One of my favourite apps is Notion. Here and in the video below I talk about how to create a simple Content Calendar with Notion in 5 easy steps. You can get the template here. But after reading this, you might want to create yours from scratch!
I started using Notion last year when I wanted a tool where I could easily add collaborators for a bilingual project I was running. I needed to share the tasks of this project with different people every week, having a clear overview of what was going on and how each task was developing. And I found Notion was the perfect tool for that, you can create any imaginable system with it.
The tricky part is to stop dreaming about all the possibilities, all the things you can do and in the end do nothing at all. That’s exactly what happens to me the more I watch other people’s incredible dashboards and tracking systems. I imagine all I could do and I end up doing absolutely nothing!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
So this time I decided to create a fast and simple content calendar for my new project. I set myself a time, a piece of paper and a pen. And I asked myself what is the minimum requirement for this setup?
The requirements for my content calendar
First, I need to collaborate with others, so I need to be able to assign tasks to other people. In my case, I invite collaborators as guests, so I need a very simple database that will be available to those I collaborate with. These collaborators will change overtime, so my setup needs to be very simple.
The second requirement is, I need to be able to know where my content is, which status, is it a draft? Is it being edited by my copywriter? Or already scheduled? Am I missing creatives?
And lastly, I need to be able to see when each piece of content will be published. I want to know if I am late with my draft, I need to also see if I am the bottleneck or if the content is with someone else.
With this information, I drew the necessary elements. I already had some ideas in a google sheet. But since I wanted to collaborate with my team, I needed to put all this in a better tool.
5 simple steps to create your Content Calendar
Step 1: design your system with simply paper and pen
I have realised that as with any design, there has to be a process of mapping the process in order to understand what I really need and not add extra things. I need to keep it minimalistic as it is easier to maintain.
Step 2: arrange the database you need, import it if you have it somewhere else
You can import your list, if you have one like I do. Otherwise, you can simply start filling it out from scratch.
Step 3: Create the database in notion with all its necessary fields
Fill out at least one line so you can see if there is anything you are missing.
Step 4: Create an instance of the database and create views
Start creating the views you already mapped out and test them. Make sure you create the views on the instance and then duplicate that instance so you don’t have to recreate the views. I show that in the full video below.
Step 5: Test it and start collaboration!
Test your views, and start inviting your collaborators and assign them tasks.
You can, of course, make this calendar as easy or as difficult as you need to. But don’t wait for the perfect setup, it will be continuously evolving. My setup last year is very different from the one today. Also because I don’t need to translate my blogs since I am only delivering them in one language.
This content calendar is be available for you if you’d rather start with a template. But after you see the video and see how easy it is, you might want to create it from scratch!