Getting started on the 2021 yearbook can seem impossible. Everything is different this year. It seems like every other day I’m facing a new challenge. Each one starts the same, What?!! Trick-or-treating is canceled this year?! The panic and anxiety kicks in. Then the bargaining, Well what if we all wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, and only go to our friend’s homes? Then the realization that it’s just not going to be fun sets in, so I run to Google to find an alternative. Halloween is on a Saturday this year! We can have a small party in our backyard with costumes, masks, and social distance games!!!
Multiply this experience by 40 weeks and you’ll get the experience of each yearbook editor this year. In hopes that you read this before you get too panicked, we will outline–in 4 easy steps–how to start creating the most memorable yearbook yet.
1. Research Previous Years’ Books
How many pages were included in previous years’ books? What was included? What events and activities were included? What memories are missing? What won’t we be able to include this year? Try to look at a few previous yearbooks, not only one. The more you review, the more ideas you will get for the 2021 yearbook.
2. Plan This Year’s Content
After doing some research, decide if it’s best to organize this year’s book chronologically (by month or season), or by subject (events, academics, sports, etc.) Start planning the pages of your yearbook using a Yearbook Ladder. Fill in the pages and spreads you know you’re going to have and leave the rest blank.
Once you know how many blank pages you have, you can start to see what unique 20-21 ideas you can include. We’ve gathered a giant list of ideas for you to use if you’re not sure where to start. This is the fun part. When our students look back on the 2021 yearbook, they are going to want to see what life was really like, both the good and the bad. These memories won’t repeat (fingers crossed), so capturing them has never been more important.
3. Crowdsource Your Photos
Students and parents are still taking photos, just this morning–while inhaling a granola bar–I drooled over what five of my friends ate for breakfast on my Instafeed. Given photos are still being taken, we thought we’d gather a list of ways for you to get those photos off their phones, and into your yearbook. Just like any other year, each parent is going to want their child to be represented in the 2021 yearbook.
4. Collaborate With Your Community
Yearbooks have changed since my day, now there are so many ways for students and families to collaborate on the yearbook beyond adding recognition ads. Technology has changed the way students socialize. Nowadays, students can e-sign their friend’s yearbooks with photos and stickers and add them to each other’s personal pages that will appear only in their 2021 yearbook.
Another way to get your community involved is to run monthly or quarterly polls. Find out what the trends are happening in your school community simply by asking. Not sure what to ask, check out this list of 50 Yearbook Survey Questions for Better Polls.
With a little research, some planning, and collaboration you’ll be on your way to making this yearbook the most memorable yet.