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How to use Trello as a content calendar
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How to use Trello as a content calendar

A headshot of Dan Ivory
Dan Ivory
21st September, 2021
A mountain and a flag surrounded by colourful shapes
A headshot of Dan Ivory
Dan Ivory
21st September, 2021

Discover how to use Trello as a content calendar with our ready-made template. Organize your content like an expert today!

I can guarantee that 90% of you reading this blog will be able to relate: if your style of working is anything like my own, you probably have 2 or 3 browser windows (minimum!) open at any one time, each with more tabs than you can shake a stick at. Your desk is most likely filled with post-its and paper, all covered with scribbles - some legible, and some very much not.
It’s complete and utter chaos, but it works for me. Everything has its place and specific role, but most importantly, I know where to find anything in under 5 seconds (I’ve checked!). However, were my teammates to try and make sense of all this, they would think I’m insane - this is not efficient working! At least I have my Trello board...
I’m part of Content Marketing at Adaptavist, and my somewhat disorderly way of working is completely transformed when it comes to managing the Marketing team’s editorial calendar. Here you’ll see a real need for organisation, clarity, and structure when it comes to managing a blog with a team of people. Without a single source of truth for us all to plan, schedule and discuss that all-important editorial calendar content, things would quickly fall apart, and deadlines would be missed, resulting in the complete collapse of marketing’s editorial function. So what is that trusty tool, you ask? Introducing our very own Trello editorial calendar!
An editorial calendar board template in Trello

The Trello editorial calendar in action

Now, there is no such thing as the perfect editorial calendar. It all depends on what works for your team. Ultimately, it’s about keeping your editorial calendar as simple, and as clear, as possible. A Trello editorial calendar does this in bucket-loads, it’s easy to use with its drag and drop design and helps keep everyone organised and aware of what blogs are being published and when. What’s more, the whole team has access, so they can create and schedule content as it comes up. It even has colour coding that helps facilitate our weekly editorial calendar planning meetings!
A screenshot of Adaptavist's editorial calendar
An example of Adaptavist’s editorial calendar
Fancy making your teamwork easier and setting up your own Trello editorial calendar? Here are a few components that you will need to make your Trello board sing.

What makes a successful Trello editorial calendar

The ready-made editorial calendar board template for Trello
A ready-made Trello editorial calendar template

Every column is a content category

Categorisation is king when it comes to successful content and editorial management. On our Trello content calendar, we've created a column for every type of content we are likely to create. For us, there are blogs, emails, podcasts, events, webinars and social media posts (for you, it may be a bit different!), and they can all be organised however you like. So, think about what's important to your editorial team and customise your Trello editorial calendar to suit your content.
This may seem obvious, but you’ll see how it fits into our calendar view a bit later on this blog!
A screenshot of the editorial calendar Trello board template with no cards

Every card is a piece of content

Now that we have our content categories in place, we can move on to the actual pieces of content. For us, each content piece is represented by a card, forming the beating heart of the team’s editorial calendar. For each new piece of content, each team member will create their own card, with the title and a brief description (it’s all about transparency!) and assign it to a publish date on the calendar. By making sure they’re assigned to that card, the team know immediately who to go to if there are any questions, face problems or need to move things around.
A gif showing how to use the Trello editorial calendar board template

Label everything - it’s good practice

Imagine a scenario where you have multiple pieces of content going out on the same day - great! But when looking at this in your Trello content calendar, apart from the titles, they all look the same - Oh no!
A gif showing how to label cards in Trello
Don’t forget to label your content cards!
Labels help us to see two things, the specific type of content it is under its category and its status (everyone has a lot of plates spinning so it’s not uncommon for things to be behind schedule). The status label we use is really useful to ensure we know that content has been checked, is ready to publish, or is not yet confirmed. It helps give everyone clarity.

The Calendar power-up (and due dates)

This is the Power-Up that makes the whole Trello content calendar possible. No editorial calendar is complete without it. The calendar view offers a visual overview of all our different content. Without it, you're looking at long lists of cards and labels. However, with a simple push of a button, you can switch over to the calendar view, which gives you a much clearer idea of what's happening now and in the immediate future. The drag-and-drop nature of the calendar views makes spacing out your content and moving it around as easy as 1 2 3.
Each box or date on the calendar also represents the due date for the relevant piece of content. Due dates are key to the scheduling process as it stops the team from sending out multiple blogs, emails and/or anything else out on the same day (no one needs that barrage of content!) This way, if we notice a particular day is looking a little heavy on content, we can move the cards around to a date that isn’t quite so content-heavy yet.
A screenshot of the calendar view in Trello using the Calendar Power-Up
If you’re on a Premium (previously Business) or Enterprise Class workspace, you can also give the new integrated calendar view a go. Read more about it here or watch this video on how to use it.

Create your perfect editorial calendar with Trello

So there you have it! That's how we manage our editorial calendar using Trello. Hopefully, some of the tips sprinkled throughout this article can help you and your editorial teams manage your content calendars in a similar way. Trello really is super easy to set up and use, we've been using it for years now and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

Get more out of Trello with our Power-Ups

Written by
A headshot of Dan Ivory
Dan Ivory
Product Manager
Dan is a Product Manager at Kolekti and is based in the UK. He's passionate about creating apps that boost collaborative work management in Trello and monday.com.

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