the email was sent. If you have a book with a lot of entries, it will take a little longer. Your email will come from “email@example.com” and will contain two attachments. One is a PDF and one is a CSV file. The CSV opens in Microsoft Excel. Excel is a VERY powerful program. Within it, you can average weights and sort and filter data. If you use some sort of ranch management software you can try to import your calving data but since there are so many programs, it is not specifically made for a certain one. Let me know how it works for you!
For the users who have been using The Calving Book App since the first release, I’m sure you’ve noticed a lot of changes in the past month or so. Most of the big changes came in the 2.0 update (read more about that here). I had a list of 3 pages of things that I either wanted to change or features I wanted to add. After counting them one day, I realized that I completed 2/3 of those! I am always taking the feedback I get and adding it to the list so don’t be shy. This is the first calving season that The Calving Book App has available to the public and I am pretty new to the whole app development thing so it is safe to say that I have definitely learned a lot. I just want all of you to keep in mind that even if you are looking for certain features this year that aren’t there, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be there next year. One thing that has been heavily requested is cow history. I plan on having that in place for next calving season or even this fall. Since this is The Calving Book’s debut, there aren’t years of history to record.
When I was preparing for the first release of The Calving Book, I kept finding things that I wanted to add to it. I knew that if I didn’t set boundaries, it would never get released because I would keep finding things to change. So that is why every time I release an update, the next day I go through my list and circle what will be included. I usually decide based on three things…demand, necessity, and time. If there are a lot of requests of a certain feature I will usually try to add it as soon as I can. If it is essential, I make sure it makes it is in with the next group of updates. Now time is a little more complicated. I like to send out updates as often as possible so I have to pick things that I can get completed in the allotted period of time. Often times I will be working on one feature but it won’t be ready before the update so I continue developing until the next one.
Features new to 3.0
Head count per book: Above the search bar there is a count of how many records are displayed
Delete Book: If you go to the “Books” page, you can click on a book and there you will have the option to delete it.
Shot Records: You can add shot records if you click the shot records button. They are also editable if you click on them.
At last! The long awaited update is here. I know many of you have had recommended features, reported bugs, etc. I really do appreciate it because all of the feedback makes the app better. All of you make this app what it is and I can’t thank you enough. Please never hesitate to call, email, or Facebook message me if you ever need any help with anything regarding the app. Remember! Suggestions are always welcome!! 🙂
New fields (color, sire, calving ease)- Very popular request. You can now enter information in 3 additional fields.
Remember username and password– Obviously it would be way too annoying to have to re-enter your username and password every time you wanted to log in. No one has time for that especially when you are in the calving pasture trying to tag.
Choose the fields you want– Every ranching operation is different. When the additional fields were added I realized that not everyone keeps the same kind of records. So now in the upper right corner lies a settings button. Click that and then you can choose which fields are visible.
New and improved search- The search has been moved to the same page as where the calves are listed. Now it is more efficient and you won’t have to go to another page!
Sort– Now you have the option to sort based on cow id, date, and weight. If any of you would like to sort based on other things, let me know.
Alerts page– Use the Alerts page to communicate with everyone on your operation. This is an easy way to let others know if something calved in the night and needs to be checked. Use it however you want.
Bug fixes– One of the biggest complaints was that other people’s records would show up in the wrong book. This was caused when a user tried to update calf information so I am happy to announce that this has been fixed and as long as everyone updates, there shouldn’t be any more issues. Another bug was that the delete button was unreliable. It is now fully functional.
So once again don’t hesitate to contact me for anything. I really like to know what you guys think and what I can do to make it better. 🙂
I know its been a while since I last posted. I recently was at the Entrepreneurial Showcase in Faulkton, SD. People walking through the entrance area of the gym could stop by and talk to Xavier and me about the app before they went the the basketball game. We then made the decision to go to the Black Hills Stock Show that starts next weekend so if you’ll be there, we would love to talk to you!
Some of you may keep track of specific things that others don’t so you may not see the field you want when you go to add a calf. That’s where you can make it your own. The comments section is there for you to keep track of anything that doesn’t have its own field. FYI new fields will be added in the next update. (Sire & Color)
You also might want to keep track of when you sell cows/calves. An easy way to do that would be to create a new book and then move it when you want to. It would work the same way if you wanted to sort out cows that lost their calves or even when you pair out you could move them to a new book.
So make this app work for you and if for some reason you can’t, let me know and we’ll see if we can work something out. Good luck! 🙂