When I started writing this blog, I had no plan. I didn’t know what I will write or when I will do it. This lead into a situation that is common for many bloggers:
My blog seemed abandoned because I didn’t write on a regular basis. This bothered me because I wanted to write, but I just couldn’t find time to do it.
Then I realized that getting started is the hardest part of writing a new blog post. I knew that I needed a method which:
- Helps me to transform my ideas into a to-do list.
- Helps me to keep focused on my next blog post.
In other words, I needed an editorial calendar.
Trello to the Rescue
When I was looking for a way to create my editorial calendar, I found the action method which argues that everything is a project and can be reduced into these primary components:
- Action Steps are concrete tasks.
- References are project related notes, sketches, websites, or discussions that might be useful to us in the future.
- Backburner Items are not actionable right now but they can be in the future.
Because the action method made sense to me, I decided to use some of its ideas for creating my own editorial calendar. I use a Trello board and follow this simple process:
- When I have a new idea, I add a new card to the Backburner Items list. I don’t filter any ideas at this point. This list can have a lot of cards and it will have a lot of silly (or stupid) ideas. I read all cards found from this list on a regular basis and discard silly or stupid ideas.
- When I decide that an idea is worth doing, I move the card to the Action Steps list and assign a due date to it. This is my to-do list and every card that ends up on this list symbolizes either a blog post or an other task (update WordPress, create a resource page, answer to a comment, and so on).
- When I start writing code, I move the card to the Example Application list.
- When I start writing a blog post or recording a video, I move the card to the Text / Video list.
- When the task is done, I move the card to the Done list.
My editorial calendar looks as follows (if you want to see the full width image, click the thumbnail):
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
I have been using this method for over a year now, and I have noticed that it has helped me to stick to a regular writing schedule. I think that there are two reasons for this:
- I can split larger projects into smaller tasks that are easier to start (and finish).
- I can finish these tasks because I know what I should do next and when should I do it.
What kind of an editorial calendar are you using? If you don’t have one and you are having trouble to hold on to a regular writing schedule, do you think that something like this could help you?