What to write in a Memory Book?

Memory Books are great whether you are writing your own life story or about the life of someone you love or respect, or capturing a momentous event in your life or your latest holiday.

   

Keep your precious memories safe! Make time to record the things that are important and meaningful to you – whether that’s the story of your own life, or the life of your mum or dad or anyone else you respect. Make a beautiful book about your wonderful holiday or even record the things you did in 2020 during lockdown – it was such a strange time for all of us, capture it for both you and others to look back on.

Once you have been bitten by the bug, you might well find yourself wanting to create many of these books for different people and occasions.

Great ideas for a memory book:

  1. Write your own life story
  2. Make a Memory Book about the life of someone you love or respect. 
    This could be your grandparents, parents, friends or colleagues. 
    These could be books of remembrance or a surprise for a special birthday. 
    You could get the person involved in the writing of their story.
  3. Capture a momentous event in your life
  4. Make a travel Memory Book
  5. Make a book about your pet
  6. Compose a family history
  7. Make a book to help someone losing their memory

This article has some other great memory book ideas for focusing a book on a specific subject like a Pet Album or Weekend Getaways – their idea #12 says: “Just because it isn’t a big vacation doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of print. Bachelorette weekends, family visits, local adventures, brief visits—they make great little volumes of memories. Plan a little in advance, and you’ll be able to collect everyone else’s photos from the trip and have plenty [of] material.” Capture anecdotes and a message from each person on the weekend and you will have something truly special.

How to make a memory book 

How to make a memory book has never been easier as you can now make a photobook with text. You create your memory book online but make it so much more than just a photobook by adding your own words, whether that’s facts, diary entries or general descriptions.

You can add as much or as little copy as you like and as suits the subject of your book. A young person recording their holiday may choose to include very little narrative with a heavy focus on photos, whereas someone capturing the life story of a parent may prefer to have several pages that are solely dedicated to text.

Need more inspiration? This blog from Wikihow gives you some more advice on how to make a memory book. 

Write your life story

You could of course write a long autobiography, but if that feels beyond your abilities right now (whether that is due to the skills or time involved) then don’t give up! Creating a Memory Book online is very achievable and delivers the same results – you end up with a beautiful book that captures your life story so far. Jill Morris in her article 3 Reasons You Should Capture Your Life Story makes a compelling case for everyone to: “Sit down and write about your life. Why do I say that with such urgency? Because writing your life story is not only a gift to yourself, but also a gift for family and friends, as well as generations of families not yet born.”

There will probably never be a better time to write about your life than right now. Take The Guardian’s advice and make the most of self-isolation and reduced working hours and get down to writing your memoir. The great thing about The Memory Book is it makes the whole process really easy. Using the Word template, you can plan out your content, based around major life events. You don’t need to be a great literary scholar to create a book you and your family members will be truly proud of.

Esther Rantzen advises self-isolating elderly people to write their life stories. She says: "Write your life story, if you're in your 70s, I am sure that your family would love to know the story of your life which you have always wanted to write down but never quite got round to." Make a memory book for your grandchildren – they will appreciate it so much (later, if not now).

Write about the life of someone you love or respect

The Memory Book can be a book of remembrance – an amazing tribute to a family member that has died. I did a memory book for my Dad. I cried, I laughed, and I had a thoroughly nostalgic time going through the old photo albums and reminiscing with my sister. So many of the memories brought a lump to my throat. Thinking about the music Dad listened to, the things he would unfailingly say – like challenging us to see the sea first on our annual family holidays – and remembering his favourite treats (that he always shared with us). It was so easy to create and I have given each of his grandchildren a copy, so they don’t forget what a truly special man he was.

It would be lovely to create a Memory Book in conjunction with the person whose life you are honouring. Have a look at some of these wonderful videos from The Daily Show where Trevor Noah interviews his grandmother. They would translate into an amazing book for all her family members to cherish. Of course, Trevor Noah did more than create a memory book – he wrote his memoir. If you do choose to involve the person in the creation of their memoire, here are some good interview questions designed to spark forgotten memories and help you produce a memorable biography .

You could make a book for a friend. It is a huge mark of respect to make a Memory Book for someone – just imagine receiving one that someone has taken the time to create for you! They make a wonderful birthday gift. Here are some ideas of what to include, but it doesn’t need to be a complicated biography. If you have photos of your subject, tell them what is so special to you about them and include descriptions of the photos and you have what you need to make something truly special for a friend or family member. 

Capture a momentous event in your life

Create a Memory Book about your pregnancy, or your baby’s first year. Or make a book showcasing your wedding – instead of just having a photobook you can include descriptions, messages from friends, the menu, your order of service and any hymns if you had a church ceremony etc.

If you found yourself doing different things during 2020 with the Corona virus isolation and reduced working hours, then consider whether you have enough material to create a Memory Book. Do you have (or can you recreate) photos of the baking, growing, home schooling, wardrobe clearing etc? Alongside the photos tell the story of the virus, the rules and most importantly how you (and your family) felt. If you have forgotten some of the activities, take a look at this article as a refresher of the things to do whilst self-isolating – you will have done many of them.

Make a travel Memory Book

Most of us are used to creating photobooks from our holiday snaps – smart phones make this incredibly easy. You can do a simple and stunning photobook by using the ‘image only’ Memory Book layouts. However, I think you create something even more special by adding words – it makes a stunning memento of your holiday. You could include facts about the places you visited, descriptions and journal entries, plus photos of any sketches, maps etc. Here are some super travel journal templates that might inspire you.

According to this article on famous diary entries, Darwin sometimes condensed a whole year of journal entries into one page of a 3 x 4 inch notebook, causing his son, Francis, to remark that “it [the journal]...is unfortunately written with great brevity.” With a simple tool like the Memory Book, he would have been able to share his incredible adventures so easily. 

Make a book about your pet

We all have hundreds of photos of our beloved pets. Equally there are so many memories about the things they do – their habits and little quirks. You could also include some pet poems – there are so many on the internet to choose from – see this example. Whether your pet is still with you or you are mourning them, it is a heart-warming exercise making a book in their honour. 

Compose a family history

All the members of the family can get involved – tap into all those family memories. This article has helpful hints (though using the Memory Book eliminates a lot of the work). In a survey conducted by Ancestry.com, more than 67% of users reported that learning about their family histories made them feel wiser and a majority of users also reported that it helped them feel closer to older relatives.

Make a book to help someone losing their memory

Last, but not least, you can make a book to help remind someone you love of the people that are important to them, the places they have lived and visited and the things they like to do. We have created a separate book to help when memory loss becomes more severe with a simpler layout specifically designed with memory loss in mind.

As you can see, you can make a Memory Book about anything that means a lot to you – really all you do is make a photobook with words. I hope you have as much fun as I have had creating your Memory Books and preserving your memories forever.