Escape the Cell: Is Your Content Planning Imprisoned by Spreadsheets?

It’s no coincidence that the individual boxes in a spreadsheet are called “cells.” When we rely on them too much for content planning and other important operational functions, they can start to feel like prisons.

Collaboration is confined. Data is detained. Creativity is restricted.

If you still find yourself trapped in this system, we’re here to let you know there are spreadsheet alternatives offering a better way.

Is Your Content Planning Institutionalized?

“These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. After long enough, you get so you depend on ’em. That’s institutionalized.”

This quote, from Morgan Freeman’s character Red, is one of my favorites from The Shawshank Redemption. It speaks not only to a very real phenomenon in the criminal justice system, but one we see play out in all areas of life.

Once you become accustomed to something, it can be very difficult to break from it. Even if you know your current setup is less than ideal, you may be inclined to just stick with it because the processes are ingrained and everybody is familiar with them.

When Brooks Hatlen is granted his parole and released after spending decades within Shawshank’s walls, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry,” he writes to his friends.

If your team has been running content management exclusively through spreadsheets, I’m not gonna lie: you might find yourself feeling a little like Brooks upon graduating to dedicated content planning software. His character was bewildered by the advancements of the outside world — “I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they’re everywhere” — and content managers will also find that technology has flourished during their spreadsheet sentence.

Automated workflows? Drag-and-drop scheduling? Notifications and alerts to keep everyone in the know?

It can be a lot to absorb, but don’t worry about being overwhelmed. Content marketing management platforms are built around the specific tasks and needs of content teams. And many of them (like DivvyHQ) offer onboarding and synchronizing functions that help facilitate a seamless jump from spreadsheets to simplified sophistication.

Making Your Escape with Spreadsheet Alternatives

Andy DuFresne spent 19 years plotting his escape from Shawshank prison, gradually chiseling away at the wall of his cell with a tiny rock hammer. One stormy night, he finally crawls through his claustrophobic tunnel, and then through a 500-yard sewage pipe full of — well, ya know — before coming out clean on the other side.

I can confidently say that freeing yourself from spreadsheet hell will be much easier, quicker, and less gross.

Here are some of the steps we’ve taken at DivvyHQ to simplify implementation of our content planning tool. If you end up choosing a different solution, I strongly advise you find something with similar mechanisms in place.

Customized onboarding assistance. When your company sets up an account, you’ll have a real person helping you get started. We believe it’s important to take a hands-on approach and tailor the experience to your organization and its structure. We’ll ask questions about how you’ve been doing things, and we’ll point you toward the easiest ways to transfer your existing processes to Divvy’s system.

CSV imports. You don’t have to start from scratch and re-enter all of your existing information when coming aboard with Divvy. Our platform has a simple import tool that allows you to upload your CSV content in bulk. To make this as painless as possible, our import wizard includes a downloadable CSV template and a video tutorial.

Integrations galore. Divvy can sync up with many of the go-to tools you already use as part of your content planning and execution, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, WordPress, and all major social media networks.

By the time you’re up and running with your dedicated content marketing management software, you’ll feel like Andy DuFresne with his arms joyously reaching toward the sky.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not an attack on spreadsheets. They’re indispensable when used for the right purposes. But time and time again, we see spreadsheets ruining content strategies because they miss details, lack agility, and magnify errors.

Our founders experienced this pain personally in previous jobs, and it was one of the very things that drove them to create DivvyHQ. Many entrepreneurs talk about an “aha moment” that sparked their business idea, but in this case it was more of an “AHHHHH! moment,” conceived out of anguish from drastically insufficient tools for important work.

If you want to see how we’ve custom-built DivvyHQ to make life better for busy content teams who deserve better than confinement to a spreadsheet cell, request a demo and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.

So what’s it gonna be: Get busy Divvyin’, or get busy dyin’?