I love lists. Love them. I love them so much that I have a shoebox full of little spiral notebooks full of lists. To do lists, grocery lists, lists of blog posts I need to write and lists of all the assets I’ll need to publish them.
But every time I fill a notebook and have to throw it out I feel slightly guilty (I recycle, but it still seems like a waste). There’s also the issue of always having three or four notebooks running concurrently because I just grab whichever one is closest. So finding a particular list or blog post idea is a huge time suck.
I’m trying waste less time in 2014, so I’ve been looking for ways to spend less time wandering the house playing notebook roulette and more time writing. I’ve read a lot about the importance of an editorial calendar for regular blogging, so I decided to see if one could break me of my notebook habit.
I’d seen CoSchedule a while back on Twitter so I thought I’d check them out first. Their site was really well-designed and had a great user interface, so I hoped their app would follow suit. Maybe it would solve at least part of my notebook problem. There’s a 14 day free trial so I installed the plugin, set up an account, and promptly fell in love. This app is simply awesome!
Here are the top three reasons CoSchedule rules:
1. It’s easy to use
Getting up and running with this thing was a cinch
I installed and activated the plugin and created a CoSchedule account in less than 5 minutes. The settings screens are pretty straightforward, too. I’d say I was ready to start adding articles in less than 15 minutes.
You connect your blog to your CoSchedule account in General Settings. You can also set your timezone, although mine knew what timezone I was in so I didn’t have to change anything.
It’s really easy to set up CoSchedule’s Social Profiles. You can connect as many profiles as you want. Yep—every Twitter profile, Facebook profile or page, LinkedIn profile, group or business, Tumblr blog or Google+ page you want can be added with a couple of clicks.
I really loved the fact that CoSchedule’s Integrations include a lot of the tools I already use for blogging—it keeps me from having to abandon tools that work for me instead of using tools that work for the plug-in. Syncing with Bit.ly, Google Analytics and Google Calendar was seamless and painless.
I don’t have any Team Members to manage, but guest blogging is something I’ve thought about for the future. If and when I do add team members, it’s going to be nice to have a place to add and manage everyone’s roles from one screen.
2. Social integration is baked in
Promote your posts on multiple channels
CoSchedule lets you set up conditional social media posts when you schedule a blog post. You can create a separate message for each channel you have set up, so you can send 140 characters with the right hashtags to Twitter, create a client-based call to action on LinkedIn, and create a third message specifically for Facebook or Google plus.
You can also schedule a social message for the same time and day the post is published, a day later, or any custom timeframe you choose, like a month and 5 hours after the original post. I originally wanted a checkbox that let me send the same message to all social channels, but the more I use it, the more I like the idea of messages targeted to the channel.
And going back to that UX, I love that I can add social messages at the end of every post–there’s no need to go into a separate calendar screen. Social is as convenient and intuitive as every other aspect of the plugin.
3. The user experience is seamless
Simple, elegant and intuitive
One of CoSchedule’s most exciting features is their slick drag and drop interface. But really, that’s just the tip of the kickass UX iceberg.The team at Todaymade has made sure that everything you need is right where you need it, right when you need it. They’ve managed to craft an interface that is both unobtrusive and intuitive, which is a damn hard thing to do well. They’ve nailed it.
I could tell you about how slick CoSchedule is all day, but the best way to experience it is to experience it. Check out this video showcasing the app in action.
Basically, CoSchedule does what I need and does it well
The real benefit is keeping me organized and saving me time
If you need to use something every day and it’s a pain in the ass, you stop using this. Within a week I know that I can’t go back to the chaos of notebooks. CoSchedule is a waaaay more pleasant and efficient way of organizing my thoughts. We’ll see how CoSchedule works long-term in replacing my unhealthy notebook obsession—I’ll keep you posted!
This post contains affiliate links for CoSchedule. If you decide to buy CoSchedule via one of my affiliate links, I receive a discount on my CoSchedule subscription. I only recommend products I use and love myself.