Thursday, November 19

How can you plan anything without a calendar?

So obviously, now that I'm working, more posts may or may not be about my job. Tonight's is one of the posts that is about the job. Sorry.
In my life as an editor, I've worked on a whole bunch of different editorial teams. Some more organized than others, and some smoother operating than others. But something they've all had in common is a basic understanding of an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar is a schedule of all the issues to be printed throughout the year, including the topics and themes, as well as what particular angles the sales reps need take for their customers. The calendar includes the dates of printing, and the scheduling for all editorial content that goes into any particular month's issue. The editorial calendar, as you suspect, is a very important tool in a magazine's life.
Now, picture a huge magazine, with all kinds of editorial and advertising, and imagine that magazine with no kind of editorial calendar. Seems odd, right? Seems almost crazy that such a thing exists. As I said to Tara tonight, "How does that even happen?" Granted, the magazine has managed fine for the last several, several years. It didn't even occur to me that they wouldn't have an editorial calendar.
So, when the publisher today said that she'd try to "maybe" and "hopefully" create a calendar for everyone for the year so we could all be on the same page, I about fell over. If there was a cartoon image of me at that moment, my cartoon head would have been either leaking or exploding, I can't decide which. No one else seemed at all concerned about this, either. Only the designer seemed happy with the potential of the editorial calendar, which makes me wonder for the other people in the room. Calendars are incredibly convenient and helpful.
But again, clearly they're doing more than one or two things right, since the magazine survives and thrives. Still, a calendar would make it all so much better.

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