What Are Editorial Calendars and Why Do I Need One?

Posted August 15, 2013 by Amanda Shofner in Blogging / 8 Comments


Awesome and because I said so!

Okay, but seriously: having an editorial calendar keeps you on your blog schedule and organized.

It’s how I became a more efficient blogger when I went from bi-weekly posts to weekly posts. Starting an editorial calendar helped me visual when my posts were and what they covered. And when I could see it all laid out in front of me, the ideas began to fly.

What an editorial calendar is

An editorial calendar is a calendar you use to track when you post and what you’ll post about.

Where your editorial calendar is and how you use it will depend on you. An editorial calendar is an individual experience, one that needs to suit the purpose of your blog and your particular requirements. It can be a simple list or a complex system.

Where to set up an editorial calendar

The good and bad news is that there are more editorial calendar options than you can shake a keyboard at.

(Side note: have you ever shaken a keyboard at something? It’s easier to wield as a weapon than a stick. Just sayin’.)

For this blog, I created a calendar in Google calendar. Easy.

On a Book Bender, my book blog, has gone through a few editorial calendar transformations since its beginning in 2011.

My first editorial calendar was simple—a notecard with each type of post for that month and the dates those posts needed to be published on. I supplemented this calendar with the editorial calendar plugin, which provides the ability to view your posts on a calendar rather than the usual list.

But when I added a second associate reviewer to my blog, I knew that I needed to do something more. I created a private Facebook group and moved my list of posts there.

You could grab a paper planner and keep your editorial calendar there. Or you could sign up for a task service (think Evernote or Remember the Milk) and set reminders for yourself.

The point here is to find what works for you. Because if it works for you, you’re using the editorial calendar the way it should be used.

How to use an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is your key to organization. BUT. Not everyone requires the same level of organization.

My Google calendar, for example, only holds topic ideas; when I get a new idea, I write down the topic in the next available slot. And when I know what I need to write about, I can be super productive during my dedicated blog time. I spend less time brainstorming and more time writing.

But you can go into greater detail on a Google editorial calendar and more power to you.

I tend to mull posts in my head before writing, so when I sit down to write, I just write. But there’s nothing wrong with creating an outline within your calendar to organize your thoughts.

Your editorial calendar could be used to assign posts to different authors or to keep a running list of everything your posts need to include. Your editorial calendar should serve the function you need it to serve. Only you can answer what that is.

Do you have an editorial calendar? How do you use it?


8 responses to “What Are Editorial Calendars and Why Do I Need One?

  1. I’m a little calendar obsessive. I have *three* Google calendars to help me (I probably don’t need three, but I couldn’t figure out how to do what I wanted on just one, and it’s easy to track all three on a single page). I also use that calendar plugin.

    But it works for me. Some people probably call me a tad bit crazy. 🙂

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