CoSchedule, the Fabulous WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin (it does Social Media, too!)

image of CoSchedule plugin page

Running a website means you’re in the publishing business.

And if you’re in publishing, you should have an Editorial Calendar. As Copyblogger says, “An editorial calendar is just a fancy name for a pubishing schedule.”

The editorial calendar is where you plan your WordPress content in the upcoming days, weeks or even months. If you have a team, you assign tasks to individuals based on your editorial calendar.

Want to learn more about editorial calendars? Here are a few good overviews of what an editorial calendar is (and isn’t).

The Easy-to-Use Tool that Helps You Build a Breakthrough Blog
How to Build a Successful Editorial Calendar for your Blog
Blogging for Web Designers: Editorial Calendars and Style Guides

I started blogging in 2009. I’ve experimented with several different editorial calendars — I created spreadsheets, I used online calendars, I tried to adapt editorial calendars created by others. I tried a couple different WordPress editorial calendar plugins

None of them worked well for me.

The reason? I didn’t find a single place where I could plan and track what I published on my website and what I published on social media.

I wanted a single tool that would help me track and plan both my editorial and my social media content. Apparently, that was too much to ask. . .

Until CoSchedule came along.

Warning: If I sound like a raving fan, it’s because I am. But in the interests of full disclosure, I also need to tell you that they offer a 50% discount to any user who writes a review. I would have written it anyway, because I believe CoSchedule can help you — whether you’re a solopreneur like me, or a company with a team — to greater success when you use their tool.

What is CoSchedule?

CoSchedule is a:

  • WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin
  • Social Media calendar
  • Social Media post scheduler
  • Time saver

CoSchedule is not free, although you can start with a two-week free trial (and ask for an extension if you need it). When you see all it can do, you’ll agree that it’s well worth the small monthly charge.

How to Install and Set Up CoSchedule

#1. Install the CoSchedule Plugin

As a WordPress plugin, you download and install it like any other plugin. You can download your free trial from the WordPress repository, or directly from the CoSchedule website.

You don’t need to provide a credit card during the trial period.

image of CoSchedule installation

#2. Set up CoSchedule

You have three choices:

  1. Set up a new account
  2. Sign in with an existing account
  3. Read a help article on how to use CoSchedule with more than one site

Click the button to choose #1. Fill in your information, then click “Start your 14 day free trial.”

image of CoSchedule installation

After a few moments of processing time, you’ll see the Welcome screen.

image of CoSchedule installation

#3. Walk Through the tutorial

Click the big blue button to start learning about CoSchedule.

The tutorial walks you through the process of

  • Adding a post directly from the calendar
  • Setting up links to social media accounts, includingTwitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google Plus
  • Creating your first social media message from the Calendar
  • Using the Calendar’s drag-and-drop to reschedule a Post

image of CoSchedule installation

image of CoSchedule installation

#4. Double check your WordPress Time Zone

When you first go to the Calendar, you’ll see a message at the top of your screen asking you to verify the time zone. If it’s incorrect, click the “No, Help me change it” button to have CoSchedule walk you through the process. If it’s right, just click “Yes, it’s correct.”

Congratulations, you’re all set up and ready to go!

Parts of the CoSchedule Calendar

#1. Dashboard Menu

Look on the left-hand side of your screen. You’ll notice a new menu item on your Dashboard, called Calendar.

image of CoSchedule menu on the WordPress Dashboard

Click to expand. Choices include:

  • Calendar
  • My Activity
  • My Team
  • Settings
  • Need Help?
  • Open in Web App

#2. Calendar

At first, your calendar will look bare.

image of CoSchedule calendar

After you’ve been using CoSchedule for a while, though, it fills right up.

image of CoSchedule calendar

Look across the top of the Calendar. You’ll see:

  • The name of your WordPress site
  • The date range currently displayed
  • A gold star
  • A search icon
  • An edit icon
Change the Date Range

Use the arrow keys next to the date to roll the calendar view forward (right) or back (left). To pick an entirely different month, use the down arrow next to the date to select from a popup menu.

Get Credit for Sharing

Click the star for information about how to reduce your cost by sharing.

Search

Clicking the magnifying glass on the right brings up a search bar.

Edit

Click the pencil icon on the far right to pop up a box where you can create a new blog post or a new social media post.

image of CoSchedule new post form

Change your Calendar View

You can change your calendar view by using the filters available.

Click on the grid in the upper left corner, just below your site name. A flyout opens up.

image of CoSchedule Status menu/flyout
Next to Status, you can select All, to see published and draft posts, pubished, scheduled, draft, and pending review.

You can choose to see posts by All Authors or by Categories

If you want to see only social media posts, choose which social profiles you want to view.

See a List of Unpublished Posts

Hover your mouse anywhere near the right side of the screen. A flyout opens up, showing a list of your draft posts. Click on any one to begin editing.

image of CoSchedule drafts flyout

#3. My Activity

Click this link on the dashboard, and a new view opens. It shows you:

  • Notifications
  • Upcoming Posts
  • Tasks
  • Top Posts
    • I particularly like the Top Posts area. It shows your most-shared posts, in descending order. Click on one, and it shows details of the post and where it was shared. Want to share it again? Click the New Message button to open the new post menu.

      image of CoSchedule "most shared"

      #4. My Teams

      If you’re not part of a team, this page will show information about you, a form where you can invite a new user to the team, and a chart showing team members’ roles.

      #5. My Settings

      Go here to change your time zone, change your email address or password, and choose colors and calendar preferences.

      #6. Need Help?

      Obviously, this links you to a help page. One of the neat things about CoSchedule is, if you ask a help question, you do it from within the plugin.

      That’s where you get your answer, too — inside the plugin. You can also receive it via email.

      #7. Open in Web App

      When you click this link on the Dashboard menu, a new browser tab or window opens, with all your CoSchedule information available to you, just like inside the plugin. One addition here — on the left-hand side, you have an option to Connect a Blog.

      Once you know where everything’s located, learning to use CoSchedule is pretty intuitive. If you need help, though, it’s readily available through the support documents and help messaging system.

      Try CoSchedule Now

      Have you tried CoSchedule? What do you think?

      Update! Since this review was originally published, CoSchedule has added more functionality, more integrations, more tools, more everything. They’ve also increased the base price to $15/month for a single license.

      If you want to take advantage of some of the more advanced features, like the Marketing Calendar, you’ll need to upgrade to a more robust plan.

      CoSchedule is constantly updating, iterating, and adding new stuff. Their latest announcement is that you can use it now without a WordPress site! Use it online with any site on any platform.

      Try it! I think you’ll like it.

More Tips and Tricks

Want more WordPress tips and tutorials in your inbox? We'll start with a 7-part autoresponder series, then biweekly emails.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this great review of CoSchedule! It looks like you have a great grasp of things and are off to a great start!

    Nicole Johnson
    CoSchedule Community Manager

  2. Hi Susanna,
    I installed this plugin on my site and it slowed it down so much that I couldn’t really work on my site and so I uninstalled it. Any thoughts as to why it slowed me down so much?

    • Hi Kurt, I really have no idea. Perhaps there’s a conflict with another plugin? If you go to the CoSchedule site they do post a list of known conflicts.

      I’ve never had an issue with it. Hope you get it sorted out, because it’s a great plugin. I find myself relying on it more and more. . .

      Susanna

26 Shares
Tweet8
+15
Buffer5
Share4
Pin4