Who remembers listening to grandparents, parents, and other relatives tell stories about their lives? And, if they are no longer here to ask, who of us dearly wishes we had asked more questions and maybe written the answers down?

The need to trace our personal history, in the context of the greater history of society is fundamental. The popularity of TV programmes such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the proliferation of websites aimed at tracing ancestry attest to this. But so often, little is recorded of lives rich with experience and valuable lessons learned. Perhaps we find boxes of photographs of people we cannot name, in places we have never seen, but we are now unable to put them into any context. All this represents a sad and significant loss for us and the generations to follow.

Step in SelfieBook.

SelfieBook is an ingenious app developed by innovator and entrepreneur, Yehuda Hecht which will enable people to capture their story for posterity. Family members can also use it to help loved ones preserve their legacy before it is too late.

Following prompts, people answer a series of questions about their lives either by writing or dictating to their smartphones. Photographs or other visual material to illustrate their story can be captured onto the phone too. The app will then automatically turn all the content into an autobiography publishable as an ebook. The content can be saved as a draft at any stage and can be re-edited as new insights and information are gathered.

What are the benefits?

It is easy and intuitive to use.

Not many people feel equal to writing an autobiography, although many people wish they could. Using the SelfieBook questions as a roadmap makes capturing a life in words and pictures easy and enjoyable.

The process gives perspective and meaning.

People will find that capturing their experiences puts their life story into perspective. Once the process begins, new memories emerge, and life experiences start to fit into an overall context, which can enable people to see and understand themselves in a new way. Once started, the process of remembering fuels itself, with long-forgotten friends and events coming back into focus as people search through old diaries, letters and albums and boxes to illustrate their stories. Most people find this process fascinating and fun.

It can be a way to reconnect to others.

SelfieBook is a great conversation starter, and will often be the way people reconnect with friends and family to ask for information and share memories to build up the picture. Favourite family stories are enriched and added to by a multitude of voices.

It is a gift beyond compare for those we leave behind.

One day, the times we have lived through will be history lessons for new generations of children. A first-hand account will bring this history alive for children and great-grandchildren to come.

SelfieBook is envisaged as a free website and apps, not for profit, but to capture the values and legacy of lives well lived.