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?
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.
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”.
Then you select the Monthly Calendar option. I picked landscape, but there is also a portrait option.
This 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.
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.
What tools do you use to plan your posts? Have you used Google Sheets and add-ons before for this purpose?