Planning Tasks To Do Before Starting Your Next Yearbook Project

Yearbook planning ideas

When is your ideal time to start working on the next school year’s yearbook project? Do you use the charge of sending the final yearbook draft to the publishers to propel you towards starting your next one immediately? Or, do you take time to recollect and review what you’ve accomplished before venturing on the next yearbook journey?

Whatever your ideal time is for organizing plans for your next yearbook project, we have tips that can help you maneuver the process. At FutureBook Yearbooks, — we’re experienced yearbook publishers, and we know a few things yearbook advisors can use to plan a successful and extraordinary yearbook.

Before diving head-first into yearbook themes, yearbook covers, yearbook calendars, pagination woes, and template selections, read the following yearbook planning tips. They’re sure to help you get your next yearbook project started on the right page!

Yearbook Team Recruitment Strategy

What is your vision of a successful yearbook team? Is it in-line with your yearbook goals?

Until you know what you want your upcoming yearbook committee to accomplish, resist making posters, and drafting emails to entice students to join the yearbook committee. Do some pre-planning steps to understand what yearbook resources are available to you and the direction you want for your next yearbook team. 

To begin, start by organizing what you already know about your next yearbook team.

yearbook planning ideas
  • Will there be returning yearbook staff that can take on large tasks, and potentially mentor new members?
  • Is there a large turnover of staff requiring significant amounts of time needed for yearbook team training?
  • Are there extenuating circumstances that may make recruitment challenging, like school closures or on-line only class instruction?

Once you understand what you want in a yearbook team, prepare a list of potential team positions and review which ones will need filling. Then, focus your recruitment strategy on attracting students who fit the bill.

Are you concerned about keeping your yearbook budget in-check? Learn here about eight digital resources your yearbook team can use that are completely free!

Consider Your Yearbook Staff’s Training Needs

How much training will your staff require? How will you accommodate individual needs?

Having a healthy number of students return to a yearbook committee is considered ideal by many yearbook advisors. And, it’s no wonder why, — building a yearbook staff member’s unique skills, over multiple years, generally leads to better connections and quality yearbook results.

However, all students must inevitably vacate their long-held yearbook staff position upon graduation. The student who fills that role will likely be new to your team and will need training as they adapt to their new position. To ease with training costs, consider working with a yearbook publisher that prioritizes reliable service and training.

Draft a Schedule Ahead of School Session

How will you manage your yearbook’s timelines? Is there room for flexibility and error? 

Timeline maintenance is vital for a yearbook project to run smoothly and be finished on-time. Having a proposed timeline and schedule ready before in-session classes resume is an effective and organized way to kick-off your yearbook project. However, being flexible and adapting to unforeseen circumstances is equally as important.

Some examples of what to include in your yearbook timeline are:

yearbook collection tips
  • Image collection strategy. Collecting images of students should begin as early as possible to ensure maximum student representation. Consider making photography and image collection strategy a priority early-on.
  • New member recruitment. Recruit new members early!
  • Theme Selection. Yearbook theme selection should be nailed down early in the year. Aim for before winter break, at the latest.
  • Yearbook Event Planning. Promote your yearbook and engage student participation by hosting yearbook events. Themed events are a great way to solidify the look and feel of the book’s chosen theme.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, we hope it demonstrates the importance of drafting a yearbook schedule before the school year begins. The need to be flexible and adaptive is important for the role of the yearbook advisor. However, having a general outline of the year will help keep your team focused and on-target.

Yearbook Planning: Balancing Control & Flexibility 

How your yearbook plans look in September is likely to change over the year. Yearbook staff changes may occur, shifts in roles and responsibilities can happen, and unexpected circumstances might pop up. However, if you have a schedule that provides a general sense of organization and allows for adaptability, you and your team will easily maneuver throughout the year.

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