For Editors: TBL Tools to Maximize Your Time

April 16, 2019

Image: Unsplash

As an editor, you’ve got a lot on your plate! We know how busy things getaren’t we all looking for ways to maximize our time in an already packed day!? We’re making your job easier on Two Bright Lights with a few handy tools that you should not miss out on! Read on below if you put a big emphasis on *efficiency*:

Your Publication Profile

It only takes 1 minute to update your publication profile, which is key to receiving amazing submissions. This is the best way to provide information about your publication’s style, preferences and estimated response times-meaning less back and forth telling submitters what you’re all about. If you haven’t updated your profile recently, watch our how-to video!

Submissions Requests

Putting out submissions requests is a direct way to let submitters know the type of submissions that you would like to receive. Vendors and photographers check these regularly to decide where to submit their work, making them a no-brainer for your publication! (The above image is what it looks like from their end!) With requests, you are able to narrow down the type of submissions you receive based on location, shoot type, and other stylistic details. This means that finding the perfect submission for your publication will become that much faster!


Ways to Stay Organized & Manage Your Submissions


Don’t miss out on the built in calendar in your TBL account that allows you to plan & track your editorial schedule visually. The calendar tool helps you visualize what your editorial calendar looks like, and to stay on top of your submissions. Even better- it’s color coded so you can easily see when you have albums scheduled, published or which are overdue.

Marking submissions as published

Marking your submissions as published after they have been featured is an essential step to staying on top of your editorial calendar. When you mark a submission as published, the URL will be automatically sent out to the photographer & vendors involved with the album. The sooner the submitters and vendors involved with the album get the word that it has been published, the more your feature will be shared on social!

How to change a publication date

While we strongly encourage you to stick to your original publication date, sometimes life happens and we fall behind-totally get it. You can always update the publication dates to help keep yourself organized and keep your submitters in the loop. Here’s how: Click into the album from your 'Submissions' tab and click on the calendar icon where it says the date in the upper righthand corner of the particular submission. Then select the new publication date, and everything should be updated! The photography & vendors  involved with the album will all be notified with the new publication date.

Messaging Platform

Don’t forget that you can get in contact with submitters on Two Bright Lights via the on-site messaging platform. This means: no tracking down emails & under each submitter’s business name is the name of their submission so that you know *exactly* which one you are inquiring about. The messaging platform is also a great tool to reach out for any additional information about a submission. It’s the perfect way to get in touch with the submitter in case there are any changes to the feature.

Client Questionnaire:

Don’t be shy to ask our submitters to include a client questionnaire in their submissions. The client questionnaire can be essential to your editorial process to bolster your feature with compelling details and information about the event. Now when you are reviewing your submissions in the List view (toggle between gallery & list view on the right hand side of your submissions tab) and the client questionnaire will be denoted there. Quick key: Blue means it’s included, Grey means it’s still pending with the client, and blank means no questionnaire included.

Putting an Album on Hold to Get More Info

This is a great way to keep track of where you are in the editorial process. If you would like to use an album for a feature but require more information, you can put it on hold and contact the submitter about the reasons it was put on hold. Hint: this is when the messaging center comes into play!

Open Gallery

Have you ever wanted to search through submissions for that one specific picture you need? Perhaps you’re looking for a round-up of dogs at weddings, like POPSUGAR did? Now select editors may search through Open Gallery using keywords and be delivered content that they can request for publication. Content can be sourced through Open Gallery by album or by single image, making the publication possibilities endless! If you’re interested in sourcing through Open Gallery as an editor, apply here!

Wordpress Integration

If your blog is powered by Wordpress, you can use the integration tool to speed up and streamline the publishing process (it’s a game changer). With the integration, you can import the album story, client questionnaire and photos in just one step! If you aren’t using the Wordpress integration tool, be sure to download the the Two Bright Lights Wordpress plugin, which will automatically mark your accepted submissions as published when they go live on your blog/website.

Now we're sure you'll tackle that calendar in no time! Be sure to use Two Bright Lights to its full potential by using all of these tools that will save you time & effort. As always, we’re here to help with your success! Send us your feedback and questions to and join the TBL community on instagram @two_bright_lights.

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