The poets workbench
     Platform independent  
     Uses standards compliant HSQLDB database technology  
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                                          the application

fully-featured workbench

The SecretaryBird's application provides all the tools necessary to efficiently and effectively manage poems and writers' documents.
From the initial creation and versions to readings, competition entries, submissions and publication. everything is included in the SecretaryBird.

In the horizontal scrolling window below you can find examples of many features and functions of the workbench.
Notice that all the forms have a Help button that summons the context sensitive help.
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    a beginners interface

    The SecretaryBird's application user interfaces have been carefully designed to be clear and effective. Beginners can start with the simple menu-like interface that presents all the functionality as a series of options that are answers to: What do you want to do with your poems?

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    the advanced users interface

    Experienced users will appreciate the alternative straightforward switch board with its icon push button controls. Learn more about SecretaryBird's advanced user interface from the on line help documentation.
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    begin working on startup

    with your current work in progress poem, picking up from where you left off, all ready to create a third draft.
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    review all your WIP (work in progress) poems

    The main body of the form shows the poem's title, URL, version, date and time created, poetic form, class and sub-classification, three flags, Notes and summary tabs. All the fields can be used for sorting and filtering.

    By clicking the Open button you can get directly to the text document of your poem.
    Help will summon the support information web page for the form.

  • using your poems

    SecretaryBird has the facility to record and automatically tmanage the use of your poems at readings, for
    competition entries and your submissions to magazines.

    Entries, submissions and published poems are managed by using a committed until date.
    Once a poem is committed it is (usually) not available for other purposes until the date passes.

    That’s why the published poem black above won’t be available until the copyright expires in 70 years time!

    You can of course manage the committed date yourself and circumvent the single, serial, entry/submission
    (much preferred by competitions and editors) and have poems that are submitted to multiple competitions
    & publications simultaneously - if you wish.
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    An example recoding a reading of poems at a poetry cafe.
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    competition alert

    On start up you are automatically alerted to competitions
    that have a closing date within the next 10 day window.
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    competition entry

    About to select a third poem for a competition entry.
    Notice the poems will be automatically committed
    for 30 days after the closing date of the competition
    on 19-Oct-15.
  • critiques and attachments

    In order to improve you poetry it is important to keep a record of the critiques other make about your poems.
    By careful consideration of each critique In and by judicious editing each version you can strive to achieve the best for your poems.
    SecretaryBird has a facility to record critiques made by both individuals and groups for each poem version.

    Also it is often very useful to associate, and have to hand, material to help draft and re-draft your poems; material such as notes, research, URL links, images, videos, recordings etc. Again SecretaryBird has the facility to add these kinds of attachments to poems.
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    Here is an example of a brief critique made by the critic Janice Booth about version 1J of the poem At the small taj
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    This example shows recordings for three poems.
    Clicking on the Access button would play the current
    recording for the poem these morning hills.
  • reports

    provide a useful view across your collected (or filtered by various selection criteria) poems and their use.

    The six examples that follow illustrate just a few of the many reports provided by SecretaryBird.
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    select and register

    or how to deal with your existing poems and make them known to the application. You do this by registering your poems.
    Registration involves simply identifying and selecting your poems in their folders and then letting the application (or yourself)
    handle problems such as title and file-name conflicts, duplicate files etc. Registration can handle most document types and
    multiple poem versions.
  • maintenance, customisation and support

    Supporting all this functionality are database tables that occasionally require updates and maintenance.

    There are tables for: publications, competitions, people, roles, groups, classes, sub-classes, poetic forms, flags (switches) and references (parameters).
    The application comes primed with a small set of demo-poems and their supporting information e.g there are more than 50+ pre-loaded poetic forms.

    You can also customise how the application behaves by turning on or off various switches and setting various parameters.
    Some of these switches and parameters function as support options e.g. turning the Error logging function on.

    The screen captures which follow show examples of various maintenance and customisation forms.
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    people - roles maintenance

    Just as a role can be performed by many people; a person can perform many roles.

    In this example we see the poet Dawn Gorman, who is also an organiser (of the excellent
    Words & Ears poetry group in Bradford Upon Avon), MC and critic.
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    group membership

    Here how you browse, change, add and delete members of a poetry group
    Clicking on Access will open the web-page Info. URL .

    The does critiques check box is ticked because this group does.
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    The maintenance of competitions is largely automatic. Notice the large Update button on this form and the last updated field.
    Click on the button to have the latest (UK and/or USA) competitions loaded into the database from the internet. The Access button will open a window on the competition’s website
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    user flags

    These are the switches that you can set off -TRUE (or on FALSE)
    to control the behaviour of SecretaryBird
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    and finally

    This is what you will see if you select the About menu item or the switchboard control.

    The website button will obviously bring you here. The video button will …
    well try it and see for yourself. The donate button will take you to the MSF
    donation page. Please make a donation if you find SecretaryBird useful.