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The Ultimate Guide to Trello: Creating an Editorial Calendar
Hey, boss moms! Welcome back to another installment of my Ultimate Guide to Trello series!
In the previous articles, I have gone over the basics, how to plan your week, and how to organize your family’s schedule. So if you haven’t checked those out yet, make sure you do! And if you have any questions on the material, make sure you drop them in the comments! I’m going to be turning this into a video series, and I will make sure I address any and all questions there!
In this article, I’m going to walk you through exactly how I set up my own editorial calendar using Trello. This is by far my favorite article in this series because I am absolutely in love with the calendar that I’ve created for my own business!
It hits every checkmark on my must have list: it’s visual, it’s super easy to modify, it’s accessible wherever I am, and, most importantly, it’s incredibly easy to maintain. Being a productivity coach, I am absolutely against any tool that takes more time to use than it ultimately saves you.
The great thing about Trello, though, is that if you want to put in a few extra steps, boards, lists, cards, whatever, you can! It allows you to set it up in a way that makes sense to you and how your brain organizes everything.
So I’m going to walk you through how I set up my own editorial calendar. You can use this information as inspiration to come up with your own unique method, or, if you process information the same way that I do, feel free to use this set-up as your own!
After creating your board, the first thing you need to do is decide what lists you want to include. Each list will be a process step, so consider the steps you take from an article idea to publication.
For mine, I have an Article Ideas list, articles that are In Process, articles that have been Scheduled and Promoted, and then articles that have been Published.
As each article moves through the process, I move the card to the appropriate list. This makes it super easy for me to see where I am with all of my content, and then make any changes as necessary.
The Trello blog offers up a similar system, but theirs is a lot more complex. They have additional lists for things like research, editing and graphics, and ready to publish. They have an entire team working on their content, though, so these additional steps are necessary. A different person is more than likely working on each step, so they need to know what’s on their plate by looking at their individual lists.
For me, it was too cumbersome to have to move a card from research to writing. A lot of the time, I’m researching it as I’m writing it. Regardless, it’s still being created, so I decided to lump those two together.
Additionally, I’m not going to move the card to another list when I’m editing it and creating graphics. It is still in process at this stage.
After everything is done and scheduled in Word Press, and all the social media posts are scheduled, I move the card to the Scheduled list.
And finally, once the post has gone live, I move it to the published list. I could technically archive it at this point, but I’ve found it useful to be able to go back and easily see when something was published.
Okay, so let’s jump into the technical stuff!
Labeling the Articles
For my blog, I have three different categories of articles: Organization, Productivity, and Parenting. I also write sponsored and affiliate posts. So, I have a label for each of these.
When I enter something into the Article Ideas list, I put a label on it. When I am deciding on which article to add to my calendar next, I can pick by category to keep things balanced.
You could create different lists for each category. I had it set up like this at first but found it was easier to just keep them all in the same list and label them.
You can easily drag and drop the cards within the list, so they are grouped together by category.
Getting them on the Calendar
Once I’ve decided to write an article, I immediately schedule it into my calendar by putting a due date on it. Then, when I switch to the calendar view, I can see what I have scheduled when, and what category it’s in.
So I’m going to schedule the example posts so that there is a post being published every Monday and Thursday. Here is what it would look like in the calendar view.
You can see from this example that I scheduled each category for the same week. That may work if you want to have weekly themes for your schedule. If not, it’s super easy to fix!
You don’t have to open the card to change the due date. In the calendar mode, all you need to do is click on the card and drag it to whatever day you would rather schedule that post for!
So let me move them around a little.
Now I have the posts arranged so that there is some variety and predictability to the schedule.
The Scheduled and Published Lists
As I said above, once an article is completed and scheduled, I move it to the scheduled list. And once it has gone live, I move it to the published list.
By looking at the board and the calendar, I can clearly see what I’ve scheduled and when it will go live.
The board doesn’t put them in any order for you. When you drag and drop a card, it will go to the bottom. So, provided you are scheduling them in the order they will go live, they should be in order. If not, all you have to do it move the card within the list.
I had mentioned in an earlier article that I cross off cards that have been completed in my editorial calendar. Like I said above, I don’t archive them because I like to refer to the list for publication dates.
In the picture above, you can see that the two cards I moved to the published list have the date in red. That is because that date has passed and I haven’t checked them off as completed!
To do this, you click on the card to open it, and then click on the little box next to the date.
Now the date shows in green.
So that is how I use Trello to manage my editorial calendar! As I said before, I like to keep it as simple as possible. I don’t like to make additional, unnecessary steps for myself. If I do, 9 times out of 10 I’m going to stop using the system.
This method allows me to clearly see my article ideas, the articles I’m working on, the articles that I’ve uploaded and scheduled, and the articles that I’ve published. This meets my needs perfectly and has allowed me to keep my content house organized and on track!
Do you use Trello for your editorial calendar? Let me know how you set your up in the comments!
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