How to Manage a Content Planner that Actually Works

This is a topic that generally drives me mad.

How do you plan your content?

Do you have a well-organise system of post it notes? Or do you do whatever you feel like? I’ve tried all the methods, and struggled with them too. I’m more of a whimsical blogger, and I think that comes down to my background in creative writing.

But like many of you reading this, I have struggled time and time again to properly manage my content planner, to keep on top of what’s going out, what needs working on…the list is endless.

Thanks to little inspiration from Hubspot – I have a solution.

I love spreadsheets. I use one at work to keep all my marketing campaigns organised and the things Excel can do are enough to make any organise-mad person in a twirl. So when I came across the idea of building a content calendar in one, I was thrilled.

But I will admit, I’ve taken it one step further…

So this is my planner for the beginning of March:

Content Calendar Example

For me, I plan what type of content I’m posting before I know the topic, that’s something that comes later when I’m brainstorming titles and topics.

Now there are a two ways you could do this…

  1. Fill out your content type like I’ve done and add titles in once the content is ready to go out (something I do) – keep an idea of what you’re planning in the notes section
  2. Be a lot more military style in how you do things, plan everything out and stick to it, make sure the content is ready a week before.

My personal tactic is the first one. I have a handwritten list of the blog posts I need to write and only input them into my calendar once they’re finished. For me, it’s a way of kicking myself into gear when I see there’s nothing scheduled to go.

The important thing to remember is that we all work differently.

As much as I’m singing the praises of the content calendar, you might find that your post-it note system really works for you. Or a manual print out is better – especially after looking at computer screens all day!

Don’t get me wrong this is probably something you can set up on your own – it took me a couple of hours to do mine – but if you’re a little unsure on using Excel, it can be hard to think that far ahead.

So when I did mine, I didn’t just do a blank month calendar that can be used for every month, I actually made each individual month with the correct dates, days and everything else. Now the best bit is I’m giving you exclusive access to my calendar for free, and it’s really easy to use!

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