A while back I switched out a plugin on our site. As a result, what I used for an editorial calendar no longer existed for us. At first I thought I could live without it, but that wasn’t going happen.
Now we are not a site that has to manage a ton of writers, but we do create a fair amount of content. And the editorial flow between Judy and me has to be a well oiled machine. As a result, I did a bit of perusing and wound up looking at an all-time favorite free plugin, Edit Flow.
And it does all I need it to do.
Edit Flow for WordPress: The Features
For a free plugin, it’s really powerful. It gives you a calendar, custom statuses, dashboard widgets, editorial comments, editorial metadata, notifications, user groups and a thing called story budget. All of these can easily be turned on or deactivated.
One thing I like is the ability to create different statuses during the process. This lets me know where I am at with a post, what I need to do, and how close I am to sending it off to Judy for final edits. I can get everything in order before sending it to her. That way, it’s ready and she can edit, schedule and be done with it.
It’s very similar to creating categorie:.
You also have the option to choose what post type the status will apply to:
There are a few settings for your calendar. The one thing I wanted was a direct link to the calendar. As it is now, you must always access this page first to get to the calendar.
When viewing the calendar, you have several filters so you can display only what you want to see.
You can also drag and drop any of your scheduled content and you have options to do a few things directly from the calendar.
You can also create data that can be filled in by anyone who is working on the post or page. I like to think of this as tasks or to-dos. These are the default ones that are already created. You can use them or create your own.
My previous editorial calendar had a task option and I missed it. So as much as I would like to think these are permanently planted in my brain, it’s good to have a checklist. That’s what I use this for.
For everyone involved in the workflow, depending on the size of your teams, you can also create user groups from your existing users.
Story Budget View
You have an option to view your content in a story budget view. You can even print out a copy of it if a hardcopy is required at some point for sharing for your team. The posts are grouped by category and it has a few filters for narrowing down the list as well. The date range can also be customized. Here is an example of ours for the past week plus the coming two weeks, a rather long screenshot.
What I find interesting is it shows all your categories (beware, we have a lot of them) and if a post has been or is scheduled for that category. This gives you some good perspective on your content and your planning.
The Workflow on Your WordPress Post
Once you have everything set up, you will find most of these options now on your WordPress editor page.
The Status of Your Post
In your publish options on your post/page, you will see how you can now change the status of it to any custom status you created.
You can also choose users and user groups to be notified when the status is changed.
Once a post is published, anyone can add editorial comments as well. As with the status, you can have specific users notified of editorial comments when added.
Once submitted, they will look like this once:
Editorial Metadata Added
You will also be able to add the necessary content here on the post. Here it is with the default metadata.
And here it is with our own custom setup. As you can see, for our needs, it really is more of a checklist.
That’s it. I was amazed atbthe flexibility of this free plugin and just how useful it is in helping with our workflow. Check out Edit Flow here or download through your dashboard it via WordPress.org.