Adaptable Editorial Calendar

In the past four months, my blog’s pageviews have tripled. Besides learning some brilliant Pinterest tips, the main thing that has grown JBJ readership has been implementing an efficient and adaptable editorial calendar.An editorial calendar is simply a tool to plan posts ahead so that you know what you’ll be writing  and sharing with readers each week. When you’ve got drafted content ready to go, there’s less chance that your blog will sit stagnant, losing readers as you rack your brain for new ideas. Having content planned is helpful when you need to take a vacation, blogging break, or need to meet a  deadline.

Take Your Blog to the Next Level- create a flexible, practical editorial calendar from Post-it notes! #blogtips #blogging | Jellibean JournalsI’ve used a couple of editorial calendar formats that worked, but none have been as effective and flexible as the current system. Last year, I used a color-coded spreadsheet to plan blog posts. It worked well, but I’m more of a tactile, hands-on kind of girl. I like to scrawl my ideas onto paper, to cross out words and doodle along the edges of my notepad. Spreadsheets just didn’t cut it for me.   So…

I designed a colorful editorial calendar from a free printable and sticky notes.

It was a light bulb moment when I decided to print out an editorial calendar and mount it on the wall right next to my blogging workspace. It’s highly visible and bedecked with Post-its that can be easily interchanged and updated as inspiration comes and new posts need squeezed in. The entire project cost me about $3 and will be useful for an entire year of blogging. Can’t beat that! I simply printed out a calendar, taped it to my wall using pretty cupcake washi tape, and went to town writing post ideas on sticky notes.Take Your Blog to the Next Level- create a flexible, practical editorial calendar from Post-it notes! #blogtips #blogging | Jellibean Journals

Let’s talk about how to make yourself a dandy wall-mounted editorial calendar.

Supplies

  • Calendar
  • Post-it notes
  • Tape
  • Content ideas

Content Creation

The first step toward rocking out an editorial calendar is to know what topics you’ll be covering on your website. Write down your blog post ideas whenever they come to you. If you have a hard time coming up with content to really engage readers, I’d highly recommend the Content Brew Workshop or this online course. Using Bonnie’s tips I was able to fill more than five months of blog content in a few hours. Keep in mind that you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) use every single post idea that comes your way. With this editorial calendar system, filtering the blog post awesomeness from the ho-hum is as easy as plucking a Post-it from the wall!

Get it in Ink

Print out a pretty calendar with space wide enough to accommodate small sticky notes. Don’t worry about the calendar noting every single holiday, because you’ll probably cover them up with notes anyway.

editorial-4Categorize

Determine a color scheme for your Post-its. Consider what topics and categories you regularly blog about and choose a sticky note color for each category. This will help you see how your blog posts are proportioned throughout the month so that you don’t post five recipes in a row if you’d intended to include a craft project in between. You can see in the photo above that I chose five categories, including a “random” and attached the Post-its of the same color below description of each sticky note category. I also attached a set of small sticky page markers to the wall to point out specific ideas, indicate blog series posts, or use for other note taking needs.

editorial-5Affix Your Post Ideas

Adhere your planned post idea sticky notes to your calendar. Consider what topics might be trending throughout the months you’re planning out and prioritize content accordingly.

Remember, the best part of this editorial calendar system is that you can switch out the posts and add new ones whenever you want! Oh, how I love sticky notes!

Brainstorm some killer content ideas,  grab a stack of your favorite colored Post-its, and let the editorial calendar party begin!

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Comments

      • Jelli says

        It’s really hard to tell you which content-developing package to choose. I guess it depends on the time you want to put into it. Be sure to read the details of both before you make a choice. From time to time I’ve seen Content Brew go on sale, but never the Hobby to Hot workshop. Hope this helps! Thank you for stopping by, Deanna.

    • Jelli says

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I was really surprised when I came up with the idea that I hadn’t seen it done anywhere before. It’s been a real lifesaver for getting posts in order. Thank you so much for popping in tonight.

    • Jelli says

      Thank you, Aimee! It’s so nice to have the flexibility of post-its to switch around blog post ideas as they come and our schedules change. Hope you love it as much as I do.

  1. says

    This is very similar to what I do. I just keep it in my ARC instead of on the wall- But I think I should implement that so that I can see more than just the month I am working on.
    It really does make it easy to see where I can fit things into the schedule or if I need to move something. Much better than a cluttered look of erasing or crossing through.
    Sarah recently posted…Better Results in Less Time with Pinterest AutomationMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Sarah, what is an ARC? I’m technically challenged, so I’m guessing it is an app of some kind. You’re right, it’s great to be able to move posts from one day to another as you’re inspired to write about certain topics. Hope you give it a try! Happy blogging!

    • Jelli says

      I think we could be great friends! This was actually the first time I’d ever used washi tape (it’s hard to find here!) and I think I fell in love. Glad you like the project, Sandra. Thank you for swinging by today. Hope to see you again soon!

  2. says

    I love this idea. As much as I love doign things digitally and not wasting paper, when it comes to this type of organizing I do much better when I physically write it down and can see it hanging on the wall. I also just love post-it notes. :)

    • Jelli says

      I feel the same way, Andrea! I tried digi calendars and they just didn’t work as well for me. Colorful post-its are lots more fun too! Thanks so much for dropping me a line. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. says

    Oh the sticky notes … and the organization! It’s all so attractive. Something for me to aspire to. I have a huge cork board on the wall right above my desk. I think I can manage this – after I clean off and organize the cork board clutter, that is. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Julie recently posted…Eat All Of The FoodMy Profile

  4. says

    This is fabulous!! I love having a REAL calendar to use, that I can see and touch. Probably seems silly, but it just doesn’t seem to work unless it’s right there in front of me.And the sticky notes really gives you the ability to make certain days/plans stand out. Great idea!! Thank you for sharing.

    from sitssharefest
    laura recently posted…7 Simple Steps To Boost SEO for the Blogger userMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Yep, my spreadsheet calendars never really cut it for me either. I could have a million post ideas but once it came time to write, I felt suffocated by seeing which post was scheduled next and wishing I was working on another. With sticky notes it’s as easy as peeling one off and replacing it with another. Thank you for visiting, Laura, and loving on my editorial calendar.

    • Jelli says

      Ooo! Different shapes sounds like fun. To be honest, I just went out and bought the cheapest colored stack I could find, but definitely think shapes would make an even more attractive workspace! Thank you for visiting. Hope to see you around again soon.

    • Jelli says

      Rabia, I also post a lot of the same topics, and having each Post-it designate each category is really helpful! Thank you for stopping by this weekend.

  5. says

    I like using different colors for different categories to make sure there’s a good variety in balance. I’m having trouble coming up with an organization system because my freelance writing business has grown so much, I need a place and system to track not only the schedule for my site but what I have to prep for all my other sites.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…I Went to the Gym… And It Was AwfulMy Profile

  6. says

    Hi Jelli!

    Great idea, but me, I’m a spreadsheet girl. I’ve got tons of great posts topics and info, I just need to be more regular about promoting them on Pinterest and elsewhere. Next step is to organize a G+ page for my blog.
    Adrian recently posted…Teens and Volunteer ServiceMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Adrian, I’m so behind on learning about G+. I really don’t understand how people use it other than to click the G+ share buttons at the end of posts. If you’ve got any great tutorials or resources, I’d love to see them!

  7. says

    wow! you got it all organized here. thanks for the tips. I’ll be doing this soon. I just can’t get my hands into it. hehe I hope I could triple my pageviews too… :|

    • Jelli says

      Thank you Jen! It’s been a lot of work the last few months to grow my blog, but it’s been fun to see more interaction with readers. I won’t lie, I go to bed later than planned most nights, but it is worth it.

    • Jelli says

      Post-its are so much fun, aren’t they? They remind me of stocking up on school supplies as a kid. I always loved that! Hope you find time to make yourself a calendar, Jennifer. It’s really made a big difference for me. Thank you so much for stopping by today. Hope to see you soon!

    • Jelli says

      Janelle, I sincerely hope you find a great way to organize your blog posts whether with the sticky note calendar or something else. It’s so much more efficient to have all your ideas lined up rather than scrambling for post inspiration the night before you need to have content out. I’ve been there too many times. Thank you so much for visiting today.

  8. says

    Spreading the comment Love!
    I really love this tutorial! It’s great to find an editorial calendar that I like…my life is pretty much run on sticky notes & my agenda calendar!
    Thanks!
    Happy Tuesday!
    Jenni recently posted…Sweet Home DecorMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Thank you for visiting, Jenni! I know what you mean about relying on the agenda and sticky notes. Have a great week and stop by again soon!

  9. says

    This is awesome! I came up with some weekly post ideas recently and separate lists for each one. I like this color coding idea! Glad I found you in my SITS group! Great tips!!
    #sitsblogging

    • Jelli says

      Color coding is helpful and make the calendar so much more pretty to look at. Hope you find a stack of Post-its and go crazy filling up your calendar with ideas. Thank you, Jessica, for stopping by today. It’s great to meet you and I hope to see you around again soon!

    • Jelli says

      Glad you liked it. Thank you for stopping by, Lisha. I hope that the calendar helps you to blog better in 2014 and beyond!

  10. says

    I think it’s time I got organised, especially since starting a second blog. (Must be mad, right?!) But I have a goal of doing one post a week. That’s kind of all I have time for and also it takes me a week to get inspiration for the next post. But maybe I do need to plan ahead.
    Heather recently posted…South African Mom Bloggers DirectoryMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Heather, you sure must be a blogging machine to keep up with 2 blogs. You go girl! I sometimes feel like I can barely manage one. Definitely try out an editorial calendar and scribble down inspirational ideas for posts whenever they come to you. It really helps you stay in the blogging groove.

    • Jelli says

      Thanks, Rachel! Prior to this calendar I did the same thing, jotting ideas into my planner. Since I always wound up switching the days I’d planned to post them, it became more helpful to have them up on the wall with easy-to-move sticky notes. Hope you give it a try!

  11. says

    I have to do this, although I don’t have a wall for that room, but I think I will pop out tomorrow and purchase a dest calendar and some fun color pens…. Content and when hear I come… Thanks for the great idea!!! Visiting from SITSgirls ShareFest
    Ray recently posted…Sports and PassionMy Profile

    • Jelli says

      Sounds great, Ray! Run with it and just let your mind and those bright pens scribble down blog post ideas like there’s no tomorrow! Hope you come up with some fantastic content this week. Thank you so much for taking time out of your weekend to stop over. Hope to see you around again soon.

  12. says

    That’s a pretty cool idea – and very flexible and customizable since it’s sticky notes! I just ordered a planner since I need to get my life in order so will be sneaking in sticky notes in there :) Have a great one Jelli! (love your name btw) -Iva

    • Jelli says

      Thanks so much, Iva! You’re going to be blown away by how much it helps to have the flexibility to move around your blog post ideas. If you’re anything like me you’ll find yourself with so many you can’t possibly get them all written anytime soon. Hope you come back again soon. Have a fabulous week!

  13. says

    Your sticky notes are so pretty colorful ! I definitely would feel happy by just looking at them haha. I started using google calendar as I can always change it quickly but your sticky notes are great too and works ALMOST the same ( shuffle part)

    • Jelli says

      Thanks for stopping by, Yasmina. I haven’t tried google calendar, but so far the last 6 months of sticky noting have been great. I’ve gotten a little sidetracked on my post topics, but you’re right, just looking at the bright post its is cheerful in itself. Have a fab weekend!

  14. says

    Jelli such a nice idea… I like this color coding idea! Thank for sharing ur idea with us !!! i have also handmade diaries , album any many more !!!!!!!

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