Blogging and the whole editorial calendar planning isn’t as easy as it seems – I’m sure any of you can agree with that. Sometimes though, we make it more difficult than it has to be. I’m speaking from my own experience!
I used to struggle not only with figuring out what to write on my blog, but how to organize my blogging efforts so I can stay on top of things without spending hours on every single blog post.
Today, I want to share my process with you, because as I talk with other entrepreneurs, I can see many of them struggles with what I struggled in the past. Hopefully, this process will help you just as much it helped me before.
How to organise your editorial calendar like a PRO in Asana
If you follow me for a while now, you probably have seen the post where I show you how to automate your editorial calendar in Trello using Zapier. It’s still up to date and it still works, so if you’re interested, you’re welcome to have a look.
I moved away from Trello though and found Asana better for me, personally. I will admit, design did have a lot to do with my decision process. But can you blame me?! Does Trello have flying unicorns to celebrate the fact you smashed your to-do list? Nope!
Asana is a project management system that I use alongside Basecamp.
It’s a little different than Basecamp and although I don’t like to use it for my client’s projects for various reasons, it’s amazing for projects like Editorial Calendars, internal project planning, etc.
It’s completely free to use (unless you want fancy options) and you can learn more about it here.
How to set up your editorial calendar in Asana
First, let me tell you how my entire editorial calendar works. I’ve got a project in Asana called Editorial Calendar, where I created several columns: Blog posts, Newsletters, In review, Publishing/Setting up, Published/Scheduled.
Each of those columns contains different tasks: in Blog posts I’ve got a task called Blog posts ideas. This task has several subtasks – each of them is a separate blog post idea. In each of the subtasks, I can put my posts ideas, links to resources, etc. This way, when I need a post idea, I simply open the task and have a clear list of ideas I accumulated over time. When I want to access resources for the particular idea, I simply open a subtask.
Other columns in my Editorial Calendar project are filled with tasks for particular posts. For example, once I write the first draft of a post, it goes to “in review” column. Once it’s ready and scheduled, I move it forward to the “Published/Scheduled” column.
Create a task template / to-do list for a single post
Now that we have the project arranged, it’s time to create a single task that will work as a template for us. It will basically have everything we need to get done for every single post in it, so we don’t forget anything.
Every time I write a new post, I copy the template task and fill it out with content.
I also assign a due date for it and add a tag: “blog post”, which marks it as pink in my case (you can set it to whatever color you like).
Inside the task I will write the blog post title, topic and goal. I will also create Google Doc where I write the draft (it’s just so much easier to review it this way). You can automate this step using Zapier: simply create a Zap that tells Google Docs to create a new document every time there’s a new task in a specific Asana project. Get this Zap recipe here.
Down below, you can see I have a few sub-tasks that work as a to-do list. Each of those sub-tasks can be assigned to a different person, which makes it so much easier to collaborate.
Whenever each step is completed, you can just close the sub-task and see the progress.
PRO TIP: With Asana Pro, you can set up Task dependancies – which means you can make sure that once certain task is completed, another person gets notified automatically, or the person completing the task is redirected to the next one. It’s great for when you’re collaborating with a whole team, because you don’t need to keep track of everything and micromanage – once set up in Asana, it does it for you. Woohoo!
Plan your content visually
Another awesome feature I often use in my Editorial Calendar is calendar view. I told you earlier, that I choose a due date for every new task. This will then show those tasks in the calendar view, so it gets really easy to plan your content visually. You can drag and drop tasks and it will update the due date right away.
Once you fill your calendar out with blog posts, newsletters and social media posts, you can easily see how the content is distributed and if it makes sense. Remember to use different tags for different type of content, so it has different color on your calendar.
Keep the conversation going
In Asana, projects you also have a Conversation tab. There, you can create messages about your editorial calendar and keep everything in one place. This makes collaboration so much easier! No more trying to talk things over via email – it just makes people confused. And who likes those never-ending email threads?
Everything in one place
You’ll also find the Files tab right at the top of the project. There, you can keep and share the files needed to create your content. Collaborating with your editors and contributors couldn’t get much easier than that.
I love Asana and use it everyday for internal projects and even personal goals.
It’s so easy to get lost in all the things we, biz owners, need to do, but tools like Asana can really take away the headache of staying on top of things like creating content.
If you can make your life easier and get rid of overwhelm as simply as organising your content creation process in Asana, you should definitely do that.