This blog post was written and published by our Summer 2017 Intern, Mallory Corbin.
If you’re a procrastinator like I am, you know it can be very easy to get sidetracked when you’re trying to get things done. For me this is especially the case when it comes to writing. Whether it be for your blog, your book, or even your grocery list, sometimes you have to really force yourself to sit down and get things done. If you are responsible for creating content for your job, this discipline can be extremely important. But sometimes, pure willpower isn’t enough.
An editorial calendar can be the key to success when you catch the procrastination bug. Like a cup of hot tea to a sore throat, your editorial calendar will soothe all of your worries. Your calendar will help you lay out exactly what you need to get done, and for when, for some months in advance. It can layout each step you have to take to complete a task. This can all start with brainstorming on Monday, to outlining on Tuesday, to writing on Wednesday, editing on Thursday, and finally publishing on Friday. An editorial calendar creates a kind of accountability for you, and possibly your team, that will work to keep you on schedule and committed to all of your due dates.
Choosing your system. Here at Writing It Right For You, we use an app called BrightPod to keep ourselves organized and on track. BrightPod makes it possible to create multiple editorial calendars for every project we may be working on at any given time. From there we are able to set due dates and publishing dates for things like blog posts and articles. Be sure to check out our recent post “Apps I Use: BrightPod” for more information on the app.
BrightPod is just one of hundreds of apps and softwares that can be used to create editorial calendars. Programs like Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets are very simple and easy to use options. There are some options which cost a pretty penny, while others are totally free for anyone to use.
Don’t think that you have to use a digitized system, however. If you prefer a physical calendar over an online option, go for it! It’s all about choosing a system that works for you. That means, it can be as fancy as using an expensive software, or as simple as color coding and sticky notes on paper.
Why you should be using one. If you haven’t yet jumped up and started organizing your editorial calendar upon reading this post, here are a few other reasons that may get you onto the task:
• Minimal stress. You will have everything you need to do laid out for you, so you will never have to stress that you are forgetting something. Additionally, if you are running something such as a blog, you will have your topics ready. That means you won’t have to stress about brainstorming new ideas on the spot.
• A road map to keep you organized. By laying out everything ahead of time, you will be able to stay organized and make time for new projects and your everyday life. Your editorial calendar will be your roadmap that will lead you through your day-to-day life.
• Notifications keep you on schedule. Most all editorial calendar apps will be sure to remind you in advance when you have things due. If you go the app route, each morning you can be reminded of what it is exactly you need to get done that day.
An editorial calendar is exactly what you need to keep you afloat when you are feeling like you may drown in due dates. There’s no need to overcomplicate your life, once you find an editorial calendar system that works for you, stick to it, and you surely won’t regret it.
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