Blog planning is crucial if you want to stay consistent with your content creation and really see results from your blogging efforts. I’ve already talked about the basic rules of blog planning and I also showed you how I use my bullet journal to quickly come up with 3 months’ worth of content. I’d recommend you to read these posts first and then head back here to see the next step: creating and editorial calendar in Asana.
In this post, I’m going to show you:
Why I chose Asana for my editorial calendar instead of a dedicated app or plugin
How I set up Asana for blogging
How you can set up your editorial calendar in Asana and what to be careful about
Also, don’t forget to download these free Blog Planning Worksheets. It’s always helpful to brainstorm on paper before you go digital. This way, you’ll work quicker and more focused when you get to Asana.
I must admit that I’m an app & plugin junkie when it comes to online marketing. I love scheduling tools and all sorts of WordPress plugins that make my web development, marketing and blogging tasks easier.
For awhile, I looked at content planning the same way. I thought that I need a dedicated editorial calendar app so I went ahead and subscribed to CoSchedule.
I still love CoSchedule (this is where me and my VA schedule all blog related social media posts) but I quickly realized that using it as an editorial calendar didn’t work for me.
Because it required to check another calendar, while I’d already had a few. My mornings would have looked like this:
- Check my paper planner / bullet journal (this is where I jot down my daily tasks)
- Check my Outlook calendar (this is where I add in my meetings and private appointments)
- Check my Asana calendar (this is where I have all my product and client tasks with their due dates)
- Check CoSchedule to see what I’m supposed to blog about that week.
But who the hell wants to check 4 different calendars every morning? Certainly not me. I think you agree too that this is not the best way to effectiveness.
Instead, I decided to add my blogging tasks to Asana which has many advantages:
- Asana offers unlimited project for free (Yay!)
- Asana allows collaboration with 15 team members for free (while in CoSchedule you have to pay more to add team members). You can also define which team member has access to which folder.
- Asana is versatile: you can use it for one-off projects and recurring tasks. You can use it for service-based or product development processes. So this means that you can keep all of your to do lists in one place. No more hopping from calendar to calendar.
- Asana is flexible: you can move and copy tasks, change due dates, add extra notes, links and attachments. This is the main reason why I move my blog content plan from my bullet journal to Asana. Even though it’s helpful to start your plan on paper, the flexibility of a digital app is invaluable.
- Integrates with major apps like Google Calendar, Dropbox and Slack
HOW TO SET UP ASANA AS AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
The easiest is if I show this in a video tutorial. You’ll also find the main steps and useful notes below.
STEP #1 - SET UP A PROJECT
First you have to set up a dedicated project for your blog. You can create one project or create yearly projects like “My Blog 2018” that you archive when the year ended. I preferred to just have one main project and I hide the tasks and posts that I’ve already finished.
- Choose the list setup. The Board setup is better for one-off projects, while the list setups is great for recurring tasks (like blogging).
- Invite people to the project: your VA, designer or anyone else who helps you in blogging
- Set highlight color to something that you can easily associate with your blog. This is important for your overall Asana calendar, so you can see which tasks are for your blog and which ones for other projects
STEP #2 - ADD SECTIONS
Each section is going to refer to one blog post. Sections help you to break up your task list and make it easier to scan through.
When naming your sections, always use an intuitive naming system. For me, this consist of dates and short key words. The date refers to when the post goes live, while the key words refer to the topic.
I also add the “BLOG POST” words to the beginning of each section and task. This helps me scan through my main Asana calendar easier because I immediately see if a task is for my blog or for a product / client.
STEP #3 - ADD TASKS & SUBTASKS
You don’t have to make a task for every little steps. Choose the main task categories first and add subtasks inside.
A main task is something that has a palpable result. E.g. Write blog post copy. In this case, the result is that you have your blog copy fully written, ready to be added to your site.
Subtasks on the other hand help remind you what each of these tasks consist of. To stay with our example, these can be: write draft on paper, write post, edit post, format post, etc.
Use the same intuitive naming system for the blog tasks as in the sections. But do not add them to the subtasks because when you copy or move a task you would need to change all subtasks inside (watch video, I show you what I mean).
STEP #4 - COPY TASKS
You can do this two ways:
If you don’t have subtasks, just simply type in or CTRL+C & CTRL+V previous tasks and update the dates
If you have subtasks, go into the menu and choose “copy task”. This will also let you copy assignees, attachments, notes, etc.
STEP #5 - ADD DUE DATES, RESOURCES & TEAM MEMBERS
You can make this as unique as you wish. I show in the video what information I usually add to the tasks.
Don’t forget to add due dates. If you don’t add them, your tasks won’t get into the calendar and you or your team members won’t receive email notifications.
I only add due dates to the tasks, not the subtasks. The reason for this is that usually the subtasks are just reminders for the steps I have to take to finish that given main task.
IF YOU WANT TO MOVE A POST TO ANOTHER DATE
Sometimes you want to change your plan because you come up with a better blog idea. In this case you can easily move the previously planned post to a later date and add in the new one.
I show how to do this at the end of the Asana video tutorial.
HOW WILL YOU IMPLEMENT ASANA INTO YOUR BLOGGING PROCESS?
This post and the video were just my way of using Asana for blog planning and collaboration. I’d really like to hear your interpretation. What will you try from the video? What modifications would you make to better suit your needs?
Share your feedback in the comments.And don’t forget to download the free, printable Blog Planning Worksheets. Along with my previous post, they help you plan content aligned with your sales goals.