If you’re posting content to multiple platforms, it can be tricky to stay organized and create a cohesive content strategy. If you’re working with a team, it’s even trickier!
That’s why I use Notion to brainstorm, plan, and create all my content across my social media channels.
Ready to get organized? Here’s how I use Notion to create (and stick to) my content calendar.
Why I Use Notion for My Content Calendar
I’ve tried just about every project management software out there (Asana, Trello, ClickUp, you name it), but Notion is my favorite by far. It’s what I use to organize both my business and my personal life, and I genuinely don’t know what I’d do without it.
While I used to work across several platforms (think Google Docs for content, Asana for to-do lists, DropBox for file sharing), I now do everything in Notion. Notion provides the perfect combination of all these core functionalities and more. As a tech-savvy entrepreneur, I can organize and automate my business down to the minute, and it helps me keep my team on track.
❤️ Love Notion, but don’t love setting it all up for the first time?
Purchase my super simple Notion to-do list templates (and if you want all my content planning templates you can add them after checkout). Grab 50% with the code BLOG for a limited time by clicking here.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION: Notion Content Calendar
Hey, I’m Galen from Local Creative Co., where we help creative business owners simplify the tech in their business and improve the design of their Squarespace website. Today. We’re going to be talking about how to simplify your content calendar with one really cool productivity tool. Now I’ve tried a lot of different productivity tools, everything from Trello to Asana to Click Up.
And the one I finally settled on that I use to manage everything in my business and a lot of things in my personal life, too. It’s an app called Notion. I would say that Notion is like a combination of Google Docs, Trello, Airtable, and Asana all rolled into one. And I love that you can make it as complicated or as simple as you’d like it to be. The setup today that I’m going to show you is probably a little more on the complex side of things.
If you’re a beginner Notion user, you might feel a little bit lost, but let me know if you’d like me to create an Intro to Notion video so you can see how I set up this template and other templates that I use in my business. Let’s hop over to my laptop and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.
So this is what a blank page looks like inside of Notion. You can title the page anything that you want to. I’ve created a bunch of templates here for different types of project that actually lives within a projects database. And again, if you’re not a hundred percent sure what Notion databases are, it’s just basically a collection of pages, tasks, projects, anything that you’d like, you can store in a database.
So that way you can sort things and filter things and find exactly what you’re looking for or create multiple views so that you’re only looking at the most important content. We’re just starting with a super blank page here. And this is actually my project template. I’ve got a lot of different options here, but when I first started with Notion, I didn’t have any templates.
So if that’s you, don’t feel like you can’t catch up or that you are starting from zero. That’s okay you’re eventually going to figure out what works for you? What fields you like to have and how you like to set things up inside of your Notion account to make it really, really custom. So you can start with an empty page here.
And this is what I mean when I say it’s just like Google Docs. I can literally start typing just like a document. So I could say, hello, how are you? I can create. Um, I can create headings, right? So I could have a heading one and then subtext and I can do bullet points. Anytime you want to add new content to a Notion page and you want it to be something other than just plain text, you’re going to hit the forward slash key. And this gives you a list of all the different things you can add to your page. So you can have regular texts. You could add a new page embedded in this page, a to do list, right? So I could have task, task, task. And what’s also really neat is I can check these off. It’s a really simple to do list here.
There are tons of options to embed content, bullet points, numbered lists, toggles, quotes, dividers, all these different things, and then you can add databases within pages too. And again, a database is just a collection of pages inside of Notion that you can filter and access. I’m not going to get too much into this today.
I’m actually going to delete all of this here to bring me back up to my list of templates. And I want to show you today what my content plan template looks like. So every month I start with a fresh content plan, so I can plan out the type of content that I want to create every month and make sure everything’s in one place, it’s all going to get scheduled on the right timeline.
So I’m going to click on this. And this is pretty crazy. You can see it’s already populated some of the information up here. And as I scroll down, all of this has been populated too. So this looks like a lot, but I’ve set this all up in advance so that it’s just one and done. And every month I click on the template and it just pops up with all this information below.
So I’m going to call this topic, um, January, oops, January Content Plan, and then I can set a timeline. So maybe I want it to run from it’s already January 8th for this example, but I’ll have it run from January 8th through till the end of the month. And I’ll save that. So now I’ve got a timeline in here because it’s a content plan I’ve already pre-categorized it as content marketing. Status is active.
I can change this status. These are all properties associated with this particular page. And this is what helps you sort this project in the database. So I want to sort it by energy level. Like, Oh, this project is going to require a lot of energy.
I can give it four lightening bolts. If I want to give it one lightening bolt, I can, this is all completely customizable. There’s a bunch of hidden properties down here that I’ve added. Again, this is my personal setup. This is kind of how I’ve done things, but I like to make it so that I’ve got one project for the month that I’m working on. And then under tasks, it’s actually going to link to any tasks created associated with this project.
Um, linked to my tasks, link to team tasks, any topics that I’m doing this month, any pieces of content that I’ve shared this month. Goals that are associated with this month. If I want to add a property, you’ve got a ton of different options here.
I can have a text property, a number property, a select property, all of these different things. And again, I’ll go over this in a different video if you’re interested in learning about the basics of setting up Notion and what these properties are, and how to use them. But in this instance, I’m not going to add it.
This is a template that I’m really happy with. I’m actually going to share this template. If you are inside our membership community called the Creator Club, you will get access to this template for free. So I’m going to add this into the club. If you haven’t joined yet, make sure to head over to our website or click the link around this video to go check it out.
But if you’re a member you’re going to get access to this template, which means click once. And all of this is going to appear for you. Down here. I’ve got my project summary section. So I’ve got a spot to add in any goals that I have for this month. Any notes specific to things I want to work on this month and maybe some topics. This year, I’m really trying to focus on publishing content consistently.
And what that looks like for me is I’m going to try to do two podcast episodes a month and two videos a month. And all of those will have associated blog posts, social media posts, helping to promote them, possibly some emails going out to promote them, too. So a lot of this content is going to be related, but this just gives me a place to kind of decide all right, what are some topic ideas?
So I’m going to do a check box here and I’m going to put in my content calendar set up. Oops. Can’t type today. Set up in Notion. There we go. That’s my first topic idea for January. And once I finish this video and hit publish, and it’s ready to go, or once I’ve decided to run with this topic, I can check it off.
And that way I’ll just know. But I like to add a bunch of topics in here at the beginning of the month and kind of brainstorm some ideas for the month. Typically, I have like a general content theme every month that I’ll stick within I’ll list everything out here and then check off the ones that I actually decide to use.
If I want to add a task for this month, like maybe I need to ask my assistant to review some of the content. I can create a new task here. It’s associated with this content plan. I could have a timeline for this task. I could have a status. I can assign it to somebody else on my team. So they’ll get notified and I can create this task here, like review, or maybe I want someone on my team to schedule out approved social posts for this month.
So now this task is as associated with this project. If I click out. You can see it’s right here. And I’ve even got some task, task templates to help me. Uh, but there we go. I’ve got a task in here it’s associated with this month. Right here, you see where this says team tasks or this one says content topics.
What this is telling me is that I’m actually pulling in a database from somewhere else in Notion. So this here is not my entire list of team tasks. It is just showing my team tasks associated with this particular project. So I could do my topic brainstorm here, or I can pull from this section here when I’m coming up with some content ideas.
Down here it shows me my task overview. This doesn’t have anything in it right now, but if I scroll over, I can see here’s this task I’ve got that I just created and I can drag it right onto this board here. And maybe I want this task to go out today, right? So maybe this is a task for today. Oh, there’s no social posts in here right now.
So I don’t know what somebody is going to review, but just as an example, this is on my main task database, but it’s just showing tasks related to this project because this is the specific page that I’m on. Then, I’ve got podcast episodes. Do I have any podcast episodes going out this month? Do I have any videos going out this month? Any emails going out this month, blog posts, social posts? As you can see, these are actually all the same table, but I’m just filtering each one. So if I click this filter. Under podcast.
This says where project contains the current project and where scheduled is no, right. It’s not checked. So it hasn’t been scheduled yet.
And where the channel contains podcast. So this way, this section here is only showing me podcast content. Same thing here in this video section. Project contains this current project, scheduled is no. And where channel contains YouTube. Social posts I think I have the channel set to either Facebook or Instagram.
So that way it’s only pulling in the posts under each one, even though these all live in one giant database, it’s just showing me the relevant content for each one. This is a little bit more advanced Notion strategy, but the nice thing about the template is it’s just done for you and you can one click and have this pull up for you.
Say, I want to create this video here, this video about my content calendar set up in Notion. I would go over here to new. And I’m going to call this My Content Calendar Setup in Notion. And I might associate this with my Notion set up topic that I’ve already added. There’s no podcast episode associated with this.
Um, no product, no category for right now. It’s not been scheduled yet, but maybe I have a thumbnail image. I could upload that here. Published date, I’m not gonna worry about that right now. And I’ll show you why in a second. Status could be In Progress, like, right I’m actually working on this right now. So the status is in progress.
And typically I do this before I start recording the video, but I just wanted to kind of show you what this would look like. Some of these aren’t related to videos. So I’m just going to ignore them like subject line and Flodesk link are specific to emails. Not going to touch that right now.
As I scroll down here I have a template already created for video content. So you can see it just populated my little video icon up here and down here, I’ve got this nice little template to work with. I’m going to click open as page so I can see this a little bit larger as I scroll down I’ve got this template here.
I can add any notes that I have about this topic video, make sure to mention, um, something I could have. I have my video publishing checklist, right? So that shows me, okay. What do I need to do to get this published? Then, I have my YouTube description template. This just has all of this information that I put in the description, right? Uh, where to follow me on the web, on the internet. Uh, some of the favorite tools I use and some of these can be affiliate links.
That way I can add in a description for this video and then just copy the rest of it. And it’s set to go. This is all part of the template that I’ve already created. Then, I’ve got video title. Your video titles really important for SEO. So I’ve created a separate section for that, and I’d have to actually research what this title would look like, but maybe for now, it’s just something like My Notion Content Calendar Set Up and then video outline.
So this could be things like. Um, What is Notion, How Notion Compares to Other Channels or Other Productivity Tools? I could say, like screen share, walk through Notion Setup. A call to action at the end of my video. Anyway, you can just basically outline this however you want to. And that way, right before I hit record, I might actually have this open in another window so I can reference it.
Or I might just look at it ahead of time. So I am reminded of what I want to talk about. I don’t actually script my videos out in advance. I just, I prefer a more candid approach. I would rather just talk to the camera directly. Maybe mess up a little bit more because it’s not scripted, but I think it just feels more natural.
So I don’t script out my videos, but if you did, you could actually write out your video script right here. I could just have video script and then maybe I’d want to change this color to also be blue. Like the other headers in here. And I could just start typing. Let’s say this is good. And now I want to go back to my project for the month.
My January Content Plan, scroll down. What’s really cool here is I can look down at this calendar. And I can actually take this video and scroll down and say, all right, it’s the 8th right now. I want this video to go live on the 12th. And I literally just dragged it from the section up here, down to the 12th.
And as you can see now, it’s got a date on here. It’s set to the 12th. So I can see that it’s good to go. And maybe I’m planning for it to go live on the 12th, but I haven’t actually scheduled it yet. This allows me to see what’s coming up on my calendar and when it is scheduled, I can check off this little scheduled box here.
So that way I know it’s been planned for the 12th and I’ve actually scheduled it in advance. So now I don’t need to worry about it anymore. And as soon as I check scheduled, you can see that it disappeared from this section up here. And that’s just a personal preference. That’s this filter in action where scheduled is unchecked. And if I were to uncheck it, it pops back up.
So then I can kind of see anything that’s still in this section here. If I’m seeing posts or social posts or blog posts in this section, that means it hasn’t been scheduled yet. And need to pay attention to that. If it’s down on the calendar and it’s marked as scheduled, I don’t need to worry about it.
And it disappears from this section up here. So I’ve got my post, my YouTube video. Scheduled uploaded to YouTube. Ready to go. Maybe now I want to create a social post to promote it. So I’m going to call this again, My Content Calendar in Notion. I am going to create a social post. I added a nice little, uh, Instagram icon up here for this one.
And by doing that by checking social posts. It changes the channel to Instagram. It changes the status in progress because I’m editing it right now. And I can also see it’s added a section for Instagram posts and a section for Facebook posts. And that’s because I keep these one in the same, because I tend to post really similar content to Facebook and Instagram.
I might not schedule them the exact same day, but I typically schedule them around the same time. So I can write an Instagram caption in here, copy and paste it down to the Facebook post section. And maybe just change the call to action. Like the call to action for the Instagram post might be to click the link in my bio.
Well, that doesn’t make sense on Facebook. So I have a second section here where I can adjust that call to action if I need to. And once it’s looking good, I might say Needs Approval or Completed and have somebody else on my team schedule it, check it off. And then I’ve just added a bunch of hashtags down here. This is part of the template.
And I just have that. So when I’m writing these posts, I can go and copy and paste some hashtags, maybe add some new ones, but I’m not doing a ton of hashtag research every single time. That might not be the best way to market myself on Instagram. I just don’t have time to come up with custom hashtags for every single post. And I’m okay with that.
Let’s do a blog post. And call this My Content Calendar Setup on Notion. This is related to my Notion setup topic, and it might have a featured image. The status is In Progress. Again, some of these aren’t related, um, but what I can do and I’ll show you in a second, this is a blog post.
We’ll let that template load. There we go. I write it and I edit it and I go over it with my team here. I can comment here to collaborate with my team, or I can highlight a specific section of my blog posts that I want to be reviewed or somebody to check on. Or for somebody to like, double-check a link for something.
And I can add a comment right here, just like inside of Google Docs, which makes your life really easy when you’re collaborating with an editor or a copywriter or somebody else on your team who might be reviewing or publishing your content. So I just go in here and I’ll just be creating posts, typing in content, creating posts.
And then I scheduled them all out all across the month. Let me hop over to last month’s content calendar. So I can show you what that looks like when I filled this in a bit more. So here’s what my content plan looked like for December. I created it in the end of November just to get a headstart on my planning.
I had the timeline range from December 3rd through January 2nd. I can see all the tasks that I had for my team here. Any topic ideas I had. All of the actual content that was related to this month, you can see there’s 12 more posts here. So I actually had a lot of content. Same thing, I’ve got my goals, my notes, my topic brainstorm.
I’ve got some content ideas, some of which are actually associated with this month, which means I actually went through and created them. I still have one outstanding task. I’ve actually created this year end review template already. I just haven’t posted it yet. Posted it into my membership yet. So that’s something that still shows up on my to-do list.
You can see it set for tomorrow in my to-do list, it’s only showing tasks related to this month content plan. So that’s why there’s only one task in here. And I have it hiding all completed tasks, just to keep things clear. Nothing is showing up in any of these sections because everything for the month of December has already been published, which makes sense, because it’s no longer December.
So it wouldn’t be good if I still had some lingering content in here, there’s no content In Progress right now. And if I scroll down here is what my calendar looked like. So you can see how many days I was posting. The little icons here are for Instagram. This one is an email icon. So I can kind of look at the icons of each type of post and see what I’m sharing each day.
If you enjoy this video, make sure to let me know in the comments below. I know this may have been a little bit overwhelming if you’re new to Notion, but I just wanted to show you what this app is capable of. It’s really nice to have everything in one place. And the other amazing thing is that if I ever want to look back and see exactly what I was working on for a particular month, for example, if I want to go back and see what I posted in December or how I did staying on top of my goals for that month. I can just click into that month and literally see everything I planned. Everything I published.
All the tasks I completed, and if I met any of the goals I set for myself ahead of time. If you want access to all of my Notion templates, make sure to hop into our membership, the Creator Club, you can hop on the wait list using the link around this video.
We love to have you inside amazing community of creative business owners who want to improve their productivity in 2021, as well as learn some amazing new Squarespace skills. Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you in our next video.
How to Plan Content in Notion
This is my step-by-step process for creating a content calendar in Notion. If you’re a Notion newbie, my setup may seem complicated, but you can make your own content calendar as simple or complex as you need it to be.
If you like the way I organize my content calendar, keep reading for instructions on how to access my Notion templates.
Create a Project
To create my first month’s worth of content, I start with a blank page in Notion, which I rename to whichever month I’m working on. I’ve already created a handful of templates in my Notion account for different types of projects, but you can also start with a blank page. This way, you can choose which fields you need for your own workflow and ignore the fields that don’t pertain to you. Once you find a setup that feels good to you, save it as a template.
For my content calendar template, I’ve created an overview section, an ideas section, a section for my team’s tasks (more on that later), and different sections for each platform I use.
In a few of these sections, I’ve set my template to auto-populate information from my Notion databases. My topic ideas section, for example, pulls topic ideas from my master list of ideas so I can incorporate them into this month’s content.
Brainstorm Your Topics & To-Do List
Before I create any content, I like to establish the month’s goals and make a to-do list for my team. As I’m writing or recording the month’s content, I can refer back to these sections to ensure I’m on track.
In my business, we stick to a theme every month, and all the month’s content revolves around that central idea. Whether or not your business operates that way, you can still use this section to outline the topics you will be covering for the month.
Then, in my task overview section, I create and schedule to-do list items for myself and the rest of my team. I love that I can pull from my database of monthly tasks and set tasks specific to this month’s content calendar. Once I make each task, it’s easy to drag them to the appropriate due date and check them off as I go.
Create Your Content
Next, it’s time to plan and create the month’s content.
I have my content calendar broken down into each platform I use (social media, my podcast, blog posts, etc.). When I create a new piece of content under one of these sections, I can link it to whichever topic fits best. That way, I know I’m covering my content pillars.
Unlike other project management apps, Notion allows you to format your content with titles and headers, making it easy to copy and paste your pre-formatted text into Squarespace.
For every type of video or post I plan in Notion, I like to include a checkbox for whether or not it’s been published. When it’s time to schedule my posts, I can filter the view of these sections to only show unscheduled content
Schedule Your Posts
Once all your content is written, it’s time to schedule it. While Notion doesn’t do any of the actual posting, it’s absolutely necessary for me to see everything in one place. I make my plan for the month here, and then I schedule the posts in their respective programs.
To create my Notion content calendar, I simply drag and drop each piece of content into the calendar view. As I move and shift each piece of content, the publish date field updates to reflect my changes.
Seeing everything in this calendar view is so much less chaotic than adding publish dates manually, and it keeps me from bunching my posts too close together.
Collaborate With Your Team
One of my favorite features in Notion is the ability to work with a team. As I have a few different team members involved in my content calendar, I have to be able to assign different parts of the process to different people while keeping everything in the same place.
This is where the tasks section comes into play. I can assign different types of content to different teammates, and I can even create individual to-do lists and timelines for each person. Not only does it keep us organized, but it also keeps us accountable.
Like I mentioned before, my content calendar setup in Notion may seem complex, but this process has served me and my team well for months now!
Save time by grabbing our super simple Notion to-do list template.
Purchase my Notion to-do list templates (and if you want all my content planning templates you can add them after checkout). Grab 50% with the code BLOG for a limited time by clicking here.
How do you keep yourself organized across platforms and strategize your content calendar? Let me know in the comments.