How to Eliminate Missed Deadlines with Your Content Calendar

Do you know how the word “deadline” came to be?

Etymologists trace its origins back to Civil War times when it was used to describe the boundary line of a prison camp that inmates could not pass, under penalty of being shot.

So, quite literal. Yeesh.

These days, in business settings, crossing a deadline is not quite so harrowing, but needless to say it’s still something we’d all like to avoid. Unfortunately, when you’re running a large content team with multiple complex campaigns and initiatives in play at the same time, letting the occasional due date slip by can feel inevitable.

If this happens too frequently, it’s not a good look for the responsible content manager. Consistently delivering on time is how we gain trust and confidence, with both bosses and our audiences. So how can we prevent lapses?

This is one of the prime advantages of using content calendar software.

Missed Deadlines Are Not Uncommon in Content Marketing

One study found that meeting task deadlines is the greatest cause of marketing inefficiency for content producers, with 92% of respondents calling it out as a culprit.

Irina Tsumarava, cofounder of the marketing agency Kraftblick, candidly shared a story from her own team’s experience to exemplify why deadlines get missed. In this case, there were a multitude of different reasons, but they all tied back to one thing: everyone was really busy. Contributors became focused on their own urgent tasks that pulled them in different directions, losing sight of team-based initiatives.

“We needed to stick to our weekly plans while maintaining necessary flexibility,” she concluded. The solution in their case was to implement careful weekly planning sessions, along with daily revisions and updates. They also started weighing the consequences of missing various deadlines, to help with prioritizing.

DivvyHQ founders, Brock and Brody, battled with this as well in their former agency days, which is why they designed our content calendar software to address it directly.

Staying on Track with Your Content Calendar Software

Content Calendar Helps Eliminate Missed Deadlines

I can’t guarantee that you’ll never miss a deadline while using DivvyHQ, but I can guarantee that a deadline will never sneak up on you or slip by unnoticed. Our platform includes four key functions to ensure this.

Central Visibility and Documentation

The first part is simple. When people can see a due date on a calendar attached to a content item, there’s no ambiguity about when it should be completed. Upon signing into DivvyHQ, you’ll find a “Content Items Due” tab front-and-center on your personal dashboard, with any tasks that are past due highlighted in red to quickly grab your attention. You can also pull up your full calendar for a simple view of the weeks ahead, getting a full picture of what’s coming down the pipeline.

With this visibility, any team member is more likely to catch a deadline that’s in danger. “Hey, the CEO just asked me to do some research and so I’m gonna have a hard time getting this blog post drafted by Friday. Can we push it back or ask someone else to jump in?”

There’s another major advantage to a centrally documented editorial calendar, and that relates more to high-level planning. When everyone has eyes on the same project timelines, it’s easier to spot flaws or inconsistencies, which can inform future workflow construction. “We need to build in more than one day of QA time for these infographics; let’s add more buffer going forward so we’re not crunched next time.”

Alerts and Reminder Notifications

You can customize the alerts that DivvyHQ sends you, both via the app and email. Choose to receive notifications for any of the following actions, to name a few:

  • When an item is assigned to you
  • When a deadline or status changes
  • Someone comments on one of your content items, tasks or activities
  • Ownership of your content item changes
  • A production task is completed on any of your content items

Granular Workflows

Because content items in DivvyHQ are broken down into customizable workflows (i.e., First draft, Revisions, Second draft, Final QA, Upload into CMS, Schedule/Publish), it’s much easier to catch an item that’s drifting off course before the actual deliverable lapses its deadline. For instance, if you see that the second draft of a post is due today, but you haven’t completed the first yet, your team can rally and shift resources to get caught up and back on track.

Seamless Communications

Through in-app and email notifications, as well as the ability to comment on items in DivvyHQ, communication is instant. When a writer submits the first draft of a content piece, the editor is automatically notified immediately and can jump in right away. When a designer uploads the two custom images needed for a blog post, they don’t need to write a separate email to inform the project owner, because that person has already been alerted by the app.

There’s no communication gap, and in the vast majority of cases, we find those are at the root of deadline issues. Content calendar software like DivvyHQ is built to eliminate these gaps and tighten up collaboration.

The Clock is Ticking

Deadlines can be stressful for content teams. Granted, not as stressful as stepping past one of those original deadlines in Civil War days (duck!), but still pretty agitating.

When you organize your projects and tasks in a content calendar software tool like DivvyHQ, it takes several things off a content manager’s plate. You don’t need to constantly be thinking about when things are due, guessing at the status of each project, or manually pinging people to get updates, because that’s all taken care of for you.

This is just one of our many simple efficiencies designed to make life smoother for you and your team. Give DivvyHQ a try for two weeks and find out for yourself how much easier it is to hit deadlines and keep collaborative content initiatives moving forward.