Yearbook with Indesign "strategy"
I can tell you that using Indesign for 5 years (and for 3 years on YB), I am now a "mini-power" indesign user/teacher.
I found out how to automatically merge the 900+ photos by grade, alpha and place correct names below... a major help using excel database. This saved an incredible amount of time ..after it was set-up.
Also style sheets and limitations on "creativity" were helpful. Otherwise the students tend to wander off in all directions and make a disjointed mess. The other big deal was to use a wire-framing concept in only B/W in Indesign at the beginning to force all of the students to face the limitations of design: space and page layout.
Wire-framing/black white and greys:
The entire book was laid-out using wire-framing and was formatted with character, type style and paragraph styles along with borders and drop-shadows; all this showed from the beginning. We were able to kill (or revise)the really bad stuff early. Note: Color really gets in the way at first so B/W was the key. With this we were much more likely to see design that did not follow the main thrust of the book.
I also insisted on using layers and we started with 4 but later had 6-7 layers in nearly every section.
File-naming convention-less headaches:
Another help was to use special file names and save "as new" every single time you work ... it also told me when the students worked and I could go back (if needed)....also if a file crashed, we only lost a day.
(this way files listed in date-order in the file-folder: later we changed to
77-89_Seniors_Amalya_20130602.indd so that all of the final pages listed in page-order. It was easy to see which files we finalized.
A fast server a MUST:
We were able to get IT to give us a new server ..(the old PC based "M_nr_e" became a slug ...maybe it always was a slug). We received a mac-mini and the art department students and Yearbook team were the only ones on it. The total GB when done ...99.7 GB!! of photos from staff and students and the total other graphics files was 175 GB +/-. It worked like water ...instead of sludge.
Photos from everywhere - More file naming:
Another help was that I taught the Digital Photo Class with required DSLRs and used Adobe's Bridge Batch naming ... so we had lotsa properly labeled photos from which to draw. example:
I am thinking of starting a club "International Yearbook Survivors Club" You have to have made more than 3 books to be accepted into membership. The only problem is that by the time you have completed year third year you are so wiped out that you would never let anyone know you did it. One, because someone might want to hire you to do it again and two, someone might ask you to advise.
All in all the best ever if I say so and many others say so too. TR