March is the month of leprechauns and NCAA basketball madness, but this can be a month of yearbook madness as well. Here are some tips to avoid the craziness of those final days leading up to your final yearbook deadline.
1. Look over your ladder for “holes”–school events that maybe didn’t happen or were moved to a later date but you planned on covering them. Now would be a good time to check the master school calendar to verify things are still happening as planned before your last deadline. Maybe there is a page or two that weren’t ready to go in when originally planned to go, but did get finished and are now ready to go but sort of fell through the submission cracks. (So hard to imagine, we know…) go ahead and send them before your final yearbook deadline–it will make your plant happy!
2. Check your record of submitted pages with the plant’s record to double check accuracy of page numbers and total number of pages submitted. There’s nothing worse than submitting that final page, only to find out a few days later you still have one more page to go!
3. Develop mini deadlines so you keep track of the progress of each spread. If you haven’t been doing this all year, now is a perfect time to start. You might even have a daily “roll call” that sounds like this: You: Spring Fling spread? Staffer: copy done, photos taken and placed, writing captions today.
4. Create an action plan for final deadline–whatever this looks like to you, just make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. Put it in writing and post it in a prominent place and cross things off as they are completed.
5. Contact all spring sports coaches–ask for the date of the team photo shoots, and if any are after your final deadline, ask for some time at the end of a practice to have one of your staff photographers take the team photo. That’s a great day to take candids, too, especially if it has to be during a practice. Be sure to let them know you are working on the final yearbook deadline.
6. Build in some play–this sounds counter intuitive during crunch time, but happy staffers work better and harder. Trust us–a little play goes a long way! To get you started, check out howdoyouplay.net.
7. Index your pages. If you haven’t been running an index all along, start now–It always takes longer than you think. And you might catch some misspelled names that you still have time to correct.
8. Have supplemental tasks for staffers to do when they complete their pages. Suggestions: come up with fun recruiting ideas; create another book sales campaign; plan/prepare for distribution; write thank you notes to people who have been a big help throughout the year (secretary, custodian, principal, parents, activities director, etc.)
9. Celebrate! Plan a final deadline celebration and make it a big one! You’ve all worked hard–you deserve it! And it gives everyone something to look forward to as the pressure builds.
You can survive this crazy time of year. It just takes a bit of organization, preparation, and a lot of deep breaths!
Have some other ideas? We’d love to hear them!