5 Simple Ways to Record Your Grandparent’s Life Story

It happens all the time: a grandparent passes away and we think to ourselves, “I wish I would’ve captured their stories.” 

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Avoid the myth that life is just too busy or that you’ll get to it later. The reality is that with the technology available today, it has never been easier to record someone’s life story. Furthermore, due to the pandemic, seniors all over the world have learned how to FaceTime and Zoom this year. So, if the distance is your excuse, it’s arguably not a great one.  

Here are 5 simple ways to record your grandparent’s life story this holiday season or whenever you get the chance to connect: 

Use the voice recorder on your phone

This is such a simple and efficient way to capture your grandparent’s stories. You can brew a pot of tea, sit at the kitchen table, set your phone to record a voice memo and start asking questions.

The nice thing about this method is that it’s very comfortable for the person being interviewed. Your grandparent is likely to feel like they’re just having a natural, casual conversation.

Be sure to have a list of life story interview questions on hand. 

Create a life storybook 

There are different ways you could go about this.

You could ask your grandparent to write out or tell their story, supplying them with a list of questions. Alternatively, you could pull from conversations you’ve had with your grandparent and other family members.

You could also gather supplemental media like photos, newspaper clippings, important documents, and ticket stubs to scan or upload into a storybook. A Google search will show you that there are many different life storybook options available; from DIY-ventures to bespoke, professional services.

Once complete, these tangible mementos can be treasured by future generations to come!

Sign them up for a Storii subscription

Storii is a digital life story platform. With a monthly subscription, your loved one can create a multi-media life story that can easily be shared, downloaded, or collaborated upon.

Storii has hundreds of question prompts to choose from but also lets you create your own. Questions can be answered with text, video, and photos. This subscription makes a great gift and is an excellent way for your loved ones to record their life story at their own pace. 

Record a video call 

Do you live long-distance from your loved one? Would you like to record your grandparent’s life story but are unable to meet with them in person because of the pandemic? You can still record their life story and capture those precious facial expressions, laughs, and personality over a Zoom or Google Hangouts call.

All you need to do is make sure to record and download the meeting. 

Exchange letters

Some loved ones are unable to speak because of a health condition.

Others have a propensity for the nostalgic or romantic. In either case, consider writing letters back and forth. This takes much longer than having an in-person chat but there is something exceptionally sentimental about it.

Not only is it a form of communication they would have used for most of their lives, but it also gives you something tangible to save and look back on after they’re gone. 


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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