You'll choose your book design.
You'll flip through each book to select your favorite design, then enter your own lines of title. Don't worry, you can change your mind about the design and the title lines later on. We just think it's nice to begin with your own beautiful cover and design already in mind.
You'll jog your memory.
You'll either dive right into adding your stories, or if you need a little inspiration, you'll have this handy tool to help spark memories from every area of your life. We recommend including at least 4-5 memories from each category.
Where and when were you born? In a hospital? In a taxi cab? In what city, state? Do you recall any interesting stories about your birth?
How/why was your name was chosen?
What was the house like that you grew up in? What was your bedroom like?
Describe the neighborhood you grew up in.
What was your mother like? Were you close? Was she easy to talk to? Did she show affection, anger, or other emotions? What kind of work did she do? Briefly, what was her history and personal story?
What was your father like? Were you close? Was he easy to talk to? Did he show affection, anger, or other emotions? What kind of work did he do? Briefly, what was his history and personal story?
Did your parents have a good marriage? How did they meet?
Were your parents strict? Do you have a vivid memory of something you did that you were disciplined for?
Describe your siblings. Were you close to them as a child? How were you alike/different? What memories do you have of each of them from when you were growing up?
Do you remember your mother's parents? Did they help raise you? Were you close to them? What do you remember about them? How did they impact you?
Do you remember your father's parents? Did they help raise you? Were you close to them? What do you remember about them? How did they impact you?
What advice did your parents or grandparents give you that you remember best?
What were your family finances like growing up, and how did that affect you?
Did you have any nicknames as a child?
Did you have any pets? Any that were particularly meaningful to you?
Did you attend church or religious services as a child?
What were you like as a child? What did you like to do for fun? What were your favorite toys or games?
Did you spend a lot of time around friends, or were you a loner? Who were your closest friends? Did you have a best friend? What is a story that stands out to you that involves your childhood friend(s)?
What responsibilities did you have at home?
Did you get an allowance? How much? Did you spend it right away, or save it? What did you buy?
When did you start school? What schools did you go to? What did you think of school? Do you have a particular memory from your early school years that stands out?
How would you describe yourself as a student, both socially and academically?
What was your favorite subject? Least favorite? Who was your favorite teacher? Least favorite? Why?
Did you participate in any sports teams, school clubs or organizations?
Did you have any heroes or role models as a child?
How did you spend your summer holidays? What were your favorite summer activities?
Did your family go on vacations? Where?
How did your family celebrate holidays? Did you have any special traditions as a family?
What was the best gift you remember receiving as a child?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What big world events do you remember from the time you were growing up? What do you remember thinking about them at the time?
What inventions do you most remember?
What's different about growing up today from when you were growing up?
Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
What were your major interests as a teen? How did you spend your time?
What was your favorite music/band/dance as a teen?
What would people you know find surprising about you as a teen? Did you rebel? Were you passionate about something surprising?
When did you leave home? Where did you go, and why? Did you live by yourself?
Have you had your heart broken? Have you broken any hearts?
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do you have any regrets regarding your love life?
What was the most special way you've shown someone that you love them? That someone's shown you they love you?
Are you married, or in some form of long-term partnership? Why, or why not?
How did you and your spouse meet?
What attracted you to each other? Do you have a favorite incident from your courtship or early relationship that stands out in your memory?
How and when did you get engaged?
When and where did you get married? What was the ceremony like? Was this typical for the time? Did you dance? What did you wear?
What was the first big purchase you made with your spouse?
What makes your spouse special or unique?
What is a fond memory of your spouse that stands out to you?
Have you been divorced, or otherwise lost a spouse? How did this impact you? Did you grow/change from the experience?
Have you been married more than once? If so, what attracted you to each spouse, and how did each impact your life?
What words of wisdom can you offer about finding the right spouse, or maintaining a happy relationship?
Were you significantly impacted by any past romantic relationships? How did they affect who you are today?
Did you have children? How did you decide whether or not to have children, or did you?
How did you decide what to name each of your children?
What were each of your children like as infants and toddlers?
What's your favorite story about each of your children during their childhood? Adolescence? Young adult years?
What is something funny, embarrassing or otherwise memorable your children said or did at an early age?
How did you feel about raising your children? What was the hardest/best part? How would your children describe you as a parent?
How are your children like you? Unlike you? In what way have you influenced your children the most, in your view? How do you feel about that?
What words of advice can you offer on the subject of parenting?
What's the most memorable family vacation you took with your children? What happened on the trip that made it memorable?
Did or do you have any holiday traditions you celebrated with your children? Did they come from your childhood? What's one holiday memory that stands out to you?
If you attended university, which one and why? Did you put yourself through school, or were you supported by your parents? What subject did you study, and why? Did you earn a degree?
If you didn't attend university, why didn't you? How did you feel about the decision then? Now?
Who were your best friends in university, or were you a loner? What are some of your favorite moments from this time in your life?
Did you participate in any on-campus activities?
If you could do it over again, would you take a different academic path, or are you satisfied with the route you followed?
Did you go on to receive an advanced degree? If so, what was it and have you used it in your professional career?
Did you participate in any other type of higher education? Was the experience valuable to you? Why or why not?
How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life? How do you feel about that choice now?
Before you began regular employment, did you do any special training or apprenticeship? If so, what were the arrangements? Did the experience benefit you?
What was your first job? Do you remember what you were paid? What did you like about it? Not like?
What was your best job? What did you like about it? Not like?
What was your worst job? Describe it. How long did you stay, and why?
What is the longest amount of time you have ever stayed with one company? What was your position there?
In addition to being paid money, how else has your career created value in your life?
Do you have any regrets regarding your career path?
What is your most significant accomplishment as a professional?
Were you ever fired for unjust reasons?
Who or what was the biggest influence on your career?
What is the best piece of advice you have regarding making a living or having a career?
How did it come about that you went into the military?
How many years did you serve, and at what rank? Did you form any long lasting relationships?
Did you ever serve duty oversees? If so, where and for what reason were you there?
What is your fondest memory while serving duty?
What was the most difficult aspect of participating in the military?
Were you ever in combat? Explain the circumstances.
What is your opinion regarding war as a means to resolve conflict? Would/did you encourage your child to enlist? Why or why not?
Do you consider your duty as having been a positive or negative life experience? Why? What did you learn from the military that benefited you most in life?
Do you consider yourself a spiritual/religious person? What role has this played in your life? Why did you choose your particular religion or denomination, if you did?
What have you done/believed that would be surprising to people who know you?
Do you have a philosophy of life? What's your best piece of advice for living a good life?
What is your definition of happiness? Of a successful life?
Do you feel differently about yourself now from how you felt when you were younger? How?
What do you think has stayed the same about you throughout your life? What's changed?
What, if anything, would you have done differently in your life if you had the chance?
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were young?
What have you thrown away in your life that you wish you hadn't? What have you held on to that's important and why is it important?
Over time, how have you changed how you look at life/people?
What are the main lessons you've learned in life?
What do you see as your place or purpose in life? How did you come to that conclusion?
Have you experienced significant pain that has impacted your life in some way? What caused it? Is it possible to find a silver lining, or some meaning from the experience?
Did you suffer because of your race, religion, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual preference, dietary preference, etc? What was it like and how have you coped?
Have you learned from adversity in your life? What, and how?
Do you think a person needs to first overcome serious setbacks or challenges to be truly successful? What is success?
Describe one of your proudest moments.
What do you feel have been the important successes in your life? The frustrations?
What do you think the turning points have been in your life? Did you see them coming? How did you prepare? How were you changed or impacted?
If you had to name them, what do you think are your best qualities? Your worst?
What's your favorite book, and why? Movie? Song? Anything else? Why?
When asked, what's the one question you always answer with a lie? Why?
What was your worst injury? What's they story behind it? Have you always been prone to injury, or are you a cautious person?
What's the farthest away from home you've been? What is your most memorable travel experience?
What memory always makes you laugh?
What was your most rebellious moment?
What is your happiest memory? Saddest?
What is your greatest fear? Your greatest hope?
What's the best or most memorable compliment you've ever received? Who did it come from, and why was it so special?
What kinds of things bring you the most pleasure now? How has this changed from when you were a young adult? A child?
What things frighten you now? How has this changed from when you were a young adult? A child?
Are you politically active? Why, or why not?
If you had the power to solve one and only one problem in the world, what would it be and why?
What have been the biggest news events in your lifetime, and what do you remember about them? Where were you when you heard the news? How did you react? Looking back, how were you impacted?
Is there anything you would like to do or accomplish in your life that you haven't yet? What are the goals you're still working toward?
How do you think people will remember you? How do you hope to be remembered?
You'll tell your stories.
This is where the ease of this process really shines. Instead of having to plan, outline and draft a whole chapter book of your life story from beginning to end, you just add individual memories as they come to mind, in any order. They'll organize themselves for you according to date. (You'll place undated stories where you want them to appear.) Our simple story entry form asks for a title, the date if you know it, text, and up to two images. Even a couple of sentences about each memory you share will add up to a meaningful timeline of recollections. 80 stories (250 pages) max.
And then you'll submit.
Once you're done adding stories, you'll make sure you've selected the book design you want, entered the correct titles, and carefully reviewed all of your stories before submitting for print. Then we'll get right to work, carefully arranging your treasured memories and images into your own beautiful, custom book.