I think that worship leaders get a pretty nasty rap when it comes to being organized or even moderately responsible.
Some of that is hard earned from the natural scatter-brained-ness of the artist, but I think it’s time that worship leaders shed the reputation of being unorganized and unable to keep track of anything.
Unfortunately, there is not a light switch solution where we can flip it on and become the hardcore type-A freaks some of our leaders are know to be. With that said, I think that we can take steps and leverage technology to fill in some of our natural deficiencies.
There is one app that has helped me so much in the area of organization is Evernote. It has a great FREE tier (which is sweet) and can be utilized as your virtual brain. You can search it very easily and organize it into notebooks that best fit how you think and naturally organized ideas and topics.
The thing that can be intimidating about flexible apps like Evernote is knowing exactly how to use it. I want to give you the framework for how you can use Evernote to take your worship leadership to the next level!
If you take the time to implement even a few of these suggestions with Evernote, I know you’ll see a change in how you’re able to lead and even plan for the future!
Create an Inbox
Worship Leaders can be a bit disorganized, so take a step to be proactive and organize your Evernote. As you probably know, Evernote is structured so that you create “Notes” that go inside of “Notebooks” (think Documents and Folders). You can create as many Notebooks and Notes as your plan allows (and that’s A LOT for the FREE version) and you can nest Notebooks up to one level deep for better organization.
However, I believe that the FIRST Notebook you create should be your Inbox. This is where you should designate all NEW notes be placed when created. This way, you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to Tag the note or what Notebook you’re going to place it into. You simply just get your thoughts out and create the new Note.
I personally labeled my Inbox “_To Be Processed” to remind myself to regularly go through them and process them. Also, the underscore at the beginning of the Notebook will ensure that it is ALWAYS at the top of the list of Notebooks. Create your Inbox so that you have a place to put new notes to process them later.#WorshipLeader @Evernote Tip: CREATE AN INBOX for new notes to be processed later. Save TIME & ENERGY.Click To Tweet
Capture Articles & Web Pages
A great feature of Evernote is that is integrates with almost EVERY web browser, RSS reading app, or any app where you might be reading great content. Evernote is an excellent place to capture articles and web pages for reference and safe keeping.
The truth is there are SO many great resources out there for Worship Leaders. My advice: Anytime you read an article or a web page and think “This is great, I might want to use this later or something,” automatically put it into Evernote. I have articles that I clipped back in 2008 that I still refer back to from time to time.
Also, most web browsers have an Evernote Clipper Plugin/Extension that you can install for free that makes capturing these articles and web pages super easy. You can also dictate what parts of the page you want to clip, so that you don’t have to have all the unnecessary stuff you don’t need.#WorshipLeader @Evernote Tip: CLIP helpful/interesting articles to Evernote so you NEVER LOSE THEM!Click To Tweet
ALWAYS Take Notes
This might seem dumb, but I think many Worship Leaders overlook the importance of making a habit of ALWAYS taking notes. There is not better way to communicate to your team and church leadership that you’re serious about growing as a Worship Leader than by taking notes. Also, there is something about writing or typing stuff down that helps information stick in your brain. In fact, Michael Hyatt has a great post about why you should take notes HERE!
You could do this on your laptop, your phone, your tablet, or even a good ole’ fashioned paper notebook! Yes, you can take notes on paper and get them into Evernote simply by using the phone app. There are even levels of Evernote subscriptions that will READ YOUR HANDWRITING! It’s nuts and helpful for those of us who still enjoy putting pen to paper.
No matter your method, you should make an effort to take notes because it helps you to always be learning. If I’m having a great chat with someone, there’s a good chance I’m gonna be taking notes. You never know what you can learn from anyone, so always be ready to take it in.#WorshipLeader @Evernote Tip: Taking notes communicates you're SERIOUS about GROWING as a LEADER.Click To Tweet
Customize Your Tags
Again, Worship Leaders aren’t typically the most organized people. Tags in Evernote are a great way to create a system to keep your thoughts organized in Evernote without having to search through every note you every time you need to find something.
Tags are keywords that you can apply to any Note to group them together, especially when they don’t live in the same folder. For instance, I might have a tag for my boss called “Matt Dawson” that I put on a note anytime he’s involved in a Note I’m taking. One might be for a meeting and live in my “Meetings” notebook but another might be for an event we’re planning and will live in that event’s notebook. If I select the Matt Dawson Tag in my filter, I’ll see all Notes, no matter their Notebook, because I tagged it.
Bottom line: Customize your Tags to fit how you think. You can have tags for people, events, ministries, teams, reoccurring meetings, ANYTHING. The key is to figure out what system best fits you and then stay consistent with it.#WorshipLeader @Evernote Tip: Customize your TAGS to fit how you THINK.Click To Tweet
Share Notebooks With Your Teams
As a worship leader, you tend to interface and collaborate with LOTS of different people. Whether its other church leaders or even other Worship Leaders, there are a lot of times where it would be great if you could easily share and sync information. Fortunately, you can share Notebooks with others easily, as long as they have an Evernote account.
This is great when you’re working on an event together, or just need to record minutes for a regular meeting. One of the best things I use it for organizing our Series Briefs for our entire creative team to share. This way, anyone on our team can stay current on who is speaking when and what they are focusing on. This is great for planning creative elements or even worship sets.
You can share them with as many people as you like and you can also dictate whether people can edit the Notes in the Notebook, or simply just read them. You can use this Sharing feature in a number of ways to make your life as a Worship Leader organized and simplified.#WorshipLeader @Evernote Tip: SHARE Notebooks to make COLLABORATION a breeze.Click To Tweet