Yearbook Committee Guide: What to Include to Inspire Greatness


As you start to pull together all of your tip sheets and lesson plans for the start of the school year, there’s one thing that stands out: you have a lot of information to pass on to your yearbook committee. And there’s no way that each person is going to simply remember all of the rules, tips, tricks, and helpful hints you’ve compiled without a little help. So instead of expecting them to absorb every bite you dole out, create a handy guide that they can use to access all of the details they’ll need to create a great yearbook. With my help, you don’t even have to do this from scratch. Today, I’m giving you the low down on exactly what you need to pull together a fabulous yearbook committee guide, including how to put it together in a totally usable way!

Yearbook Committee Guide Layout

Before you start gathering all of your editing guides and photography tips, determine how you want to lay out your guide. It might sound silly, but doing this first tells you exactly what format you’ll need to generate for each page of your guide. I recommend forming your guide in two ways: first, in a print version that your committee members can reference wherever they are. This works best in a binder or booklet form that your team can add to throughout the school year. Second, in a cloud-based, digital spreadsheet that links to each of your tip sheets. This is super easy to do in a Google Spreadsheet. By giving your committee multiple formats to absorb all of the details, you allow them to access your guide in the way that’s most comfortable to them. And that makes it a much more useable document for your team.

Find Your Content

Next, you need to find all of the best content to fill the pages of your yearbook committee guide. Remember, you’re encouraging your team to use this book of information as a blueprint to create amazing content. So fill it with the best instructions for optimal results. Don’t forget to include:

  • Photography Tips: From how to use the different settings on your cameras to finding the best backgrounds, pull together resources that will help your team create photos that capture memories and engross your readers.
  • Writing Exercises: Staying on-voice, using the right language and slowing down time are just a few of the ways your writers can create captivating content. The  more tools you can provide in this section, the more dazzling your yearbook becomes.
  • Editing Guidelines: While one of the more mundane tasks of your committee, editing is an essential part of the publication process. Make sure your team can do it well.
  • Layout Hints: From how to format the pages to weaving your theme throughout the design of your book, teach your committee to bring an extra dose of creativity into the layout of your yearbook.
  • Committee Roles and Responsibilities: Let your team know who is responsible for particular tasks, and what each person’s official role on the yearbook committee is called.
  • Style Guide: This is a document that will help them keep the design of your book consistent across every section.
  • Theme Instructions: Spell out a 10,000 foot view of your theme, how you see it being woven throughout the content, and a few points of inspiration to give your committee some ideas to work your theme into different stories.

Leave Some Room

While you want to compile as many resources as possible before the school year starts, you’ll also want to leave some room for your team to add additional notes and resources as they stumble upon them. This gives them space to incorporate findings from their own research, and makes it easy to add any additional tools you provide over the course of the school year. To make the guide easy to use, organize it into sections for photography, content, editing, layout and specific committee notes. This will make the information easier to access. With a little thought and planning upfront, you’ll create a yearbook committee guide that keeps all of your fabulous tips right at your team’s fingertips, all year long. And that will definitely help each person put their best content forward, every day!