Publish More With a Whiteboard Editorial Calendar

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If you know much about me, then you know I have a passion for productivity. I am always trying to figure out how to get more done in a typical work day. I want to give you an inside look into how I have pushed myself to publish more this month than I do on a regular basis.

“If you don’t keep pushing publish, you cease to have a blog.”

Creating quality content on a regular basis is the best way to build a blog. In fact, in most recent years this strategy has been given a name. It has been coined “content marketing.” The idea is simple. Give people your best stuff and build an audience. As they begin to benefit from your teaching, they trust you. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Back to my experiment. I am a visual person. As I mentioned in the Simple Blog Business Plan, I want to be able to visually “see” my goals. They hang on a whiteboard just above my computer monitor in my home office. They stare at me and keep me accountable.

Recently, I decided that I should try to do the same thing with my publishing schedule for my blogs. I personally started a few different blogs, but there are 3 in particular I am putting a great deal of effort into right now.

Publish More With a Whiteboard Editorial Calendar

I love whiteboards. I have at least 3 hanging up in my home office and may even add another one soon. I use whiteboards in my office for:

  • Setting 90 day goals
  • Mindmapping out ideas
  • Creating products
  • Writing out outlines
  • Drawing visual items
  • Developing an editorial calendar *NEW*

At the beginning of this month, I decided to use one of my whiteboards and create a visual editorial calendar. This was the logical next step for me after developing a system for collecting blog posts ideas. The “whiteboard” editorial calendar forces me to have some accountability to my blog post ideas.

Here is a recent picture I took of my visual editorial calendar:

Visual Editorial Calendar

Please keep in mind this is my “rough draft.” I know it is not very pretty at the moment. When I get an idea, I am big on speed of implementation. Next month, I am going to buy better markers and even some thin black marking tape to make a more permanent grid.

Here are a few more details on my work flow with this calendar:

  • I use different colors for different blogs. This gives me an easier visual reference.
  • I use brackets to indicate my monthly publishing goals. My month is almost all the way filled in at the moment. At the beginning of the month, my board was filled with just brackets as you can see at the bottom of the board in the pic above. The brackets indicate I have a goal of publishing on a particular day.
  • I fill in the brackets with blog post title ideas. If a title still has [brackets] around it, then that tells me it is still in “draft” mode.
  • Once I have written and scheduled out a blog post, I erase the brackets. This alone has increased my publishing rate as I am at competition with myself to see how far ahead I can get.

My Takeaways

Obviously, I have only been using this method for a month. Here are some takeaways I have from this experience so far.

  • It helps me to think through my publishing goals. By placing brackets on days I want to publish blog posts, it forces me to think through how often I want to publish posts in a week. The goal for one of my blogs is 5 times a week, and the other two is 3 times a week.
  • It forces some accountability on me. I am a visual person. When I walk into my home office and look up at the board, I can immediately see what needs to get done.
  • It propels me forward. As I mentioned earlier, this visual reference has pushed me to see how far I can get ahead. On one of my blogs I am a full week ahead. This week I am spending the day with my son on his field trip and meanwhile 3 blog posts are going out on 3 different blogs. The whiteboard editorial calendar helped me to see what I needed to get done ahead of time.
  • It quickly moves ideas into action. In the past, I would let “ideas” for blog posts stay dormant for way too long. Now I quickly move a blog post idea onto the calendar somewhere. This forces me to put a deadline on my idea.

I realize for some this process might overwhelm you a bit. Many of you might just have one blog and have a goal of publishing once a week. There is nothing wrong with that at all. It wasn’t long ago I was there.  I still do a good bit of writing because I enjoy it, but I also have some help in maintaining this amount of publishing as well. I have some writers who create content on topics I give them. I also have guest posts I publish from time to time.

Regardless, I want to encourage you to always be pushing your limits. What can you do to publish more, build a bigger audience, and reach your goals?

22 thoughts on “Publish More With a Whiteboard Editorial Calendar”

  1. I’ve seen some of your videos at Vimeo and stumbled upon your site here and so far, am learning a lot! I have to agree about this whiteboard thing or anything that’s “visual”. Sometimes, it’s just hard to remember everything that you like or ought to do. As for me, I stick on some notes on my wall for motivation purposes. It’s kinda fun to be reminded with such pieces of paper. I also keep a notebook where I can jot down all my ideas… But I guess I’d be needing white and cork boards this time.

    Thank you very much for sharing Jonathan. And thank you for always helping us out. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Tina. I ALSO have notes, quotes, and pictures around me. It motivates me when I am not motivated for example on my wall just above my computer there is this quote:

      “Proactive people carry their own weather with them.” -Stephen Covey

      I just love that quote. It keeps me in a positive attitude.

  2. Alejandro Garcia

    Great post as always Jonathan. I always planned on buying a whiteboard (much bigger than yours :)) to write down article ideas, long term strategy, etc.. Another good (and very convenient alternative is a small spiral notebook. I usually take it with me everywhere and write down anything that comes to my mind and might be useful.

  3. You guys did something similar to this in the past. I think it was a set of videos with a Blog Business Plan or something like that. I think this message and those resources were the hugest turning point for me. I don’t have my particular white board set up like that, because I have on the white board on my wall things like: worship time, time with my wife, time with my kids, time with my ministry team, time with my personal growth, time building my leadership, time where I deal with problems, etc.

    But I do have on my calendar for the rest of 2012 and some of 2013 my whole blog schedule, monthly projects, marketing campaigns, product launches, and training courses on dates to keep my doing something and measuring what I am doing in line with my over all mission.

    So thank you guys. This was a huge help for me!
    Ricardo @ http://www.ricardoequips.com

  4. I’ve always been a paper/pencil kind of person. Last year I decided to use an online calendar. It didn’t work for me and this year I went back to my paper day timer type method. However, that book frequently gets buried under a pile of papers and forgotten. After reading a few of your posts and watching your videos, I put a dry erase board above my computer, too. But I do have to remind myself to check it! It’s also arranged by lists for each publication with due dates next to the topic. (I write mostly for guys like you and magazines rather than my own blogs.) However, using the calendar arrangement, I think, would really help me. I already color-code so that isn’t anything new, but having everything on the date would really be a plus. And the brackets for those in draft…no more wondering if I submitted it or just worked on it. Thanks for sharing all your ideas Jonathan. You never know what might work until you try it.

  5. Remembered something…I saw a white board calendar at Walmart, I think. That would eliminate having to draw the lines and label…if it’s big enough. I’m going to check next time I’m in there.

    1. I’m a white board queen! Large white boards are pretty expensive so I was opting for a cheaper-DIY solution. At Home Depot, I just bought a shower wall for $11 and mounted it to my wall. It practically fills up my entire wall… LOTS of white space!

  6. Flat out Awesome! The organization is fantastic! I am going to begin incorporating something similar to this in my schedule. I currently have 1 year goals, quarterly goals and then I sit down every week and develop a plan of action for the week. But I love the visual of this. Also, I feel with blogging it is really powerful to always have the big picture in front of me. Having a visual of the whole month could be really powerful.

    Man, I LOVE organization!
    Also

  7. Love OneNote too. I have used that in the past. Go for it and see how it goes. Just be sure to review it often. Set up an appointment reminder to look over it.

  8. Love OneNote too. I have used that in the past. Go for it and see how it goes. Just be sure to review it often. Set up an appointment reminder to look over it.

  9. I change things around. That is why I love whiteboards πŸ™‚ If I am not ready or not inspired to write, I just look ahead at a topic that I am motivated to get done.

  10. I change things around. That is why I love whiteboards πŸ™‚ If I am not ready or not inspired to write, I just look ahead at a topic that I am motivated to get done.

  11. I too use a whiteboard. I agree with you about the visual accountability. At the moment my whiteboard is filled with blog projects I need to complete. I have a very large paper calendar tablet next to it that lists what I plan on publishing on what day. The good part about the paper version is I can fold it and keep it to review at a later time. πŸ™‚

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