If you’re a calendar person like I am (I use both a paper calendar and synced online calendars), you may find it helpful to have your blog posts show up across whatever digital calendar system you use.
Here’s how mine looks in Apple’s Calendar app, with only the blog calendar feed visible:
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It’s easy to set this up by generating an iCal feed from your WordPress site, then adding that to your calendar software.
Generating Your iCal Feed
There’s a great plugin that generates iCal feeds. I’ve used it for awhile now and found it to be stable, and the developer is responsive to feature requests (always nice).
It’s basically plug-and-play – install and activate the plugin, and then head to the settings page to grab your iCal feed URL.
As you can see in the (partially redacted) screenshot below, the plugin provides you with a bunch of different feeds to choose from:
The public URL contains all posts that are already published, but if you want to also include future (scheduled) posts you can do that by setting a secret parameter value. Your new secret feed URL is then provided for you lower on the page. That’s what I use, since I want to see my upcoming scheduled posts on my calendar.
There’s a setting for how long each calendar “event” should be, which is something I asked the developer to add. I like to have posts on my calendar but I don’t want them taking up a huge chunk of my calendar space so I’ve got mine set to 5 minutes. The time on the calendar matches the publication time for the post (and the calendar item includes the post URL):
You can also grab individual iCal feeds for each category, or for a custom selection of categories:
I am not really sure why you’d want to separate out your categories like that, unless you are really insane about your color coding, but it’s an option.
Using the Feeds
Most digital calendar apps make it pretty easy to add an iCal/ .ics feed.
In Calendar, you go File > New Calendar Subscription, then enter the URL:
In a Google Calendar, you go to Other Calendars in the sidebar, then click the dropdown icon and select “Add by URL” then enter the calendar URL:
Having your blog posts show up on your calendar is definitely not a necessity by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s one of those nice little things that may make your life a little easier.
For me, I find it helpful to mentally plan social media efforts out if I can see my whole week in one view, from client work and launches to holidays, to days I’m particularly busy, to my upcoming posts on the calendar (they’re in yellow in this weekly view, which is what I usually look at):
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Conversely, I also find it help it helpful to have my whole calendar in view as I plan out and schedule future posts. It helps me post things relevant to upcoming holidays, for example (as a hazard of self-employment, I tend to forget many federal holidays).
And, to tell you the truth, I also just kind of enjoy seeing my posts on there. Enjoyment matters!