Staying organized with your marketing is probably one of the most important things about marketing. The first step to achieving your business goals is by organizing them. For example, you might want to increase monthly sales or capture more email subscribers. When you organize around your goals, you have given yourself the power to achieve them.

Staying organized allows you to be more productive and consistent with your work. It ensures you’re getting the most out of every effort you put towards marketing your brand. Here are some recommendations for staying organized with your marketing efforts.

Start with your goals and work backward. Start with big goals and then work back from there. Write down each step you need to do in order to achieve your primary goal. It’s important to be able to delegate which assignments need to come first. We recommend a number of tools that we use that are free, easy to use and have a wide appeal to business users.

Content Calendar

As we discussed in a blog post here,  engaging content is crucial to ensure the success of your business because it creates brand awareness, encourages consumer engagement, and increases SEO. But before you start creating content, it’s important to sit down and develop a content calendar. By planning out your content for all platforms for at least a couple weeks ahead, it helps you stay organized and allows you to come up with quality content in advance.

A complete content calendar will help you save a lot of time. Creating content on the go can get stressful for you or your team because it creates tight, daily deadlines. It can also hinder your creativity. Our brains need time to noodle creative ideas – planning ahead means your brain works on the idea in your subconscious, making it much easier to write or produce content when it’s time to do so. You can’t do that if you’re constantly chasing deadlines.

A comprehensive content calendar helps you and your team visualize your content strategy. A content calendar allows you to be more strategic when it comes to delegation, communication, and outsourcing. It allows you to plan your content marketing with purpose, rather than just throwing it together.

Tools for staying organized: Trello

 Trello is a great project management tool that offers an exceptional visual representation of what you need to do or what your team members are working on. You can add images, stickers, highlight priorities, and be able to see what’s being worked on, what’s finished, and what still needs to get done.

Trello is about as user-friendly as it gets. You can create a new board in just minutes. Each board can represent a client, a project or an area of your business you want to organize. Within each board, you can have unlimited lists, which is where you break up tasks in an organized fashion. Individual cards can be added under each list. This is where you break down details so you know what to perform on each of those lists.

When you first start with Trello, it can be easy to get a little confused in regard to how you should organize your boards. The good news is there are templates you can use for inspiration. Once you get started, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. Changing your board is as easy as dragging and dropping your cards. You can archive cards that might not make sense or bring them back from the archive if you made a mistake.

You can link documents, photos, Google Docs and other assets to cards in Trello for easy access.

Trello has a great calendar tool (called a PowerUp) that allows you to plan out each day. Simply click on the calendar tab, then the day of the week and you can add as many cards as you want. You can set a time deadline and even add calendar events into your boards.  Trello will remind your team members via e-mail.

Did we mention this is free? You’re probably thinking the free version is very limited, but think again! You can have an unlimited amount of boards, lists, and cards. There are paid versions that have other cool features, but if you’re simply looking to stay organized, the free version is all you need.

Google Calendar/Google Docs

Many teams like to use free tools like Google Calendar and Google Docs to plan out their content calendars. You can add specific marketing tasks to a calendar, and then color-code those tasks by team members or activity. You can store documents in Drive and use the Google Sheets and Docs tools for collaboration. The G-suite is free but paid versions for teams allow you to host everything your organization needs in one spot.

Whether you use Trello or Google, or something else, the important part is matching your organization to your style – if you’re a calendar person, use that. If you’re a list person, use something that’s list based (or use both, in a tool like Trello.) The most important thing is that you use something and that you plan, then walk down your plan to your goals. It’s really that easy!