That time I used Contentful tasks to save the blog

Using Contentful tasks to save the blog
September 29, 2020


I run a blog. Well, I help run a blog. The Contentful blog. We’re a small team, so it’s quite easy to be on the same page as we develop articles from vision to publication. But sometimes things happen and the blog team is out of the office at the same time. When this happens, we ask our colleagues to publish blog posts — colleagues who usually have no idea how we run things.

This is when Contentful’s tasks functionality comes in handy.

How Contentful tasks saved the blog

Last month, the blog team took vacations at the same time. But that doesn’t mean our blog could take a vacation. We had three posts scheduled, and someone needed to complete the finishing touches and publish them. That included adding images and illustrations, formatting, and inputting them into the web app.

So, in the famous words of the internet, “What do?”

Contentful blog what do gif?

We first searched for a colleague we could trust to accomplish the remaining tasks and keep our precious blog safe. (We might be a little overly attached.) Thankfully, we found such a colleague who took on the challenge. 

But, the question remained: how would our colleague know what to do and how to get it done? We decided to use Contentful web app’s task function to ensure all of the Is were dotted and Ts were crossed. Here’s how I set them up. 

How to set up Contentful tasks

If your Contentful account is on the Premium tier, tasks comes built-in to the web app — no need to download or install additional extensions of apps! You don’t even need to chat with your developer. Unless, of course, you miss chatting with them.

Tasks are tied to specific content entries. So before I went on vacation, I set up three new blog post entries — one for each post. I filled in whatever fields I could and added tasks associated with the rest. 

To create a task, go into the associated content entry. You’ll find the Create a New Task button in the sidebar. It’s most likely directly below the Publish button. When you click on the Create button, a text box will appear where you can describe the task. Then select a user to assign the task to from the drop-down menu. Click the blue Create task button to finish.

Contetnful tasks screenshot

And, you’re done! 

Receiving task assignments from Contentful

When a task is created, the assignee gets an email and web app notification; when they mark it complete, the person who assigned the task is notified.

I added a list of tasks to each of the content entries (you can add up to 100!) for my colleague. A few things changed between the time that I first made the tasks and when I left for vacation, and it was easy to make edits as I went. You can edit tasks just by clicking on them.  

If the assignee spends more time in the web app than their email — that’s totally okay! Once a task is assigned to you, an orange dot shows up on your Contentful avatar. Clicking onto it gives you quick access to all pending tasks. 

Contentful tasks notification screenshot

Contentful tasks add a validation layer

Tasks increase your governance, which is a sigh of relief for responsible teams (or overly attached teams, like us). Once a task is created on a content entry, it isn’t possible to publish that entry until all tasks are marked as complete.  

To mark a task as complete, all the assignee needs to do is click the checkbox. Once completed, the content becomes publishable. You can also leave comments, if you’d like.


Enabling easy completion of projects

We’re happy to report that this story has a happy ending. The blog team returned to the office, and all of the scheduled blog posts had been published successfully — no missing header images, gifs or author bios. I’m sure that even dedicated Contentful-blog readers didn’t notice our absence. 

Contentful tasks are easy to implement into any workflow and enable agile completion of projects. They enable large (or small) teams to stay on the same page and complete projects by including the plan for the piece of content, page or digital experience in the Contentful app. This ensures that nothing is skipped, forgotten or accidentally published.

Read more about content operations, and how Contentful minimizes the headaches of your editorial teams.

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