Top 15 Life-Changing Editorial Calendar Tools
Online content marketing may be a relatively new practice, but editorial calendars are virtually as old as the publishing industry. Print magazines have long planned their feature stories well in advance, sometimes as much as a full year. While few brands can afford to be 12 months behind the times in the era of real-time publishing, it’s critical to take a lesson from traditional media in planning and preparedness.
Michele Linn of Content Marketing Institute believes editorial tools are critical to “keep your content consistent and relevant.” It’s never to late to get started, which is why we’ve curated a list of the most powerful editorial calendar tools for everyone from the tiniest startups to major enterprises:
1. Google Docs
Sometimes the best tool isn’t the most expensive or complicated. Google Docs is free, easy-to-use, and designed for collaborative editing. Creating a shared spreadsheet to track the types of content you’ll be creating, teammember assignments, publication dates and keywords can be accomplished in just minutes:
There are obvious limitations to a shared spreadsheet, and brands who choose these editorial calendar tools may find they need to dedicate an employee to ensuring the document is up-to-date and accurate at all times.
One of the largest and best-known editorial calendar tools, Kapost is the software behind the content strategy at companies like Content Marketing Institute, CBS and Cisco. The software tracks the workflow of your content marketing from strategy to execution and social distribution. It’s a particularly great tool for brands that create a large volume of content or have numerous team members, due to the fact you can internally categorize and search your existing assets.
The robust platform offers quite a few more capabilities than just acting as a content calendar, including social publishing and analytics.
Kapost is quite expensive - prices start at $3500 monthly.
3. Wordpress Editorial Calendar
It’s challenging to rely solely on memory or your Wordpress drafts for accurate planning, but companies using this content management system (CMS) can download the free editorial calendar extension and get organized within minutes. Your ideas for blog posts are laid out in calendar form, and can quickly be dragged and dropped to rearrange when your scheduling changes. You can even click through the calendar to edit existing drafts! This Wordpress extension can be a life-changing addition to smaller teams, but keep in mind it’s capabilities for tracking content offers and social media posts is rather limited.
One of the most innovative and brilliant approaches to editorial calendar tools we’ve encountered is VMWare’s “enterprise social media network,” SocialCast. There’s certainly some social elements, but this product allows you to create products, assign tasks, track progress, and collaborate in a way that could totally revolutionize the way you work. Plus, communicating with your team members about blogs, eBooks, and other marketing materials is as easy as commenting on a Facebook status. Pricing starts at around $3.00 per user a month.
5. HubSpot Editorial Calendar
If you’re just starting to warm up to the idea of using editorial calendar tools in the first place, HubSpot’s free template might be the right starting place. Many basic fields, including type of content, keywords, and dates are already completed for users, so you can simply plug in your ideas and get to work. However, due to the fact this is an Excel Spreadsheet, it can be challenging to scale as your team expands and plans change mid-month.
Designed by content marketers for the unique editorial calendar tools needs of their fellow content creators, Marketing.Ai is both easy-to-use and comprehensive. In addition to a calendar feature, users can track the stages of content assets, communicate about targeting to buyer personas, and track the categories of content published over time. Pricing and plan options are customized according to a company’s needs.
If your company’s content marketing efforts have grown so exponentially you’re struggling to keep up, DivvyHQ might be exactly what you need. Designed specifically for “high volume” companies, like their current customers Toyota and Sprint, this software’s editorial calendar features include a simple dashboard of tasks that need to be accomplished, an unlimited number of shared calendars, and workflow management.
Whether your company has one or fourteen steps in your content workflow processes, there’s a good chance Trello could solve your need for editorial calendar tools. It’s essentially a very affordable ($25/month) template which allows you to map your processes, set permissions, assign tasks, and track progress in real time. There’s plenty of fun collaborative features too; users can even “like” cards and concepts.
While this app wasn’t designed specifically for using exclusively as editorial calendar tools, it’s got plenty of loveable features. You can track your productivity over time, and access your synced information from your laptop, tablet or smartphone. However, it’s a solitary tool which works best for one-man (or woman) teams- to bring collaborators board, you’ll need to upgrade to the group version, WeDoist. The premium version is just $29 annually.
10. Content DJ
This all-in-one marketing solution boasts that it’s the only editorial calendar tool built for the social media age. ContentDJ certainly bridges the content marketing lifecycle exceptionally well, and users can track and plan original content, optimize social media posts, and source content for curation from the dashboard effortlessly. Pricing starts at $29 a month per user.
Using InboundWriter to plan your content for the next month is a bit like having an incredibly smart metrics specialist sitting next to you. Their editorial calendar tools can predict the readership you’ll gain by writing about a given topic, suggest keywords, and let you know if your competitors have already covered the same idea. Pricing can vary significantly, but it’s typically free if you’re publishing 4 or fewer times a month.
12. Active Data Exchange
Large enterprises or organizations with a particular need for information security should consider Active Data Exchange, one of the most robust and comprehensive calendar-sharing tools available. If your media team is creating an enormous velocity of content, it may be worthwhile to invest in this platform which can manage hundreds of tasks, deadlines, and concepts at any given time.
Wordpress users who are ready for something a bit more robust than the free editorial calendar tools extension should consider CoSchedule, a comprehensive approach to inbound marketing. You can schedule and assign tasks and dependencies to a number of users within the calendar feature, which offers the added benefit of automated social publishing. Costs begin at $49 a month.
If there were ever a tool designed for companies that outsource a majority of their content, it would clearly be LooseStitch. Users can create concepts and outlines, which are shared with selected users for collaboration. The program also allows you to store and share drafts and final versions of content assets. Pricing begins at $24.95 annually.
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Helen, thanks for featuring us!
If anyone has any question or feedback, please do tweet at us @contentdj.
Thanks for having a tool worth featuring :)
Thanks for mentioning Marketing.AI.
We’ve recently pushed out a lot of features around managing marketing agency workflows to which we are receiving a very positive response. Check them out with our free trial.
Sure, will give it a try :)
Thanks so much for mentioning us in the post! We appreciate it. Can provide an image if you need one.
Andrew J. Coate
Community & Content Manager, Kapost
Thank you for the great tool :)
Good calender list management tools. One more tool to be considered in this wonderful list is the cloud based task management software from Replicon
Nice list! While researching did you come across Brightpod? They have a pretty editorial calendar within their project management app for marketing teams.
Sahil, thanks for stopping by. Nope, I haven’t, but I definitely will check it out :)
Hey Helen! This list of tools was exceptionally helpful. I really appreciate you putting all of this together :) I use coschedule now but want to do a little more with my editorial calendar. Trying out a few of these now.
Thanks for stopping by and letting me know. Glad you found the post helpful and will definitely try coschedule – since you’ve used it :)
Thank you for taking time to compile this list. I have decided to give the trial of a couple of these tools a go. We are not really interested in automatic updates to social accounts so much as just planning, organizing and implementing… I find it’s best to actually go to the related social accounts and update them directly. Thanks again. David (I am not a robot, but I have been assimilated – resistance is futile).
David, great, thank you for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Good luck to you and hope the editorial calendar tools will be useful )
hey there! its an awesome list for new users. I have used some of these tools for maanaging my workflows like Trello and DivvyHQ. They are very good in my opinion.
Hi Zoe. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us.
In my opinion the best one out there has to be Asana
Thanks for sharing your opinion, Alex. Asana is really great.
This is what I am looking for. Thanks for this Helen Nesterenko! Kudos :)
Awesome post! I would like to recommend adding Curata to the list. Our latest product, Curata CMP, offers a content marketing platform that includes a powerful editorial calendar for more efficient content production.
Thanks for adding one more tool to our list. I’m sure it’ll be helpful for some of our readers.
Thanks for this, Helen! Two other platforms I’d recommend checking out: Desk-Net and Camayak, where I’m a co-founder :-)
Thanks, Roman. Surely will check them out.
Nice list of calendar tools, thanks for sharing Helen! But I would also like to recommend Socialpilot. It allows you to easily visualize what content is going out and exactly when. You can edit, re-share and re-schedule your post for multiple networks as well.
Thanks for the suggestion, Digisha! Sounds great, I’ll check it out for sure.
I love and use #9 every day. Keeps me sane!
That’s great you found the one that works for you, Lisa! Keeping things in order makes life easier ;)
I like Trello and Basecamp for creating Content Calendar. But when you work with customers who buy your social media marketing services you have a strong demand on professional tools. I think, it’s a part of your professional image.
For these reasons I use KUKU.io https://kuku.io social media calendar. It’s intuitive like Trello and Google docs: you just plan your posts and they appear in a timeline and your content calendar with tags. You can see how it easy: https://youtu.be/kSeYrkfc7Wg
Kapost is MUCH more expensive than what you list it being. Just look here:
Even their basic Content Planner/Calendar tool starts at $800/mo. The full platform STARTS at $3500/mo. There is nothing at $95/mo like you mention.
I suggest you update this article as this is totally out of reach of SMB’s.
Thank you for letting us know. You are right – Kapost changed its pricing policy, is quite expensive now.
Hi there! We’ve just launched Nelio Content for WordPress (I’m one of the developers). It includes an editorial calendar where to schedule your posts and social messages. If you want to try it, get it at https://wordpress.org/plugins/nelio-content (and let me know which features do you like us to include in future releases).
Hi Antonio, will give it a test drive later :) Thank you!
I use Trello and ToDoist but this is the first time I found out about the WordPress Editorial Calendar. I’m definitely going to try that out. Thanks! I use my editorial calendar for planning out the content for my blog’s social media accounts. I’ve tried a number of social media tools out there and I fell in love with the calendar-based scheduler of socialdraft.com, so it’s easier to translate my editorial calendar to actual social media post.
This is a great post! Thanks Helen
We recently published a related post at freelancewriting.com that others may also be interested in titled “Editorial Calendars: Perspectives from Industry Experts.” Featuring a few of the sites you’ve mentioned in this article, it compares the opinions of writers & content marketers and their use of various editorial calendars.
Eh, I wouldn’t call Google Docs lifechanging… it’s clunky. I used GatherContent for awhile though and loved it. It put everything into HTML, I could move things around on a calendar, and set statuses (like draft, ready to publish, published), as well as assign things to my writers + give them email notifications. It’s awesome.
I’d suggest you to have a look at ProofHub. This tool can be very useful for managing editorial calendar.
A great list of calendars to maintain our routine. These calendars are very helpful to maintain our schedule and routine, mostly I use the google drive and trello which is a great tool to schedule your work.
Great piece. I have one question though! Which of these tools have WordPress plug-ins?
You forgot one of the best: Kanbanflow…
Thanks so much for mentioning us in the post! We appreciate it. Can provide an image if you need one.
PromoPrep is another marketing calendar tool. It has a calendar based interface, email alerts for notifying team members when changes are made, connects to Google Analytics to track performance and has great team collaboration functions. Definitely worth checking out :)
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