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

by | Aug 22, 2018 | Business, Productivity

22 min read

In 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 it all, from all the posts you write about?

Enter: Automation!

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!

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

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 automate a lot of my checklists in Trello with my blog’s 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 at the bottom of the post.

 

The technical difficulty level for this tutorial can be a little tough. If you’ve set up an automated email system in ConvertKit, Drip or Mailerlite, you can do this setup just fine. If you struggled with that, it might be easier to download the Trello board!

[sign up here]

 

So, let’s get started with 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 a simple digital post it note on a bulletin board idea. You have cards which you can drag and drop to different lists, and you can enter information within those cards.

 

Sign up for a free Trello account

You will need to sign up for a free account here:

Click here to sign up for a free Trello account and then you can get started on the next steps to creating your blogs 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 use it.

 However, I created my board a little bit differently and changed things to help it work a bit better.

I also recommend that you customize your editorial calendar to work for you, however with some of the steps using the Butler tool, you will need to pay attention to what is being changed, so that the automation tool still works.

Grab the Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

Also, 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.

You get:

  • A Trello board template customized for bloggers
  • Butler, the automated app for Trello, customized for adding labels and checklists for every blog post you create
  • 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 Butler app added PLUS the Calendar PowerUp (usually you can only add one PowerUp to a Trello board unless you pay for the business Trello account but I’ve added both for you)
  • The Calendar app which lets you see a monthly and weekly view of your upcoming scheduled posts

 

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 list to your Trello board
  3. Then we will add a PowerUp to the board
  4. After that, I’ll show you how to add the Butler app to your board to automate checklists
  5. 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!

In this tutorial, I’m going to go very in depth on each of these steps, so if you’re interested in stealing this idea — by all means! If you don’t want to go through these steps, remember you can grab the free Trello board on one of the signups on this page!

Take it and let it work for you, not against you!

 

Why Use A Trello Board Instead of A Planner Or Calendar?

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!

As a random side note, if you aren’t sure if you should use a particular software for your business, this question is essential when it comes to choosing a software: Will it scale?

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

How to Set Up an Automated Trello Board with Butler For Your Blogging Editorial Calendar

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. It’s important to note that for some of the steps we will do later requires that the list names be exactly perfect. Be mindful of that by changing the names to customize your list to your own needs, but make a note to make changes when we start creating rules for Butler to follow.

The names must be exact or the automation system won’t work.

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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  • Blog Categories – I use a list for each of my blog categories
  • 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!
  • Templates – This is where your master checklists, workflows and label assignments will live

The last 5 lists will be premise of your blogs workflow.

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.

You can even assign other users to the Proofing or Images stage, or have Butler set up to do so automatically so that they will be notified when a new post is put in that board.

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.

NOTE: Don’t add the Butler Power-Up, because we will add our little butler guy as a user to our board later. If you are using the free version of Trello, you can only choose one PowerUp, and we have already chosen the Calendar PowerUp.

4 | Invite the Butler app to your Trello board

To do this, go to the Butler for Trello Dashboard

You will need to create a new account and authorize the app.

| 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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Now, go back to your board.

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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Once Butler is added, we will know, because there will be a new board called Butler with a card called Instructions on it.

| How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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 You will see a little blue icon next to your profile’s icon now.

Grab the Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

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!

5 | Assign labels and Butler instructions

There are two different ways that you can tell Butler what you want.

If you’re following along, use option 2 to write your instructions out to Butler.
The command builder is just in case Butler doesn’t understand what we are asking it.
I recommend for this tutorial to just notate the instructions on a card to Butler instead of using the command builder.
If you get stuck, you can use the command builder.

Option 1 | Using the Command Builder

This is a little section on the Butlerfortrello site that allows you to build out your commands a bit more visually. If you’ve ever used Zapier, it’s very similar to that system in which you simply tell it what you want it to do.

Butler for Trello Command Builder
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Select the Instructions card and select the Command Builder link.

This Command Builder is what creates our instructions that tells our little guy what to do.
We need to tell it things such as “When a card is added to ___ board… we do this” or what’s called “ITTT” (if this, then that) in techy terms.

When we use the Command Builder, it gives us instructions to copy and paste directly into the Butler list on your board. But for this tutorial, I already have the instructions made for you so you can follow along with what I have and skip the command builder.

 

Option 2 | Write instructions to Butler on a Trello card – (recommended)

The second option is to tell Butler what to do via cards instructions on the Trello board itself.

How to tell Butler what to do in Trello:

On the Butler list in your Trello board, you can speak in fairly plain English to Butler.

For example, one of my cards is to add a label and a checklist when I add a card to my Guest Blog Posts board. To do this, I create a new card in the Butler list that says what I want to do.
With this type of instruction, you need to be sure to add the commas and quotations in the correct places. One mis-comma can cause the Butler to not work.

Once you hit enter on each card, give it a few seconds and Butler should add a green check mark sticker to the card to notate that it was successful.

For our boards that we’ve created, simply copy and paste each into the Butler Trello list.

Click “Add another card”, paste the information below in, and hit enter. A green checkmark should appear after a few seconds.

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I recommend waiting for each one to get a green checkmark sticker before continuing.You will need to do this for each separate line of instruction below.

When a card is added to list “Guest Blog Posts”, add the yellow “Guest Blog Posts” label to the card, and add “Blog Post Checklist” checklist

when a card is added to list “Step 1: Writing”, add the blue “Writing” label to the card, and add the “Writing Checklist” checklist to the card with name “Writing Checklist”

when a card is added to list “Step 2: Proofing”, remove the blue “Writing” label from the card, and add the red “Proofing” label to the card, and add the “Proofing Checklist” checklist to the card with name “Proofing Checklist”

when a card is added to list “Step 3: Images”, remove the red “Proofing” label, and add the purple “Images” label to the card, and add the “Images Checklist” checklist to the card with name “Images Checklist”

when a card is added to the list “Step 4: Published!”, remove the purple “Images” label, and add the green “Published!” label to the card, and add the “Follow Up Promo Checklist” checklist to the card with name “Follow Up Promo Checklist”, and remove the due date

6 | Now, add checklists and labels to Trello boards

Your blog post workflow depends on what you like to do, and you’re welcome to edit whatever you want in the checklists at any time. However, the checklist NAME needs to stay the same, or you will need to change it in the Butler instructions above.

Create a new card that says Template Blog Post

 | How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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Then, add four new checklists:

  • “Writing Checklist”
  • “Proofing Checklist”
  • “Images Checklist”
  • “Follow Up Promo Checklist”

 | How to Create an Automated Trello Editorial Calendar | The Success Mountain #Productivity #Trello #Processes #Automation #Systems
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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!

Now we want to add labels to the checklists. 

Still in the Template Blog Post card, select Labels on the right, and add these labels with these exact titles:

  • Green Label: “Published!”
  • Red Label: “Proofing”
  • Purple Label: “Images”
  • Blue Label: “Writing”

 

Now that we’ve set up our boards, Butler, and checklists, let’s test a new blog post idea.

What we have set up Butler to do is to:

  • Assign a new label for each step with a particular color
  • When the card is moved through each step, it removes the label, and adds another label
  • When the card is moved through each step, it also adds a new checklist of tasks for you to complete for that post

Create a new test card and drag it to each step. Give it about 10 seconds to add the checklist and the label. It takes a little longer to remove the labels and add a new one, so give it a few seconds to understand the instructions.

If it works great, awesome! If not, check the instructions properly. For additional support, you can go to the Butler Dashboard and make a comment with questions – they are really nice over there!

The next and final step is what I use to automate my social media that’s tied with my editorial calendar.

Grab the Free Trello Editorial Calendar Template Here!

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!

 

7 | Set up Butler to copy card to your Social Media Trello Board

For my own process I created another Trello board for my social media. I have the 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.

You will:

  • Create a new Trello board
  • Add Butler to that board
  • Create instructions for Butler to copy the published card to the new board which should already have the social media checklist added from our above instructions.

If this 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

Voila – you now have an automated workflow for your blogs editorial calendar in Trello with Butler!

It wasn’t so hard, was it?

The Butler for Trello system and this workflow has set me off on the right foot on my blogging venture.

Although I’m fairly new to 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 for week since I started my blog because of it’s easy and automated workflow!
  • It eliminates the “what do I do this week?” problem
  • You can automate even more tasks than this (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 Trello board already set up exactly as I have it, and receive more actionable productivity tips!

Sign up here: ________________

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!

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Free Trello Board Template - How to Use Trello to Automate Your Editorial Calendar - The Success Mountain 2
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