How to use Google Drive as an Editorial Calendar

Posted June 8, 2015 by Julie in Organize, Tips and Resources, TopPosts, Website and Blogging / 20 Comments

Google_Drive_Calendar

WordPress has a great plugin that shows your draft and scheduled posts on a calendar, and you can drag and drop as needed to move things around. This editorial calendar is incredibly useful. However, what about your list of ideas? I keep reading that creating a draft post for each idea you have isn’t the best practice. Well, I probably have 10-15 idea drafts just floating around my WordPress – and they’re not even legit drafts, just subject lines and a blank post.

I decided to instead try to organize and plan my ideas elsewhere, instead of creating a draft post for any idea I had. The problem is, I still wanted to be able to see a calendar view of my scheduled posts with these draft ideas to plan out when to write them. Since I like to be able to view and edit my plans anywhere (from home, on my phone, on work breaks), and I love spreadsheets (I’m an engineer, after all), I wanted to use Google Drive for this purpose. I recently found out a way to do this! Did you know you can find add-ons for your Google Sheets?

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How to Use Google Drive Sheets as an Editorial Calendar with an Add-on

On the menu bar, between “tools” and “help” is a lovely option called “Add-ons”. Click that and search for “template” like I show in the screenshot below, and look for “Vertex 42 Template Gallery”. It is free, so you would just click the “+FREE” and accept the terms. Of course, you can try out any of the other templates, that’s just the one I ended up adding on and using.

Google_Drive_Calendar_1

 

Once the add-on is installed, you use it by going to “Add-ons”, hovering over the “Template Gallery” arrow on the right and selecting “Browse Templates”.

Google_Drive_Calendar_2

Then you select the Monthly Calendar option. I picked landscape, but there is also a portrait option.

Google_Drive_Calendar_3This creates a new Sheet with tabs for each month. You select the year and it populates the dates. Now all you need to do is write in the titles of your planned posts and draft ideas to help organize your editorial calendar. This works like a spreadsheet you would have on your computer, except with the added bonus of being able to access it on any browser or the Google Drive app.

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You can see a sample of my Editorial Calendar on Google Sheets below. I filled in some of May 2015 posts. It gives me the option of knowing at a glance what days I’m posting and what days are available while also letting me establish some sort of posting schedule pattern with any post ideas I have floating around in my head.

Google_Drive_Calendar_4

What tools do you use to plan your posts? Have you used Google Sheets and add-ons before for this purpose?

 

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JuliepicI'm Julie, a new mom who works full time and blogs, all while wishing I had more time to read fun books. I write about being a first time working mom in order to help myself and other working moms in our journeys to find balance between family, responsibilities, and hobbies so we can thrive both at home and at work.
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20 responses to “How to use Google Drive as an Editorial Calendar

  1. Hey, Julie, your site looks great. Love the header 🙂 We are syndicating this post on the IBA website. I am working on it now. Keep an eye out for it very soon! Buenas Dias! Tina

  2. Julie, you’re a genius. I’ve been using Google Calender, along with my paper planner but I hate Google Calender. Since I’m no longer with WordPress, I do miss the
    If editorial Calender. I’m going to try this and see how it goes.

    • yay! I love using my Google Drive editorial calendar. I did find an even easier way to create a calendar but I don’t remember how I did that. I created my current editorial calendar without using the add-on I talked about in this post. So play around with it and see what other fun stuff you can come up with.

  3. I had no clue that Google had this! I knew there were add-ons but I didn’t realize there was one for a calendar! I currently use Trello just to jot down my ideas, I can’t seem to get too far ahead to have posts scheduled in advance, but that is my goal one day. Thanks for sharing this I will have to try it out when I get the chance!

    • I had no idea too until I thought to search for it. I bet there are tons of awesome add-ons we can explore. Trello sounds like a really good option too, I’ve heard great things about it.

  4. Wow that is neat! I hadn’t considered using Google drive as an editorial calendar before. What a good idea! I am now thinking of all kinds of ways to use this calendar. Thank you!

    Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup …I’ve pinned your post… hope you join us again this week!

  5. Thank you for this!! (And thank you for sharing on Blogelina… it’s how I found this post!) I’ve been trying to figure out a way to create my own spreadsheet for ages because I could never find one I liked and that worked for me. You give such detailed instructions on how to get the Add-On and exactly how it works for you. Such a wonderfully helpful post! Thanks!!

    • Ooh glad to hear this helped you out 🙂 There are still things about this set up that I’m not 100% happy with (like the add-on always opens to January calendar, rather than the month we’re currently in, and I haven’t figured out if there’s a way to fix that) but it is far better than writing it by hand or manually making a calendar spreadsheet.

  6. Such a good piece of advice, thank you. I will start using this as I need to be a bit better organised and have my blogging ideas on a calendar rather than just in my iPhone notes. Laura

  7. Yasss! I have been wanting and easy-to-edit editorial calendar for months now, but I’m struggled to find one! I use the free wordpress, so I don’t have the opportunity to use the plug-in, which makes this Google Drive option so appealing to me. I never knew this existed until now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • YAY glad another person found this idea helpful. When I was on free wordpress with the book blog my co-blogger and I had the hardest time keeping track of when we were planning on posting certain things, and both kept separate hand-written calendars. So much work hah. Electronic is way better.

    • Since it is just like an excel spreadsheet, it is completely outside your blogging platform and you can use it for planning posts in Blogger too 🙂

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