Now that the summer season is well underway, you might find yourself looking for a fun summer project that sets your committee up with some great new ideas to explore in the fall. Personally, I love creating a “swipe file,” a place where I can keep a running list of great concepts and ideas I find elsewhere, that I could look at for inspiration for my own book. From ideas you find while perusing Pinterest, to those that appear while you’re checking out publications from other schools, a swipe file creates a place for you to save the best concepts for when you need them. Below, I’ll tell you how to create a swipe file, and share great places where you can find inspiration the next time you have a some time to spend searching for yearbook ideas.
Create Your Swipe File
But before you get too deep into that search, you need a place to store those ideas. Since these are concepts you’ll want to share with your committee, you’ll want to create a document that makes it easy to share with others. A spreadsheet in your Google Drive will give you the most success. Create three columns that you can use to keep your ideas organized: one for a short description of your idea, the second for notes about implementation, the third for any links that offer examples. Then start adding your great new concepts throughout the summer.
If more committee members will be doing research during the summer months, ask them to contribute to the file by using the “share” button within your document. Simply insert their email addresses, and they’ll have editing access to your document. Then everyone can add their yearbook ideas to the same spreadsheet for easy sharing with the rest of your team in the fall!
Find Awesome Resources for Yearbook Ideas
To fill your swipe file, you need to know where to find the best yearbook ideas. To make these concepts simple to implement, you’ll want to use mostly online resources, as the examples will be easier to access a few months down the road. Below, I’ve incorporated a few great online resources for you to try out that I love to use for inspiration:
- Pinterest: Beloved by teachers, Pinterest is an excellent visual tool for compiling new ideas for your book. Use intuitive search terms to find a wide array of ideas. You can go broad with terms like “yearbook photography,” or more niche with a search for “elementary school yearbook.” From ideas for your theme to really cool features, Pinterest offers a constantly changing list of awesome inspiration that you can implement on the pages of your publication next year.
- Google Image Search: With a powerful tool like Google search at your fingertips, you can find sublime ideas by browsing through the images generated with the same search terms you use for your Pinterest searches. This is an especially great way to find cool yearbook cover designs and marketing ideas for selling more yearbooks next season.
- Brainstorm Over Coffee: While summer is a time for your committee to take a break from all things yearbook, the yerds won’t want to totally stop thinking about your publication for three months straight. Keep the creative juices flowing with a midsummer meeting at a local coffee shop. Make the meet casual and totally optional. Use it as a short brainstorming session where everyone can brain dump any great ideas they’ve come up with over the past six weeks into your swipe file. While you won’t build out each idea to completion, you’ll keep everyone’s thoughts organized, and in one location, until you get back to work in the fall.
- TreeRing’s Online Resources: You won’t need to keep these ideas in your swipe file–because as a TreeRing user, you’ll always have them at your fingertips. But if you’re looking for great design ideas, themes, or marketing tactics, these resources are always a great place to start–and to return to, come fall.
How to Use Your Swipe File in the Fall
Once you’re back at school, organize your swipe file by topic. Separate the theme ideas from the content ideas, photography tips from the editing tools. This makes the concepts you came up with more usable. Once your committee has decided on a theme, go through your ideas to determine what concepts would work well for your book, and lay out how you’ll implement them. Then build out a timeline for the completion of each feature in your timeline spreadsheet. Within the first week of school, you’ll be well on your way to creating a full publication that utilizes some seriously creative yearbook ideas!