Home > WordPress, Writing > Edit Flow is one cool WordPress plugin

Edit Flow is one cool WordPress plugin

by Jim Raffel on February 10, 2012

Edit flow calendar view
For over a year, I’ve had the good fortune of having Shelby Sapusek as an editor for this site. Together, we create a great deal of content each week and keeping track of where it all is in the editorial process can be tricky. We’re actually writing a six-part (three from each of our perspectives) series about our content creation cycle over on SheHe Media. As I prepared to write my first post in that series, I realized it was time to take a closer look at Edit Flow, a WordPress plugin we learned about at WordCamp Detroit.

Edit Flow is not for everyone

Awhile back, I found the Editorial Calendar plugin and, if you’re a solo blogger, I still recommend that one over Edit Flow. If, on the other hand, your blog has a team of more than one, I suggest you take a look at Edit Flow.

Edit flow modules view

The image above shows the eight modules of Edit Flow and, while not complex, does take awhile to learn. You’re also going to have a few new widgets to deal with on the WordPress post editing page and dashboard.

Screen shot 2012 02 07 at 7 43 34 AMThe calendar view is a summary of the Edit Flow settings you assign for each post. For example, instead of having “Draft,” “Scheduled” and “Published” as post statuses, you will have “Pitch” and “Assigned” as well as others. As the post moves through the process, each player (writer, editor and administrator) can change the status of the post to let the next player know the post’s writing or editing stage.

I started the process by completing the post meta data section for each of the six posts Shelby and I will be writing over the next three weeks. This provides reminders of who is writing the post, if a picture is required and how many words to complete it. It also allows you to set the all important first draft due date so that whoever is charged with editing has time to do a good edit.

Edit flow notifications viewNext, I utilized the notifications sections to let Shelby know I had created a shell post for her in which to start writing. At some point, she’ll write the post and then set the status as ready for review. That will generate an email to me and I can edit the post. If things are unclear, there is an area to leave editorial notes. Again, when I’m done I can send a notification to Shelby that the post needs further work. I could also go ahead and publish if I like what I see.

It may seem complex, but …

Again, if you’re blogging on your own, this is a lot of additional overhead you probably don’t need or want. As a member of a writing team, this plugin holds the promise of being invaluable to Shelby and me. First, Shelby tends to sometimes work late at night (past 8 p.m. when I’m snoring away on the couch). I prefer to wake early and get my writing done first thing. Now we can both work more efficiently at our chosen times because Edit Flow will provide automatic notifications that there is new content to write or review. We do that now with phone calls and emails. For one post a week, that’s probably fine. For three posts on this site, two on SheHe Media and one on ColorMetrix, it’s fair to say communications lines often get crossed.

If you are part of a writing team, what tools do you utilize to keep the writing and editing process moving smoothly along?

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  • http://raulcolon.net Raul Colon

    This looks great I am on the same boat when it comes to having multiple collaborators on the blog. 

    Thanks for sharing! 

  • http://eyesonwisconsin.com/ James Thoenes

    Not for me as I blog alone but great write up. I’ll be looking at the other plugin you mention.

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Raul – It’s been working out well for Shelby and I over on SheHe Media. We’ll be installing it here and on ColorMetrix soon.

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Editorial Calendar is a great plugin. Until I get Edit Flow installed here and on ColorMetrix I’ll still be using it. For a solo undertaking it’s perfect.

  • Joy

    Hi Jim,
    I’m looking at using Editorial Comments and Notifications. Are both easy to install and use within the Dashboard? Thanks, Joy

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    It’s a pretty standard plugin. I didn’t have to jump through any hoops to install it. There is also pretty good documentation on the official plugin site.

  • superdupershark

    Hi Jim,

    I just came across your article and it seems like the perfect time to ask this question. Now that 10 months have passed, what are your thoughts about Edit Flow? Do you still recommend it for multi-user sites?

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Christopher – Looks like I missed this comment when you posted it. Yes, I still like editflow. We really only use a couple of the product’s rich feature set but if you are managing content networks with multiple writers and editors I think you would find it most useful.

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