Notion was launched in 2016, and fast became one of the internet's favorite note-taking apps. It offers a content calendar function, too — check out this Notion content calendar template, which you can download here.
Notion is an all-in-one workspace for you and your team — let's take a look at what it offers (and what it doesn't.)
What Notion's Content Calendar Can Do for You
Organize and Filter Your Content
You and your team will have a convenient overview of your content strategy — and they'll love you for it.
Setting up a board database is easy — type /board on Notion and pick Board view, and you can get started with your calendar. Or simply duplicate Notion's editorial calendar template.
Perhaps most useful is the Properties feature, which helps you organize the pages in your database based on actionable criteria.
With them, you can assign team members to projects specific to content type. This could mean assigning a team member to oversee all the blog posts for the upcoming week, for example.
You can also use them to add deadlines. These can correspond with content production stages such as outlines, drafts, and final reviews. Project statuses are updated by moving them between these stages accordingly.
You can customize your content organization as much as you like, from grouping columns according to relevant Properties to changing your content cards to display all desired Properties at a glance. Filtering your projects according to assignee, priority, and relevant keywords is also easy.
So, in a sentence — Notion helps you visualize your current content strategy.
Easy to Access and Share Content
Waste no more time hopping between different tabs and tools, and bring your work and comms into one place. Nest your pages inside of pages using the Notion subpage feature.
Use these subpages to emulate a blog post or to keep notes — just type /page, and you're all set. You can access relevant subpages from their associated content card and even publish subpages as blogs directly to the web using the "Share to the Web" option.
Keep up with your team in-calendar by adding discussions and comments that everyone can access. Skip those long email threads — you can set up push notifications for mentions and tags so that nobody misses a message.
Create Templates to Streamline Your Process
Want to save more time? No problem. You can set up templates for future use — under the "New" button, select "New template."
For example you can make a creative brief with "Overview" as an H2 and "Objective" and "Tone of Voice" as H3s. You can even create content-specific templates, such as using a list of interview questions as an H2 for a Podcast.
Notion lets you kick-start your production process with its simple template building.
What Notion's Content Calendar Can't Do (And What You Should do About it)
While it may appear a great content calendar choice on the surface, Notion simply isn't built for serious content marketing teams, and it shows.
Everything's manual. This leaves a lot of room for error, as well as risks an outdated and inaccurate overview of your content ops.
It still isn't synced with your content. Actual project statuses are not reflected by the calendar. With all those loose subpages and the occasional need for Google Docs, your entire process is slowed by missing documents and permission requests.
Deadlines aren't enforced. Push notifications are limited to comment mentions alone, and you can miss a deadline.
It's not geared for advanced planning. You can't schedule projects ahead of time and only have a current view.
It lacks supplementary content tools. It doesn't have any semblance of a CMS (content management system), so you'll have to outsource tools that offer SEO checks and other important analytics yourself.
It appears complicated to learn. With so many available features, it can soon become frustrating and overwhelming to use. Users have also complained about clunky calendar UI.
So for the serious content marketing team, Notion isn't all it's cracked up to be. But there's no need to despair — there is an alternative that fills in all the gaps and goes above and beyond in terms of project management. Enter Letterdrop.
Letterdrop Puts Your Content Marketing on Autopilot
If you were impressed by how Notion appears to consolidate everything you need into one place, watch it get blown out of the water by Letterdrop's extensive content management capabilities.
Letterdrop has an integrated CMS, meaning that your content calendar planning, project management, content, and analytics are synced under one roof.
Put next to Letterdrop, Notion's shortcomings are painfully apparent — let's take a closer look.
Project tracking in Notion is manual — it doesn't move in real time. You have to move the content cards yourself between stages and adjust due dates manually.
It's easy to forget things or miss deadlines when you leave room for human error, which defeats the whole point of a modern content calendar.
On the other hand, Letterdrop dynamically updates and is synced perfectly with your content. When a writer completes a task like a first draft and hits "Submit", the content card automatically moves into the "Editorial" stage. You still have the option for manual reshuffling if you need to move things around.
Staying on track with deadlines is simplified with color-coded content cards. If you're ahead of schedule, the card displays the due date in green. If something is due that day, it'll show orange. And if it's overdue, it'll show red.
It's easy to keep track of progress and hold-ups in the pipeline with Letterdrop, and it stands to follow that collaborating with your team on deadlines is a breeze.
With Notion, contributors receive alerts when they're mentioned in comments — but what about when it comes to pushing their deadlines?
Nope. No such thing.
With Letterdrop, relevant contributors will be alerted immediately via Slack and email if it's their turn to perform a task. Everyone gets a clean and simple checklist which includes deadlines at every stage of submission and approval.
There are a variety of assignable roles available, including writers, editors, approvers, and even freelancers.
Give your team a preview of what's to come up to months in advance, and stay coordinated with on-page comments. Letterdrop assigns placeholder dates that you can change easily, and you can even make projects recurring.
And the collaboration doesn't stop there. Everyone can participate in idea generation with the "Ideas Generator" section, whether by adding a new idea, voting on existing ones, or leaving comments. The intuitive idea templates include custom fields and even SEO data support.
TLDR: Letterdrop's deadline-driven and collaborative workspace set it apart from Notion.
Notion claims everything is in one place, but that's not entirely true. You still have those loose third-party integrations and Notion subpages to worry about.
In Letterdrop, you work on projects directly from the software. They're tied to artifacts such as drafts and final posts. No intermediary points needed. You simply submit work at any stage and can publish directly to your blog from the editor.
Clicking on a project shows the brief, status history, data around search volume and SEO difficulty, information on who is working on what, and when things are due. The entire workspace is user-friendly, too, with a clean UI and easy-to-follow tabs.
Letterdrop's integrated CMS brings everything together so that you work from a single source of truth.
Letterdrop truly shines with its incredibly intuitive content tools and analytics. Notion, on the other hand, doesn't offer any.
Letterdrop has native keyword data support. When your team suggests an SEO piece with an idea template, for example, Letterdrop will automatically pull in analytics such as search volume from Semrush. These analytics help you rank well on search engines, but the software doesn't stop there.
Letterdrop improves writing quality by offering SEO checks, plagiarism checks, readability checks, and a SERP research tool. Grammarly Business is also integrated into the editor for your convenience.
Letterdrop is truly a one-stop shop for everything in your content ops. For a quick overview of Letterdrop's awesome project management capabilities, you can check out this 4-minute video of our content calendar.
Letterdrop is Purpose-Built for Your Content Management Ops
If you're looking for a Content Calendar, Notion is a popular option. But let's face it — it's not really built for content marketing and therefore has considerable gaps in functionality. Namely, it's a manual process that isn't at all synced with your content. Letterdrop, on the other hand, is purpose-built for content management with its integrated CMS and an impressive suite of content tools that go with it. Automate your content ops and keep everything synced — sign up to start today.