So, you’ve taken on the task of school yearbook adviser. Fun! Over the years, we’ve worked with some new and veteran yearbook advisers who have provided us with great tips to share with our schools for keeping the process running smoothly. Whether you’re brand new to the job or have been doing it for years, here are five tips to keeping your yearbook organized:
1. Set deadlines
This may seem like a no-brainer, but deadlines can help everyone stay on track. A tip for creating deadlines is to think of them as preliminary and final. Give people on your team (whether other parent volunteers, students or teachers) preliminary deadlines knowing that the “final” is still a few days out. That way, if you get off course a bit, you’re still on track to finalizing a great yearbook in the end. At Lifetouch, we use the Ladder Diagram as a chart that helps you plan your yearbook content. Combing this diagram with your schedule of deadlines can be the perfect combination for yearbook success!
2. Group page content for ease of completion
It’s the case of the classic check-list: We make one and then look at the items that are quick/easy to complete and work on those first (because the satisfaction of crossing of things on our lists is also worth it!) Your yearbook pages can be done in the same way. Group your pages by the content you know you can get done first and then create ongoing deadlines for the pages of content that will take longer (things like spring sports pictures, community ads, etc.) Rather than try and do it all at once or in order, be OK with grouping content out of order in a way that is easier to check off your to-do list.
3. Think outside the portrait box
When placing student pictures on portrait pages, there can be extra white space that makes the pages feel empty. This can hold true for other internal pages in the yearbook as well. For inspiration, take a peek at our ideas page to help you get started.
Another great tip from Joanne Kaminski of Northeast School: “Instead of having white space on portrait pages, I use any extra space for ‘mini collages’ of photos specific to that classroom.”
What a fun way to fill space and also add in some candid shots throughout the year!
4. Balance the student to picture ratios
Speaking of candid shots, we know that those can be daunting to keep track of throughout the year—and how do you know if one student has been used 1 or 15 times in a single yearbook? Kristin Hayward of Meadow Park Middle School has developed two great ways to keep track of her student ratio in yearbook pictures:
- No duplicates
“I print out the portraits and when a student has been placed on a page, they are crossed off and cannot be used again (with a few exceptions). This way, I have different kids in every picture and rarely have to worry about duplicate photos being used.”
- Most wanted
“We have a ‘most wanted’ list that the teachers generate. The kids on this least are typically those who never get noticed by the camera. We work hard to get images of those kids in the yearbook, too, for a healthy balance.”
5. Set an approval process
Teamwork makes the dream work, but at the end of the day, you need to make sure that everything in your yearbook is perfect. We recommend a few rounds of edits internally and then, for the final review, make sure you get the final say in proofing and edits before sending to production.