While I daydreamed about my content calendar, it began to take on a life of its own. It continued to grow in my imagination until it got scary. Now instead of having a beautiful dream I had a nightmare that I could never live up to. My calendar failed because I was too scared to even try.
I scared myself out of making this for months until it just couldn't wait any more. There were a series of projects all set to wrap up around the same time. When would we promote this contest? This survey? This press release? I gave in and made a quick, shared Google Calendar. It was far from the calendar of my dreams, but it existed.
I had made it a monster, but the start of my calendar was hardly gruesome. I started with content that had firm distribution dates. Customer bills are emailed on a set day every month. We could avoid excessively emailing existing customers by plugging those days into the calendar. Those same days are free to email prospects on the other hand - plug those in! Next I put in desired project due dates, understanding that once the content project is complete, promotion will follow. Now it was easy to see what all was on my plate and how I should prioritize different projects.
Some time along the way we migrated my calendar to Basecamp. What an improvement on my calendar this change made. Basecamp allows me to view project to-dos and milestones alongside my existing calendar items. Now I can better anticipate content I will need to generate based on the completion of another team member's big project. I can look for the best vanity phone number to match the collateral we'll need and we have ample time to make changes to important tracking aspects of our ads.
I still don't have the content calendar of my dreams, but what I have is better than an imaginary calendar. And it reminds me of the movie My Best Friend's Wedding. Trapped in an elevator Cameron Diaz tells Julia Roberts that Cameron's husband-to-be has Julia on a pedestal but Cameron in his arms.
Well, my dearest Basecamp calendar, I do.