Worship Planning: Ideas for Staying Organized

I’ve only been leading worship for a short time, but I’ve already learned that being organized makes worship planning much easier! Here are some ideas that have worked for me that fellow worship leaders may find useful.

#1. Use dry-erase boards.

A good way to keep post-its & such from cluttering your workspace! Use it to write down song ideas for upcoming worship services & even use magnets to hold chord charts for quick review. When ideas for services other than the one being planned come to mind, this is where they can be written them down for your next planning session.

#2. Keep your music organized.

Keep chord & lead sheets in a filing cabinet or binder sorted alphabetically for quicker access. This can also save printing from CCLI (or other services) when you can access sheets printed for prior use.

#3. Utilize spreadsheets.

Our previous worship leader had a great system for keeping track of songs by title, hymn # (if applicable), key, dates used, & CCLI number. You can even color-code for things such as tempo, seasonal, song prospects, or to note which instrument you play on certain songs. (Be sure to make a color key though!)

#4. Make use of document templates.

Another idea I’ve inherited from our previous worship leader: Make a layout for the service or services you plan, then save as templates in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. When planning services, you can simply open the template & enter the song or hymn titles for that worship service instead of starting from nothing. Copy/paste into email for your worship team & you’re ready to go!

#5. Stacking document trays = less clutter.

Many already use these for filing papers & such, & they are great to prevent paper clutter on your desk. You can use more or less depending on your need. I use 3-4 stacking document trays in this way:

  • 1: Current week’s music on top (for both services and rehearsals)
  • 2: Music for future rehearsals or services
  • 3: Song prospects for review
  • 4, 5, and 6: Miscellaneous (to do items, upcoming conference info, music to purchase, etc.)

Did this help you to become more organized or give you other ideas? Share some of your own tips below.

4 thoughts on “Worship Planning: Ideas for Staying Organized

  1. Billy Chia

    Good tips. Yes, yes and yes! to your idea to put all the songs in a database or Excel spreadsheet. (This does become a massive gift to those who follow you.)

    I like to keep things simple by keeping all my music on my computer. (I’d like to move that all to an online storage like buzzwords)

  2. A. Post author

    Thanks, Billy!

    I don’t know what I would have done without our previous worship leader’s organizational skills & the stuff he taught me & already had in place. I would have never thought of the spreadsheet idea in the same thorough way that he did otherwise. I am soooo thankful for all the resources & ideas I inherited from him!

    It’s also so wonderful to learn from other blogging worship leaders such as yourself!

  3. holland davis

    I’d love to invite you to upload any original songs that are well produced to worshipsong.com. It’s a place for your songs to be heard and for you to be able to sell downloadable mp3’s rhythm charts, etc.


    Holland Davis

  4. Jan Owen

    Amanda, I would second Billy’s advice. I have a laptop and keep all of my mp3s and charts on it. We also utilize and online storage facility so all can access when needed. We have a team website that I post everything to and that gives an email break. So I would recommend a team website. That’s made a huge difference for us. And yes, charts are a must to keep a handle on things.


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