Writing

Editorial Calendars for Cheapskates

Editorial Calendars for Cheapskates February 5, 2017Leave a comment

Tonya R. Moore is a Jamaican writer of speculative fiction–short stories, web serials, and novelettes. Currently living in Florida, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration in Fiction.

If you try to blog on a schedule, you tend to learn quickly that you won’t get very far without a bit of planning and organization. This is where an editorial calendar comes into play. An effective editorial calendar not only allows you to plan posts weeks, even months ahead of time, it also helps to keep you on task. When using an editorial calendar, I’ve found that I’m more likely to publish new blog posts with greater frequency and consistency.

When using an editorial calendar, I’ve found that I’m more likely to publish new blog posts with greater frequency and consistency.

Back when I first had a self-hosted WordPress website, I simply used the Editorial Calendar plugin. At the time, it suited my needs since I was only updating my blog sporadically. Then that I had a WordPress-hosted website and that Editorial Calendar plugin was no longer available to me (WP’s woeful lack of useful plugins caused me to switch back to self-hosted).

Since I decided to blog on a schedule and with greater frequency, I figured I needed something a bit more robust to use as an editorial calendar.

Naturally, I instantly gravitated toward the ever so amazing Co-Schedule, which truly is the ideal editorial calendar. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but balk at the price. The lowest tier of a Co-Schedule subscription is $30/month, if you pay for an entire year up front. The thing is, from what I’ve seen, the application is worth the price tag but it’s clearly meant for professional bloggers. I simply can’t justify spending that much on an editorial calendar, superb as it may be, for my blog.

The search for less costly alternatives yielded several solutions that offered the functionality that I was looking for:

  1. The ability to have items in both list and calendar views, as well as scheduling recurring items
  2.  I needed to be able to easily access and manage it using my phone.

Creative Editorial Calendar Solutions

It would have been easy enough to find or create something that I could handwrite entries in but I was pretty much stuck on the idea of a digital solution. I simple search lead me to applications that I had come across before but perhaps had not thought to use for this particular purpose until now.

Project Management Applications

Freedcamp, Zoho, and Wrike are some examples of free project management applications that can be used as editorial calendars. Having tried Zoho and Freedcamp and finding Freedcamp more suited to my needs, I think project management applications are well suited as editorial calendars. I used Freedcamp for a while and was generally happy with it but it only has an Apple app and I’m an Android user. For that reason only, I decided to continue my search for something that would work as an editorial calendar.

Remember the Milk and Google Calendar

Right around the time I decided to stop using Freedcamp, I remembered that I have a Remember the Milk account that I kept meaning to make better use of plus I already use Google Calendar. All I needed to do was create a Blog Posts list in Remember the Milk then use the calendar feed for that list to create a Google calendar, which I simply renamed Editorial Calendar. This simple solution has made my blogging life a lot easier and while I do have a Remember the Milk Pro Account, it didn’t have to cost me a thing.

If you can’t be bothered with the minor hassle of using a to-do list in conjunction with a calendar, you can always check out Hubspot’s article How to Create an Editorial Calendar using Google Calendar.

Some sites also offer up free Editorial Calendar templates as an incentive for joining their mailings lists, etc.

Whichever option you choose, an Editorial Calendar is quite the handy tool for a blogger.

Do you use some Editorial Calendar solution not mentioned in this post?

Please share it in the comments below.

Tonya R. Moore is a Jamaican writer of speculative fiction–short stories, web serials, and novelettes. Currently living in Florida, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration in Fiction.

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