Our Digital Footprints

I read an article today on leaving our own digital footprints on AmericanFootprints.com. They offer a framework for creating your own digital memoir. While I’m not ready to sign-up it did get me thinking about what I’m leaving behind that really shares about who I am and what my life was like. Are there small adjustments in the way I live life everyday that would change the stories, feelings and memories that will still be around when I’m gone? I don’t know the answers but I agree with the idea that we need to keep things like this simple or they just don’t get done at all. Simple and incomplete is so much better than nothing at all. I remember hearing someone say once “what do you wish your great-grandmother had record?” What do I want my great-great nieces and nephews to know about me and why I made the choices I’ve made in my life?

I spend a chunk of time everyday organizing and tracking what I need to get done. I wonder if with a bit of a shift I could be recording simple stories about my day? The facts of my life are not what is important, it is the stories that make me who I am. Just some random thoughts for today. What are you doing to record your own stories?

The Family History Writing Challenge: 2015

I realized this morning that we are almost half way through the first month of the new year. Feels like I’m not getting enough done each day. How about you? After taking a long break from working on my Dad’s Key West history I need to get back into it. I’m thinking Lynn Palermo’s Family History Writing Challenge might be just the perfect motivator. If you’ve done it before jump on board again this year. February is just around the corner. If not check out her website, register and then get set to more writing done this year.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #18 “Anyone” Story Prompts

Anyone Story Prompts

This is the fifth in the series of story prompt jar gifts with questions geared for anyone. The idea is a set of questions in a jar that you can pull out to help anyone to remember and record some of the events from their lives. I printed it on chipboard but they could be printed on cardstock. There is a different color on each end of the question so that once you have answered it you can turn it over in the jar and keep track of which questions you haven’t answered yet. The questions are intended you spark your memory and lead you to other thoughts and memories. Let your them flow and see where they take you.

back of story prompt questions

The first sheet in the file is the back of the story prompts. This sheet is optional but it helps in keeping track of which set of story prompts the question comes from and adds more color to the jar. I start by printing four copies of the first page (full bleed if your printer has that option) and then feed these pages back into the printer to print the question pages. (You should refer to your printer manual to know the right way to feed these into your printer.)

anyone story prompt questions

The next four sheets are the questions. After printing these pages need to be cut apart by cutting the sheet in half (the long way) at 5.5″ and then every 1 1/16″ to finish cutting the questions apart. I also like to use a corner rounder on each question but that is optional. But it looks nice and will help the questions not get so dog-eared with use.

anyone story prompts question sheet

anyone story prompt questions

anyone story prompt questions

The last page has an insert for the canning jar lid (wide mouth quart or pint and a half work great) and a set of tags to tie on to the jar with simple instructions. There is a journal cover so that you can also give them a place to record the memories for sharing and future reference. Cut another piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for the back along with some blank or lined paper for the inside. Then bind them together by your chosen method. I’m lucky enough to have a wire binding machine but you can get the journal bound at your local copy center. This sheet isn’t strictly necessary but it helps pull the gift together into a nice package.

journal cover, lid and labels

I am putting the jar and journal in a gift bag along with some treats to munch on while answering the questions to help get them started on recording their memories.jar gift logos19

Feel free to use these files for personal use and gifts. You can download pdfs here.

Questions come from those at StoryCorps.org.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #16 “Children” Story Prompts

Children’s Story Prompt Jar

This is the fourth in a series of story prompt jar gifts with questions geared for kids. The idea is a set of questions in a jar that you can pull out to help a child to remember and record some of the events from their lives. I printed it on chipboard but they could be printed on cardstock. There is a different color on each end of the question so that once you have answered it you can turn it over in the jar and keep track of which questions you haven’t answered yet. The questions are intended you spark kids memory and lead them to other thoughts and memories. Let their ideas flow and see where they take you.

back of story prompts sheet

The first sheet in the file is the back of the story prompt. This sheet is optional but it helps in keeping track of which set of story prompts the question comes from and adds more color to the jar. I start by printing four copies of the first page (full bleed if your printer has that option) and then feed these pages back into the printer to print the question pages. (You should refer to your printer manual to know the right way to feed these into your printer.)

story prompts question sheets

The next four sheets are the questions. After printing these pages need to be cut apart by cutting the sheet in half (the long way) at 5.5″ and then every 1 1/16″ to finish cutting the questions apart. I also like to use a corner rounder on each question but that is optional. Though it looks nice and will help the questions not get so dog-eared with use.

story prompts question sheets

story prompts question sheet

story prompts question sheet

The last page has an insert for the canning jar lid (wide mouth quart or pint and a half work great) and a set of tags to tie on to the jar with simple instructions. There is a journal cover so that you can also give them a place to record the memories for sharing and future reference. Cut another piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for the back along with some blank or lined paper for the inside. Then bind them together by your chosen method. I’m lucky enough to have a wire binding machine but you can get the journal bound at your local copy center. This sheet isn’t strictly necessary but it helps pull the gift together into a nice package.

jar lid, tags and journal cover sheet

I am putting the jar and journal in a gift bag along with some treats to munch on while answering the questions to help get them started on recording their memories.jar gift logos17

Feel free to use these files for personal use and gifts. You can download pdfs here.

Questions come from those at StoryCorps.org.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #12 “Parents” Story Prompts

Parents Story Prompts

The third in the series of story prompt jar gifts with questions geared for parents. The idea is a set of questions in a jar that you can pull out to help parents to remember and record some of the events from their lives. I printed it on chipboard but they could be printed on cardstock. There is a different color on each end of the question so that once you have answered it you can turn it over in the jar and keep track of which questions you haven’t answered yet. The questions are intended you spark your memory and lead you to other thoughts and memories. Let your them flow and see where they take you.

back of story prompt sheets

The first sheet in the file is the back of the story prompt. This sheet is optional but it helps in keeping track of which set of story prompts the question comes from and adds more color to the jar. I start by printing six copies of the first page (full bleed if your printer has that option) and then feed these pages back into the printer to print the question pages. (You should refer to your printer manual to know the right way to feed these into your printer.)

Story Prompt Question Sheet

The next six sheets are the questions. After printing these pages need to be cut apart by cutting the sheet in half (the long way) at 5.5″ and then every 1 1/16″ to finish cutting the questions apart. I also like to use a corner rounder on each question but that is optional. But it looks nice and will help the questions not get so dog-eared with use.

Story Prompt Question Sheet

Story Prompt Question Sheet

Story Prompt Question Sheet

Story Prompt Question Sheet

Story Prompt Question Sheet

The last page has an insert for the canning jar lid (wide mouth quart or pint and a half work great) and a set of tags to tie on to the jar with simple instructions. There is a journal cover so that you can also give them a place to record the memories for sharing and future reference. Cut another piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for the back along with some blank or lined paper for the inside. Then bind them together by your chosen method. I’m lucky enough to have a wire binding machine but you can get the journal bound at your local copy center. This sheet isn’t strictly necessary but it helps pull the gift together into a nice package.

Jar Lid, Tags and Journal Cover Sheet

I put the jar in a gift bag along with some treats to munch on while answering the questions to help get them started on recording their memories.jar gift logos13

Feel free to use these files for personal use and gifts. You can download pdfs here.

Questions come from those at StoryCorps.org.

Family History Writing Challenge – doors open

It is time to commit to this years Family History Writing Challenge by The Armchair Genealogist. I’m in, I signed up yesterday. I don’t know what/who I’m going to write about but I know that I want to take the challenge and see what I can do in 28 days. I’m going for the 250 words per day challenge but if your up to it you can choose 500 or 1,000 words per day. This will be an interesting experience for me. I’ve never done a writing challenge before. Anyone else up for the challenge? Sign up here.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #10 “Grandparents” Story Prompts

Grandparents Story Prompts

This is the second in a series of story prompt jar gifts with questions geared for grandparents. At first I called it Old Age prompts but decided that might be offensive to some of the grandparents on my gift list. The idea is a set of questions in a jar that you can pull out to help a grandparent to remember and record some of the events from their lives. I printed it on chipboard but they could be printed on cardstock. There is a different color on each end of the question so that once you have answered it you can turn it over in the jar and keep track of which questions you haven’t answered yet. The questions are intended you spark your memory and lead you to other thoughts and memories. Let your them flow and see where they take you.

Grandparents Story Prompts back side

The first sheet in the file is the back of the story prompt. This sheet is optional but it helps in keeping track of which set of story prompts the question comes from and adds more color to the jar. I start by printing six copies of the first page (full bleed if your printer has that option) and then feed these pages back into the printer to print the question pages. (You should refer to your printer manual to know the right way to feed these into your printer.)

Grandparents Story Prompts

The next six sheets are the questions. After printing these pages need to be cut apart by cutting the sheet in half (the long way) at 5.5″ and then every 1 1/16″ to finish cutting the questions apart. I also like to use a corner rounder on each question but that is optional. But it looks nice and will help the questions not get so dog-eared with use.

Grandparents Story Prompts

Grandparents Story Prompts

Grandparents Story Prompts

Grandparents Story Prompts

Grandparents Story Prompts

The last page has an insert for the canning jar lid (wide mouth quart or pint and a half work great) and a set of tags to tie on to the jar with simple instructions. There is a journal cover so that you can also give them a place to record the memories for sharing and future reference. Cut another piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for the back along with some blank or lined paper for the inside. Then bind them together by your chosen method. I’m lucky enough to have a wire binding machine but you can get the journal bound at your local copy center. This sheet isn’t strictly necessary but it helps pull the gift together into a nice package.

Grandparents Story Prompts Journal cover and Jar labels

I am putting the jar and journal in a gift bag along with some treats to munch on while answering the questions to help get them started on recording their memories.jar gift logos11

Feel free to use these files for personal use and gifts. You can download pdfs here.

Questions come from those at StoryCorps.org.