Adviser Takeover: I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

This blog post was submitted and written by a fellow yearbooker.

How organizing your files can transform your yearbook staff

Joining yearbook feels a lot like jumping onto a moving freight train while trying to drink from a water hose. The moment you arrive at YearbookPalooza, the clock is running! And information is flying all around you. I find one of the biggest challenges in Yearbook is organizing all the information. This moment never becomes more real than when the administration asks for a photo to include in a social media post. You know you have the photo, you know it is in Google Drive *and* the eDesign Library but getting your hands on it quickly is the issue. 

Over the course of one year, thousands of photos will be taken, thousands of words will be written, ideas birthed and designs created, tweaked, thrown out and recreated. These all must have a place to go, be stored and easily accessible. Like many things in yearbook, I didn’t know this would be an issue until it became an issue.

Herff Jones provides wonderful tools in the library. In our class, though, we want to have items organized, sorted and labeled before they even make it to the library. Many of these resources will need to be used for other purposes as well, therefore ease of access is vital. 

Currently, we use Google Drive for organization. At the end of each year, we create a Shared Drive for the upcoming year’s yearbook. In this drive we break down folders for our four pillars: Academic, Arts, Athletics and Attitude (Spiritual formation and student life.) Each of these folders is broken down further for each sport, artistic category, subject and opportunity. Obviously, this is the digital version of file folders or photo boxes. What makes all the difference is the “tagging”. Google Drive allows you to list a description where you can include topics, dates, names, location, etc.. These descriptions are searched when you do any kind of search in your drive folder. This search feature makes all the difference. 

“While the infrastructure is created ahead of time, the secret to staying organized happens in the moment.”

The trick to organizing each piece of information is the discipline of putting it in its proper place as soon as it has been gathered. This also requires a whole team dedicated to keeping things organized. While the infrastructure of Google Drive is created ahead of time, the secret to staying organized happens in the moment. Whenever a photo, document or even calendar item is created, be sure to include any and all appropriate information in the description. Be brief and specific in your descriptive phrases between commas and be consistent. In order for photos to be “turned in” for a spread, they need to be uploaded to the proper file and tagged. One additional tag should be added, the name of the photographer. 

Once you have selected photos for use in a spread, then they are uploaded to the Herff Jones library and immediately tagged with topic, keywords, and names. Also, we don’t upload all of the photos from Google Drive for the spreads, only the best 10 or so. This keeps the library from bogging down the speed of the software. 

Just like Mom always said, “Life is simpler when everything has a place and every place has a thing.”

Author: Deana Kistner // Adviser at Calvary Christian High School