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Notion Content Calendar Template

Notion's Content Calendar: A General-Purpose Tool for Content Planning

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Parthi Loganathan

Oct 07 2022

7 mins read

Most companies have no notion of effective content operations (pun intended). Believe it or not, most businesses just try to wing it and produce content on the fly.

Crazy, right?

We think so — especially when there are multiple tools out there to help you plan your content ahead of time.

If you're reading this, you probably already use Notion. But as a content marketing manager, you're wondering whether you can use it to organize your content production workflow.


Notion’s Content Calendar Template

Here's a Notion content calendar template to get you started.

To copy a content calendar template into your Notion workspace, open the link below and click "Duplicate template."

Now that you have it, let's talk about how to use it, where it falls short, and what you might use instead.

<p>Notion Content Calendar Template</p>

Once duplicated, you can edit your copy of the template to fit your needs.


<p>Notion Template Calendar View | Notion</p>

<p>Notion Content Calendar Template | <a href="https://www.notion.so/templates/content-calendar" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Notion</a></p>

What Can You Do With a Notion Content Calendar?

Notion is a good general-purpose tool.

It's not purpose-built for content marketing, but its content calendar templates get you started quickly.

Here's what you can do with the Notion content calendar template:

1. Organize Content and Filter Tasks

Prioritize which content pieces to tackle first.

Filter your projects according to their:

  • Assignee — see what team members are working on
  • Priority — list highest-priority content pieces first
  • Name — only see articles with specific keywords/topics
  • Status — organize projects from left to right

<p>Notion Content Calendar Project Status | <a href="https://notion.notion.site/2f471916a6d548aaa7eb86f22ab309c3" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Notion</a></p>

2. Assign and Update Projects

Notion lets you work out the specifics for each content piece:

  • Choose Type — label tasks as articles, social media posts, videos, etc.
  • Assign — give a team member ownership of a task (i.e., assign articles to writers/editors)
  • Set Deadlines — select when outlines, drafts, and final revisions are due
  • Update Project Status — move tasks throughout the project board as statuses change

<p>Content Schedule | <a href="https://notion.so" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Notion</a></p>

Where Notion Falls Short in Assigning and Updating projects:

Project statuses don't update automatically. You have to do it all by hand.

Why is this bad?

  1. It's easy to forget this step — and as a result, your content calendar doesn't paint an accurate picture of what's going on in your content operations
    1. For example, a live post on your blog might still show up as a "draft" in Notion — all because you forgot to move it over
  2. It makes content planning and tracking challenging
  3. It's impossible for you to report to your manager or executive team exactly what content the business is working on

3. Offer Shared Visibility

Notion lets you share your content calendar with team members — giving everyone access to project materials and schedules in one space.

Where Notion Falls Short With Shared Capabilities:

You can't really track outlines or drafts directly in Notion. You have to link to a Notion or Google Doc that contains up-to-date content for your piece.

Not a problem, right?

Wrong.

Here's why:

  1. Things are out of sync — the project tracking in Notion and the content's actual status aren't synced in any way
  2. You'll run into permissions issues — team members click on a Google Doc link and realize they don't have permission to open it (ugh!)
  3. Your docs go missing — linked docs can disappear, or you can lose access to them in the future

In other words, Notion's content calendar has some limitations.


Letterdrop's Content Calendar is Built for Content Marketing

While Notion's content calendar meets basic needs, it lacks the features serious content marketing teams want — teams that are trying to produce a lot of content to grow inbound:

  • It doesn't enforce deadlines or automatically update project statuses
    • This leads to stale data that impacts reporting and slows down project management
  • It doesn't track your activity in real-time
    • You can't understand why a piece is delayed or blocked at a glance
    • There's no "digital object" with information connected to it throughout the publication process
  • It doesn't send slack or email notifications for due dates or required actions
    • Your team and freelance writers have to look at the Notion board to see if they have any action items assigned to them
    • Things can easily get delayed if team members forget to do manual checks

Letterdrop, on the other hand, has a much narrower focus; it's purpose-built for content marketing.

It picks up the slack in the areas where Notion comes up short.

<p>Letterdrop Content Calendar</p>

Here's why Letterdrop is a better tool for content marketing teams to manage their content calendar:

Letterdrop Dynamically Updates Itself

Notion doesn't move in real-time. You have to go in and manually update everything — due dates, project statuses, etc. You're the one doing the heavy lifting.

This isn't a big deal, except when you’re busy (which is all the time). You’re juggling a million other tasks. And it’s easy to forget things once you've moved on to something else. (Out of sight, out of mind…).

We get it.

That's why we made Letterdrop dynamic — where everything updates automatically.

Letterdrop's content calendar doesn't reflect reality — it is reality. What you see is what you get.

Instead of updating your content calendar manually, you can dive deeper into content development, treat yourself to a much-needed coffee break... whatever you need to focus your energy on that day.

Letterdrop provides automatic updates for the following:

1. Activity

Activity updates let you track how a project is coming along and identify what's holding it back.

More specifically, you can:

  • Trace responsibility — who's contributed to the project, when edits/revisions were last made, etc.
  • Identify blockers — where/why a project is stuck at a particular stage

<p>Letterdrop Activity Log</p>

This holds team members accountable. It also helps you identify and resolve weaknesses in your content creation process.

2. Progress

Once approved, projects automatically move to the next step in the process (outline → draft → editorial).

Finished a project early and want to move it sooner?

No problem. Letterdrop also offers the option to move project cards manually.

As cards move to different stages, Letterdrop alerts writers, editors, and approvers via email and slack. Team members know when it's their turn to take action.


<p>Letterdrop Project Status Email Notification</p>

3. Deadline Status

Anticipate upcoming deadlines with updated colored blocks:

  • Green = you’re ahead of schedule
  • Orange = your project is due today
  • Red = your project is overdue

<p>Project Status | Letterdrop</p>

Letterdrop also maintains the gaps between deadlines at different stages. It skips weekends, so it only accounts for business days.


<p>No Deadlines on Weekends With Letterdrop</p>

‎Letterdrop Has All Your Project Materials in One Space

With Notion, keeping track of projects can get messy.

A bunch of loose Google docs lying around means:

  • You constantly have to bounce back and forth
  • You lose drafts or forget about them
  • You deal with permissions issues — where team members can't access shared docs

The list goes on.

Letterdrop simplifies this.

Your team can access projects straight from the content calendar.

In addition, these projects are tied to artifacts — like content maps, drafts, and final posts.

Letterdrop Lets You Think Ahead

With Notion, the future doesn't exist.

(Okay, that sounds dark. Didn't mean it like that...).

What I mean is Notion doesn't let you schedule content ahead of time. Even if you have a really good idea for a future project, you can't just pencil it in for a few weeks from now.

You have to wait. (And if you're anything like me, you'll forget).

Letterdrop lets you set placeholders for future tasks and schedule projects in advance

  • Assign upcoming projects (e.g., articles and social media posts) to team members
  • Make future projects recurring — weekly, monthly, etc.
  • View all content-related tasks — blog posts, socials, newsletters, etc.
  • Map your content schedule ahead of time — avoid overbooking yourself

<p>Placeholder for Series | Letterdrop</p>

Takeaway

You need a content calendar to improve your content marketing execution.

Notion and Letterdrop are both good tools for this. They’re just good at different things.

  • Who is Notion good for?
    • A wide variety of audiences and purposes
    • It has many features but a broad scope far outside of content marketing
  • Who is Letterdrop good for?
    • Smaller teams — save hours a month on content operations
    • It has a narrower scope but a specialized focus content marketing is our thing

Notion is a minivan — it does a lot of things well, from hauling groceries to children to lumber to making a content calendar.

Letterdrop is a Ferrari, and publishing at a startup is like a day at the track: speed and accuracy win.

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