For your average blog it's not very difficult to keep track of upcoming posts for the very simple fact that there aren't a lot of them. And that's not a criticism, it's just a fact. Most single author blogs publish at most once a day. Making it fairly simple to see what's saved as a draft and when it's scheduled to be published. With larger blogs though, blogs who play host to multiple authors publishing daily, keeping track of new content can become an enormous challenge. You have to track and organize new pitches, approved pitches, drafts in process, posts waiting to be edited, scheduled posts, and more.
Enter: Edit Flow
The Edit Flow plugin is a free plugin that can be found in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. Its function is to help organize and optimize the workflow of a multi-author WordPress blog.
It accomplishes this goal by adding the following features to your WordPress Admin:
Calendar - A convenient month-by-month look at your content
Custom Statuses - The ability to define key stages of your workflow.
Editorial Comments - Threaded commenting in the admin for private discussion between writers and editors.
Notifications - Receive timely email updates on the content you're following.
Story Budget - View your upcoming content budget.
User Groups - The ability to organize your various users by department and function.
So that's what you get, here's how to get it.
Installing the Edit Flow Plugin
Head on over to the WordPress.org Plugin Directory and download Edit Flow for free. Once you have the zipped file on your computer, navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload in your WordPress Admin and install/activate the plugin there. Upon a successful installation and activation you will notice an addition to your WordPress Admin's side bar. Click there to begin.
Configuring the Edit Flow Plugin
Once you're on the main Edit Flow plugin page you have the option to enable/disable - and customize - all of the plugin's features with just few quick clicks. Each feature has very clear and easy to understand instructions so it's really not a matter of figuring out how to use the plugin as it is how you prefer to use it.
I found Edit Flow to be amazingly easy to install, setup, and use. It's sort of unreal how well this plugin functions within WordPress. I could see it becoming built-in to future versions; It feels so essential to my process now. I say that in part because it's something that Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, helped to create. Any time they get involved directly in the development of an addon for WordPress it's usually a sign that they feel it provides their users with a lot of added value. What do you think? Will you be using Edit Flow on your blog? Do you already? If so, let us know how it's going!