Keeping an editorial calendar is a very important part of maintaining a blog. It helps keep you organized and it helps you plan out your days, weeks, and months. The bigger you get the more important you’ll find having an editorial calendar is. Some bloggers have a really hard time keeping one though. I’ve heard many excuses of why this system or that won’t work. Of course not every system works for everyone. The important thing is to look for what does work for you instead of thinking you are out of options.
Use the Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugin
Did you know that you can set-up an editorial calendar right in WordPress? It’s true! The plugin is free and super easy to use. You can input posts that you want to write on the days that you want to write them. If you decide that you need to change the day you can easily move the “post” to the new date. It also shows you what posts you have already been posted and on what days.
Here is a screen shot of our editorial WordPress calendar for this month. You can see what posts have been posted in the grey squares (since those days are past). You can also see this post on the white square showing it as a draft and future post.
You can find it by searching “editorial calendar” in plugins. This is a great post that goes more in depth on how to use and set-up the WordPress Editorial Calendar.
Last year I was introduced to Evernote. Now I don’t personally use it to keep an editorial calendar, but I still use it to keep a ton of blogging documents. I have an entire folder dedicated to different linky parties. I don’t think I could run my Lots of Linky Links business without it! It can be confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it I bet you’ll find it’s invaluable.
One of the great things about Evernote is that you can use it on all of your devices. You can download a program to your computer, you can login online, and you can download an app for your tablet and/or smartphone. This way you can have all of the information with you wherever you go!
The one problem with Evernote is that it can be confusing until you get the hang of it. Sarah recently wrote a post for Play 2 Learn with Sarah about how to use Evernote for home organization. While you may not want to use it for that it’s worth checking her post out for tips on how to use the system.
Use Google Calendar
If Evernote just seems like too much for you than why not try using a Google Calendar? I love that you can color code different things so it’s easy to see who, or what, something is for at a quick glance. I did try this for a time last year, but I just couldn’t get it to work for me. Sarah wrote a great post in December about how to use Google Calendar for your blog.
Write it Down on Paper
I’ve come to realize that I do a lot better with keeping up with my calendars if I stick to good old paper and pencil. Or rather pens. I am not much of a fan of pencils since they smudge and often end up hurting my fingers, but that’s another story. Last year I purchased a planner from The Blogging Planner. By the end of the year I was able to use it quite well, but I needed more from my planner since I now need to organize not only stuff for my blog, but for my virtual assistant work as well. This year I combined a bunch of different printables that I found online, but for next year I want to design my own.
I don’t like scribbling things out in my planner, but I often end up changing what I’m going to post on certain days. The messiness, and lack of writing room, from scribbling things out drove me nuts, and I hear this complaint from a lot of other bloggers as well. I didn’t know what to do about it though. That is until I found a great post about keeping a blogging planner. In the post the blogger showed how she would write her post ideas on a Post-It Note. That way she could move it around if need be. Once the post was published she’d get rid of the Post-It and write the post in the planner on the day it was published. This was such a turning point for me keeping a written planner!
If you want some more tips on how to use a traditional planner as an editorial calendar check out this post that Carrie wrote.
There is no right way to keep an editorial calendar. The important thing is that you keep one. You’ll find yourself more organized and less stressed.