Here at Ginger & Co., we produce a lot of blog posts. Well, let me rephrase. I write a lot of posts and then nag some other people to occasionally write posts, too. Either way, there is a lot of content running around. With multiple people writing for the blog, it’s important to have a plan, a calendar. While I can often be loose about my calendar, today I want to talk about how I manage my editorial calendar and what tools I use for it.
How I Used to Manage my Editorial Calendar
The Paper Planner
As someone who loves her Day Designer, it made sense to use a paper planner for a long time. Erasers are a girl’s best friend when it comes to a paper planner. Every year, I’d fall in love with some blog planner that had way too much stuff for me. I just wanted a page where I could schedule out my monthly blog posts and track stats.
Back in college, I was able to print everything off for free and it was no problem.
But the truth was, I wasn’t using these planners as well as I could have.
So after college, when I no longer had free printing, I had to go find something else.
Would any productivity article on this blog be complete without a mention of Evernote? Last year, I started using Evernote’s calendar templates to plan my editorial calendar. But, it wasn’t very flexible. I move blog post ideas around a lot (inspiration and laziness, y’all), and moving things in Evernote’s calendar template is a pain in the butt.
The calendars are built on tables, so you have to copy and paste things to move them around.
and that is frustrating.
So I was on the hunt again, and I think after how many years of blogging, I finally found a system that worked for me.An editorial calendar can help keep your blog organized, but how do you even manage it? Click To Tweet
How I Manage my Editorial Calendar Now
Evernote is still a big part of my editorial process, but now it works for an idea bank. Whenever I get an idea, I can quickly dump it in a checklist without assigning it a date. When I can’t think of what to write, I can rely on this list.
The majority of the ideas I get happen while I’m at the gym so I can use my phone to list out new ideas.
About a month and a half ago, I dumped close to ten ideas in the list while doing weights, so the ability to create on the go is a major plus.
While Evernote holds my personal ideas while they sit and bake, the majority of my content planning happens in Trello.
So I love, love, love the Calendar power-up on Trello boards. The calendar is the place where I spend most of my time, because I like seeing what “holes” I might need to fill in.
As you can see, I like to color code my topics. Writing posts are purple (to match Laura Teagan), personal posts are light blue because I use that color for my personal life in my Day Designer. Career posts are green because you gotta make the money, right? I can assign more than one label to each card to add more detail.
The other powerful aspect of Trello is the ability to assign cards to people. Working with three people who write content for me, it’s important to know what people are working on. Each contributor gets a list in Trello for all their ideas, and I have a checklist I can copy make sure they follow all the content rules. It also allows me to make sure I’ve done my part for each post (like make an image, schedule tweets, etc).
When it comes to new posts, I always start in the calendar. When I add a card in the calendar, it automatically sets that date as the due date, so I don’t have to go back in and reassign a date later on. I constantly have this page pinned in my Safari web browser, so I can quickly reference it and make sure I know what blog posts are due this week.
The biggest seller is how easy it is to move things around. Life is messy and flexibility is always appreciated. When inspiration hits, I might want to fit a blog post in sooner rather than later, so I can shuffle things around as I need to.
Having a calendar allows me to keep a plan for this blog, even if it constantly changes.
Do you use an editorial calendar?