Friday, December 26, 2014

How to write my biography in 2015 or beyond

Here are a few key biography questions to ask yourself as you kick off your biography in 2015. 
They may see fairly simple ways to start, but they will do just that....get you started. 
  • Describe your ______________  (parent, grandparent, favorite uncle, etc.) to someone who has never met him or her? 
  • What is your earliest memory?  (fascinating question....and opens the door to a host of other memories about your childhood)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Video recording my mom and dad using the new App

I will see my mom and dad over the Christmas holiday, and I've got to get some more video of these amazing parents.  I think about all that they have lived through -- their own personal history and just history.  I recall the highs and lows (that I know of) from their lives.  I love being with them and just observing their mannerisms, and it is so great to hear them tell a story. 

As you may know, LifeBio now has a video recording app available in Apple's App store.  If you haven't downloaded this and tried it out yet, it is a PERFECT thing to share at a family gathering this week.  Just put the iPad in your kids hands and say...."Go interview grandma and grandpa!" and then watch what happens.  Seeing other kids recording their grandparents has just shown me that, when you see capturing life stories as just plain fun, it is something that both the children and the grandmas and grandpas will love to do.  Instead of it being a "stuffy" interview, it will be just impromptu and memorable for all time.  

So when I see my mom and dad this week, I will be undoubtedly logging in to the LifeBio video biography app on my iPhone and recording them on the spot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The most important new year's resolution -- the life story

Of course, I am going to say it. As the founder of LifeBio, I am going to suggest that your New Year's Resolution be that you finally get around to helping that special loved one tell his or her life story. 

Life Stories & Connecting with Your Family is a Great New Year's Resolution

You've wanted it recorded for so long. You know there will be regrets if you don't capture his or her many memories and experiences that are priceless to you. 

So this blog post is just a reminder that this "life story" resolution belongs on your list.  You can't put it off any longer. 

Now, if you are thinking about your own story, it's time to do that as well.  There is no one else like you. "Is it time for me to write my biography?" Yes, it is time.  If you are middle aged, this is a GREAT time to review what's happened so far and then gain new insights from this as you launch into the second half of your life. 

My Biography and Your Biography start here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tell grandpa's life story and create grandpa's book

I wish I had had the chance to record my grandfather's life story. I can remember just a few things about him now---just a moment here and there.  I remember him taking me to a garden center in his big car (that resembles an Edsel in my memory).  I remember him driving a similar big, old car down the street to tell me that my little brother had been born that morning! We had an exciting day at school telling all our friend about our new little brother. 
Recording grandpa's life story

I remember visiting his barber shop and the sites and smells all around me.  There was a table full of Farmer's Almanacs and other magazines.  There was a wooden board that he put across the big black and white barber chair, and I would climb up there to get my hair cut.  He would always love tickling my neck with one of those soft brushes.

He was an inventor and he took great pride in examining the pinhole camera I made from instructions in the National Geographic World Magazine.  I took his picture with it, and it's a blurry black and white photo, but it's a picture of my grandpa. No doubt about it. 

I have a sweet memory toward the end of his life when we Christmas caroled at his home (and it's so sweet that I don't think I can share it). 

But I wish knew more.  I wish I had asked just a few more questions and could read his exact words to me this day.  Still, my memories of him (and recording them) are important because my grandfather is someone worth knowing. My children need to know Grandpa, and my memories of him will have to do. 

Need to record your family's stories?  Ready to tell grandpa's life story?  

Use the web to capture life stories. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Veterans History Told -- at Home with Family

It was amazing to see my son, David, sitting with his grandpa recently and listening closely as my father recounted his experiences during the Vietnam War.  Dad served in the 4th Infantry Division as a truck driver in 1967 and part of 1968.  He shared about his tent being shot full of holes near Dak To in Kon Tum Province in late 1967, spending hours in a small bunker with 20 other guys, leading a convoy of trucks away from the fighting, blowing up his truck when he and his friend, John, hit a landmine, and enjoying Bob Hope's visit on a hillside one day.  There were some funny experiences and some very scary times shared. 
Veterans History Told to Grandchildren Matters

My son listened closely to his grandfather.  It was fascinating to him to hear this first person account of a war that is barely covered in school.  Years ago, my father didn't want to talk about it, but, as he ages, he has been more willing to share and there are so many lessons to be learned. 

I know my father doesn't see himself as a hero, but we are certainly seeing him as a very brave man who did what he had to do in very tough circumstances.

Perhaps you have a veteran in your life that would like to start sharing his or her story more.  The Veterans Story Guide can be written in a physical journal (questions provided) or veterans history can be created online at . There is a specific "Story" in the online system for gathering veterans' stories without delay or difficulty.  

Call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4574 or email if we can be of assistance. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Write My Autobiography

You may be asking?  How can I write my autobiography.  In fact, it can be a matter of just answering a few questions--but it helps if you aren't staring at a blank sheet of paper.  Sometimes, even if you're planning a whole book, it may be just good to start simple with the basics of your life history.  Maybe you're just interested in sharing your life story with your children and grandchildren. 
1. Set a goal for completion. Life is busy and complicated, and you may find yourself putting it off. Set your goal to be an upcoming holiday, or the end of the year. You'll find that a deadline helps keep you motivated.

2. Decide the template you want. There are so many ways you can put your life story together. Decide on a set of questions to use, or just go chronologically. You may want to know more about how LifeBio works.

3. Find a friend you can share the process with. Having a friend or a group of people to complete your life stories with can make the process more enjoyable. It's fun to share what you've written, and to learn about your friend's lives.

4. Look at photo albums. Pictures can be a great way to remember some of your favorite stories. We tend to take pictures of what we love the most. Jot down some memories that come to mind from the photos you look at.

5. Make a list of your favorite memories. You've done so much in your life. It's probably too much to write in one book. Write down your favorite things that you've done. Call some family members and ask them what they'd like to know.

6. Answer a question a day. Making an autobiography can be a daunting task. Just write one answer for the day. When you're done, read over the questions for the next day and take awhile to ponder over it.

7. Do the best you can. Don't let one question trip you up. You can skip over it, or you can avoid it completely if you don't want to talk about it. Just keep going until you complete it. It'll be worth it! has web memberships, an app, and journals that can make this process so much easier. It greatly simplifies making your autobiography, freeing you up to think about your memories! Check it out!   Call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576 or email if we can assist you in any way. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Memories Book

Sometimes people are looking for a memories book for their parents or grandparents because someone is reaching old age, or facing a life-threatening illness, or experiencing memory loss or Alzheimer's Disease.   These are all common reasons for wanting to create a book of memories without delay or difficulty. 

I think families are truly worried nowadays that the incredible experiences of the 20th Century and early 21st Century will be lost or forgotten. These are family stories that should be preserved---priceless information way beyond genealogy. These were incredible years of change, and they do, indeed, deserve to be recorded.  For example, in 2014, it is still possible to meet someone in their 90s who grew up farming with horses or rode a horse to school.  Soon, these memories will not be available to us anymore. 

Also, there is such strength to be gained from hearing about people's experiences growing up as small children during the Depression and the Greatest Generation's experiences of World War II, the post-war "Baby Boom" and the rise of industry, computers, modern home conveniences, and the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements.   It's all incredibly interesting---especially when you are hearing it first hand from a family member.  There are no history books that can duplicate hearing the oral history of a parent or grandparent or other loved one directly. 

Building that biography of a family member or other loved one doesn't have to be so difficult if you use a memory book with prompting questions to get you started.   It's also possible to build an online biography as well---and print a "Legacy Book" later from the answers filled in on the web.  We want to help make that memory book happen so please be in touch if we can help.  

1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576  or email

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Private Online Journal

I've been putting pencil to paper for so many years now in numerous physical journals.  Here are a few things that I love to journal about....

1) The FUNNY things my kids say and do. 

2) My traveling experiences -- I really do meet some of the most fascinating people.

3) Life event stuff -- my feelings at different steps along life's road. 

I started to think how much better it would be to have these journal entries at my disposal online. I could keep adding to it wherever I am--using my phone, my iPad, or my laptop. I don't have to have the physical book with me. 

That's when decided to add in the JOURNAL feature which allows users to create and date and post private journal entries inside their account.  It seemed like a logical thing to offer to people who are creating their biographies inside our site.  Some people do prefer the freeform way of journaling over creating a structured biography. 

It's also great to be able to print out the online journal in a PDF format anytime one wishes....and to upload photos into it as well.  Family stories and journal entries are all great things to store at

Beth Sanders  


Monday, December 01, 2014

Memory book for my grandma

There is nothing more priceless than the gift of life stories.  I know that my own grandmother's life story really changed my life.  I thought, "I'm just like you, and you are just like me!"  But I would never have had that experience if grandma's life story was not recorded. 

Memory Book for my Grandma
It's hard to describe the feeling that you'll have when you read your own grandmother's memories. Giving a memory book to your grandmother could be just the right thing to do.  It will unlock a whole other world that you've never gazed into before.  She will introduce you to people that you would never know without her memories of them.  She will take you to different places and times---it's really like a time machine from her own perspective.  You are walking in her shoes for the first time. 

It's too bad that we don't normally have these conversations, but I've found that it really helps if the questions are on the web or in a journal so that your grandma can just record her own answers.  By the way, she may appreciate your help in the process.  If you decide to use the web, you can type in her answers as she tells you information.  A lot of grandmothers are now more "tech savvy" than ever before so your grandmother may like using to type in her own memories.  

No matter how you record the life stories, just seize the day and do it.  You don't want to wait too long, and your grandmother will want to do it if you encourage her.  There could be a few things she would rather not share and that's okay too.  Just at least learn more of the basics about her family history and her background so you will have this priceless gift for all time.  

Would you like to give the gift of memories to your grandmother?