Using Airtable to manage editorial content
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Using Airtable to manage editorial content

How to build editorial calendars and streamline editorial processes using Airtable.

Editorial calendars are an indispensable tool for streamlining the entire publishing process and ensuring a consistent output of content. From brainstorming ideas, to sending drafts off for editing, to managing art assets, to scheduling and rescheduling articles — a good editorial calendar can make your publication-related tasks a whole lot easier.

Let’s take a look at an editorial calendar template that writer and editor Laura Blackwell (previously of PCWorld and TechHive) put together showing the workings of a fictional satirical news website.

This base uses different field (or column) types to hold different types of information related to each story. Date fields can be used to coordinate scheduling, embargoes, and due dates; colorful single select fields allow you to track the current status of each story, mark the section to which a story belongs, or assign a copy editor.

The template is just a starting point, though: adding new fields to fit your own needs is simple. For example, we could easily add an attachment field to store each story’s art assets.

You can further customize your base by creating different views, which are like different lenses through which you can see the same data. By hiding fields, adding filters, and applying sorts, you can create new ways to look at the table that are optimized for different purposes. These views can be saved so you can quickly reference them for future use — for example, each editor can have their own view, which only shows the stories to which they’ve been assigned.

Airtable’s calendar views also offer another way to look at your content pipeline by displaying your records as cards on a monthly calendar.

Calendar view makes it easy to change a story’s publication date when you’re inevitably forced to reschedule that one piece over and over again — it’s as easy as dragging and dropping the record to a new date. You can also put a story on hold by dragging it to the right side of the calendar, or schedule a story by dragging it from the side onto the calendar.

Blackwell’s template is just one way in which you could construct an editorial calendar in Airtable. Click here to see it for yourself. By changing and adding your own field types, creating views, and more, you can make this template your own!

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