OK this headline changed a little bit. I wrote recently about using Simplenote for my content lists and how I’ve been looking into new tools. I then had an AHA moment about my Google Calendar and wanted to share with you how you could do the same.
I’m in Google Calendar every day. It’s really great. Surely there’s a way I can use Google Calendar to run my content production schedule. Here’s how I’ve ended up doing it.
Create a New Calendar
First up, I created a new Calendar in Google – under “Other Calendars” and + and New Calendar.
After this, I have a completely empty Calendar. Ready for me to move my content onto it.
Create some task lists
Secondly, in Simple Note I’ve been only been using tasks anyway so it made sense to use the tasks next to my calendar as the backlog. I created a task list called Blog Content.
These lists are where I keep my ideas and backlog now. If I’m writing a post like How to avoid running out of content ideas then I’ll pop my notes into the side of the calendar as task lists – and drag them into place later.
Usually, most of these blog posts can also become YouTube videos and I manage the YouTube schedule on a different sheet. I’ll be writing about my Foolproof YouTube schedule tomorrow.
Process the task lists onto the Calendar
Once I have tasks on the list, I’ll drag and drop them around onto the Calendar as all day tasks (the video doesn’t have sound).
As I finish a piece of content and schedule it, I’ll mark it as complete on the list.
My weekly newsletter is additional content that you won’t find on the blog. I have a plan for these too and I’ve been adding them as weekly events to the same Calendar. Since these are weekly snippets these get inspiration from the prior week – so they’re not planned as far ahead.
What about YouTube?
YouTube I’ll add a little differently since I’m not doing a video every day. I’ll add videos to the planner along with the blog posts I’ve got planned. So that the content plan is identifiable I have:-
- Blog content as Blue Tasks
- Newsletters as Banana
- YouTube videos as tangerine
What does a full month look like?
I’m still building this up with blog ideas, but below is how the current month is looking.
Why should you do it this way?
What do I like about this setup?
- It’s clean since I’m using a new empty calendar
- It’s expandable – I can add add ons (such as Zoom) in future
- I can manage all my calendars in one place
- It distinguishes done and not done tasks without removing them
- I can share a link to the calendar if I want to
- Bonus: Going through the process, helped me see I needed to slow down.
It’s neat. I like doing it this way currently because I’m often in my “Mike Stott” calendar anyway and we have a shared “Family” calendar too with events that the wife and kids have on their schedule.
If I want to see how everything stacks up, I can tick those on. If I just want to focus on the content calendar I can just flip to that.
It might not be the most scalable solution (or have auto-brought in tweets / scheduler for tweets) but it’s good enough for my current setup.
Bonus: Does my calendar look a little different?
I’ve messed with my settings a bit. Since my “weeks” start on Saturday (marked by the newsletter) I like to see it that way on my Calendar.
I’ve also added week numbers to the calendar – so when I’m writing a newsletter I can say “In the seventh edition of this newsletter…” really easily just by looking at what week it is on the calendar (this assumes I haven’t missed one).
This tip of adding week numbers is great if you’re doing weekly or fortnightly updates on your team at work. You can easily see OK, weeks 6 & 7, Mon – Sun run from xx to yy of the month.