Read First: Personal History Introduction

Welcome to the Personal History Guided Tale… and to the Legacy Tale community!

We are thrilled you are capturing your life story and are happy to assist in this important work.

At Legacy Tale, we believe in leaving a legacy of faith for loved ones. In fact, there’s nothing more important to us than faith and family. So, it’s a blessing and a privilege for us to help others leave their legacy for future generations.

The Guided Tale system provides instructions to complete the major components of your personal history, including:

  1. Collecting and scanning photos and important documents, and labeling them with dates, places and names.
  2. Remembering and writing the parts of your life that shaped you into the person you are.
  3. Explaining how and why those moments have been impactful in your life, and why they are so important to you.
  4. Taking all of those stories and pictures, and weaving them into a single, fluid story that tells the tale of your life.

Rather than tackling these all at the same time, the Guided Tale system breaks them down into manageable tasks.

  1. Focus on one task at a time, finish it, then move onto another task.
  2. Once you have written your stories and preserved your photos, the final tasks include organizing, editing and laying out the pages.
  3. Upon completion, you will have created an electronic manuscript that can be shared as is or sent for professional printing.


Before you begin…

1.    Decide where to start:

Guided Tale modules are grouped by major periods of your life, including

·        Early Life

·        Family Roots

·        School Days

·        Working Life

·        Marriage and Family Life

·        Golden Years

·        Holidays and Traditions

·        Reflections

Each module has several questions, designed to be done weekly. You can start at the beginning of your life, your current situation, or anyplace in between. Start where you are comfortable and motivated. If there are specific stories or experiences you want to make sure you capture, start there. Do a quick review of all the modules and find where you wish to begin. You will use your time most effectively if you complete one module entirely before moving on, as your memories and train of thought will be linked to that time period. Once you begin to write, additional remembrances will flow and enrich your writing.

Additional BONUS modules provide follow-on assignments to further enhance your personal history if you wish. Bonus assignments include

·         Additional reflections

·         Holiday-specific writing prompts

·         Questions designed for military veterans to capture their experiences

·         Writing prompts specific to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Skip any modules or assignments that don’t apply to you or replace them with bonus assignments, and move at your own pace.

When you have completed all the writing and included all the photos you want in your tale, move to the last module—Finalizing your Tale—for assignments to prepare your history for publication or sharing.

If you complete one assignment each week, at the end of one year you will have a rich memoir of your life!


2.    Know that following your heart is more important than following the instructions.

The Guided Tale system is a framework to help you stay focused and motivated and to trigger the memories and feelings that will be important for your posterity. But it is a guide to keep you on course, not a corset to restrict your thoughts and writing. Anytime a memory is sparked or you have an idea to write something, DO IT! Do not be limited by the questions in the modules. Feel free to add and alter and go “off script,” to tell your tale as only you can tell it.


3.    Gather photos and documents from your life.

Along with each question in the modules, you will find suggestions for pictures to include. Use the suggestions or any and all photos that are important to you. You may find it helpful to gather old photos before beginning a module. Though not required, taking the following steps in advance may make it easier for you to accomplish assignments on a weekly basis.

·         Gather photos- old and new

·         Categorize them by time period or by the module topics above

·         Select the most meaningful photos for each category and group them in an envelope or box with the category label

·         If you do not know the names and dates for any of the selected photos, seek that information from other family members

·         Gather important family and historical documents

·         Review the directions for scanning photos here


4.    Site navigation

At the top right of the page, you’ll see “Personal History Modules.”  Hovering over that will give you access to all the modules and bonus content.  On the right sidebar of each page is a contact form.  If you have any question related to the Guided Tale material, if you are stuck or have any questions about gathering information or writing your story, fill out the contact form and click “Send.”