An editorial calendar is an essential tool for all nonprofit communications directors. We know that the most effective nonprofits use one consistently and that 80% of nonprofits use some sort of editorial calendar.
If you aren’t using an editorial calendar or not using one as effectively as you could, odds are you are hung up on which software to use. Rather than make a “bad” decision about that, many communicators simply avoid the decision entirely, keep the editorial calendar in their heads, or muddle along with something that isn’t working.
But we know from experience that there isn’t one type of software that’s best for an editorial calendar. Much of it is personal preference. When training and coaching nonprofits on editorial planning, I ask if they have “calendar brains” or “spreadsheet brains.” It really comes down to how people prefer to see information and what they are used to. If you don’t use it and it doesn’t make you feel smarter, then it’s of no use to you.
But we also know that people are naturally curious about what others are doing. So we asked the question for the 2019 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.
We found that more than 80% of nonprofits surveyed use an editorial calendar.
Almost half used either Microsoft Office or Google Suite products to manage their editorial calendars.
Project management software such as Asana, Trello, Airtable, Smartsheet, Basecamp, and Coschedule account for another 16%.
Another 10% prefer to use a more simple wall or paper calendar.
Source: 2019 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report
My recommendation is to start with what you know. Get used to the editorial planning basics of documenting what you plan to send out or publish, in which channels, and when.
Then think about what’s most important to you and what’s missing from your current solution. Evaluate your options from there, starting with the choices in this chart.
For more, see our other posts on nonprofit editorial calendars and watch for upcoming training in May 2019.