Using Airtable as an editorial calendar

A few weeks ago I introduced my favorite tool to manage client data. After I got comfortable with that, I started using Airtable as my editorial calendar for blog posts, followed by newsletters + social media posts.

Today, I’m sharing a version of how I organize blog post info that you can grab + use for your WordPress website. Plus, I have a walk-through video of how to use this free editorial calendar.

Airtable makes a great editorial calendar

To make sure you start on the right foot using this phenomenal (and totally free) tool, I’ve created a starter base for you to test out as an editorial calendar.

What’s a base? It’s Airtable lingo for a spreadsheet — but better. I also recorded a video of how I manage my blog posts with this editorial calendar. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up for your free Airtable account before we get started.

Grab a copy of this Airtable editorial calendar base.

Video transcription

This sample editorial calendar that I’ve created in Airtable is based off of how I started to manage blog content for tiny blue orange. But know that my editorial calendar has evolved quite a bit now that I manage my social media posts in there as well.

For this base, I wanted to stick with the essentials to get you started. And then you can expand on it as you get more comfortable with Airtable.

I only have one tab in this base + the “blog content” tab. One thing that you can do is add additional tabs (or tables) to manage the different types of content. For example, Instagram, Facebook, newsletters, that sort of thing. Or you can have it all live in this same tab or table.

The fields or columns that I think are essential to using this editorial calendar for blog content are the post title, publish date, category, status of the blog post, and then an area for research. In the research column, I can put anything I might find valuable as I’m planning out blog posts. The publish on column is a date field, which is important to note.

I kept this pretty simple because what it’s about is organizing your blog post within a calendar view — that’s what makes it an editorial calendar.

Starting with the spreadsheet view, or as Airtable calls it a grid view, you see simply the columns with the content in them. You might be like “this isn’t much different than a spreadsheet, why are we doing it this way?” Well the magic is in views.

Airtable editorial calendar views

Within the views drop-down, I have three additional views to look at.

Filter by status

“Content to edit” is another grid view that is filtering all of the entries by status. Specifically it’s showing anything with a status of “Draft” so that I know these specific blog posts need to be edited. If I have an editor, that means I need to send them off for edits.

If you want you can choose to hide the status field since it’s filtering by the status already. But the reason I keep it visible is because when I work on something then I can easily change the status. If the field is hidden, you can still change it. You simply have to expand the records + scroll to the hidden field section.

You can have as many filters as you want. Or you can change the existing filter to focus on posts to write, or published content.

View as a calendar

The next view that I really like is the calendar view. This view is why I switched from using a spreadsheet in Google Docs to using Airtable for managing my blog content. This calendar view populates based on the “publish on” column + it puts the title of the post on a calendar.

Looking at June, I can see that I have these blog posts scheduled for Friday. I also have this announcement on Wednesday the 19th. (A little trick within calendar view in Airtable is clicking on the weekends will expand or collapse them.)

You can view this calendar as month format, 1 or two week format or daily. And you can choose to show the record list on the right side. (This is helpful if you have blog posts that don’t have dates yet.) You could click + drag them to the calendar to schedule them.

With any post that’s already on the calendar, you can click + drag to rearrange. When you do, the “publish on” date will change to whatever date you moved it to on the calendar.

The writing process view

The last view is my writing process + for this one I have it stacked by status. From here you can customize the cards to show whatever you’d like. For example, maybe you want to know what category you’re going to publish these on.

With this view, you can move a blog post through your process by clicking + dragging the card from column to column. After you write a post, move it over to the draft column so your editor knows it’s ready.

I always recommend sorting by date because then the upcoming blog posts will be at the top. That will keep you focused on priority content. You do not have to have the fields sorted, however. It’s an option.

That’s the beauty of Airtable. You can start with a simple editorial calendar like this. Then customize it to manage your content in a way that works best for you!

Not ready for Airtable, but want to improve your content creation process? You can follow my content creation process or build your editorial calendar right inside of WordPress.

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