Editorial calendars guide you through the content publishing process. But content creation has its own set of challenges. At Fixate IO, we have standardized a method for creating content using Trello and Google Drive™—and it has been so effective that we wanted to share it with you.
Trello is a simple user-based application that makes it easy to use and manage team-generated content. Trello allows you to create a team, and have viewable private team boards.
We create our own Google Drive docs for each topic and then share them with contributors and vendors for constant access, in one place. Google Drive makes it easy to share documents with others without losing access. All you need is the person’s email.
Google Drive also allows you to build a predefined template that you can reuse to build a new document instead of having to start from scratch. (This makes it easy for us because we have a set format template for our writers to work with.)
Besides the tools themselves, it’s the process that makes everything work smoothly. Here are guidelines for developing a process based on our experience creating a content marketing management process in Trello.
Trello allows you to add your team members to one group so you don’t have to add everyone individually every time you make a new board. To create a team, you just need to send an email invite through Trello. If a team member already has a Trello account, you can also search and add by username.
Building the Board
After testing a handful of different processes, I have found that different columns labeled with different stages for the content is the easiest way to keep track.
There are 10 different columns we use: Pending Topic, Assigned, In Progress, Peer Review, Copy Edit, Format Check, SEOify, Complete, Published on Fixate, and Publicized on Social.
Building the Cards
Each blog post topic gets its own card. On each card, the Google Drive doc link with the blog post outline template goes in the appropriate comment section. If there are specific instructions for the blog post, those comments will also be added to the card.
Adding Team Members to Board and Cards
Once all topics have been added to the Trello board for the month, the Trello board is opened up to our community of contributors. (To do this, go to the menu button at the top right corner and click Add Team Members.)
Once a contributor sees an interesting topic that he or she has expertise in, the contributor will comment on the card to show interest. At that point I will move the card to the Assigned column, and add the contributor to the card by pressing the Add Members button. I’ll also give access to the Google Drive doc that has been created.
The contributors are responsible for moving the card to the In-Progress column once they have started writing, and then to the Peer Review column once they have completed the blog post. Once moved to Peer Review, our editorial team (which includes a Senior Editor and Copy Editor) receives a notification that they have been added to the card, and they take it from there.
Trello makes it easy to manage your workflow because it sends you an email any time someone has commented on the card, and/or the card has been moved to a new column. In order to get these notifications, you must be a member of the card. To make sure I get these notifications, I add myself to all the cards when they are first made so I can keep track of the card stages easily.
A Challenge We Have Encountered
One challenge that we have encountered is insufficient privacy settings. Team members are able to view the board before we are ready for them.
With Trello’s privacy settings, you can choose who has commenting permission, add/remove members’ permission, and control who can join the board, but the board is always visible to team members, because it is a team board.
We believe that this standardized process has made it easier for us to create and manage monthly influencer content. Using Trello’s easy-to-use, team-friendly application-based system and Google Drive, we have been able to keep track of content with our column setup.
* Trello is a trademark of TRELLO, INC.
**Google Drive™ online storage service is a Google trademark.