Use IPad and Numbers to make a Mobile Yearbook Ladder

A Screenshot of my Yearbook Ladder

A Screenshot of my Yearbook Ladder

A Digital Yearbook Ladder

One of the first things I ever did as a yearbook adviser as an attempt to simplify handling some of the regular aspects of putting together a yearbook was to use Microsoft Excel to make a spreadsheet for the yearbook ladder. The big advantage of having a digital ladder layout over the traditional hard copy ladder chart supplied by our yearbook company was that I could change things a lot easier. No worries or mess like trying to erase information about a page on the ladder poster tacked up on a cork-board.

Having the Excel version of the yearbook ladder also let me color code pages by assigning a color to a group of students and then using that color as the background color for the pages assigned to them. Then, once they had completed a spread I would change the background color to one I decided would mean that it was completed.

When our school implemented a 1-1 IPad program at the beginning of the year, I knew that I wanted to make a version of the ladder on the IPad using Numbers. While Numbers for the IPad doesn’t give me as much control over things like types of borders for cells, or the amount of colors I can use as background color for cells, it still gives me the ease and convenience of changing information quickly. It also makes it easier to back up the ladder using Dropbox or ICloud. Sharing the ladder with my yearbook students so they can keep track of their assigned spreads is also convenient.

A couple of the main differences between my Excel ladder and the IPad ladder is that with the version I set up in Numbers I decided to dedicate a column to write in the name of the group (I usually just use the first letter of the group members’ last names as the group name) assigned to the spread next to it. While I originally set up the Numbers version of the ladder with the same horizontal orientation that I use on my laptop, I recently decided to make a vertical version just because I can scroll vertically a lot easier on the IPad.

Here are the Excel Files for my yearbook ladders:

You should be able to open these files using Numbers on the IPad. I intended to provide the actual Numbers files, but I haven’t had much luck getting them to upload to this site so far. If and when I do figure that out I will make them available as well. These files were made using Numbers and then saved as Excel files. Each of the ladders has room for 160 pages, but you can easily add to that just by copying and pasting a signature section.

Having the yearbook ladder may not be the most game-changing use of the IPad for a yearbook program, but the ladder is such a crucial piece of the yearbook puzzle I thought it might help in some small way to share these.

How do you use Numbers, or Pages on the IPad with your yearbook program? How do you use any of the Microsoft Office tools? What about Web 2.0 tools?

Enjoy. Use. Share. Improve upon these files. If you like them, or have suggestions on how to improve them please leave a comment. If you like the blog feel free to follow it on Facebook, or Twitter, or subscribe to it–the more folks the merrier.