Building The Perfect Calendar
When we decided to build CoSchedule, we decided to build a better editorial calendar. We saw big room for improvement, and as it turns out, so did you.
All this talk left us wondering – what does the perfect calendar look like?
There are plenty of examples out there of great calendars. Basecamp, Google Calendar, and iCal all provide elements of the perfect formula, but our calendar has a few requirements that we’re still working on solving, requirements that we believe are unique to publishing and editorial use.
So far, we believe that the CoSchedule editorial calendar should allow you to:
See Everything At Once
We believe that there is a huge value in a single calendar that combines both social media messages and blog posts. This is something that we have come to call the bird’s-eye-view. It is our number one goal.
Re-Schedule With Ease
What happens when you’ve scheduled a blog post with its social media messages, and then need to reschedule the whole group? A lot of frustration. The perfect calendar should allow you to reschedule multiple messages with one drag and drop.
An editorial calendar is all about a plan. It is about deciding what you will do tomorrow, next week, and a month from now. The perfect calendar should help users see and change the future.
Most calendars fail because updating them is just too much work. If our calendar is slow or clunky, we lose the whole ball game even if we had a couple of great innings. The perfect calendar has to be in the business of saving you time, not adding to your workload.
Show The Connections
In publishing, one post can trigger several social media messages, and it is important for us to be able to see that relationship in a visual way. The perfect calendar needs to show you how things are connected and affected by changes.
Proper communication with the team is essential. Everyone needs to know what’s going on, and what their role in the process is.
Quantity Over Quality
We’ve already been working with early prototypes of the CoSchedule calendar internally, and we are pretty happy with the results, although there have been a few surprises along the way.
On big challenge has come with the bird’s-eye-view that we envisioned. Because of the sheer volume of messages that a single calendar can contain, bird’s-eye visualization is difficult, if not impossible. On any given day, a busy blog can publish 6-12 blog posts with dozens of additional social media messages. This makes for a very busy calendar. Never fear though, we are finding some unique approaches to visualizing and filtering the calendar that we hadn’t considered before.
It is really just iteration at its finest, all part of building the better editorial calendar.
What do you think makes up the perfect calendar?