Yearbook Ladder Planning

We’ve all heard the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” It’s true; no matter how diligently we plan—for lessons, for weddings, for whatever—something is bound to go wrong. Or is it? Proper yearbook ladder planning is one sure-fire way to help avoid those yearbook emergencies!


“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  – Yogi Berra

Often when taking on a new challenge, knowing where to start is half the battle. It doesn’t matter if this is your first yearbook or thirty-first, one of the biggest challenges of creating a yearbook…is planning it! Fortunately, with a few simple steps, a few deep breaths and a yearbook ladder planning guide, it can be done.

“Okay, so I can take the steps and take the breaths, but why do I need a ladder to create a yearbook. Am I climbing somewhere?” Well, yes, actually you are. You are ascending the rungs and making progress to a well-planned yearbook.


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

The goal of ladder planning is to determine what you need to cover and how many pages you will need to cover it! Consider the following:

Typical coverage includes: student life (activities), people (portraits), sports, clubs (organizations), and academics (classes).

It’s great to have “a vision,” but actually mapping it out on a printed ladder diagram or on this helpful eLadder will help you organize the sections and provide cohesiveness to your yearbook.

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back in advance because, once you’ve created the ladder, you have an automatic checklist of everything you have to accomplish to complete your yearbook!

Sure, planning a ladder is a lot of work up front, but—in the end—it will save you time (and money on headache medicine).

DeeAnn “Devo” Devore is an English teacher in central Virginia. She has dedicated more than 12 years of her career to scholastic journalism and advising publications staffs. She thoroughly enjoys helping students cultivate a similar passion for journalism education. DeAnne is married with two sons who keep her very busy and loves spending any leftover free time traveling the world.