Creating a content calendar is important for planning the content you want to create and so finding the right tool that works for you is key. Especailly when you are first starting out on your content journey (check out my why I started a side hustle blog)
There is a number of tools that you can use such as google docs, google sheets or even apple notes but for me, I have been using Notion.
How to Use Notion
Notion is effectively a database and does far more than I use notion for. I use notion in its simplest form and that’s all I really need for keeping track of my content ideas and scheduling them in, so let’s touch on the things that I capture and use in my notion workspace.
I have a workspace within notion and within this workspace, I can create a number of pages. For instance, I have my main notion workspace titled Content Work and then under that, I have the different pages for the different types of content I am creating e.g. Blog Ideas or Youtube videos.
I like this because it keeps it nice a tidy and it’s easy to access any of my content trackers. It is sort of like a folder structure that you would have on your Laptop but I find it a bit easier and it’s all contained in Notion. As it’s in the cloud it can be accessed across all your devices whether that be Windows, Mac, Andriod or IOS.
It is easy to create a content tracker in Notion, it works like a spreadsheet in that you have rows and columns. Some of the information I capture in my notion content tracker are captured below:
Blog Post Name
Keyword(s) (from my keyword research)
Monthly Searches (again part of my keyword research)
Blog Status (e.g. ready to upload)
Date (planned upload date)
This default view allows me to capture all the information that I need to help me create the content that I want. I have started to use Keyword research a lot more in recent weeks so being able to look at the key information around this allows me to prioritise which content I want to focus on first.
Something else that you can do is use filters to easily sort your information. I use this to filter my blog status so I can see what I have uploaded and what is still pending. I could also filter on Keyword difficulty to see which content might be worth creating next.
There are different ways in which you can view the information you have populated in your tracker. There is the standard view which is just like a spreadsheet view or you can use a kanban board or Calendar view.
I have both these views set up so that I can switch between them. I find that the Kanban board help to see what I have in what stages e.g. ready to upload or in backlog and needs to work on. You can then move each blog post through the different stages, so this act like a project management app.
I love the calendar view as I can see at a glance when I have blog posts scheduled to be uploaded. I can see the due dates for my content which enables me to plan when I need to start drafting and having it ready to upload onto my website.
Note taking app
Notion is also a great note taking app so I also have a page that is used for research notes. You can also use it to create to do lists so it can become an all-in-one shop. I do like the idea of this but I don’t tend to use it as a to do list app.
I have used notion as the place for drafting my blog posts and it’s very useful and easy to create. I simply click on the blog post title and it will open up what looks like a page which has all the tabs that you have on your default spreadsheet view. Here you can create the body of text for your blog post.
You can add pictures and documents if you want here. You can structure your post as you like using the formatting functions that are in Notion such as H1, H2 titles etc. You can also add links to the content so it really is a one stop shop for your creating your content.
Not the main feature for me but it’s fun that you can customise the pages. For instance, you can add a cover picture and a description to the page. You can choose a cover picture from Notion itself or you can upload one as well, there is also the option to add a page icon which is also fun.
In terms of description, I don’t tend to bother as I don’t share my Notion Workspace with anyone else. I would think that this would be useful if you had a team of people that access one Notion Workspace.
You can access Notion via your browsers but I use the Notion App across all my device. The notion app works across Android and IOS so it’s great for when I am switching between my iPhone and Android phones. The app is free to download and UI is really nice so it’s nice and easy to use. I find the desktop app on my Macbook great to use I never find myself needing to access it via my browser.
If don’t want to create a page from scratch then you can use a template instead. There are plenty of templates available to choose from if you are new to Notion. These templates cover a number of different needs e.g. project management and there are new ones being added all the time. You can also upload your own templates for others to use.
You can set up a notion account for free under a personal account this gives the following
Unlimited Pages and Blocks
Access for 5 guests
Sync across all devices
This is more than enough for what I need and if you are the only person working on your blog or content business then there is no need to pay for a paid plan. Having said that there are paid options that do not cost the earth if you need more functionality.
I have tried other tools to organize my content but I always seem to come back to Notion. I like that I can visually see what content I need to work on and when it’s due to be uploaded.
Notion can be complex but it can also be simple it really depends on your needs. I personally just need something to track my content. If you want to make more complex databases then that is more than doable. There are a number of resources available on the notion webpage as well as plenty of videos on Youtube.
So if you are looking for a tool for tracking your content that is free and has lots of capability then I would recommend that you give Notion a look.