As an editor, I have to collaborate with different writers. For example, sending them comments, feedback and changing the status of articles. Email is a very powerful tool most of us use multiple times per day for exchanging messages and collaboration. However, using email for editing and publishing tasks can be a quite painful, especially when you also have a team of writers.
There should be an alternative to the email way in handling such tasks. Since we are talking WordPress here, I will introduce you to a wonderful plugin that can solve these issues called EditFlow, and share with you how I use it to manage my team of writers.
What Is EditFlow Anyway?
EditFlow is a plugin which enables you to collaborate with your editorial team within the WordPress dashboard. You can for instance assign them tasks, add them to groups and exchange comments. EditFlow comes with many different features, which you can find more information about, here.
Adding a New Post Through EditFlow
After you install the EditFlow plugin, you should see EditFlow in your WordPress dashboard. If you click on the link in the dashboard, you should see a screen that looks as follows:
Since we want to add content, click on the link: Customizable calendar, under Calendar, you will have a calendar similar to that shown in the figure below.
Let’s say you want to assign a topic to one of your writers (or even for yourself) on Thursday, 16th, based on the calendar shown in the previous figure. Simply double click on the box with this date, or click the
+ sign in the top left of the box. In this case, you will have a text box pop-up, where you can enter your post title, as shown below. Notice that you can change the title later on if you wish.
Let’s name the post
Writing Is Fun, and click
Create post. You will now have
Writing Is Fun mentioned on Thursday, 16th with the
pitch status, as shown below:
You should now see this new post in your
Posts list, where you can write and edit the post as usual.
When you open your newly created post, and scroll down the page, on the right of the page you will notice a new section called
Editorial Metadata, that looks as follows:
Editorial Metadata, you can add information that will further clarify any particular points to your team, provided that such data will not be published with your post.
The fields you see here can be edited and deleted, and you can also add new fields. This can be done by going to the main page of EditFlow, and then clicking the
Configure button under
When you click the Configure button, you will encounter a screen similar to the one shown below, where you can manage the
Editorial Metadata fields.
A nice feature in EditFlow is
User Groups, which enables you to organize your team in different groups.
You can do that by clicking on the
Manage User Groups button under
User Groups in the EditFlow main page.
Here you will encounter a page that looks as follows:
User Groups page, you will be able to add, edit, and delete groups, in addition to assiging users (from your Users list) to different groups.
Remember when we created our new post where we had the
Pitch status? Having a status for your post makes your workflow go more smoothly. For instance, when I edit or write some article, I assign it the status
Ready to Proofread. Two questions may arise here: Where can we change the status? And, where did the
Ready to Proofread status come from? Is it a built-in option to choose?
For changing the
Status of the post, you can find that under the
Publish section of your post. If you click the
Edit link beside the
Status, you will find a drop-down list from which you will be able to select the status you prefer.
As for adding different status options, like the one mentioned above (i.e. Ready to publish), this can be done by clicking on the
Edit Statuses button in the
Custom Statuses section of EditFlow’s main page where you can edit, delete, and add different statuses.
Notifications and Editorial Comments
Here comes the collaboration power of the EditFlow plugin. If you scroll down the post, you will notice an
Editorial Comments area (see figure below), where you can interact with your writers and other team members involved (following) this particular post.
When I mentioned the writers and team members involved in the post, this means the members (users) you selected under the
Notifications section for this post, as shown in the figure below.
Configure the notifications in the
Notifications section of the EditFlow main page.
I really like the
Notifications part of the EditFlow plugin, where users involved in the post will receive email notifications whenever the status of the post changes, or when an editorial comment is written.
A full list of the EditFlow features, along with their descriptions, can be found here.
Managing a team of writers, collaborating with your team on content, scheduling posts, and other editorial tasks can be very daunting if managed via email only. That is where the WordPress plugin EditFlow comes in handy for managing such issues and helping the editorial workflow to go as smooth as possible for your team.