Searching for great yearbook ideas takes more than just a few hours of brainstorming at the beginning of the school year: it’s a long-term process that requires a lot of thought and strategy. I know that sometimes, getting your team together for a quick idea session might seem like you’re doing your part to spark creativity and collaboration. In reality, there are some tricks and tools you can use to get your yearbook committee to produce some really stellar ideas for this year’s publication. And while they might take a little more work on your end up front, they’ll help you find the kind of ideas that will really set this year’s edition apart from the yearbooks of years passed!
Always Be Prepared
When you’re looking for the best brainstorming ideas to use with your yearbook team, the first thing I like to do is explain how great ideas don’t always come in the middle of a brainstorming session. They can really strike at any time of day – which means you have to be prepared to capture them on paper, lest they be completely forgotten an hour down the line. Encourage your students to always carry a little notebook and pencil to jot down quick ideas. Not only is this a great way to make sure you don’t miss any of those moments of brilliance, it can help them learn how to better brainstorm on their own outside of yearbook class!
Make Everyone’s Voice Matter
Some students struggle with big idea sessions not because they aren’t coming up with awesome concepts, but because they’re nervous about having their idea shot down by the rest of the team. To encourage everyone on your yearbook committee to contribute their thoughts, you need to set up an environment where everyone is heard and every voice counts. To do this well, don’t brush off any ideas when they’re being contributed. Instead, write everything down on your whiteboard or a giant pad of paper as you’re brainstorming ideas. This way, students can see their contributions being added to the list. And that can really help them to feel like their ideas matter – which can encourage them to continue contributing as the year progresses.
Talk Through Ideas
Once you’ve spent some time brainstorming ideas, talk through each one so with your students to get a better idea of how they’d actually implement them with your yearbook. This can give everyone the opportunity to understand the full scope of a concept. Plus, creating a group discussion around each item can help you build out a really amazing idea from a concept that might have seemed like the wrong fit when you first heard it. At the end of your session, askyour students to help you select the top three to five ideas that will contribute towards a more cohesive yearbook. This way no one is excluded and you can wrap up your brainstorming sessions on a positive note.
The Best Brainstorming Ideas
Coming up with great ideas isn’t something that always happens in the blink of an eye – which is why hosting regular brainstorming sessions for your team throughout the school year can really help you integrate more creativity into the overall design and content of your yearbook as a whole. Fostering an environment that makes all of your yearbook committee feel comfortable contributing their thoughts is the best way to get great ideas from your team. Not only that, but you’ll find that doing this will help to build a stronger sense of camaraderie across your team, which can help your students to work together more naturally, become more adept at bouncing ideas off of each other and ultimately create an amazing yearbook for your school.