We all know yearbooks are a lot of work, especially in the last few months of the year. So how can we make this process easier next time around? Here are some techniques to try before the new school year commences, to better streamline and manage the process.
After finally finishing last year’s book, this may feel like the time to finally relax (and it is!) but first, jot down a few notes on how the process went. This is the best time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t while it is still fresh in your mind. Here are some suggested areas to consider improving for next year:
The Yearbook Team
Were your contributors reliable and easy to work with? Whose secret talents did you uncover and who needed an extra push to meet deadlines? The weight of a yearbook shouldn’t be all on your shoulders, and establishing a great team is vital for its success!
Was it easy to stay on top of all incoming articles and photos or could this be better streamlined? Should the technology used be reviewed for next year?
Did the yearbook design suit your school and did formatting go to plan? Should this style be replicated for next year’s book or would you like to try something new?
Were you able to meet key dates, what held up the process and what needs more time allocated for next year? Things can take longer than expected – remember this before setting ambitious deadlines next time!
Was the yearbook promoted well and what was the reception from your school community? How hard was it to acquire sponsors and was the yearbook a successful school venture? Your yearbook should always add value to your school, whether financial or interpersonal.
Start Thinking Early
Have you ever been presented with a question you weren’t sure how to solve, only for the right answer to pop into your head randomly at a later time? Your subconscious has the ability to work for you even when you aren’t paying attention.[i]
This is a good thing to remember when planning yearbooks – the earlier you think about ideas, the more these ideas can develop. Starting a yearbook can feel daunting, so just start by asking yourself the important questions (design styles, your yearbook team, medium choice etc.) ahead of time. In doing so, ideas and sources of inspiration will come to you when you’re least expecting it.
The earlier you start preparing, the more time you have to expand on new ideas and opportunities for your yearbook that you may not have had the time for last year!
Create a Content Calendar
A lot of schools start the year off full force with events like Swimming Sports or Athletics day in early part of Term 1. With a clear idea of important events that need to be covered in the yearbook, you can approach them well prepared. Prepare early to ensure your contributors are able to collect the important photos and stories.
Pin Your Yearbook Inspiration
If you are already working with YOLO for your school yearbook, you’ll know we like to use Pinterest! Pinterest is great for establishing your design style and all visual yearbook elements, which can then be shared with us to help you bring it to life. The earlier you start this process, the better the inspiration you will find.
The YOLO Gallery is also a good place to access other school yearbook designs that might inspire!
[i] Tischler, H. I. (2013) Cengage Advantage Books: Introduction to Sociology. Cengage Learning.