Many of you ask us about our creative process at Orange. Maybe you’ve heard about our creative meetings or you’ve seen a photo of colored 3×5 cards and huge black foam boards that someone has tweeted from our offices.
We get the inevitable questions: “What are those cards about?” And the follow up question is usually, “I’m intrigued; how do you use them?”
Well look no further. Here is some insight into the creative process at Orange and why those Creative Boards are everywhere in our offices.
Basically, creative boards and note cards are a simple, visual way to organize your thoughts. The different colors of the note cards serve as an easy reference point to see where you’re planning each element of what you’re creating. On the flip side, they will also show you where you need something more.
You take a project and assign a color to a given element. The colors don’t matter necessarily – though I usually like them to be colored coordinated because I’m a little crazy like that. Just make sure that you have consistent colors for a given project so as not to confuse yourself.
Here are a few ways that you could use Creative Boards in your church setting:
For programming an event consider having a different color for each of these ideas:

  • People (speakers/worship leaders/etc.)
  • Songs (worship)
  • Songs (special)
  • Videos
  • Transitions
  • Visual CG
  • Walk-In/Exit Music
  • Communication Titles
  • Time Stamps

Events are similar to programming for services because many of the elements are the same, but you may also want to include the following:

  • Locations
  • Point People/Personnel
  • Signage needs

For Talks/Sermons/Communications, you’ll want to think in terms of notecards from back in high-school:

  • Main Points
  • Supporting Points
  • Expounding Data
  • Examples
  • Application Points
  • Key Phrases you want to make sure are said
  • Images
  • Videos

There are a ton of ways to use note cards and creative boards.
For predictable events or large group planning, I like to have category cards to the left of the board (or table, cubical wall, floor, or random flat surface that I have available). This sets up the initial service order that I’m thinking about. Most of the time this doesn’t change when I plan large group or family experience; I know when I will have the Host come out, a special song, etc. But setting them off to the side does allow me to see if I really want to keep it that way for this particular event I’m creating.
Once I have the order down, I plan sideways across the creative board and fill in the details as they come.
When I plan what I will say in a breakout, I don’t start with a preconceived plan of attack. Rather I start figuring out the main points I want to talk about then order them in a way that leads the audience on the journey I want them to take towards the bottom line/take away for the communication. I then start filling in the supporting information, examples, visuals, etc. that I want to include.
Again, there’s no right way of doing it, but if you are at all visual, this is the way to go. It’s a simple and effect way to create your next event or large group. Taking the time to storyboard on the front end will allow the backend to flow with purpose from start to finish because you will have already seen visually how it’s going to run.