Managing a newsroom editorial calendar can be a complex task. Traditional methods, such as spreadsheets and physical boards, have their strengths but can lack flexibility and real-time collaborative features. In comes Airtable, a cloud-based platform that combines the structure of a database with the flexibility of a spreadsheet.

Understanding Airtable

Airtable, at its core, is a spreadsheet-database hybrid that lends itself to countless applications. What sets it apart is its robust relational database functionality, powerful views, and integrations with popular apps like Google Calendar and Slack. These features allow teams to collaborate in real-time, filter and sort data intuitively, and automate processes—perfect for managing a newsroom editorial calendar.

Setting Up an Editorial Calendar

Getting started with Airtable involves setting up a workspace and creating a base. In our case, the base will serve as our editorial calendar. Within a base, you can create multiple tables, each consisting of fields (columns) and records (rows). Here are the steps to set up your editorial calendar:

  1. Create a new base and name it "Editorial Calendar."
  2. Within this base, create a table named "Articles."
Need help setting up an editorial calendar on AirTable? Contact Us. 

Configuring Fields

Fields in Airtable are analogous to columns in a spreadsheet, but with more capabilities. They can hold various types of information such as single line text, rich text, attachments, checkboxes, dates, and more. For our Articles table, we'll need the following fields:

  1. Title: A single line text field for the article's title.
  2. Author: A single select or collaborator field to assign the author.
  3. Status: A single select field to track the progress of the article (e.g., "Pitched," "Assigned," "In progress," "Ready for Review," "Published").
  4. Due Date: A date field to set deadlines.
  5. Publish Date: Another date field for when the article goes live.
  6. Category: A single select field for the article's category or beat.
  7. Notes: A long text field for any additional information about the article.

Linking Tables

One of Airtable's strengths is its ability to create relationships between different tables. For instance, you could have a separate "Authors" table with details about each author (bio, contact info, specialties). Then, in the Articles table, you could link the "Author" field to the Authors table. This setup provides a more detailed view and allows for easy tracking of each author's articles.

Airtables features:

Collaboration: Airtable allows multiple users to collaborate on the same base in real-time. You can comment on individual records, assign tasks to team members, and track changes.

Automation: With Airtable's automation feature, you can set up automatic actions in response to predefined triggers, helping to streamline repetitive tasks.

Integrations: Airtable integrates with many other popular apps and services, such as Google Calendar, Slack, Dropbox, and many more.

Attachments: You can add attachments to records, which can include photos, documents, and other files.

API Access: For developers, Airtable provides API access to build custom applications and automate workflows.

Templates: Airtable offers a variety of pre-made templates for different use cases, which can be a helpful starting point when setting up a new project.

Mobile and Desktop Apps: Airtable offers apps for both desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access and manage your data wherever you ar

Leveraging Views

Views in Airtable are alternative ways of visualizing your data. Each view retains the same data but presents it differently. For an editorial calendar, the following views can be particularly useful:

  1. Grid View: The default view, similar to a spreadsheet.
  2. Calendar View: Displays the articles based on their due date or publish date—ideal for getting a quick overview of the publishing schedule.
  3. Kanban View: Visualizes the articles as cards organized by their status—great for tracking the progress of articles through the editorial process.

Automation and Integration

Airtable's automation feature can save time and reduce manual tasks. You can set triggers (like a status change to "Ready for Review") and actions (like sending a notification to the editor). Furthermore, integrating with other tools can streamline your workflow. For instance, you could sync your Airtable calendar with Google Calendar or set up notifications on Slack when an article's status changes.


Finally, Airtable facilitates collaboration, allowing multiple users to access and edit the base in real-time. It also provides commenting and @mentioning features, making it easier to discuss specific articles or tasks within the platform.

Airtable's flexibility, advanced features, and collaborative nature make it a powerful tool for managing a newsroom's editorial calendar. With the ability to adapt to your newsroom's specific needs, it can significantly streamline your editorial process and enhance productivity. This detailed guide serves as a starting point; the possibilities with Airtable are extensive and can revolutionize the way you handle your editorial calendar.

Remember, transitioning to a new tool takes time, and it may be worth exploring Airtable's comprehensive learning resources or reaching out to their support team for help during this period. Once familiar with the platform, you'll find the investment well worth the return in increased efficiency and ease of management.

The link has been copied!