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7 Editorial Calendar Tools to Keep Your Content Marketing on Track

  
  
  
  
  

more post it notesOne of the most challenging aspects of content marketing is streamlining all of the great ideas that wake you up at 2 a.m. - or hit you in the shower - or flash into your brain during a meeting - into an organized, effective resource.  Even if you’re prepared with Post-It® Notes by your side to write down your thoughts or an app to record your brainstorm, the ideas still have to move from concept to fruition.

The good new is several online editorial tools have popped up for marketers to keep all of those inspirational moments in an organized, efficient place. This "place" is also known as an editorial calendar and the process for creating is a bit of a mystery for many marketers.  The key is finding the tool that works best for you and your company.

Types of Editorial Calendar Tools

Here are 7 editorial calendar tools to check out, many of which are free or have a free trial to help you begin your experiment:

  1. Divvy HQ (http://www.divvyhq.com/) - Divvy has a helpful feature called Parking Lot where you can store all of those great ideas that coming flowing to you throughout the day. It also allows for multiple calendars that can connect to a master to give you a birds-eye view of your content needs.  The company offers a free 30 day trial and plans start at $29.99/month.
  2. Kapost (http://kapost.com/) - Built specifically for content marketers, the platform lets you handle multiple contributors and includes an online payment system.  It also incorporates a distribution and analysis system.
  3. Wordpress (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/editorial-calendar/) - Wordpress has a handy editorial calendar plugin that helps keep blog posts organized and on schedule.  This is a good solution if you are focusing on a blog, but it doesn’t have many features for multiple users or incorporating other types of content.  It is free and very easy to install.
  4. Compendium (http://www.compendium.com/) - Compendium takes the entire content marketing life cycle into account, including editorial aspects of a content calendar and multi-level approval. It has a place to store topics, assign timelines, monitor tasks, and tracking results.  The plans begin at $400/month.
  5. Gather Content (https://www.gathercontent.com/) - Gather Content is more of an “in-the cloud” content collaboration tool that keeps all content in one place rather than relying on multiple versions of word docs being passed back and forth.  It’s in beta right now and free to try.  It could be used as a storage space for ideas and drafts of website pages and blog posts and might work well combined with a very simple editorial calendar solution like Excel.
  6. Strides (http://strides.do) - While designed to support light project management, it also has the ability to add deadlines, assign tasks and upload files.  If a calendar view is important to you, this may not be the solution.
  7. Excel – The simplicity of an excel spreadsheet should not be overlooked when considering the best editorial calendar options for your team.  If your just getting started with content marketing and looking for an affordable, easy option, excel can be an easy solution.

Make Sure to Align with Your Strategy

As you begin to narrow down your requirements for an editorial calendar, bear in mind that every company has different needs depending on their content marketing strategy. What works for you company may be quite different than what the business next to you in the search results might need.  Some questions to ponder include:

  • Do you need multi-user capabilities for a large team?
  • Do you need different levels of access (author, editor, administrator, etc.)?
  • What dates are necessary to track (i.e. author assignment, draft due date, editor review date, publishing date)?
  • How would you like to assign tasks to people?
  • Do you need a place to store ideas or files for collaboration?

Do you know of any other editorial calendar tools in the works? We’d love to take a look and test them out.

We have even more information about editorial calendars in our e-book Content Continuity: An Interactive Guide to Editorial Calendars now available in the iTunes store.

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Comments

Hi, 
This is a good list for all bloggers who want to manage their blog professionally. I found a website http://www.ezedcal.com. Is it good for creating editorial calendar for bloggers? Please advise. 
 
Thanks, 
Jo
Posted @ Monday, July 16, 2012 4:38 PM by Joseph
Hi Jo, 
Thanks for the feedback. I haven't seen EZ Editoral Calendar, but we'll definitely check it out. Are you using it?
Posted @ Monday, July 16, 2012 5:46 PM by Dechay Watts
Thanks so much for the mention guys!!!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:51 PM by Brody Dorland
Good Post. Months back I reviewed many of these for our use. Heard good things about Compendium (platform and did not want it all), Tried Divvy HQ (good basic tool and worth using on its own), Wordpress plugins and excel of course. The productivity problem became apparent when I watch Divvy HQ's CEO give a presentation on the tools she uses to service clients with content marketing -- she used 6 tools daily, as did I and most others. So we integrated an editorial calendar into our tool suite at The B2B ContentEngine with all the great professional features of Divvy and Compendium except the approval process. We integrated it with the research tool (add keywords to a task and get suggested topics and sources and referenced snippets from your topic content stream) and team collaboration (writing and research) and social media sharing. However, it is not available stand alone, but a part of our wider tool suite.
Posted @ Saturday, July 21, 2012 11:45 AM by Greg Bardwell
Another good one is www.contentdj.com. It's affordable, and it has an editorial calendar to integrate with social media sites.
Posted @ Monday, December 24, 2012 3:19 PM by Amy
And another one that works great is Marktinc's online marketing planning. Also contains workflow management and financial reporting.
Posted @ Saturday, January 19, 2013 4:23 AM by Egon van Dekken
Great post thanks for providing these sources. I would add that the calendar and spreadsheet options offered by google apps is also a great source for those getting started with content marketing. It is free and allows collaboration. I create the monthly calendars using the spreadsheet option then copy and paste the data to my actual google calendar to receive the daily notifications of what I need to do for the day. Feel free to email me if you have questions about my setup.
Posted @ Friday, June 28, 2013 6:43 AM by LaToya Glenn
Do add Brightpod.com to the list as well. We just released our editorial calendar:  
 
http://blog.brightpod.com/meet-our-new-editorial-calendar/
Posted @ Tuesday, September 17, 2013 2:43 AM by Sahil
I've found Content Cloud to be the best option I've seen so far. Includes Idea creation & collaboration, then you can turn them into assignments and schedule posts. Connects directly to your Wordpress site too. I'm still looking around, but this has been the best and cleanest tool I've seen so far.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:01 AM by Mario
Very resourceful post, thanks a lot! I was using Gather Content some time ago and was really happy with it. But the tool junkie in me made me to look for new tools :) Here's an interesting list of top tools used by Neil Patel: http://growthhacker.am/post/68067370154/neil-patels-favourite-growth-hacking-tools-shared-at
Posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:09 AM by Lauren
Here's another tip - Try Google Calendar + ClipPod. We're using it for planning and discussing our editorial and social media calendars and it's worked out quite well so far.
Posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 2:15 AM by Gaurav Gupta
Thanks for all of the other helpful suggestions!
Posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 10:04 AM by Debbie Williams
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