editorial calendar tools

5 Editorial Calendar Tools Worth Trying

Posted 11 February, 2015 in Blogging Tips / 16 Comments

In this month’s Be a Better Blogger challenge, we’re learning how to create and stick to a blogging schedule. If you’d like to join us, view the challenge and sign up here.

Like I’ve said before, there’s more to creating a blogging schedule than knowing when posts are going to be published. However, that’s an insanely important part of it. First of all, that’s the only real part that your readers see. Second, you have a blog. Obviously, posts need to be published on it, preferably on a regular basis. Finally, writing blog posts may be the most time-consuming part of maintaining your blog.

Editorial calendars put together two of my favorite things: blogging, and planning. Woohoo!

I’ve played around with a lot of editorial calendars over the years, before finally settling on a few favorites. Because yeah, I use more than one at a time. Gotta back up that back up!

I’ve said it throughout this challenge, but it’s worth repeating: everyone will have a different “best.” The tools that I use may not mesh well with the way your brain or schedule works. But these five editorial calendar tools have met my high expectations and then some, so I hope you’ll at least consider them.

5 Editorial Calendar Tools Worth Trying

1. Paper Calendars/Planners

Let’s start simple. Sometimes, you just need it in writing. I know that the reason I’m such a big note-taker is because the physical act of writing something down helps me remember it. So while pen to paper may not be my favorite organizational method, I always fall back to it anyway because it’s what helps me remember things. I back everything up digitally as well, further cementing the dates and information. When I was less busy, just putting it to paper and then to calendar was enough for me to completely memorize my schedule.

may designs editorial calendar

Personally, I use a May Designs monthly planner that has monthly calendar views in the front and a lined notebook in the back. Right now the notebook is still blank, but I’d like to start using free moments at work and stuff to outline reviews. That should save some time in writing them.

I use different colored pens for reviews, BABB/Bumblings Blog Tips posts, and other features. It makes the at-a-glance view easy to read and comprehend. But unlike highlighters, they’re erasable so I can easily move posts around.

Related: How I’m Organizing 2015

2. Trello

Trello is the real bread and butter of my blogging schedule. Because it has both a calendar view and a Kanban board view, I can easily switch between viewing posts by due date and viewing them by status. Nowadays, I only use this for reviews, as opposed to all posts, since they have the most status updates.

Book Bumblings Trello Calendar

When I sign up for a blog tour or get approved for a book on NetGalley, I immediately add it to the “To Read” board and set the due date. For blog tours, the due date is simple. For NetGalley ARCs, I usually just pick an open slot around a month or so in the future.

Book Bumblings Trello Board

Once I finish reading the book, it goes into the review list, which triggers an Evernote note to be created where I’ll draft the actual review. Then it goes into the posting board until I create and schedule the entire blog post.

The reason I like Trello so much as an editorial calendar is because it’s so flexible. You can create lists for whatever suits your work flow best.

Related: How to Organize Your Book Blog with Trello

3. Google Calendar

Yes, in addition to the paper planner and Trello, I also use Google Calendar. Thankfully, my Trello cards automatically back up to Trello using a service called Zapier, so I don’t have to put time into creating this one.

Editorial Google Calendar

The one shortcoming of Trello is that the mobile app doesn’t have a calendar view (that I know of…I haven’t checked recently). So if I’m not at my laptop and want to see what posts I have coming up, I can just check the Google Calendar on my phone.

Again, it’s all pretty and color-coded!

4. Asana

Honestly, I haven’t tested Asana that much yet. But I’ve really liked what I’ve seen and it might allow me to combine my dashboards in Trello and ToDoist – editorial calendar and to-do list in one.

From what I understand, Asana might be your best option if you have a team of bloggers instead of a one-woman show like this blog.

Since I haven’t actually been using it as an editorial calendar yet, I can’t speak to the best way to use it. But here’s a great post about setting one up.

5. CoSchedule

Admittedly, I don’t use CoSchedule much for planning blog content, but it’s still immensely useful. For example, take all those spotlights you see in the Google Calendar screenshot. They’re all scheduled in WordPress already. But WordPress’s native posts interface isn’t a great way to view upcoming posts.

CoSchedule Editorial Calendar

Since I also schedule three months worth of social media promotion when I write a blog post, it’s awesome that it shows that info on the calendar, too.

CoSchedule is a paid plugin, and for self-hosted WordPress blogs only, but I consider it worth the money. My favorite part is the ability to schedule social media promotion in the same place that you draft the post, but the calendar view is a close second.

Free alternative: Edit Flow

Related: My Blogging Toolkit

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5 Editorial Calendar Tools Worth Trying for Your Blog

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16 Responses to “5 Editorial Calendar Tools Worth Trying”

  1. I signed up for Trello today and it is awesome! It was just what I was looking for! Thank you so much for sharing the tools! Now I just need to find a paper calendar I like and the editorial calendar part of my blog schedule will be done.

    • Glad to hear it! I think Trello can easily work for anyone because it’s so flexible. For a paper calendar, I like May Designs and if you follow them on social media, they frequently post coupon codes. Like, so frequently that I buy things constantly.

  2. Yes, I am still stalking around. haha.

    I currently use color coded google calendars, but I am going to try trello and see what I like about that, and see if edit flow looks good as well.

    I also just got clickto tweet. Is that box something that you can made from the twitter click to tweet interface or just the wordpress plugin?

    When you say that you schedule 3 months of social media at a time when you post do you mean you schedule 3 months where you manually go out and promote posts on a rotation, or do you automate that process?

    Also, I used asana at work for about a week. I wasn’t overly impressed with it.

    • I love that you were on the site so long! The ClickToTweet plugin by TodayMade should add something to that top bar of the text box, that launches a pop-up box to compose the tweet in. There’s also clicktotweet.com, which is a non-plugin alternative with a different look.

      For social media, I use the CoSchedule plugin with the Buffer integration to promote blog posts. It adds a box to your “Add new post” interface where you schedule posts. I usually set it up so that a new blog post gets added to my Buffer queue at different intervals. For example, on Twitter, I re-share the post the day it’s published, once per week for the next month, and once per month for the next two months. I have a similar schedule for Facebook. So it’s not completely scheduled 3 months out, but about half of the posts are already there.

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