Trello vs CoSchedule: Editorial calendar review for content marketers

Trello and CoSchedule are two tools that at first glance don’t seem to be direct competitors, but with Trello’s calendar power-up, they both can make powerful editorial calendars and content planning tools. Each of these tools are easy to learn and have excellent user experiences.

Trello vs CoSchedule: Two intuitive tools for content marketing, with different advantages. Click To Tweet

Why have an editorial calendar?

When you get started with content marketing, you may only be posting once or twice a week. You probably don’t need a calendar and can get by with a simple system such as a notebook, Evernote, or Google Calendar. As you create more content, particularly if you want to set specific goals such as posting on a consistent basis, planning out content ideas weeks or months in advance, and staying on top of events and holidays a calendar becomes a lot more useful. With multiple writers or blogs to manage, an editorial calendar can critical to keeping everyone organized and collaborating efficiently.

CoSchedule

Coschedule-banner

CoSchedule is a WordPress editorial calendar that allows you to schedule your posts, social media, team tasks, all from inside WordPress or on their web app.

Trello

trello-banner

Trello is a project management tool that provides a visual way using a system of lists and cards to manage what’s being worked on, who’s working on it, and where something is in the process. With their calendar power-up it allows you to create an editorial calendar.

The combination of the list and calendar view in @Trello give two useful perspectives for content… Click To Tweet

Related post: How we effectively use Trello for project management

How to activate the calendar: I had a bit of trouble finding the power-ups at first to activate the calendar.  You can find them in the menu at the top of the right sidebar.

calendar-activaite

Once activated you can find the button to switch to the calendar view just to the left of the sidebar.

calendar indicate

Price

CoSchedule – $10/mo with a two week free trial.

Trello – Free with premium features.

Verdict

If you’re going solely on price, Trello’s free features will be everything you need to to have an effective editorial calendar. Though I feel price is one of the least relevant factors in this comparison. At $10 a month, CoSchedule offers a great deal of value for the cost.

The calendar

Calendar

CoSchedule

  • The calendar view shows articles, social media posts, and events all in one.
  • Posts are colored
    • Gray – Published
    • Yellow – Draft
    • White – Scheduled
  • Individual tasks for each post are shown in the calendar as well, which gives you a good way to keep track of everything that needs to get done. CoSchedule send email reminders to the person assigned to the task. This gives you a handy to-do list each morning and keeps you on track to get your content published.
  • There are also colored labels available which appear on the calendar view which can be used to indicate the theme, type of content, or perhaps a substatus. I could not find a way to attach a specific word or label to the color, so you’ll have to agree on what each color means and have that listed elsewhere.
  • Published posts also display a number in the bottom right corner of their icon in the calendar view. Which represents the total number of social media shares, comments, and likes. This gives you a quick reference to what content is getting shared and is valuable to reference when planning social media promotion.

Trello

  • The calendar view in Trello takes cards and places them in a calendar according to their deadline. You can click each card and open them in the same way you could open a card in a list to display the relevant info.
  • You can see the title of the card and the colored label in the main calendar view. This is a simple and clean overview that is easy to work with. Clicking into any of the cards provides more depth and detail for each item. I do wish I could see the profile pic of the people assigned to the card in this view, like it is in the normal view.
  • The use of labels in Trello can be used to categorize
    • Themes (business, lifestyle, tech)
    • Types of content (infographic, tutorials, reviews, videos)
    • Status (idea, drafting, reviewing, ready) This is handy for a manager who is using the calendar view more heavily than the list views.
  • The combination of the list view and the calendar view make for two valuable ways to look at the progress of your content. Lists give you a better perspective of the status of the content and who is responsible for moving it forward, while the calendar view can show you where the deadlines are and where the priorities should be.

We have an editorial calendar template and two other Trello boards available for you to download free as a part of our Trello quick start kit. We use all three of these boards every day in our business.

Verdict

CoSchedule’s calendar displays much more information at a glance than Trello’s calendar view. For managers and writers focused on social media promotion and analytics, the CoSchedule calendar is a better option. Trello’s strength is its flexibility to switch between lists and the calendar view, each view help you track your content creation in two valuable ways. For managers with multiple team members each responsible for different elements of the content, or for anyone looking for a more customizable workflow Trello may make a better choice.

Social Media

CoSchedule Social Media

CoSchedule

  • The social media management is the strongest feature of CoSchedule. I really like their interface for scheduling social media posts to promote your blog posts. It keeps it all in one place and allows for easy visualization and long term post promotion planning.
  • The social media posts are displayed in the editorial calendar and in the post editing view. This makes for two very simple and intuitive ways to visualize both your content planning and your social media posts.
  • You can schedule according to a specific time or in relation to the post. They default the day of publishing, the day after, a week after and a month after. This is designed to keep a steady flow of traffic coming after your post has been published. These are easy guidelines for those of us who are less social media savvy to schedule posts and reap the benefits of consistent promotion.
  • Published posts will also display social media analytics. Displaying the total shares, likes and comments from the top social media channels. It is updated in real time which is something I really enjoy. I have tried to check how a post is doing in BuzzSumo only to find that it can take days to update the stats on a post. I found that Like Explorer offered a simplified but real-time view.

Trello

  • Trello does not support any social media features. Though I don’t think this is something that Trello needs to add to their app.

Verdict

If you want to manage your content and social media in one place, CoSchedule is a clear winner here. Its features with social media are simple, easy to use, and pitch perfect for content marketers.  The CoSchedule interface made me excited to plan out tweets to promote posts. Their “soft scheduling” interface allows you to schedule social media relative to when the post is published, and offers a simple framework for promotion that is easy to understand.

However we currently do social media promotion with Hootsuite for free and Buffer is another tool that is cheap if not free and does the same thing. The verdict is out for us on whether it really makes sense to be doing this via WordPress or it’s better to use a dedicated tool with a simple browser plugin like Buffer.

Collaboration

Collab

CoSchedule

  • All authors and contributors need an account. This is fairly easy to do, but it would have been nice just to allow immediate access for all of the WordPress users once it has been installed on WordPress. Though it is not particularly difficult, it’s another app for people to have to sign up for. We have found most of our guest contributors and team are using Trello and Google Docs and they already have a WordPress account with us.
  • Tasks can be assigned and managed in the calendar view. They work like a checklist, and each item on the list can be assigned to different people, which is helpful if separate people are responsible for different elements of the posts. You can also create a template for the tasks and create a repeatable process to make sure nothing gets overlook in post creation.
  • You can also comment in the post editor on the calendar view, which allows for collaboration and feedback to happen in the same place where the tasks, social media and scheduling are all managed.
  • CoSchedule is designed to favor drafting content in WordPress. This is nice if you like to create your content in WordPress. We prefer to only to place our content in WordPress once it has been drafted, reviewed and ready to publish. We find other word processing programs such as Google Docs do a better job for the drafting. You can link to a Google Doc in the comments or attach a .doc file or any other file type to the calendar, but CoSchedule’s design favors WordPress for post editing.

Trello

  • Integrates with Google Drive, you can link a doc to your card and collaborate on the doc. We use Google Docs to draft our content then move it into WordPress. It is easier to draft, comment and edit an article than in the WordPress editor. It is also nice to be able to have two people working on something simultaneously.
  • Trello’s lists, cards and features within the cards (checklists, labels) allows for more flexibility and better organization while creating the content. You can create as many lists as you need and keep an incredible amount of detail on a card. This is very useful for coordinating content with a large team, each with different responsibilities (researching, writing, graphics, editing, promotion). If you organize lists in Trello by to the task, you can subscribe different people to the lists according to their specialty. So the graphic designer only sees cards for posts that need graphics and the social media specialist only sees cards that needs promotion.
  • Unclaimed ideas – We use a list to collect ideas that are up for grabs for writing. This makes it easy to look through a list of possible content ideas and get started on one that is the most relevant, or get inspiration for another idea. CoSchedule does not seem to have a feature like this, and creating drafts for each raw idea would really crowd your WordPress posts.

Verdict

This is a matter of personal preference, depending on your workflow one may serve you better. We use Trello quite heavily at WP Curve. Planning the content with our staff and guest writer team comes more naturally since we are using it for many other operations. The Kanban list and cards with the calendar make for a great way to visualize progress on a post and save potential new ideas for future content.

If you do your content creation and editing in #WordPress already, then CoSchedule will make it easier… Click To Tweet

Integration

integrate

CoSchedule

  • WordPress Plugin – Though it is a plugin, CoSchedule is a standalone app that syncs with WordPress, so it shouldn’t slow your site down. Still, we are fanatical about site speed and always questioning whether a plugin is needed, particularly if it’s a feature that can be managed fully offsite.
  • Can use in WordPress, Web App, or right in the post editor
  • Bitly and Google Analytics – really good for measuring the effectiveness of your social media posts.
  • Google Calendar – Many people like to collaborate using Google Calendar, having all of your tasks, posts, and social media pushed to your calendar can be useful for monitoring the editorial calendar outside of WordPress.
  • Buffer – Allows you to continue using things like the browser plugin in buffer and have it all appear on your CoSchedule calendar in WordPress.
  • The CoSchedule web app can manage multiple blogs from one place which is very useful for people managing and producing content on a large scale.

Trello

  • Google Drive – As we mentioned earlier, linking up a Google Doc with a card in Trello makes for great collaboration on our team.
  • Dropbox – Easy access to dropbox files speeds up collaboration.
  • Email to card – This is a really great feature for content planning. You can quickly send an email to Trello and have it imported as a card. This makes it easy to save an idea for content and return to it later in Trello instead of running the risk of having it buried in your inbox.
  • Zapier – If you have recurring content themes such as our monthly income report having the automation power of Zapier is very helpful.

Related: A simple process for team task automation with Trello and Zapier

Verdict

Each has strengths. For those looking to unify their content promotion and tracking, CoSchedule is a winner. It is also nice to be able to set the publish date in CoSchedule and have it taken care of automatically. Trello does not have this ability. I checked to see if it could be done with Zapier, but at the moment it isn’t possible.

Trello’s integrations facilitate collaboration more than content creation or tracking. For people looking for a good way to have a team cooperate on creating a post in early ideation, writing and editing, Trello has what you are looking for.

It is worth mentioning that CoSchedule is only for WordPress, so if you’re using a different content management system you’ll need to consider other options.

Related: The best of WP Curve – content marketing

Use Cases

Solo blogger

solo blogger

CoSchedule – Chris Ford from Creativity Included is a solo manager of her business and blog. She used to keep most of her content planning in notebooks but gave CoSchedule a try. Here is what she liked the most.

  • Easy installation and set up of social profiles.
  • Ease of calendar and social media scheduling for all of her different accounts.
  • Integrates with tools she already uses and likes (bit.ly, Google Calendar, Google Analytics).
  • Simple, elegant and intuitive user experience.

Trello – Matteo Duó uses Trello with the chrome plugin card this to Trello for fast and easy idea research. It makes it easy to collect links for the discovery phase of creating content. By the time he sits down to write for his own blog or his clients, he has a list with an arsenal of quotes, stats, images and more to help him produce great content. When on mobile, he uses the email to card feature to save information.

  • Trello creates a way for fast and simple research and idea generation for new content.
  • Matteo has a separate board for each of his clients and can store different ideas in different places easily.

Single blog with multiple contributors

Editorial Calendar For WordPress - YouTube 2015-01-28 12-05-19

CoSchedule – Judi Knight, the founder of New Tricks used to use Box to collaborate and manage their content, but found it complicated to keep sending documents back and forth with notes. Switching to CoSchedule made it easy to do all of their content generation and promotion from their WordPress dashboard for a simplified and more automatable experience.

  • Nice for assigning posts to different authors, getting a good overview of the content pipeline.
  • Drag-and-drop functionality of the calendar makes arranging posts and social media easy.
  • The social media tracking and analytics has helped them create more engaging social media.
  • Unified social media and content planning view.

Trello – John Bonini from Impact Branding and Design uses Trello for his editorial calendar. The editorial calendar has made his team more organized and effective in idea generation and developing the structure of the article prior to writing.

  • Trello’s mobile functionality allows you to manage a board from any device.
  • The cards are simple before clicked and very detailed and customizable when you open them.
  • The interactive and collaborative user experience is more effective than a static excel spreadsheet.

Multiple blogs multiple contributors

one

CoSchedule – The Robert Padgett at Consultwebs uses CoSchedule to manage their clients’ blogs all from one location

  • Unlimited social media accounts and users for just $10/mo (per blog).
  • The ability to see which posts are being shared the most and resonating with the audience.
  • The ability to see social media previews on each platform.
  • A responsive and helpful support team.
  • Allows managing of multiple blogs from one place

Trello – Ash Metry at the Wedding Blog Network uses Trello to help process and track dozens of photos they receive each day and assigns them to one of multiple blogs in an editorial calendar.

  • Efficient processing that helps prevent anyone from overlooking anything.
  • Highly detailed checklists in cards.
  • A single calendar to track and manage content on multiple blogs.

Final Verdict

CoSchedule key strengths – Promotion and analytics.

Trello key strengths – Ideation and collaboration.

Each of these tools have great features that can streamline your workflow in different ways. If you are a blogger, heavily focused on creating content and social media, CoSchedule may be your new favorite tool. For a team of highly collaborative content creators with detailed processes Trello’s broad applications and flexibility may be what you need.

Hopefully this post has helped you understand the strengths of each and helped you find which resonates more with you and your team.

Resources:

If you would like some sample Trello boards to use for your own content marketing, we our editorial calendar template and our guest writer management boards as part of our Trello quick start kit. Click the link to download them free.

CoSchedule has a handy and free headline analyzer tool that you can use even without an account. This is helpful for picking out what headline will be the most effective for your next post.

Do you use Trello or CoSchedule? Which do you prefer for content marketing? Let us know in the comments.

 

About

Kyle is the founder of Conversion Cake . He is the author of "The College Entrepreneur" A book for students who want to break into entrepreneurship. Follow him @kylethegray

15 responses to “Trello vs CoSchedule: Editorial calendar review for content marketers”

  1. Hi Kyle, very interesting and detailed comparison. I definitely want to dive more into this!

  2. Kyle Gray says:

    Thanks for reading Nathan!

  3. I use CoSchedule for managing 20+ bloggers at Maximize Social Business and am extremely pleased with it. That being said, it was interesting to see the comparison with using a general project management tool like Trello to serve the same purpose. I think Trello is awesome, but the WordPress-specific as well as social promotion capabilities make CoSchedule a superior tool for editorial calendar management in my opinion.

  4. Kyle Gray says:

    Thanks for reading Neal. Does your team do most of the article writing and drafting in WordPress? Or do you draft the posts in a word processor and paste them into WordPress later? Like I said in the post, we use Google Docs and only put the post in WordPress when it’s ready to publish, which diminished the value of CoSchedule for us. But for a team that works primarily in WordPress I can see how it would be so valuable.

    And I do really enjoy CoSchedule’s social media features. It’s so easy and straightforward. I think that by itself is worth it.

  5. Lucie says:

    Thanks for the comparison Kyle – super useful. As a freelance copywriting content gal, currently dividing my time between clients in London and Cape Town, my new-found love of Trello knows no bounds, but interesting to see what other tools are out there in the shape of Co-Schedule. With one client, we found Trello to be an invaluable resource in bringing together the different factions of eComm, Graphics and Marketing, with everyone clear on project detail, deadlines and deliverables – I’m now even using it to organise my life outside of work too!

  6. Kyle Gray says:

    Thanks for sharing Lucie! I’m thrilled to hear comments from both CoSchedule and Trello users. It sounds like you have some excellent systems in place right now. I have been thinking about creating a board for personal organization as well.

  7. Sahil Parikh says:

    Hey Kyle, super write-up. You should check out Brightpod’s editorial calendar too – http://www.brightpod.com/editorial-blogging-calendar.html. It is a project management and content planning tool for marketers. Hence, it includes an editorial calendar as well. We will be adding social features this year.

  8. VeganOstomy says:

    Have you come across anything like CoSchedule that offers a calendar view of scheduled social media posts? The way Buffer and Hootsuite do it (agenda list view) has a lot to be desired.

  9. Kyle Gray says:

    Hello, Thanks for reading! CoSchedule’s calendar view shows the scheduled social media posts in the same view as scheduled content. It’s one of my favorite features. I don’t really like the way hootsuite does it either.

  10. Delving into both tools highlighting the differences really a handy article to read. Thanks Kyle thoroughly enjoyed the read.

  11. Kyle Gray says:

    Thanks for reading Joan! Let me know which tool you decide to go with.

  12. This is great, we use CoSchedule to help manage our content. Have you seen KioMedia yet? A buddy of mine got invited to their Beta and says its pretty cool. http://kiomedia.com

  13. Virtuous Virgos (Steph & Necia says:

    This was a great article Kyle! Thank you so much! I was looking for a breakdown for Coschedule and boy do I get it. It’s good to see the perspective for both. For my blog being more of a hobby and not business the social connection is critical. This will help me out so much just to be able to schedule my social posts alone. Thanks so much again!

  14. tinagleisner says:

    Sorry but I just tried CoSchedule for 3 months (2nd fail) and it was a disaster. Wasted 2 weeks trying to set up templates which didn’t work; at least every other week had to reconnect 1 or more social media platforms. Yesterday I was told to deactivate/reactivate plugin to solve connectivity problem … I did & everything posted for next 2 months wiped out. They’ve got great ideas but they simply don’t know how to develop software. Done, done & done forever so searching for alternative

  15. I’ll make sure to check it out and see if it’s suitable for me.This sounds like a great tool!

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