Blog | Deadlines/Page Ladder

October 12, 2018

Deadlines/Page Ladder

Developing a yearbook page ladder and setting reasonable deadlines is key to a successful year.  A Page Ladder is a page by page diagram showing the contents of the yearbook. Here are 8 steps to help you successfully plan out your yearbook pages. 

8 Steps to plan your ladder

  1. To begin you need to know the number of pages in your book, it is probably near the same as last year. If you are unsure how many pages you are contracted for, check your quote or contact your print consultant.
  2. Take the total number of pages and subtract the theme pages.  These include the title page, the last page, the opening and closing spreads, and the divider pages for each section.
  3. Determine the number of pages you need for portraits.  For example, if you have 300 freshmen and you are putting 30 per page, then the math is easy.  You need a minimum of ten pages.  Don’t forget to leave space for feature articles, candid photos, and headlines.  Do this for all grades including staff. 
  4. Determine the number of pages you need for sports.  Varsity sports generally get two, this includes cheerleading.  JV and freshmen teams may get one each. 
  5. Determine the number of pages you need for clubs and organizations.  Look back at old yearbooks to see how much coverage certain groups need – bands may need two pages, where lesser groups only need one page or even a half page.  Deciding how much to set aside for each group should be based on the number of people involved.  You should plan for candid photos, special articles, and statistics.
  6. Determine the number of pages you need for ads and your index.  You can refer to last year’s book to get a good idea of the number needed
  7. Subtract these from the total number of pages, and this gives you how many pages you have for special events,  academics, and student life.
  8. Now you are ready to fill out the page ladder supplied by Friesens.  You can use the poster in your kit and/or an electronic ladder inside ConnectMe.  I suggest you use both.  On the poster fill out every page in pencil or on a small sticky note – leave a couple of pages wiggle room. You don’t know what will come up during the year you may want to cover.  Something will fill the space.

Now is also the time to figure out your page deadlines.  Get four different colored markers if you are going to have four deadlines.  Decide on the date for your first deadline.  For example, if your first deadline is December 1st.  Mark all the pages which could reasonably be completed by that date with a green marker.  Do this for every page of the book using different colors for each deadline.  The poster is a sea of color.  Deadline two is the pink marker, etc. etc.

Post this where everyone can see it and use it every day as a guideline on the path to making your deadlines.  When you make the first deadline (green) have a “Green” day celebration party rewarding yourself for all the hard work.  Mark off what has been sent with a big black X, it gives every staffer a sense of satisfaction.

Good planning and making the deadlines makes for an awesome year.

Greg Samples
Friesens Yearbook Consultant