Tuesday, August 29, 2017

interview questions to help write a life story

Did you know Heritage Makers started with a life story?  It's true.  Founder Candy May lived far from her grandfather and was looking for a way for her children to get to know him like she did.  She decided to interview her grandpa and write his life story in the form of a kid's storybook.  And THAT is where the magic happens.

All Heritage Makers consultants know the story:  Grandpa Wozney didn't think his story was anything special.  He was a little reticent when Candy approached him about writing his story.  All the same, he let Candy interview him.  The resulting story (written in storybook style for her kids) became their favorite story.  They could quote from it, and they developed a relationship with and love for their great grandpa who lived 1,000 miles away.

Because here's the truth:  Grandpa Wozney's story WAS something special.  It was and continues to be special to every single person who loves him.

And for the rest of us, the moral of the story is this:  EVERY story matters.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone has a story worth telling.

Whether writing your own life story or the life story of a parent, grandparent, or other family member, the project can be somewhat daunting if you don't know where to start.  Having a list of questions to follow or just use as a jumping off point can be very helpful. 

Three Resources with Questions to Help You Write a Life Story

Here are some very helpful resources as you begin writing a life story, whether it's yours or someone else's.  These will get your thoughts rolling. 
  1.   {60 Questions} from OneFam
  2.   {Creating Family Stories} from Evolve 
  3.   {#52stories} from FamilySearch

You can use these exactly or see what thoughts come into your mind while you read them.  You'll probably get other thoughts and ideas during the process.  Listen to your intuition and inspiration.  While these questions are a great place to start, you may think of questions that are more specific to the person, questions that shouldn't be missed.  Get started and your heart will give you additional questions and points to document.

When You Should Write YOUR Life Story

If you're wondering when you should write YOUR life story, {this post} outlines the benefits of life stories--to the writer and to the reader--as well as an easy option for creating it right in the publishing program so you don't have to write it twice.

How to Professionally Publish a Life Story (without a hassle)
Heritage Makers is the best way I know of to professionally publish a life story without going through a publisher.  It's a DIY version of getting a book made.  You create your book in your private, online Heritage Makers account, then it's published on heirloom-quality products and shipped to your door.  You can find more information about publishing through Heritage Makers {at this link}.

Who do you need to get to know a little better?  Whose legacy shouldn't be forgotten?  Who needs to get to know you a little better?  A life story is the key.

It's a treasured gift now and for years and generations to come.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

DIY notepads as handouts for business

Something really exciting happened for me this year--I began speaking for groups!  My keynote is called:  The Generation Without Photos (or, The Guide to Self-Care and Wellness through Photos, Memories, and Stories).

As I prepared to give my first talk, I knew I wanted to have some sort of handout.  I wanted attendees to take notes, let me know what else I could help them with in the future, and have the {first five steps} for getting out from under their mountain of photos.

And I thought, "Hey!  These would be perfect {notepads}!"

Notepads come in two sizes.  I knew I would definitely needed the bigger 5.5x8.5 size.  They were just right.

When you order 1 set of notepads, you get 4 separate pads.  I made two and two of the same.  Each pad has about 35 sheets.  Now, when I speak, I can easily take the notepads and tear off as many as I need for the attendees.  They look so sharp and impressive!  I love how these simple handouts give me such a professional look.

And I love that you can even put photos on notepads!!  It's that fantastic?!  I could have put my business logo on the pads, too.  ...Next time!

If notepads would work well for your business or everyday planning, {create your own} like I did!  This tutorial video shows you how.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3 Ways to Scrapbook Faster with 3 Digital Ideas

We've got an abundance (or over-abundance?) of photos these days, but preserving them can still be a struggle.  Sure, there are quick-fix solutions that pop up here and there, but many of them are lacking in quality or flexibility (the ability to go outside a proscribed template).   

So how do you get your photos preserved quickly before the memories fade without sacrificing quality or flexibility?

Three Ways to Scrapbook Faster

Today I want to share three ways to scrapbook faster, including three ideas for digitally preserving your photos.  The beauty of this is that you don't have to be a scrapbooker!  You just have to have pictures and memories --which you do, because you're reading this post!

My tips for scrapbooking faster plus the three digital ideas can be found {right here at this link}.  I hope after reading it, you take away something important that will truly help you in your goals to preserve your photos and their stories.  At the very least, always remember this:

Happy Heritage-Making!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Snap2Finish: simple photo publishing

Have you heard of Snap2Finish?  It's a brand-new line of photo and memory-keeping products with simple designs and a variety of both fun and meaningful products.

It's so new I've only used Snap2Finish to simply print some photos (prints) that I wanted to frame.  It was easy, and I loved the quality and service. 

I've got my eye on the photo puzzles next!

Snap2Finish is a great option for simple memory-keeping, too.  From push-of-a-button Instagram books to clean and simple lay-flat ones, Snap2Finish has you covered!

A Snap2Finish account is easy to open.  Just visit https://jenniferwise.snap2finish.com/ and click "register."  If you already have a Heritage Makers account, contact me so I can tell you how to link the two!

Your photos and projects are saved in your Snap2Finish account indefinitely as long as you place an order every 12 months.

There are even mousepads, pillows, and towels!  And metal prints, pillowcases, and tumblers.  These are fun photo gift ideas as well as a great way to showcase your favorite photos around your house.

Why leave your best photos on your SD card when you could do something like this?!

UPDATE:  {Click here to find two tutorial videos showing you how to set up your Snap2Finish account and how it all works}.  You can even auto-fill your book with your pictures in just the click of a button!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

the one big secret to organizing and preserving your photos

The amount of photos we take these days often makes us wish for an "easy button"--a way to organize and preserve your photos easily.  The truth is, there IS one big secret to successfully organize and preserve your photos.

It's you.  It really is.

Here are three tips to make organizing and preserving photos a little easier on you:
  1. Keep in mind that {the most meaningful way to preserve photos is in print}.  If you have 1,000 photos on a flash drive somewhere, you'll probably never look at them again.  If photos are preserved with their story (usually in a book of some kind), they're accessible and more likely to be seen and appreciated.  Recalling happy memories increases self-esteem creates connections.  And it has actually been shown to increase happiness in the present!
  2. If you have a lot of photos, you will probably have to just choose your favorites for printing and preserving.  And that's okay!  In fact, it's necessary if you don't want to be {stuck under a mountain of photos}.
  3. After you take photos, download them to your computer for printing as soon as possible.  I make it part of my routine.  Either print them at your local photo processing center (I always suggest preserving printed photos with {Pocket Pages} because it's so simple and fast) or to skip the printing step, I suggest you upload your photos straight to your {Heritage Makers digital publishing account} so you can make storybooks or scrap pages.  Be sure to check out the "template gallery" tab to make it easy! 
I would say that these are important things to have in the back of your mind WHILE you take photos, too.  If you know having 400 photos from one vacation is going to overwhelm you, think twice before you take 400 photos.  It's much better to have SOME photos that you will see and love than none at all.

The next thing to do is MAKE TIME to preserve your photos and memories.  

There are some great solutions are listed up at the "need TIME?" tab in red along the top of this blog, including opportunities to gather with others as well as some blog posts with tips on how to "prune" your days (I love that word) to make time for important things.
As nice as an "easy button" would be, YOU are the key--the main ingredient--in organizing and preserving your photos.  If you didn't click the "stuck under a mountain of photos" link in the second bullet point, go back and read it.  That article identifies several ways to make organizing and preserving your photos a more manageable task.

And once you get started, it's fun!  Good times can be re-lived!  People you haven't seen in a long time can be seen again!  Photos are truly a gift.  They can create connections and a sense of purpose and belonging.  And what's even better is that the process of preserving photos has a grounding, centering effect while lowering stress.

Just not while photos are left in their digital form.