Bloggers, rejoice: Trello is a free app that is available both online and with a syncs-in-real-time iOS app for your mobile device. Blogging editorial calendar processes will never be the same since I discovered Trello, thanks to our Director of Community Education, Aimee Beltran.
Trello is based on a system of boards, lists, cards, labels, and checklists so that your editorial calendar is sharp, clean, and organized.
You see, I was one of those “must have my paper calendar” people, and in some ways I still am that girl. Trello, however, has given me a more robust, powerful, and even motivating way to handle my blogging editorial calendar. But wait, there’s more. Trello also plays a major role in the management of:
- Social Media
- Fundraising plans
Sound intriguing? Keep reading because this tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
If you’ve never used Trello, I highly suggest you give a peek at this 4+ minute video so you understand the basic concepts and how easy it is. If you can drag and drop, then you can use Trello and be up and running in minutes. Did I mention it’s free (there is a premium feature upgrade but you don’t need it for editorial calendar stuff).
If you are more of a “let me read it myself” learner, here’s an overview you can read on your own from the folks at Trello: http://help.trello.com/category/698-category
Here’s How To Use Trello as a Blogging Editorial Calendar
- Start by creating a new Board called ‘Editorial Calendar’.
- Add Lists to your Board. Lists function like columns and each list has a different purpose. (See image below).
- Start adding editorial content as Cards to your Lists. (Cards are like tasks).
Name Your Editorial Calendar Lists
Each of the lists in your board needs a name. As a blogger, here are some ideas of what to name your lists. If you prefer to name the lists something different, go for it.
- Content Ideas
- Round up post links
- Monthly Content
Content Ideas: As you surf through the Net and you come upon an idea for a post, simply add a card and put the content there. Here’s a peek at my personal ideas column for my blog, Fidose of Reality.
Month by Month Lists:
If you are a monthly planner like I am, or as you come upon ideas for a post that you’ll write later on, having monthly list columns can be a great time saver.
Draft: When I am in the writing process and once I have finished the first run of the post, I put it in the Draft column. Doing so reminds me that I need to come back and put finishing touches on the post.
Published: Once I publish the post I move it to this column. At the end of the month, I archive the entire list. Note: Lists cannot be permanently deleted. Instead, they can be archived to move them off of a board.
And now the piece de resistance:
Trello allows you to schedule a due date for your posts. I lay out my entire month in Trello, and if I want to see an overview of my entire month at a glance, wha-la, here it is:
Using Trello for Social Media Planning: Hactic
BlogPaws’ Senior Editor, Maggie Marton, and I presented a session on Hactics at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference in Arizona. A combination of a tactic and a hack, a hactic is born. Using hactics with social media tips can benefit bloggers.
Since my dog actually went through tearing his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) twice, once on each rear leg, and two subsequent surgeries, I did what any savvy pet blogger would do: I blogged about it. I knew I was onto something when the board certified orthopedist told me that of the nearly 1,000 surgeries he performed on dogs every year, that over 70 percent were on ACLs and we were his first ever custom brace people.
Once you have a hot idea, it can soon turn cold without a social media plan.
Here’s a screen shot of my ACL series broken down into social media planning columns below.
Hactic: As I write my blog post, I populate these columns with platform-specific content. As soon as I hit publish, I do the same thing.
So the one-and-done mindset is out. You definitely want to write your content in a way that it can be shared repeatedly over time. If you’ve been taking the Boost Your Blog 10K challenge on the BlogPaws Community, you know all about this. You can still go back and do that.
So, this means I now have two boards: One that functions as an editorial calendar and one that functions for social media planning. They work in tandem, as you can imagine.
You can see that one post can create multiple images, multiple messages on social media. You need to put dates in when you want to share things again. Use different images, different headlines, hop on trends (National Pet Safety Day) – I have a calendar for all pet and human holidays and even the off-the-beaten-path ones.
If you are more of a paper planning person and need to see your editorial calendar, Jodi Chick at Kol’s Notes penned a Paper Planning Post for traditionalists.
There is no one right or proper way to plan a blogging editorial calendar: Use the system that works best for you and your learning and organizational style.
Here’s a quick 3-minute video of creating a basic editorial calendar board in Trello:
Volley to you: What do you use for a blogging editorial calendar? Have you tried Trello?