Don’t get me wrong, in the 2.5 years prior to this decision, my blog had kept growing steadily. A platform created to share my blogging journey had turned into a platform where I taught others how to blog, not just with my blog posts but also with online courses.
There were other things too. For example, this blog was why I could become a Canva Certified Creative, which in turn opened up other opportunities. I started selling Canva templates, and last year, I created my fourth online course – Side Income with Canva Templates.
All that is to say that my blogging journey so far has been one of success, accomplishments, and satisfaction on many levels.
But growth requires change. So far, in my blogging career, I’ve utilized Pinterest solely to grow my traffic and engagement. Now, I was at a place where I didn’t need to try all kinds of different Pinterest tactics; I already knew what worked best. This opened up time. So I figured that this was an opportunity to focus on some other things — new projects, new platforms, etc.
But 2021 isn’t just about growing the blog. It is also about starting other things. Grad school, for example (my new day-job if you will). Having that added to my schedule meant finding ways to optimize my time and resources even more carefully than before. So, what I needed was a tool that would keep my life organized, a tool that would protect my sanity by keeping track of all the various things that are going on in my life.
Enter: CoSchedule Marketing Calendar.
What is CoSchedule Marketing Calendar
It’s an app (desktop and mobile) that helps you streamline your marketing tasks. You can create projects within this app, assign tasks within projects, schedule your content, blog posts, social media posts, and see them all in a beautiful calendar.
Why I started using CoSchedule after 2.5 years of blogging
I’ve already alluded to it above, but really, my life was starting to get a little too chaotic with all the different things that are going on. With grad school, the blog, the Canva template business, and potentially new courses and products and monetization tactics I planned for 2021, I knew that if I was going to keep my side-blogging side-hustle just that — a side gig, I needed to organize things better.
Now, do I recommend all bloggers sign up for CoSchedule?
Not really. It’s a significant investment, something a beginner blogger may not need. I mean, I didn’t! For the past 2.5 years, I was perfectly fine planning out my to-do lists on my Moleskine. But now I have other things. Grad School with three simultaneous classes, the blog which is growing, a Canva template business that also requires some time – albeit only a few hours every week.
These are all manageable tasks, as long as I keep track of my priorities and deadlines.
The search for a tool began with a need to schedule my Instagram posts. That’s one of the platforms I plan on working to grow in 2021. I tried Buffer and Planoly and Later, and also CoSchedule. But what really hooked me was the CoSchedule Marketing Calendar features. It’s not only a social media scheduling tool, but a business calendar specifically designed to manage multiple projects.
In short, it’s the perfect tool for me and my business, based on where I am at this point in time.
And that’s the key. There are no shortages of tools out there, but only you can decide which one is right for you and your business and at which point in time. As for me, let’s just say that I’m grateful to have come across the perfect tool at the perfect time.
And if you’re curious about how CoSchedule is saving trees (see the title of this post)… well, I used to plan out things on paper journals (Moleskine!), and papers are made from trees! So… CoSchedule = less paper = saving trees!
Corny, I know, but whatever…
In the rest of this post, I’ll show you how I’m using CoSchedule to better manage my blogging business. Ready? Let’s go!
What I like about the CoSchedule Marketing Calendar
There are plenty of calendar apps out there, so you may wonder, why CoSchedule?
Glad you asked.
As far as planning and organization go, the two top contenders out there seem to be Asana and Trello. I could never like Trello for some reason, but Asana is a fine task management software. In fact, I still use Asana to manage my assignments and projects for my grad school.
I was hoping to find something different for blogging related tasks because, well, I wanted to separate my day-job planner from my night-job planner 😉
Now, I have no clue if the paid versions of Buffer or Later calendars would have worked since I only tried their free versions. Still, the free trial of CoSchedule Marketing Calendar was such a HUGE improvement from all the other apps I tried, including Asana, that I had to upgrade and commit to it.
Of course, there’s the social scheduler, which is handy since I’m planning to be more regular on Instagram and Facebook this year. But if I’m honest, it’s not the social scheduling feature that had me sold… at least not only. It’s the calendar and the organization features that I fell in love with.
A beautiful calendar
I love the CoSchedule calendar. It’s so easy to use. You can create projects, add tasks inside projects, and schedule them, which then show up on the calendar. You can create tasks without creating projects too. I’ll be talking about projects more in the next section, but know that it’s easy and intuitive. You can color-code each project that shows up on the calendar with that color; it makes it easy to spot which task belongs to which project.
I also love how easy it is to reschedule tasks within the calendar. All you have to do is drag a task from one day to a different one, and the schedule updates automatically.
The social media posts ( that you can schedule directly from within the CoSchedule app) show up in the calendar as well, and you can easily move them around, reschedule, edit, all from within the calendar.
Ability to organize simultaneous projects and ideas
I mentioned the projects before. This is most useful when you have a lot of different things going on. There’s another option which is a lot like projects, but they’re called ideas. Personally, I prefer to create ideas than projects.
You see, both projects and ideas have the same features. You can color-code them, you can define what kind of project it is (more on that shortly), but unlike projects that reside within the calendar, ideas are found on the same screen as the calendar, but to the right of the screen. This allows me to see all of them together in the same place, making it easy for me to figure out where I’m at in terms of timeline and priorities. You can easily toggle the “Ideas” panel to show or hide with just a click.
The other great thing about projects or ideas is the ability to add related assets — images, files, etc.
One thing that I absolutely love is the ability to add project types. You see, CoSchedule has some built-in projects and templates. I have yet to use the templates, but I do love the different project types — helps me see which is what with just a glance around my calendar ideas panel. If you notice in the image above, all the ideas to the right have a project type at the top of the idea box. Going from that image, my first project/idea type is actually called “Idea”, the next one is “Blog Post”, then a “Promotion”, then “Website Content”. This allows me to differentiate each project/idea by type.
The other thing that I haven’t used myself is the ability to collaborate with others in your team. If your business has more than one person, you can add them as team members, collaborate within projects, assign tasks to particular members, etc. Since I’m a one-person show, I don’t have any use for this feature. But I’m sure some of you with more team-members will benefit from this.
You see, with CoSchedule, I have not only solved the problem of scheduling social media posts (my next talking point), but I have also secured a place where all my blogging + side hustle projects reside. It’s perfect for me and makes my life so much easier! I’m not at all exaggerating when I say that it is thanks to the superb organizational ability of CoSchedule that I have become so much more productive recently. You may not see this, but I’ve been working on many different things in the background, and my sanity is intact, thanks to my shiny new calendar.
But of course, there’s social media scheduling
My search started for a social media scheduling app, and of course, CoSchedule does it just fine. Connecting CoSchedule to most social media platforms is easy. It does not support Pinterest, which is no big deal to me since I prefer TailWind for that anyway. But you can add Instagram, Twitter, Facebook groups and pages, and LinkedIn, and those are sufficient for me.
A cool feature of the CoSchedule Marketing Calendar is the ReQueue feature. With this future turned on, CoSchedule will automatically re-schedule your best performing social messages. This helps more people see your social messages, which in turn builds up brand awareness and increases reach.
CoSchedule integrates with a bunch of other apps
CoSchedule integrates with a bunch of different kinds of apps like WordPress, Zapier, YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, Shopify, and more.
I have only tried the WordPress integration so far with the CoSchedule plugin but decided against using it because the calendar inside the WordPress dashboard is exactly the same as the calendar on a browser. Now, some may like having it inside their WordPress dashboard, but I like to keep my WordPress dashboard as clean as possible. If I do not require a plugin, then I’d rather not use it.
And now, let’s see how to use CoSchedule to get the most out of it.
How to Use CoSchedule
CoSchedule is a powerful software, and all the things you can do with it are impossible to cover within one blog post. In fact, I don’t think I even know everything that you can do with CoSchedule. But I do know the features I need, and that’s what I’ll show you. If you’re a blogger or side-hustler like myself, the next set of instructions and tutorials should help you get started.
Connecting your social media accounts and scheduling social messages/posts
Connecting your social accounts is easy peasy.
All this will, of course, require that you create an account with CoSchedule first. If you’re unsure, just sign up for the two-week trial period, and see how you like the platform.
Once you’ve signed up for CoSchedule and you’re logged into your account, click on the hamburger menu at the top-left corner, and then click on your name. This will open up more options. Choose “Social Profiles” from this dropdown. On the next page, click on Connect Social Profile, and then follow the prompts to connect your social media accounts, once by one. Once you connect one account, you will need to repeat the process to connect another profile. With CoSchedule Marketing Calendar, you can connect up to 10 social profiles.
Once your social profiles are connected, you can start scheduling. You can do so right from the calendar. Go to your calendar (click the hamburger icon, then click “Calendar”). Hover over any day, and a “+” sign will appear. Click this sign, and then you can add social media posts (or a task or a project; feel free to check out all the available options).
In the scheduling window, you can choose which social profile you want to schedule for, you can add your texts, images, and videos, and then choose the date and time of posting. Or, you can leave the time at its default “Best time”. Unless you know exactly when you get the most engagement in your social profiles, I suggest using CoSchedule’s “Best time” option for posting.
Creating a project or idea
My favorite part of using CoSchedule is its organizational capabilities, and you do that by creating projects. Or, if you’re like me, you add ideas. Feel free to play around with both, but as I mentioned before, essentially, they both have the exact same features. Only the ideas reside on the main calendar page’s right panel, making it easy to visualize your next set of actions.
To create an idea, make sure that the ‘Ideas” panel is visible by clicking the “Ideas” toggle button. Then click on the “+” sign on the top-right.
On the next page, feel free to play around with different options. As I said before, there are many different ways to do things inside CoSchedule, and how I do things may be different from how you’ll need to do things. But if you need help getting started, refer to the image below.
You can choose a project/idea name, choose project type, color-code your project, and add tasks.
If you want to create a project instead of an idea, you can do so by clicking the dark-orange-ish button that says “+ Create”. If you create a project but later want to change it to an idea, or vice versa, it is simple to do with just a click.
Adding more project types
CoSchedule has several built-in project types. A few of them are already set, but not all. If you need to add more, all you have to do is click the hamburger icon, then click on your name, then click “Settings”. Under “Settings” click on “Project Types”, and then click on “+ Add New Project Type”. This will show you all the available project types, and you can choose the one that matches your needs.
These are some of the features I’m currently using with CoSchedule, and a good place to start if you’re brand new to this platform.
Feel free to explore other features, and you may like something, find something useful for your business that I haven’t mentioned here.
Save at least 50% on an annual subscription
Psst. If you want to save 50% on CoSchedule Marketing Calendar, do what I’ve done here; write a review of the product or make a video review — whichever’s your jam. And the best part? You can do a review every year to take 50% off the annual subscription amount. Every year! You can also refer others and get an additional 10% off every time someone pays for the CoSchedule Marketing Calendar using your referral link. Essentially, you could save 100% if you manage to refer enough people. To learn more about reviews and grab your referral link, create a CoSchedule account (14-day free trial), then go to Settings > Billing > Referral program.
So, are you using a planner, scheduler, digital organizer for your blog or business? If it isn’t CoSchedule, what is it, and why do you like it? And if you are using CoSchedule, what’s your favorite CoSchedule feature? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
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