Happy Thursday, Lovelies! I’m coming to you with something a little off-topic for Boho Berry today. There’s been a lot of talk in some of the Facebook groups that I’m a part of about Editorial Calendars lately and I wanted to share what has been working for me. I use an app called Trello to manage my editorial calendar and let me tell you: it has been a life-saver!
Trello is a free app available online (and they have a handy iOS app) that lets you easily organize and manage projects. I discovered Trello a few years back and I used it off and on to organize different projects that I had going on in my life. I even used Trello to organize and keep track of my wedding tasks and timeline back in 2013.
It wasn’t until I started blogging, that I realized the awesome tool that I had at my disposal. Trello has a super awesome calendar feature that most people don’t know about which makes it perfect to use as an editorial calendar.
here’s how i use trello as an editorial calendar:
Trello uses a unique system of boards, lists, cards, labels, and checklists to help you keep everything organized and tidy. Once you get the hang of it, it really becomes a breeze to manage your blog and see everything you have going on at a glance.
Here you can see the different boards that I have in my Trello account. Think of these boards as the master categories for anything and everything you want to manage.
I used the “Grand Opening” board as a task manager for when I opened Boho Berry Shop back in April. I simply shifted my million tiny tasks (cards) from “To-Do” to “In Progress” to “Done”. The “Admin Day” board is set up similarly, but I use it more frequently. I set an Admin Day for myself on the last Wednesday of each month to get caught up on any paperwork-type stuff that may have fallen through the cracks that month.
The main board that I use on a daily basis, though, is my Blog Editorial Calendar and that is the one that we will be exploring in more detail today.
Lists are the sub-categories that you add in to your boards and they house your ‘cards’ during each of their stages. The lists that I have for my editorial calendar are:
- Ideas: Guest Posts
- Ideas: Blog Freebie & Passive Income Products
- Ideas: In-House Posts
- Date Assigned
- In Progress
The first 3 lists are where each of my cards starts out. When I have an idea for something new to write, I add a card and sort it into one of my 3 ‘idea’ lists. From there, I can drag and drop them over to the “Date Assigned” list once I decide to start writing and I assign them a due date.
Once I decide to start a draft of my post, I drag that card to “In Progress” and it stays there during the draft and review phase of my writing. This is where I add labels and checklists to the cards to help keep myself on track (more about that in a little bit). Once I am ready to publish my post, I move it over to the “Published” list, where it stays for all eternity for me to look back on if I ever need to.
The “Resources” list is just a place for me to store cards with links to writing resources, and is not really necessary unless you’re into that kind of stuff.
P.S. My favorite resource is 100+ Attention-Grabbing Blog Post Title Templates.
This is what a card looks like when you click on it. As you can see, there are quite a few options to customize your cards as you see fit. When I decide to add a post to my calendar, I simply open the card, add a due date, and give that card a red label, indicating that the due date is set. This is what makes the card show up on that awesome calendar I showed you earlier.
Now, no matter what list I move the card to, it will always show up on my calendar on it’s assigned date. Also, if you’re in calendar mode and you drag and drop a card to another date, it will automatically change the due date of the card for you.
When you have the card open like this, you can add a description to the card. This is usually where I will add in any research notes, draft title possibilities, or create some bullet points for my post before I start the draft process. The possibilities here are endless, people!
You can also add attachments to each card if you like. I like to add my featured image as an attachment once I have it. The first image you attach will appear on the cover of the card, which makes it even easier to see everything at a glance.
Labels are one of my favorite parts about using Trello. You can customize your label’s title and color with just a few clicks and you are good to go. I love to use labels for all of my cards so that I can see at a glance what stage all of my posts are in.
For example I may have a post in my “In Progress” list that is marked with a red label and an orange label. This means that I have scheduled a publish date and the draft is in progress. Alternatively, if it is marked with red and yellow, then I know that the draft is complete and all I have to do is review the post and put finishing touches on it before publishing.
I also like to keep track of when my email newsletters need to go out on my calendar, so I mark those with a purple label that really makes them stand out at a glance when I’m looking at all of my lists.
Checklists are probably my favorite feature in Trello! Above, you see an example of my “Review Checklist”. This is my must-have checklist for each and every one of my blog posts before it is ready to be published. Once you add a checklist to your card, a neat little counter will appear on the face of the card showing you how many tasks you have completed.
I know that all of this can seem time consuming and a little daunting at first, but I promise you that once you get the hang of it, you will wonder what you ever did without Trello. I also know that just seeing these few pics and descriptions here is not the best way to learn it, so I put together a little video of me walking you through how I use Trello as my editorial calendar in hopes that you will understand it a bit better.
If you decide to use Trello as your blog editorial calendar, I’d love to help you get it set up correctly. To that end, I’ve created a blank template that is set up just like mine. All you have to do is copy the board into your account and edit it as you wish. This includes the lists and checklists that I use for scheduling and promoting my blog posts as well!
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Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.