Storyworth

This is an ad but I only do ads for things I legitimately adore and Storyworth is 100% one of those places. It is probably the best present I have ever given and if you haven’t used it yet then let me convince you because I desperately wish I could go back in time and buy it for my grandparents and great-grandparents so that I could capture all of their stories.

Here’s how it works:

You choose someone you love who you want to know more about…a parent, aunt, spouse, old friend….and every week for a year Storyworth emails them a different question about their lives. (“If you were to do it over what would you do differently?” “Have you ever feared for your life?” “What things matter most to you?”) You get to see the questions first and can pick and choose which ones you think are the best and skip the ones you don’t like or that might not fit. Then they just email back their answers. Easy-peasy. At the end of the year Storyworth wraps up all the questions and answers into a beautiful hardback book of memories that quickly becomes a family heirloom. I did one for my mom and one for my dad and they were so fantastic that I ended up buying extra copies for my sister, and I loved it because Storyworth uncovered stories we never knew or thought to ask. (If your parents or grandparents are still around go do this RIGHT NOW.)

It’s also nice because each week when your family member answers the question you get a copy of their email answers so you can ask them more about the time their dad dug up their great aunt’s body to look for a murder. (Just my family?) And on holidays you have great conversation starters to use to distract people if an old lady fist-fight breaks out. (Again…might just be my family.) Regardless, it is a gift for you and for future generations.

Another way you can use it? As a kickstarter for that memoir you want to write. Gift it to yourself and use it to write down all the stories you want to tell. It gives you an excellent series of prompts, it keeps you writing and it’s simple.

AND through January 1st you can get $10 off so you should click here and go do it right now.

31 thoughts on “Storyworth

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My Dad would never, in a million years, have been willing to do this, but at the same time, I really wish I could have gotten him to. He lived a *life* and he didn’t talk about the details of it much. I found out not long before he died that at one point he derailed a damn train, which is, like, not a good thing, but that’s a hell of a story he didn’t bother to tell us for 40 some-odd years. There must be others he never did tell us!

  2. What an absolutely fantastic idea! I would have loved to use this with my grandmother and great grandmother. Thank you!

  3. I second this! Based on your previous recommendation, I got this for my mom. She enthusiastically answered questions, even recommended a few she wanted to be asked. The resulting book is something we treasure. I only wish my dad had been well enough to complete one before he passed away.

  4. We did this for my parents a few years ago, and I wish we had done it sooner. My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and while she’s still mostly her, her writing responses showed the decline. However, I love that we have her stories documented now. And my dad’s, too. We ended up creating a lot of our own personalized questions, which is a great options. I also went in and added lots of photos to go along with the questions and answers. They love the books, and we got a copy for ourselves, too.

  5. My grandma has Alzheimers and I decided to gift her this for a Christmas gift last year. My grandpa fields the questions and asks her, and sends it My way. I will be ordering her book soon, so that way she can read it as many times as she wants.

  6. Thanks so much for recommending this before! I got this for my mother as a mother’s day present in 2021 based on a recommendation you posted here before. I sent the printed full color book to her this fall, and she absolutely loves it! We were WAY over the page limit because she wanted to add a lot of pictures, especially really old black and white ones of her parent’s generation, but I was able to email their helpful support team and ask them to take out the blank pages, which brought us under the “large” book size, so it all worked out in the end.

  7. I’ve been thinking about this for my mom (80), but as her memory has been declining (we’re at the point of meds to slow it down) I’ve been worried that it might be too frustrating for her. I think maybe I should have the questions sent to myself & I can ask & take dictation for her. Thank you for this post and comments from folks using it for Alzheimer’s patients.

  8. I gifted this to my mom for Christmas last year. She’s been writing stories and with details from my childhood that I had no recollection of and stories from before I was born that I knew nothing about. Thanks for the suggestion and the $10 off, Jenny. This is such a great product.

  9. I’m nearly through with my Storyworth book! I got it for Christmas last year, and I can tell you, IT IS WORTH IT! Not only is it good for others to know my story, but it’s deeply therapeutic!

  10. I’ve been thinking about this for years, based on you mentioning it in the past. This year I gave it to my parents for each of their birthdays, and I’ve loved getting to read their answers. I look forward to getting to share the finished books with my sister and niblings.

  11. I gave this to my mom a few years ago, and she has extended it since then to do more questions for her book. She has gifted it to her sister as well, and I love reading the responses of both of them. Eventually we’ll get to see the book in print, but she’s having so much fun answering the questions and revisiting her history, I’m not sure it will be anytime soon. And that’s OK. It will be worth the wait.

  12. I found out about this here and got it for my mom and my husband got it for both of his parents. I wish, so much, that I’d been able to have my dad do it, though he typed with two fingers so it probably would have taken him all month to do each one! Everyone has loved it, so we recommend it as well!

  13. Thanks, what a wonderful idea! My parents are 89 and 92 and they are both very sharp but time is what it is and I think they will both love the opportunity to share their stories. Their grandchildren loved the idea, I think my brothers will too. Christmas solved for two people who truly do not need more stuff. Thank you to all who commented about their positive experiences with this.

  14. We did this for both my parents! I love that storyworth suggests questions but you can write your own. Our books were extra long (with pictures) but every word is a treasure.

  15. Thanks for this great idea, Jenny! I just went and ordered this for my mom for Christmas. She is pushing 90 and I’ve been thinking for several years that I’d like to have a way of collecting her stories while it’s still an option, and this is perfect! Thanks so much!

  16. On your recommendation, bought this for my mom a couple of years ago and it was BY FAR, one of her favorite presents from me EVER. Thank you for sharing, year after year.

  17. My daughter and son-in-law gave me Storyworth two years ago and I loved it. I ignored the questions and wrote my autobiography. I had two volumes as I’ve had an interesting life (can you relate?) and gave the books to my family for Christmas. Best gift ever!

  18. We gifted this to my 80 year old father last Christmas, and it was one of the highlights of his year. I enjoyed reading the “stories” each week- we also found a lot of family photos to include. I will be giving him the finished product this Christmas- it was wonderful!

  19. Got this for my mom a couple years ago. You can ad photos to all the posts. I recommend reading or editing the questions. Some of her responses got repetitive in part because of the questions. An awesome product at the end though.

  20. This is TOTALLY a marketing website for the benefit of Storyworth and a fraud. It seems most ‘comments’ are written by the same author, with the telltale sign of adopting “gift” as a verb instead of a noun as we have always know it, and sewing it repeatedly into the comments (and welcoming emails too) and always in glowing, positive terms. So, you can guess how long my comments will last. All of the weekly ‘inspirational’ questions seem to inquire about someone’s feelings on a subject rather than an opportunity to initiate a story about the person – not much value to researchers after exploring family histories over the past few decades.

    (Looking at the comments I can see the IP addresses and unless they’re using a masking program they are all from different places. Many are people who’ve been here for years. I’m looking at my dad’s storyworth book and the questions were things like, “Did you consider any other careers and how did you choose?” and “what advice would you give your grandchildren” and “What do you consider your greatest achievement?” I found them very helpful in learning about my parents but everyone is different. ~ Jenny)

  21. My son gave me Storyworth last year and I have to say, I couldnt bring myself to do it. The questions more often than not brought up bad memories, and i thought, why share these traumas? True, it would undoubtedly explain some things about me, but i imagined this long drawn out series of sad stories and it was too much for me to engage in. I regret not being able to do it for the sake of my soul, but i just couldnt without risking serious depression

    (You have to take care of yourself and I’m sure your son prefers that, friend. You made the right choice. I had a family member I gifted it to who had similar issues and storyworth let me regift it to someone else who wanted to do it. Sending you so much love. ~ Jenny)

  22. I got this for my mom a few years ago, but she declined to use it, saying my dad should use it, he was a better talker. But unknown to us, she was developing aphasia, and felt she couldn’t do it. I wish I had done it sooner, because she’s had quite a life, growing up on Montana ranch during the Depression and WWII, traveling around with her USAF husband taking care of a family.

  23. I just got my storyworth book printed. I loved the project all year. It was fun to write about and remember some stories that wouldn’t otherwise have come up if I had been writing a chronological narrative. Totally worth it. (Note, I added pictures to mine, there was an additional charge to print in color, that surprised me though. I didn’t pay attention to that $ detail up front).

  24. I did this a few years ago with my Mum but she really struggled with the technology side of things and it just ended up being another unused gift. I’d have really loved it if she could have managed it though. Need a snail mail version for those who are lacking in tech skills 🙂

  25. I really wish there was a snail mail version of this. It would have made it possible to have given it to my grandparents. However! I think I know what I’m getting my daughter next year. It’ll be the stories from her dad and I. Thank you for looking into them so many years ago.

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