Post It NotesDo you know what you’re posting, sharing, and blogging this Thursday?

How about two Thursdays from now? Thursday of next month? Thursday of next year?

We don’t have things figured out quite to that extreme here at Buffer, but we do have some idea of what’s ahead. (Those of you who are yearly planners, our hat’s off to you!) Planning content far into the future is a common element of many marketing strategies, and the erstwhile content calendar—in its many shapes and forms—fits this role perfectly.

What calendar do you use for your social media marketing and content creation?

We hear a lot of interest in calendars from our community, so I dug around to find some of the best tools and templates for premium and free content calendars, as well as the elements that make a good one—the who, what, when, where, and why of planning out content a week-at-a-time, month-at-a-time, or year-at-a-time. Here’s what I discovered.

The psychological draw of a visual content calendar

We recently held a webinar with the team at Twitter, and included in the webinar slidedeck was a slide of a content calendar. This slide was a big hit with everyone who saw it, and our community wanted to know: What is this calendar and where can I find it?

Twitter calendar

Turns out, the calendar was just a graphic. Nevertheless, the magnetism of that graphic got us to thinking: What made the calendar slide so attractive?

I found a couple psychological theories that might explain why.

1. Calendars work as mental models, showing us something familiar to help us comprehend something hard. 

Now, I’m not saying that blogging or tweeting is hard, per se. But psychologically, we have a much easier time thinking about content when it’s pitched to us as a calendar. When we see our work laid out in a calendar, we find it to be much more manageable. The familiarity of the calendar minimizes the difficulty of our work and instead makes it exciting and fresh and fun—and we’re enthused to keep at it.

2. A simple, visual calendar greatly lowers its perceived difficulty.

Cost-benefit analysis says that our behavior is influenced by how easy or difficult we perceive an action to be. An easy-looking calendar is more likely to gain a positive, visceral reaction—as we experienced when we showed everyone the calendar graphic in the webinar.

Hick’s Law is similar. According to this law, we take longer to come to a decision when we are faced with more options. The Twitter calendar was simple, clean, and gave off the appearance of few options, which could explain its popularity.

These theories might be helpful to keep in mind when you’re choosing a content calendar of your own. Find one that is familiar, simple, and easy-to-use, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

3 ways a calendar can improve your content creation

We use a type of content calendar here at Buffer, and based on conversations with other content creators and social media marketers, it’s plain to see why thinking in calendar terms can be so helpful and why writing down your plan can be beneficial. Here are three of the benefits:

1.  Take a bird’s-eye view of your content and fill in any gaps

A content calendar gives you new perspective both in the way you think about your content and in the way you see your content. You get to examine your updates, sharing, and blog posts from  a 10,000-foot view, where you can’t help but notice the big picture. It’s easy to get lost in details when you’re in the heads-down process of content creation, so having a larger visioning session to create the calendar plus taking regular peeks at the calendar once it’s made can help bring your work into context.

Head up head down

2. Plan and organize around key events, dates, and launches

Have you ever had an event sneak up on you? I’ve been there before, and in the mad rush to produce content for the event, I kinda wished I had written it down on a calendar. When you plan your content well in advance, you can prep and organize around the key dates that could influence your content. As you’ll see below, many big brands plan out far ahead to cover the recurring events and important dates that seem to crop up at the same time every year.

3. Ensure plenty of prep time to get content ready to publish

Working ahead on blog posts is my guilty pleasure. (I don’t know why I need to feel guilty about it, but I do.) Calendars help me see what’s coming up so I can carve out time in my schedule to get ahead. Pam Moore calls this the drumbeat approach to content development. Jamie Griffiths, writing at Convince and Convert, describes the effect this has on consistency and expertise:

In general the further ahead you plan your digital content publishing the better placed you are to produce a consistent flow of content that builds your brand’s perceived expertise in your chosen subject areas.

Should you have a weekly, monthly, or yearly calendar? Yes.

CoSchedule, makers of a handy-dandy WordPress editorial calendar plugin, advise that a good calendar creation process include a handful of different timeframes. Their three-step process goes like this:

  1. Start with an annual review
  2. Begin collecting ideas
  3. Plug the content into monthly calendars

The purpose of the process is to think big-picture about the content you create and share. It’s similar to the heads-up/heads-down approach I mentioned above. You need to pick your head up every now and again to see where you’re headed.

Should your calendar include blog content or social media content? Yes.

There is no wrong way to build a content calendar. 

As you’ll see in the tools below, some calendars include both blog posts and social media updates. Depending on the way your marketing team is set up, you can approach calendars from any number of different ways.

Many content strategies begin with marketing personas, and the messages of the content align to fit different needs and customers. Identifying these different audience types will likely guide the way your calendar lays out. For example, our Buffer content might be 80 percent social media tips, 10 percent Buffer tips, and 10 percent product announcements.

The next step is deciding what types of content you can place into your calendar, including blog posts and social media updates. Here is a list of content you could consider adding:

  • Regular blog posts
  • Social media updates
  • Recurring posts, series, or themes
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Charts
  • E-books
  • Company news and announcements
  • Product launches
  • Industry events
  • Seasonal content

(We have a lot of helpful posts on the optimal frequency for posting content, too.)

You can likely find even more ideas on what types of content to add when you consider all the many different ways you can repurpose content. Create slide decks from existing articles, compose e-books based on past stories, tap the expertise of your coworkers, etc.

And the calendar customizations don’t stop there. In addition to the types of content you’ll include, you may also choose to have additional information on each item. In a spreadsheet calendar, this information often appears in the columns beside the date and content. Marketing Nutz has a big list of categories to consider when you’re putting together your calendar:

  1. Blog post title
  2. Social media update copy
  3. Target audiences (primary, secondary & tertiary)
  4. Author
  5. Editor
  6. Purchase cycle (awareness, consideration, preference, purchase, loyalty)
  7. Draft due date
  8. Primary keywords (5-10)
  9. Categories
  10. Supporting image(s)
  11. Other supporting media (image, video, podcast)
  12. Embed in other resource kits or publications
  13. Syndication
  14. Possible whitepaper (y/n)
  15. Client testimonial / graphics

Combine all these different factors, and it’s easy to see how a content calendar can take hundreds of different forms. Find the form that’s right for you—detailed or minimal, weekly or monthly, etc.—and start working it.

Examples of editorial calendars

Many big brands use content calendars to plan out weeks, months, and a year in advance. Here are a few that make their calendars public online. Feel free to use for inspiration and ideas.


Forbes’ yearly editorial calendar includes the highlights of their 18 big recurring features and where these features land on the calendar. The list view shows when the copy and design are due (the print close), when it is delivered to print subscribers, and when it launches online.

Forbes calendar


Time magazine also plans content a year out, providing deadlines for print, online, and advertising on some of its most popular (and important) features.

Time Calendar


Inc’s calendar highlights the most important moments on the magazine’s editorial and online schedule. Features like the “Inc. 500” and a “How I Did It” series are known a full year ahead so that content can be created and advertising can be sold.

Inc calendar


Vogue’s editorial calendar is very similar to the others: Brief descriptions of the content with relevant publishing and print dates.


The gang at CoSchedule shared their annual calendar, which they keep with paper and pen (and color-coded stickies).



We schedule our blog posts a week at a time with a fluid to-do board in Trello. We’ve found that ideas and directions change quickly, so we try to assume a good level of flexibility with the content we plan. There are no set dates for the content on the Trello boards; we publish whenever the post is ready.

Buffer Trello

Content Calendar Tools

A calendar tool is a common way that content producers choose to stay organized, whether in a standalone app or an integration with a company’s content management system. When you’re choosing a tool or template to help with building a content calendar, it might be helpful to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What features are most important to me? e.g., collaboration, sharing, follow-up, progress, assignments, etc.
  2. How easy will it be for my team to find and use the calendar?
  3. Does the tool or template fit our content plan? e.g., does it support social media updates, visual content, etc.

Here are five tools that you might find helpful, depending on your needs.  

WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin

We use this tool on our Buffer blogs for scheduling our posts for the coming weeks. The drag-and-drop interface updates both the calendar and the unpublished posts themselves, and it is a cinch to use with a WordPress blog (or two).

WordPress editorial calendar

Gather Content

Gather Content, a tool for content marketers and project managers, stores files in the cloud for consistent group editing and has some neat features in terms of assigning tasks and tracking progress.

Gather Content


Kapost focuses directly on content marketing, with a slick calendar for writers, editors, and publishers. The calendar is one of many tools that Kapost offers, including online payments and a distribution and analysis system.

Kapost calendar


A WordPress plugin, CoSchedule synchronizes your blog posts and your social media sharing on one unified, drag-and-drop calendar interface.


Excel or Google Spreadsheets

For complete and total customization, you may want to just create your own calendar with a free spreadsheet. Many of the templates you’ll see below were built in Excel. The benefit of doing your calendar this way is that you have full control over what you want to plan and track, and you can do so for free.

Content Calendar Templates

Just like with calendar tools, any template you choose should be specific to your needs. There are lots to pick from, so if you go the template route, take care to pick one that fits you and your content strategy. (And based on the psychology of visual things, it won’t hurt to pick one that’s easy on the eyes, too.)

Here are five of our favorites.

The printable content calendar from CoSchedule, available in yearly views, monthly views, and an idea worksheet:

CoSchedule printable calendars

(CoSchedule’s instructions are to print one annual calendar and 12 monthly ones and as many idea sheets as you’d like.)

Content Marketing Institute’s content calendar template:


Convince and Convert’s content calendar template:


Hubspot’s content calendar template:

Hubspot calendar


WebpageFX content calendar template:




If you’ve been creating content for long enough, you’ve likely experienced the benefits of a content calendar for your blogging and your social media updates. A strategic approach to content makes a world of difference for delivering the absolute best blogs, updates, and shares you can.

What do you use for a content calendar? Which elements of the calendar are most important to you? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Content and The Social Media Frequency Guide: How Often to Post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and More.

Image credits: Enokson, CoSchedule, Twitter, Convince and Convert, The Marketing Nutz.

Looking for a better way to share on social media?

Schedule, publish & analyze your posts across the top social networks, all in one place.

Start a 14-Day Free Trial
Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Great post Kevan- Thanks for mentioning GatherContent. We *really* appreciate it 🙂

    I’d also add to your description that we focus on helping agencies work with their clients to gather together all of the content their projects need.

    Offer a 30-day free trial at:

  • Well done Kevan. Here’s another Content Calendar Template (direct link)

    • gladyswray

      before I looked at the check of $8543 , I accept
      …that…my neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their
      apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by
      now cleared the debts on their house and bourt a gorgeous Ford . visit this
      site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Thanks for mentioning Kapost, Kevan. This article is a great resource!

  • Cool ideas! We use Edit Flow for content management/scheduling for our WP website. I haven’t used their calendar feature yet, but love their custom workflow statuses and editorial metadata within the post. Here’s the plugin site:

  • Great and NEW information for me here. I have seen some of these templates and suggestions on blog flow and content calendar use before, but there is new good information here for me! Thanks!

  • Nice rundown, Kevan! I’d add that beyond brainstorming around personas, it’s really important to consider the buyer stage. Each persona has vastly different needs in different stages of the buying process. This is one of the organizational features/labels we’ve added to Ripenn:

    • I’d echo Josh in the importance of sorting content by personas and buying stages. It’s a feature our customers at Kapost really love and use too.

  • Andrea Goulet Ford

    Another amazing post, Kevan! There’s a class about editorial calendars on Skillshare, too, in case anyone wants a deeper dive:

  • Agnes Dadura

    I still like the Buffer Calendar graphics most… maybe you should consider making it a product?

    No wonder you start planning your posts early, because it’s very impressive how many posts, how long, and most importantly, of what quality, you’re publishing.

    On the topic of calendars… I’m a new fan of Sunrise calendar app 🙂

  • Thanks so much for the inclusion and link to our content calendar! Much appreciated.

  • Hi again. I did just notice that it looks like you also grabbed the list of categories from our calendar yet gave credit to Content Marketing Institute? I could be wrong but don’t see the list of categories via the link you listed. Yet, I see the exact same categories listed on our posts here -> and here->

    • You’re exactly right, Pam! So glad you caught that, and sorry for getting my links mixed up there. I’ll hop in and change right away. 🙂

      Thanks for the incredible resource you have there!

  • Karen McCamy

    This is a great article, Kevan! What I have found, however, is that as a freelancer — a “solo shop” — using an editorial or content calendar can have the opposite effect of that intended… I’m a huge proponent of planning, and “harp” on the importance of planning to my freelance clients. There’s a psychological barrier however to a freelancer’s use of an editorial calendar, unless they are extremely disciplined…That effect is this: they see “everything” that needs to be done, and when, in a month view, and are completely overwhelmed and intimidated by the enormity of the workload, that they alone are responsible for completing! I think the trick for utilizing a content calendar for frelancers is to use sparingly, as in being cautious just how much “work” is entered on the Calendar! Otherwise, it serves to overwhelm and depress, not to energize and prioritize!

    I can understand this perspective, as it can be daunting to “go solo!”

    I do like the tools you have listed and I think if used with the proper mindset going in, they can be very helpful…even for freelancers!


    • Great point about freelancers, Karen! Thanks so much for adding your perspective to this conversation. I can see how a month view could be quite daunting! 🙂

  • Just started using Trello for our editorial calendar a couple of weeks ago, and it has been great! You’re so right regarding the flexibility offered. Plus it’s great for tracking all the pieces through each stage of the content creation process. We have a mix of set and fluid deadlines, so a Scheduled, Published, Delayed/Needs Rescheduling structure works best for us.

    • Sounds like an awesome system, Jessica!

  • Viable Way

    It seems that you could have a calendar like this for your clients too…it wouldn’t matter what month they started, but just let them use it to track their progress through your marketing or educational process. It is kind of a DASHBOARD item, but also a way to have all your links in one place, lets them see progress and reminds them about your services on a weekly, monthly and annual calendar. Kind of an online portfolio of what they are doing and a checklist for their actions.

    • Makes a lot of sense! Super idea!

  • We even now like the Stream Date graphics most… perhaps you must think of making it a product or service?

    No question you commence organizing your blog-posts early on, simply because it is quite remarkable the amount of blog-posts, the time, and the majority important, involving what excellent, you will be posting.

    About the topic of calendars… Now i am a brand new fan involving Dawn date application: )

  • Barbara Giamanco

    Kevan – great post! Because of your review, I set up CoSchedule on my blogs. To say that I LOVE the product is an understatement. I went from trial to paid in 5 days. -:)

    • Wow, great to hear, Barbara! CoSchedule has an amazing product and some amazing content to boot! I love them, and I’m glad to hear you do too! 🙂

  • hey Kevan, nice list. Although you should also check out’s editorial calendar here –

    • Great tip, Sahil! I’ll go give it a look see. 🙂

  • Mike Street

    I would love to see Buffer add in an Editorial Calendar view option to the product.

    • Oh, excellent idea, Mike! That would be an awesome editorial calendar indeed! 🙂

  • Thomas McMillian

    I just heard Arnie Kuenn speak at a conference about the 8 steps to great content marketing. Here is his content calender template –

  • Epic. Huge THANK YOU

  • Bennett Sung

    The best and most useful marketing blog I have read.

  • olivierpailhes

    SO insightful! After reading this I just spent 1 hour to re-model our content planning and it looks much better. We use Trello as we are a small team and we need a flexible tool (basically our new content planning looks quite close to Buffer’s one now 🙂

  • As a team, the whole Google suite is perfect for us, specifically a combination of Google Calendar + Google Tasks. It’s very fluid. We have multiple calendars depending on the context (social media calendar, editorial calendar, etc). Using an online calendar as opposed to a paper calendar can also do “repeat events” – a huge plus.

    For just myself and specifically for my blog posts, I use Trello. I separate the cards by the status each post is in and move it as it progresses.

    Another great post! Always love to play with new toys and will definitely check all these out!

  • Jimmie

    Okay, Kevan, here’s where I ask for advice. I have a podcast which has some moving parts. I need to coordinate those moving parts among three different people (me, my co-host, and my producer). Each show, we have a pre-production meeting, the actual recording, the release date, and certain related things such as doing the “outro” clip and getting it to the producer on time and doing the show post when the show comes out. Lots of stuff to track and a small team, each of whom has different responsibilities and all of whom need to know how the parts move.

    Oh, and my budget is small, verging (at present) on zero.

    What product might you (or your readers) recommend?

    • Hi Jimmie! I hope this answer doesn’t come too late for you. We’ve quite enjoyed using Trello for our organization here at Buffer. It’s free and simple – two of my favorite things! Let me know if I can help out with anything else!

  • Thank you very much for the inclusion of our content marketing calendar. Great article.

  • Bob

    Very nice list 🙂


  • pazarando

    super usefull! thanks!

  • Very nice and informative post. Thanks

    How to increase alexa rank

  • Edward

    Hi Kevan, as always your post is great. We use Proofhub for making editorial calendars. Here is how:

    • Thanks for the tip, Edward! 🙂

  • Mohannad

    Hi Kevan

    Great article, well done. As a social media agency, I have yet to find an editorial calendar tool that fulfils my requirements when working on client projects. The core features I’m looking for are:
    – Visual display of content items in the calendar (especially images)
    – Allow drag and drop of content items (instead of editing each item to change its date and time)
    – Allow clients to login, review, edit, and comment
    – Linking with the social media platforms to enable publishing
    Have you come across a tool that supports such features or at least the first three?


    • Not yet. I’ll keep my eyes and ears on this one, Mohannad!

    • Diego Velasquez

      Check out

    • I’m always looking for something like what you described as well, Mohannad. The problem with most of the tools I’ve researched is that they charge by user (and sometimes that changes depending upon if you want to include clients, vendors, contractors, etc.). And those that don’t charge by user are way too expenseive for companies that aren’t huge.

      Let me know if you’ve come up with anything!

  • Ana

    Kevan! this list is FULL of great ideas! I find it SO helpful! Thank you 🙂

  • Alec Levandoski

    This is some really great information about Content Calendars Thanks! I found this other blog post that i thought added some nice things about content calendars. check it out here

  • Thanks for this great post. It has sparked lots of ideas. I like to keep everything in Trello where possible, but I think this will have to be in sync with an actual calendar of sorts. I’m thinking a combination of Google calendar and Trello, both with shared with client.

  • Ann

    This is awesome. I’m so excited to do a content calendar, which I have actually done before – but I like the idea of including more than just my blog and I like the idea of using imagery. It’s going to be the prettiest thing ever, just need to make sure I follow it, too.

  • These are great, thanks for putting together this list. There’s another calendar I thought I’d mention. I like it because there’s nothing to download, configure, or learn:

  • Rita Löschke

    Great list! Thank you for putting this together, Kevan!
    Here is another template:

  • heyehd

    Hi Kevan. Another social media calendar you may find interesting:

  • Ed Troxell Creative

    Kevan I love how you have a variety of calendars here showing that there is not a one size fits all method. Thanks!

  • I have, but it seems more geared to blog content. I don’t know that it would make sense for tweets, FB posts, etc.

    • It originally was, but they keep adding to its functionality. You can schedule your social media posts (stand-alone 0r blog-specific) right on the calendar. Don’t know if this would work for your clients, but it might be worth checking into the latest updates…

  • Great info, Kevan. I’ve been using the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin for many years. If I’ve ever had a problem I’ve emailed their team and they’ve fixed it right away.

    I highly recommend that plugin for anyone on WordPress.

    • Great stuff, Justin! Yes, we’ve gotten some great usage out of this one in the past also! 🙂

  • Secarsuwor

    Nice Info

  • Secarsuwor

    Very Impressive website, keep developing it

  • Robson

    Wow, great post! Thanks Kevan!
    Calendars Templates for 2016

  • found this IFTTT recipe to add buffered posts to your google calendar… this might help some people

  • Geet Sharma

    Nice article Kevan I was actually searching for calendar which can help me handling social media accounts. Well you can also check my calendar

  • Rogp

    Great article Kevan, thank you. How about some linear calendars? the problem we found with normal calendars is they are difficult to relate to your results. A linear calender is easier to compare directly with your timelined based analytics. We added multiple linear calenders to’s marketing management app which allowed you to view your events directly on your marketing plan, alongside results. Take it for a spin if you like: This allows you to see directly what impact your actions had on the results…

  • Ashish Kapoor

    Thanks for the detailed info Kevan. Much appreciated I was actually searching for calendar which can help me handling social media accounts. You can also check my calendar

  • Great! Amazing post, best advice I have read out there. Thank you

  • Ashish Kapoor

    Thanks for the detailed info Kevan. Much appreciated I was actually searching for calendar which can help me handling social media accounts. You can also check

  • vanisree
  • Tori

    Thanks for this article – it has been helpful! I am looking to find different ways to schedule my team members for blog posts. I need a consistent schedule for everyone that ideally, I don’t have to keep re-writing every few weeks. We have 8 people on our team. Any thoughts?

    • Michael Clarke

      I’d definitely give co-schedule a look. It does this brilliantly.

  • Deepika Kalaiyarasan
  • Bohumil Pokstefl

    We have worked with some of these tools but we found them very complex and complicated especially for brand managers. We are using now and we are more than satisfied.

  • jamesbriggs1980

    great article Kevan 🙂 I also have a nice piece of event calendar marketing software, would you check it out? It`s

  • John

    thanks for sharing a detailed guide. I would like to recommend they provides free calendars in PDF, Excel, and Word format.

  • Zīmogu fabrika

    Fantastic post! Great ideas for our own business, we will take some of tips for next year calendar printing.

  • Sujoy Joshi

    Thanks Kevan for sharing such useful information. For normal printable calendar templates i would like to recommend as they are covering a wide variety of calendars and other templates in various formats.

  • There is a huge demand of Printable Calendar I have seen as of now and I can find out there are a lot of sites which provide good calendar templates to user. One of site I have seen which I found useful for you all as it was cool enough for me i.e. .

  • bollywood actress photoshot

    Thanks for it very interesting

    bollywood actress photoshot

  • santa clus images

    wow super very nice post thanks so much
    santa clus images

  • Important Information

    very nice.thanks for it.
    imp info

  • Important Information

    very nice.thanks for it.its very interesting this blog.

    bollywood actress photoshoot

  • showbox latest apk

    Thank you for this awesome information. I’ll bookmark this page. Thank you once again. showbox apk latest version

  • ponni v

    I appreciate that you produced this wonderful article to help us get more knowledge about this topic. I know, it is not an easy task to write such a big article in one day, I’ve tried that and I’ve failed. But, here you are, trying the big task and finishing it off and getting good comments and ratings. That is one hell of a job done! know your presidents

    bollywood actress photoshoot

  • watch movies free on iphone

    very nice.thanks for it.its very interesting this blog. watch movies free on iphone

  • ifile ios 10 no jailbreak

    Great site,it has innovative content which is helpful,and i like the designing of this site.I appreciate your work regarding website.
    ifile ios 10 no jailbreak

  • Best iPhone 7 Plus to Buy

    This is an awesome site and gives great information.
    Best iPhone 7 Plus to Buy

  • ajayjadhav ramesh

    very nice. Thanks for it

    thanksgiving sale

  • Ray Priti

    Buy lovely wall calendars at I love it.

  • hindi shayri on happy new year
  • happy new year wishes with nam

    this is good informations..i really like this post.i thank you this post.

    happy new year wishes hd wallpaper

  • Sharul Ali

    A very nice post. Will visit again. Just checkout once mine too. Here you can get Free Printable Calender.

  • Miss India 2017

    thanks for the blog article.Really thank you! Really Cool.
    Miss India 2017

  • Well done Kevan. Here’s another Content Calendar Template direct link bokeppp