Why You Should Use an Editorial Calendar

Why You Should Use an Editorial Calendar

For the month of April, I decided to focus on organization, you know because of Spring Cleaning! One of the items that I took a good hard look at was an editorial calendar.  When I first began my blogging journey I thought the editorial calendar was rubish.

Let me explain.

I thought it was pointless and added to the workload. I also thought if you scheduled your time wisely you could simply manage the workload of content and social media.

Needless to say, I was wrong.

Very wrong.

 I learned for a content writer, blogger, or any kind of writer you need to be organized in simple and effective ways that allow you to optimize your schedule to your business needs. Thus why we all need an editorial calendar. 

 

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Using an editorial calendar helps you in coming up with themes, planning ahead, and provides you with structure and the strategy that your content the structure it deserves. One of the most important aspects of an editorial calendar is it keeps you consistent. 

If you have been paying attention to any kind of content marketing then you understand that consistency is vital. 

Elements of an Editorial Calendar

When creating your editorial calendar, a good idea is to add certain aspects or features, such as publishing date, due date, author, topic and title, content details, keywords, target audience, offer, or CTA.   

 

I’m going to break it down for you even more.

  1. Published and due date-These are the dates you want to hold yourself accountable for. I use the publish date as the date I drafted my first draft and the due date as the date I plan to schedule my post. first

           You can use these features however you feel works best for you.

  1. Author, you don’t have to include if it is just you! But it is a great idea to include should you have a staff of writers you work with.

 

  1. Topic/ Title is where you want to list possible ideas for headlines or subtitles. In this section, you are honestly brainstorming the possibilities before creating an outline. This does create some creative juices, so don’t skip it.

 

  1. Content Details are key points you want to cover in your content. Perhaps this could begin as your summary or introduction. You can also use this as part of the details in the body of the main content.

 

  1. Keywords are a pain in the neck. The research it takes to dive into the keywords is time-consuming, but doing the work on an editorial calendar saves you time!

 

  1. Target audience is essential for any content creator. Keeping the audience in mind will allow you to write with purpose and create value. Making sure to keep your audience in mind will provide you with direction for writing / choosing topics to cover.

 

  1. Offer or CTA is what you want the audience to do after or while they are reading your content. Do you want them to buy something? Do you want to have them go to another website?

 

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The benefits of an editorial calendar

Look I get it, you don’t want to implement something into your routine or business unless it is beneficial in more than one way. The organization is a major reason for using an editorial calendar but here are a few more!

 

  • Idea generation
  • Consistency
  • Scheduling
  • Staying on top of social media
  • Keeping track of holidays/seasonal events
  • Promotions
  • Planning events or creating a course (keeping everything together)

Using an editorial calendar will help you in your organization goals in a simple and effective way that still allows you to optimes your schedule to your business needs.

As you use an editorial calendar you may find you’re coming up with better planned out themes, and your content has more structure and strategy.

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Secret Tips for Staying Organized

Secret Tips for Staying Organized

At the beginning of the pandemic working from home sounded exciting appealing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to avoid the daily commute into the office or having to get up super early to get ready for sitting in traffic for long periods.

Then heading into Starbucks for the weekly treat, only to get the wrong coffee or something else is wrong with it.  As time moved on, we learned that working at home was more complicated than we all thought.

Especially if you have kids or a husband, a dog, and whatever else you can pack into your house.

My secret tips for Staying Organized make working at home, which is full of distractions, a breeze! 

But with my tips, working at home in your home office will be simple and help you be more productive.

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Reasons for Organization When Working at Home

 

Working at home is full of distractions and uncomfortableness. What I mean by this is simple, it sounds like a great idea to work on the couch, but really, it is not ideal. Neither is working at the dining room table.

    But I love my couch, why can’t I work on it?

For starters working on the couch is where you lounge; remember, you associate tasks with clothes and furniture.

Let me explain; you see, when you are sitting on the couch, you mentally know this is where you either read a book, watch television or chat with friends and family.

In our society, we do not associate the couch with work.

Then there is the dining room table or kitchen table. We may think this is an excellent place to work since many of us use this space to do our homework.

But again, mentally, we associate this place with eating, relaxing after a large meal, and chatting with friends.

Then there are the distractions! If the table is in the kitchen, there could be a steady stream of people coming in and out. And it isn’t comfortable.

The chairs are not meant for you to sit on them for hours on end.

Another reason for an organization when working at home is that it reduces the amount of stress you could experience.

Organization can also increase productivity, allowing you to complete your duties.

Often when we are surrounded by huge piles of papers, books, clothes, or whatever, we begin to feel overwhelmed.

But when things are put where they should be and designated where we “mentally” perceive them, our overwhelmed feelings decrease.

“When you’re disorganized, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. This is because extreme disorganization means you’re constantly reacting to life. For instance, if you find yourself rushing to appointments at the last minute or starting each day with no idea what you need to do, overwhelm will quickly set in.” (Patterson)

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Secret Tips for staying organized

 

1. Keep a tidy desk

You want to clear off your desk during the last ten to fifteen minutes of work. Keeping it tidy will help reduce feelings of being unorganized and overwhelmed.

Plus, who wants to return to work with many items piled everywhere? A clean desk helps you with productivity, focus, and of course, lower stress. 

Now I must point out that it is perfectly ok to have an “organized mess” as long as you know and understand what is going on.

There is nothing wrong with you; Albert Einstein was known to have a messy office, which didn’t slow him down. 

 

2. Work Space Set-up

Your workspace is where you are spending many hours, so you want to be in a warm, inviting space. If you’re working from home, this is a great time to pull out your decorating skills and get fancy!

Add some plants, a nice rug, a sweet chair, or perhaps pictures of things that bring you joy.

Choose a color that will inspire you and again bring you joy. Make your home office a place you want to visit.

 

3. Don’t allow others to use the space

For some of us, this may not be very easy. But your office, as I mentioned above, is where you do your work.

This should be a place where you work, not where someone plays or messes up your documents by unintentionally loading a virus on your computer.

Also, do not pay household bills here! This is where you do business and pay business bills.

 

4. Set up a Calendar Separate from family

You want to be professional, and one way to do that is not to have a calendar crammed full of activities that have nothing to do with your business.

Aside from that, you may take a look at your calendar and become alarmed at the look of it. Why? Your business schedule mixed with your family activities might overload your schedule.

 

5. Set up Working Hours

Creating a set of work hours will provide clients information on when you are available and when you are not.

You can also carve out times for you to eat, don’t forget meals and breaks. Your mental health and productivity will thank you.

 

6. Create a list

Creating a list allows you to keep your thoughts and important tasks organized.

Plus, it feels good to physically scratch something off when you finish a project.

 

7. Delete emails

After creating a schedule and lists, make sure you attend to those emails. I like to take care of administrative duties in the morning before doing anything else.

This way, I can answer any emails or take care of anything that I feel is important first.

I am notorious for holding on to emails forever. Call it a drilled-in lesson I learned many moons ago regarding proving that I was right and they were wrong.

However, you can delete emails. If you feel they are essential, you should hold on to archive them.

Don’t leave your read/reply to emails in your inbox.

 

8. Create “folders” on computer or drive

Filing systems are still used, although they are more on your hard drive than actual physical copies. So be sure to set up folders for your clients and essential documents.

Keeping a computer just for work will give you the assurance that nothing from outside sources will encounter and accidentally corrupt your files.

However, if you have a computer that you must use for personal and business life, then think about getting a cloud system. Keep that cloud-only for your business or only for your personal items. Either one, and make sure you have it locked and secured for your peace of mind.

I find that OneDrive has an excellent platform for my cloud storage. They even have a vault where I keep important tax documents, and I feel secure those documents are safe.

 

9. Use a bulletin board

Many of us are visual people. Or we need a glaring sign in front of us, so we don’t forget about something.

Bulletin boards are great to help you notice things such as “hey, don’t forget this project,” or this is what your brand should be like.

I used to have a boss who kept her brand board on the bulletin board. This inspired her daily and reminded her what her brand was all about.

I loved that, and I do this myself.

 

10. Dress the Part (shoes optional)

I am not saying you need to wear a three-piece suit or a pencil skirt.
But what I am suggesting is that you don’t wear your pajamas.

Get into a comfy pair of jeans and a nice shirt. Something that screams I am a professional (semi-professional), not “hey, I just got out of bed, and here I am.”

Dressing the part will not only show your clients that you are a professional, but you will also have the mindset to get things done.

Productivity has been shown to improve when you “dress the part.”

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How To Continue Being Organized

 

Hold yourself accountable to your organization. In doing so, you are setting yourself up for success.

“Organization drastically boosts your productivity and reduces your stress level during the week. In addition, you can come out of the office at a reasonable time and still meet all your deadlines.” (Offices)

Keeping organized could also help you from dreading to even go to work.

I avoided going to a friend’s house like the plague only because her room was always messy when I was a little girl. It bothered me and gave me feelings of anxiety. So much so that I wore down a tooth from clenching my jaw.

I offered to clean her room; that was a mistake. However, I learned from then that the feelings I had gotten from her disorganized behavior were not something I wanted to experience.

Working at Home and Being Organized

 

Working at home can be exciting and relaxing if you allow it to be. However, it can also be unorganized and overwhelming if you don’t create a plan.

Creating a solid, organized plan is simple; using some of my secret tips for staying organized could help you be more productive, happier with your work, and reduce stress.

Give it a try!

 

Works Cited

Patterson, Ransom. Feeling Overwhelmed? These 8 Techniques Can Help. 6 January 2021. <https://collegeinfogeek.com/feeling-overwhelmed/>.

Offices, Metro. Metro offices. April 27, 2016. <https://www.metroffice.com/wellness/3-advantages-of-keeping-your-workplace-organized/>.

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