What Can You Accomplish With Editorial Calendar Software?
Journalists and news publishers understand the value of editorial calendars.
They’re essential tools for planning ahead and sticking to deadlines. Without them, it’s extremely difficult to plan content around centralized themes (think how magazines target themes each issue), or to even know who’s doing what, and when.
In other words, creating content consistently without a calendar is like driving a car without a steering wheel.
It doesn’t work.
Smart content marketers understand this, too. However, even if you know why you need editorial calendar software, it’s possible your boss is tougher to convince. This may be especially true if the person holding the credit card isn’t actually a marketer.
If this situation sounds familiar, stick with us through this post. We’re going to show exactly what you can accomplish with editorial calendar software.
Why Should Content Marketers Use An Editorial Calendar?
If you want to create great content consistently, it pays to know what you’re going to do before you do it. As we like to say at CoSchedule, “plan your work, then work your plan.”
When it comes to planning, too many content marketers just wing it.
“Winging it” isn’t a real editorial strategy, though. It leads to creating directionless content that doesn’t produce results. Deadlines get missed, projects get planned haphazardly, and teams waste time spinning their wheels.
An editorial calendar helps create order out of chaos. It provides a simple planning tool for laying out:
That sums up the basic functionality of a content calendar. Take things a step further with editorial calendar software like CoSchedule, and you can also achieve the following:
And that’s just scratching the surface. Let’s dig deeper and see what an editorial calendar app can do for you.
Keep All Your Content Ideas and Projects Organized
Having a great idea, only to forget it later, is frustrating.
Having a great idea and simply not executing on it may be even worse.
At CoSchedule, when we have a great content idea, it goes straight on our editorial calendar. That way, nothing gets forgotten, and those ideas get turned directly into actionable content that helps our audience and makes us more successful.
So, How Do You Stop Herding Cats and Finally Get Organized?
Whether you’re working alone or on a team, you likely feel like you have too much to manage.
For solopreneurs and one-person marketing departments, creating enough content just to stay afloat is tough enough. Forget about planning ahead (at least without a well-rounded set of tools).
If you’re working on a team, keeping everything organized between all your co-workers presents another challenge. Sometimes one person works ahead on one project while another deadline slips. And when project timelines are fluid and deadlines aren’t clear, it’s easy to get distracted to pulled off onto other tasks that prevent you from reaching your goals.
Using a content calendar can go a long way toward preventing these problems. When every project is placed on the calendar, it’s easier to hold yourself and your team accountable for what gets done. It also makes it easier to keep track of all your content, whether you’re writing blog posts, producing podcasts, shooting videos, or anything else.
This is what creating content without an editorial calendar looks like:
This is what creating content with an editorial calendar looks like:
Enough said, Elaine.
Stop Missing Deadlines and Get More Stuff Done
According to Parkinson’s Law, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Without constraints, people take as much time as they have to get their work done. This isn’t necessarily because they’re lazily, but because it’s built into the way humans operate.
This is why we also often feel like we get more done under pressure. When deadlines are fast approaching, we’re more motivated to get the work done. With a clear content calendar to keep track of your deadlines, it’s a lot harder to forget when things are due.
Clear deadlines, combined with a tool for ensuring they’re enforced, results in more content getting created. It’s as simple as that.
Why Use Editorial Calendar Software?
Technically, you can use spreadsheets to build editorial calendars. They work well enough and they’re cost effective. However, their functionality is fairly limited, they can be time-consuming to maintain, and ultimately, they aren’t a ton of fun to use.
Using an app instead can turn your content calendar from something you have to use, to something you actually want to use.
See Everything In One Place
The value of seeing your entire editorial strategy in one place can’t be overstated.
With CoSchedule, you can see all your content in one place. This includes blog posts, social media messages (which can be toggled on or off), and anything else you’re working on. You can also connect your Google Calendar so events and meeting times can be synced on your CoSchedule calendar:
If you want to move something on a spreadsheet, you have to copy and paste it.
When you have a lot of stuff on your content calendar, this can be a pain.
With CoSchedule, you can drag-and-drop content anywhere you want on the calendar. This makes adjusting your calendar to reflect shifting priorities easy.
Collaborate With Other Writers and Co-workers In One Place
With spreadsheets, your calendar and communication tools are separate.
As a result, discussion around projects can easily get lost. That’s why we’ve built collaboration features directly into CoSchedule.
Integrate With All Your Other Tools
CoSchedule connects with other tools you’re likely using to help you get more organized and save more time. Here are some examples:
- Transfer content from Google Docs, Evernote, or Microsoft Word directly into WordPress:
- Connect your WordPress blog to schedule posts to publish automatically. Then, use either our WordPress plugin or web app to manage your calendar.
- Hook up all your social networks to schedule all your social media promotion in advance:
Plus, with advanced features like Best Time Scheduling and ReQueue, keeping your calendar full of social media posts takes minimal effort.
- Automatically add UTM tags to every URL on every piece of content published through CoSchedule. This helps improve tracking in Google Analytics.
It seems like a small detail. However, if you’re used to planning content in spreadsheets, you probably have elaborate color-coding schemes set up to make them easier to understand.
You don’t have to lose this when moving up to CoSchedule. Every item you place on your calendar can easily be color-coded for quick recognition.
Store Drafts for Later (and Never Lose an Idea Again)
Have an idea for a post you don’t want to lose? Or, do you have something in progress you won’t be able to finish until a later date? No problem. Just click an item on the calendar drag it into your Drafts bin:
See the Industry’s Best Editorial Calendar Solution in Action
While we’ve covered a lot of CoSchedule’s basic functionality, you probably want to see how it works. Let Lance Hendrickson, our Customer Success Lead, walk you through a typical workflow in CoSchedule in this video:
Get Started With CoSchedule Free for 14 Days
We’ve done a lot of talking about ourselves. Now, it’s time to give CoSchedule a try yourself. Start your free 14-day trial and see the difference our editorial calendar software can make.
This page was originally published on Dec. 5, 2013 by Julie Neidlinger. It was updated with new information on Jan. 19, 2017.