How to Create the PERFECT Editorial Calendar in Trello [Free Template!]

by | Oct 31, 2019 | Business, Productivity

22 min read

When writing blog posts, there’s a lot of things to do inside of your editorial calendar.

From researching your blog post, to writing, to creating images, to sharing on social media platforms…

Ugh, WAIT!

How does one scale their business that way AND manage all of those steps?

How do you even get it all done and keep track of all the posts you write about, links you’re promoting, opt ins in each post, etc?

Enter: A Trello Editorial Calendar with Automation and Workflows!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This goes to help support me and The Success Mountain website – which I am so thankful for!

Getting Started with Trello

Automation is the process of taking a task or to-do list and allowing systems to fulfill that task for you into workflows!

For example:

The company Buffer uses Zapier to automate tasks such as sharing what books their employees are reading by using Trello and their own software to get the job done.

If you can find a way to automate as much as possible in your business, this is how you will scale and your business will grow.

By freeing up time and minimizing mouse clicks, you will lessen the amount of work and — essentially, create more time for yourself.

So in this post, I’ll show you how I systematize my editorial calendar in Trello with checklists and templates in my customized editorial calendar!

If you want to skip creating the template and just want the out-of-the-box version, you can get access to the template from the email forms in this post!

 

A short introduction to Trello

If you haven’t heard of Trello, you’re living under a rock! Just kidding, a lot of people surprisingly haven’t, either. This just means that you’ll probably fall in love with it once you get to work with it.

It’s like a digital bulletin board with post it notes called ‘cards’. You drag and drop these cards into ‘lists’.

My Personal Public Trello Board Editorial Calendar for My Blog
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To create your automated editorial calendar, you have two options:

  • Create a free forever editorial calendar with your free Trello account (what I recommend in this post)

OR:

  • Add even MORE automations if you have Trello Gold using Butler ($5/mo)

With Trello Gold, you’ll get to do great things with this little tool called Butler.

It used to be that Butler was a free Powerup, but Trello bought them out, and now you only get a short trial when you sign up for Trello.

Butler allows you to automate tons of awesome things, like adding or removing colorful labels and automatically adding checklists to your blog posts with just ONE drag and drop!

It’s pretty powerful, and great if you already have Trello Gold, but not necessary to create your editorial calendar from this post. You’re still saving a ton of time with my template, and I even give full instructions on how to set this up with Butler in the template.

 

Sign up for a free Trello account

Click here to sign up for a free Trello account and then you can get started on the next steps to creating your Trello editorial calendar to automate your tasks!

I must admit — I found this editorial calendar idea on a Youtube video and absolutely loved it, so I decided to create my boards a little bit differently!

I also recommend that you customize your editorial calendar to work for you, otherwise you won’t use it!

Grab the Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

Also, if you don’t want to go through the long process of creating your own Kanban editorial calendar— you can get access to the already done-for-you template in The Vault. You can get the password to The Vault by signing up in the form below.

You get:

    • A Trello board template with a workflow customized for bloggers and content creators
    • Track the post as it goes through the blog post creation process to make sure you don’t miss anything
    • Checklists added automatically for every post that you can edit to customize to your own workflow and process
    • The Calendar power up which lets you see a monthly and weekly view of your upcoming scheduled posts
    • A publishing checklist so you can promote your blog post on social media after publishing!

 

 

What are the steps to creating the automated Trello editorial calendar?

  1. First, you will create a new Trello board as your editorial calendar
  2. Then, we will add lists to your Trello board
  3. Then we will add a PowerUp to the board so you can see a calendar view

After that, I’ll show you how to add templates o your board to get checklists with a snap every time you write a new post!

 

And then we will connect one extra system (that I customized myself) to help you automate your social media process with Trello for all of your posts!

 

Why Use A Trello Board for Your Editorial Calendar Instead of A Planner?

Again, if you want to scale your business, you want to set up tools to automate menial tasks and create systems that allow you to work faster without having to second guess what you’re doing each time.

The best part about this is that as you scale, this Trello board grows with you! If you include new team members to help you with your business, you can easily add members, invite them, and tag them in lists or cards that you want them to work on.

First, when you go through the process of creating a new piece of content — the system is generally the same. Instead of guessing what steps or trying to remember where you are, this board allows the checklist to be added automatically, and it is easily changed if something in your process changes.

A paper calendar won’t give you a checklist to magically add to your post — you can barely write down the post name on your calendar, let alone any steps!

Ready for the tutorial? Let’s get to it!

1 | Create New Trello Board titled Editorial Calendar

1 - Create new board in Trello | How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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2 | Add your lists to your board

So for this step, add the following lists below.

 

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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  • Blog Ideas – This one, although it might seem arbitrary, is where I add my bigger ideas such as little tips and tricks to use in my blog, keywords I want to target, or any good ideas that I want to implement related to blog posts. Anything else goes in a different Trello board altogether.
  • Date Assigned – This board is where I enter the blogs I want to work on for this week. If it doesn’t have a date, I know it’s not ready to be written.
  • “Step 1: Writing”
  • “Step 2: Proofing”
  • “Step 3: Images”
  • “Step 4: Published!”
  • Guest Blog Posts – Self-explanatory, and  arguably the most important post you need to finish on time when blogging haha!

The last 5 lists will be the premise of your blogs workflow as your posts move through the process!

With Butler, you will drag and drop cards as they go through the process, and a new checklist will be added, and the label color will be replaced.
If you aren’t using Butler, that’s totally fine! We’ll create a blog post template that will have everything you need, and I’ll show you how to add labels with shortcuts. Get all the full instructions for using Butler in my template – just sign up with a form in this post!

3 | Add the “Calendar” Power-Up

Now that you’ve created your lists, go ahead and click Show Menu, Power-Ups and search Calendar.

Select Enable.

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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On the Free version of Trello, you are allowed one Power-Up. This is the one that we will choose for this board.

4 | How to add templates to your Trello cards

The best part about the editorial calendar I’ve created is that you have a sturdy workflow to follow with each blog post, ensuring you aren’t missing a single step!

Trello recently came out with Templates, which allows you to copy cards so you don’t have to recreate checklists every time.

To do this, click on the small icon on the lower right of the “Blog Post Ideas” list:

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Select “create a new template”

Title the template “Blog Post Template”

Then, in the “Description” of the card,  use Trellos “Markup” language to create headers to clearly define each blog posts information.

The markup language is a very simple coding, like equal signs or dashes, to tell Trello that you want that line to be a header, or bold, or a bullet point.

Here’s what I recommend:

Blog Post Keyword:

===================

Blog Post Title Ideas:

—————————-

Blog Post Outline:

———————–

Blog Post URL:
——————————-

Each blog post should have that information, and any other information you’d like!

Now we want to create checklists. This is the meat of the editorial calendar!

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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Create a new checklist for each of the steps:

  • Step 1: Writing
  • Step 2: Proofing
  • Step 3: Images
  • Step 4: Published!

Select Create Card from Template.

You can keep this card at the top of the Blog Post Ideas list.

When you get a new blog post idea, you’ll simply select the Templates button in the bottom right again, and select the Blog Post Template template.

You can also just select the template card itself and create a new card directly from there.

Pro Tip: Fill out as much information as you can when you first have an idea for a blog post.

It’s easier to get started writing your post when you’ve got content written out already, instead of trying to remember what your words mean.

Instead of writing “post idea about Trello calendar” you can write “write a post about the Trello editorial calendar, with a template to follow.Show them how to create a Trello editorial calendar for themselves.” And perhaps an outline!

 

If you want to skip coming up with your blog post workflow, you can grab my free Trello template below in the signup box which has my exact workflow that I use for my blog posts, including promotion and everything!

You can now add the custom step by step workflow that you do for each blog post!

In the already done-for-you Trello Editorial Calendar template, I have the checklists detailed for each post to make it easy on myself and ensure I don’t forget anything. I’m also constantly changing these on my own and adapting as I learn new things!

Create a template for your guest post list

Now you’ll want to create a template for the Guest Post list. This is likely going to be similar to the checklists from the regular blog posts on your site, but you may want to add additional things like “provide publisher with author bio and author image” and links in your template directly to those things. Even perhaps email templates just to make it easy on yourself.

NEED TO BRAINSTORM A MINDMAP IN YOUR BUSINESS?

Check out my post on the best free software for mindmapping here!

Grab my free Trello Workflow for Bloggers Free

Sign up for the Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

If you don’t want to go through the long process of creating your own Kanban editorial calendar— you can get access to the already done-for-you template in The Vault. You can get the password to The Vault by signing up in the form below.

You get:

    • A Trello board template with a workflow customized for bloggers and content creators
    • Track the post as it goes through the blog post creation process to make sure you don’t miss anything
    • Checklists added automatically for every post that you can edit to customize to your own workflow and process
    • The Calendar power up which lets you see a monthly and weekly view of your upcoming scheduled posts
    • A publishing checklist so you can promote your blog post on social media after publishing!

Sign up  here!

 

5 | Now, add labels to your Trello boards

Labels are like a colorful little addition to show you what category your blog post is.

It just helps to show you at a glance what categories are being published!

While you’re still in the Template Blog Post card, select Labels on the right, and add a label for every blog category that you have. Also create one for any guest posts, maybe review posts or affiliate blog posts!

 

To make adding a label faster, you can use a shortcut!

This post explains more here, but Trello says,

“You can add and remove labels pressing “l” to bring up a pop-over menu of labels. Toggle an individual label by pressing numbers between 1 and 9.”

This will allow you to quickly add the right color of label to your card!

Finishing touches for your Trello Editorial Calendar

Fantastic, you’re all done!

So what does this look like in action?

When you come up with a blog post idea, you’ll select the Blog Post Template card, and click Create Card From Template.

Then, you’ll fill out as much information as possible about this new idea from the blog post outline, the keyword idea, title ideas you may have, or links that you got your idea from.

Then you’ll add a label to the card (don’t forget you can use shortcuts – here’s more on that).

After that when you’re ready to start your research phase of the post, simply drag the card to the Date Assigned board. Use this board to find the official keyword, and outline your post.

Next, simply move it to the Step 1: Writing board.

Move your post along in the process and when it’s in the Published phase, you can start your promotion strategy.

Voila!

You’ve got a working editorial calendar, with a calendar view to boot. You can see what tasks are due, what the progress is on each card, and have the exact steps to follow every time.

 

Using a social media promotion strategy with Trello

For my own process I created another Trello board for my social media. I have the Butler system set up so that when I finish a blog post and drag it to the “published” list, it makes a copy of the card and places it in the social media board. This is where I have a whole other list of processes to track that I’m sharing my post on social media platforms at different times.

However, if you’re working without Butler, you can simply copy the card to your other board, OR you have a choice to leave it where it is in the editorial calendar board, and follow the social checklist for promotion that’s available in the free Trello board I have. Up to you!

Either way, as long as you are scheduling your social media to promote those blog posts you’ve worked so hard on!

If the social media board is something you want me to do another separate tutorial on, I can do that! Just let me know in the comments or email me at hello@thesuccessmountain.com

Grab the Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

If you don’t want to go through the long process of creating your own Kanban editorial calendar— you can get access to the already done-for-you template in The Vault!

You can get the password to The Vault by signing up in the form below.

You get:

    • A Trello board template with a workflow customized for bloggers and content creators
    • Track the post as it goes through the blog post creation process to make sure you don’t miss anything
    • Checklists added automatically for every post that you can edit to customize to your own workflow and process
    • The Calendar power up which lets you see a monthly and weekly view of your upcoming scheduled posts
    • A publishing checklist so you can promote your blog post on social media after publishing!
Sign up here!

 

Voila – you now have an automated Trello editorial calendar template with workflows and checklists!

It wasn’t so hard, was it?

Trellos new template system allows you to create workflow in your editorial calendar that will set you off on the right foot on your blogging venture, or help you streamline your current process!

Although I’m only a couple of years new into blogging, I’m not new to creating workflows and business processes for my business. This means I can spot a good workflow from a mile away.

This, my friends, is a good one!

  • It’s helped me write around 5 blog posts a week (when I was doing a blogging sprint) since I started my blog because of its easy and automated workflow! 
  • It eliminates the “what do I do this week?” problem
  • You can streamline many more tasks than just your editorial calendar (the possibilities are virtually limitless).
  • It lets you scale and grow as your company and business grows! You can add new employees and directly assign them tasks in Trello to create images for your business blog, or to let them know you are ready to upload those Published posts!

If you want to bypass this entire setup, sign up for our newsletter to get a free copy of the public Trello editorial calendar already set up exactly as I have it, below, and receive more actionable productivity tips!

 

Did this post help you or do you have questions?

Was it too confusing or was it easy to follow?

How are you going to automate your workflows more so you have more time in your business?

Write me a comment right now and let me know!

Grab my Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Now!

If you don’t want to go through the long process of creating this yourself and possibly messing up the automation process— you can get access to the already done-for-you template in The Vault. You can get the password to The Vault by signing up in the form below.

Sign up here!

If you liked this post, please share it on social media or PIN IT below — it helps me grow my blog!

Want to save this for later? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!

 

If you want a ready-built system for blogging, this Done-For-You Automated Trello Editorial Calendar Template will help you accomplish writing faster and getting more done in your blog! Read this blog! | Step by Step Tutorial How to Make a Blog Editorial Calendar in Trello  | The Success Mountain
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