How to Create an Editorial Calendar using Trello
There are so many different ways to manage your content, from low tech to full on integrated platforms. At the moment I’ve stuck with Trello but in the near future I’ll test out other systems as well and make a full overview post. (Ultimate Guide to Editorial Calendars? 🤔)
PS: I don’t have any affiliation/deals with Trello. Just a happy user sharing some tips.
Step by Step Process for the Editorial Calendar
Below is a step by step process on how to create your editorial calendar in Trello, but if you are already familiar with Trello and its workflow, click here to skip to the finished example.
1. Have a Trello account
If you already have this, awesome. If not, here’s a link to sign up: Trello.com/signup
2. Create a New Board
From the upper right corner click the “+” sign, then “Create board…” and name your board.
Private vs Team Board
If you have other people working on the same project, make sure to select the correct team from the drop-down list. If it’s just you, keep it as no team.
And unless you want everyone and their dog poking around on your board, keep the private mode on. You can still invite others to view and edit your board later on.
Tip: Add a different background for all your Trello boards so that you can see at a glance what board you’ve got open.
3. Moving Cards around on the Board
Since Trello is built sort of like a kanban board, it’s all about the cards. Just like the real deal, you move your cards between different states (lists) to track their progress.
All your article ideas should be added as separate cards on the board and the lists should mimic the actual workflow you would go through when creating content. So it goes from idea to published and everything in between.
4. Adding Lists to the Board
I suggest adding the following lists:
Keyword / Content Ideas
The first phase for every new piece of content is the idea phase. So if you have any ideas on what you would like to write about or if you’ve done keyword research, this is the list. Add all your ideas as separate cards. Example cards would be – Trello editorial calendar, tips for using Trello, how to stay productive etc.
Tip: Don’t worry about keeping this list tidy. Think of this list like a brainstorming list where all ideas are welcome. You can refine your ideas later on.
Once you’ve picked a card that you are considering
If you have more than one person working on articles, this is the list where they would claim ownership of an idea. You can do this by clicking the little pen icon in the corner of a card and “Change Member”. Note: They need to be a member of the board in order for this to work.
This will give everyone a good overview of who is working on what article. Also, if anyone has any comments about an article, they can add a comment to that card and the person assigned to the card will get notified. You can also add more than one person per card.
This list is for the cards that someone has committed to writing about. At this point you’ll come up with the final title, copy for the article and have a set publishing time.
To add a publishing time, click on the pen icon and from there click “Change Due Date” and pick your date. This will show at the bottom of the card and is a nice way to keep track of posts that are due soon.
Editing and Graphics
When I move a card here, it means that it’s time for final touches. Such as uploading it to WordPress, formatting it, searching for or making my own pictures to go with it and also making sure all internal and external links are added to the article.
Once you have scheduled your post to go live, it’s time to move it to “Scheduled”. You should also finish all admin and marketing tasks whilst here, such as scheduling social media posts and adding a note to Google Analytics about a new post under the launch date.
Finally, once every task connected to an article is done, we can move it to “Published”. Once a card is in this list, we can forget about it and move onto other cards.
5. Simplify your Workflow with Checklists
Checklists are a must have when creating content. You might think you will remember to do all the required steps but some may still fall through the cracks.
In Trello, I suggest making a separate list for all your checklists and a card for each stage, such as Researching, Writing etc. That way you will have a checklist template to use and don’t need to rewrite the checklist for every card.
To add a checklist, click open the card and go to Checklist > Add.
Complete Checklist for Blog Posts
Here’s a full list of tasks I go through for my blog posts:
- Keyword research
- Search for related / similar articles
- Bulletpoint outline for post
- Add publishing date
- Final Title
- Draft version
- Final copy
Editing and Graphics:
- Move post to WordPress
- Add images / screenshots
- Proof post
- Add tags in WP
- Add category in WP
- Insert internal links where appropriate
- Make feature image
- Add feature image
- Use Title Case for headings
- Ensure proper use of headings
- Set alt and title tags for images
- Ensure all images are own or you have the right to use them
- Check that internal and external links are active
- Yoast SEO tool check
- Schedule post
- Note to Google Analytics
- Set Twitter copy / image (Yoast SEO Tool)
- Set Facebook copy / image (Yoast SEO Tool)
- Schedule social media posts
- Publish post
Adding Checklists to Individual Cards
To add a checklist to a card, open the card, go to Checklist > Copy Items From… and add the appropriate checklist.
I usually copy my checklists from the Checklist list so that I know everything is how it should be. In most cases you could also copy from other cards that already have that checklist but if you’ve made any changes or removed any checks, this would carry over to the new card as well.
6. The Calendar Power Up
What are Power Ups?
Power Ups in Trello are basically extra features that you can enable for your board. You are allowed one power-
To add a power up, go to Menu > Add Power Up. You can find the calendar power up under “Board Utilities” or search for “Calendar” using the search bar. Once you’ve found it, click “Add”.
Using the Calendar Power Up
The Calendar Power Up is by far the most useful add-on on Trello for editorial calendars. If you have any due dates on cards, it will show them in a calendar view.
To switch between the normal list and calendar view, click on “Calendar” in the top-right corner.
You can also easily change publishing dates by dragging a card to a new day within the Calendar View.
Example Editorial Calendar
But if you want the Trello editorial calendar right here and now, you can just copy the example I used above and tweak it as you see fit.
Make sure to leave “Keep Cards” checked to get all the checklists I’ve used to your board as well.
Here’s my example editorial calendar: trello.com/b/hIpMewyK/editorial-calendar
If you found this tutorial useful or have any questions, please leave a comment below!