Creating ideas in Buffer

By saving all your best ideas in one place, you’ll have a collection of inspiration to jump-start your content creation process. When inspiration strikes, use your Create space to store photos, GIFs, videos, links, or text so you can quickly turn them into posts when you're ready.

⭐️ This feature is available on our newest plans.

In this article:

  1. Why should I use Ideas?
  2. Should I use Ideas or Drafts?
  3. Creating ideas
  4. Deleting ideas
  5. Organizing and filtering ideas
  6. Scheduling a draft or post from an idea

Why should I use Ideas?

Ideas is the fastest and easiest way to prepare content for your social media accounts. Rather than preparing all your content in a separate tool (like Trello or Excel), you can prepare all that content in Ideas. That way, it’s ready to be scheduled straight to your queue, saving you time. It’s also easy to use, with the browser extension, you can save ideas on the go.

We’ve found using Ideas over another external tool to prepare your content can save you up to 84 hours a year. That’s enough time to take a two week holiday! Learn more about the great reasons you should use Ideas on our blog.

Should I use Ideas or Drafts?

Drafts are great when you’re preparing content for a specific social media channel. You can load up that channel and prepare your draft.

However, if you don’t know which channel you want to publish your content to, then using Ideas is encouraged.

Ideas is channel agnostic. When first jotting down an idea, you don’t even need to know which social media channel/s you envision it later being published to.

Once you’ve collected all of the details you need to turn that idea it into a post you’ll be proud of, you can graduate it from your Create area and schedule it within your live queue(s).

In short, if you’re just coming up with an idea from scratch, but you’re not quite sure what you’ll write or where you’ll post, then use Ideas. If you’re later on in the content creation process and have your image, text, and social channels figured out, then use Drafts.

Creating ideas

To create a new idea:

  1. Click the Create tab at the top of the dashboard.
  2. Click the blue + New Idea button on the upper right side of the screen.
  3. Once the composer opens, you can:
    • add a title to name your idea, add text and/or an image, video, GIF or link
    • add tags to your post
    • add your idea to a group (more on that below) to organize it within the "Create" dashboard

Add an idea to a group in Buffer Create dashboard

  1. Click Save Idea.
  2. Your Idea should now appear in your "Create" dashboard.

📝 Good to Knows

  • At this time, we support a maximum of 10 media attachments per idea. The maximum image file size is 10MB. The maximum video file size is 1GB.
  • Note that once an idea becomes a scheduled post, the images will be reduced to the number of images that social channel accepts. We’ve shared more about the limits for each social network in our article on attaching images, video, and other media to your posts.
  • Idea titles are meant to help organize ideas. However, they will not carry over into your scheduled posts.
  • Looking for the perfect image or GIF to accompany your idea? Check out our integrations:
    • Use the Unsplash integration to search stock photos and insert them into your idea. In the composer, click the Unsplash logo in the lower left corner, then use the search bar to pull up relevant images.
    • Use the Giphy integration to search for an animated GIF to add to your idea. 
    • Use our Canva integration to access your existing Canva creations or create an image in Canva to add to your Idea. Learn more about how this integration works in our Guide to using Canva with Buffer
    • Use Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, or Google Photos to choose the perfect photo from your library.

Buffer composer integrations

📝 Free plan users can create up to 100 ideas. Customers on Essentials, Team or Agency plans can create up to 2,000 ideas per organization.

📝 Have an idea but need help fleshing it out for a post? Use Buffer’s AI Assistant to turn your brainstorm into publishable content with prompts as short as 4 words. Learn how to use this feature (available on all plans) here: Using Buffer's AI Assistant.

Deleting ideas

If you change your mind and no longer want to use an idea, you can delete it by hovering over the idea and clicking the trash can icon that appears in the upper right corner.

Delete idea red trash can icon

Organizing and filtering ideas

The Board view is available on the desktop version of Buffer and is not available in our mobile app at this time.

Organizing your ideas couldn't be easier, thanks to our Board view within the Create dashboard. Group your ideas to customize your workflow and seamlessly move your ideas from board to board to update their status or drag and drop your ideas to rearrange them.

Creating and renaming groups

Click + New Group to create a space for your idea. Enter the name of your group and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac). If you change your mind and prefer to rename your group, you can click the ... (three dots) in the upper right corner of the group and select Rename.

Create new group and rename group in Create space

Prefer to see all of your ideas in one area? Toggle the Gallery view on.

Buffer Create Gallery view

If you've added tags to your ideas, you can also filter your boards by specific tags by using the Tags dropdown menu.

Create dashboard filter by tag

Scheduling a draft or post from an idea

Once you're ready to take your idea to the next level, you can schedule it as a draft or a post with a few quick steps:

  1. Click on the idea in the "Create" dashboard.
  2. Click New Post.
  3. The composer will open. Select the channels you want to publish to.
  4. Customize the caption, add any links, and images or videos to customize the post for each social network.
  5. Once you're ready, click Save as draft to keep working on the post or click on Add to Queue (or our other scheduling options--Share Next, Share Now, Schedule Post).

Options when scheduling an idea as a post - Save as Draft or Schedule as Post

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