We always knew that having an editorial calendar was crucial, but for a long time we really struggled to create a structure that worked for us and our business.
- Color-coded Google Sheets
- Content Marketing Institute templates
- ...and even gave CoSchedule a go
But, like Goldilocks on the hunt for porridge that was... just right, we found each of those systems either too time-consuming, too difficult to maintain or too easy to forget.
Finding a true solution required that we first get super clear about exactly what we wanted our editorial calendar to help us achieve.
OUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR NEEDED TO BE:
- A single place to note and generate ideas for new blog posts
- The source for both past and future topics, giving us a bird’s-eye view of our content strategy
- A communication & collaboration hub that allowed us to delegate certain aspects of our blogging process to each other and to others
As soon as we got clear on the function of the editorial calendar, the format solution was born.
We could create exactly what we wanted in Asana! Once we defined how to create an editorial calendar in Asana, there's been no looking back.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN ASANA EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
Building your content management system in Asana has many benefits:
- It’s easy to use
- We always know what each of us needs to do
- We can easily delegate elements of our blogging process
- Everything's from our blog ideas list to our blog templates live in one place
- It's simple to maintain
- It's a visually pleasing, enjoyable space to work in
Blogging should be just as easy for you - which is why we feel duty bound to share our Asana editorial calendar template and blueprint with you. You'll be able to implement and benefit from it in no time.
HOW TO CREATE AN ASANA EDITORIAL CALENDAR IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS
STEP 1: CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR PROJECT
In Asana: Create a new project in Asana by hitting the “+” sign next to PROJECTS (in the left pane) and naming it “Editorial Calendar template.”
Color code it and/or add it to favorites, so you can easily find it later on.
- Hover over the name of the project
- A little arrow will appear to the right of the project name
- Click on the arrow
- In the dropdown menu, select a color and/or click Add to Favorites
STEP 2: DETERMINE THE MOVING PARTS OF YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR PROJECT
Think about different categories of items that you want in your Editorial Calendar.
Building out your systems is always an iterative process that you improve as you use it so don’t worry about having a comprehensive list from the get go.
Add obvious and key categories first. You can always add more stuff later.
To put the items in the desired order, highlight and drag a number of them up or down.
Our editorial calendar categories have evolved over time - this is how they look now:
- Monthly Lineup (categories of posts we use on a regular basis)
- Goal Tracking (our blogging goals)
- Blog Post Ideas (here we list our own ideas, reference articles that gave us ideas for our own articles, collect questions from our blog readers, etc.)
- Blog Post Uploading Process (checklist of what needs to happen when uploading a blog post)
- Months of the Year
HOW TO CREATE A CATEGORY IN ASANA:
Simply type in the name of your category in the same space you'd normally use to create a task.
Follow the task name with a colon and hit “enter” to make the text a header, under which you can group the tasks you want to fall under the category.
To turn the category header back into a task, simply remove the colon.
You also aren't restricted to keeping your categories and tasks in a certain order as you can easily drag them around to change their order.
STEP 3: POPULATE YOUR Asana Editorial calendar PROJECT
Now that you have a rough structure, go ahead and add individual items under different categories.
Some of the categories like:
- Monthly Lineup
- Goal Tracking
...will have just one or two tasks under them. Others - like the Blog Post Ideas list and individual months - will have more.
In Asana: List the tasks by typing them in the middle task pane. Type a task, hit “enter” on your keyboard, type another task, hit “enter,” and so on.
Use the left pane to give additional information about tasks: add reference links or notes for yourself in the task description area; create a checklist by using the Subtask feature; assign a due date for time-sensitive items.
STEP 4: HELP YOUR TEAM MEMBERS HELP YOU
Asana is an excellent tool for both delegation and collaboration.
Even if you’re not yet in a position to hire someone, we always recommend starting to document the aspects of any process that you’d love someone to help you with eventually.
There are countless roles you could bring someone on to help you with. Here are some of the more common ones you might consider bringing on board:
- Copywriter to write articles for you
- Copyeditor to proof and edit your blog posts before publishing
- Assistant to format and upload blog posts
Start thinking about what information they would need to complete the task(s) to your satisfaction. Consider outlining sample blog post structures and formatting and uploading a checklist.
In Asana: When collaborating on a project, make sure to share the project with your team member(s).
Assign the task to them by clicking on the little silhouette on the left side of the task name (middle pane) or in the top left corner of the task details pane (right pane).
Assign the due date in the task details pane (right side) and click the little calendar icon.
Fill out the description part of the task with examples and expectations for this task.
Use the Comments area to communicate with your team member(s) instead of exchanging e-mails. Use the @ sign to tag them.
STEP 5: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ASANA TEMPLATES
It's no secret that we're addicted to templates. They save us A LOT of heartache - and frankly, you have enough to do in your business so why do the same thing over and over again if you don't have to?
Here’s how to use Asana templates:
In Asana: Create a task Blog Post Formatting and Uploading Template
Use the Subtasks feature to list the steps you take when formatting and uploading posts. Every time you’re about to create a task for a new blog post, copy your template and rename the task giving it the title of your new blog post.
Then, drag the task under the respective month.
You can then assign the task to your assistant/team member and specify the due date.
Once your team member is notified, she’ll be able to go through your checklist and complete each item.
WHAT RESULTS COULD AN ASANA EDITORIAL CALENDAR BRING TO YOUR BUSINESS?
At the bare minimum, an Asana editorial calendar will give you and your team a framework for reaching your blogging goals.
It will also help you stay organized, keep you on top of things and ensure that your blogging process is simple and easy to maintain.
BACK TO YOU...
Are you using an editorial calendar to consistently create content? What aspects of consistent content creation do you struggle with? Let us know in the comments below!