Book layout template sneak peek

Putting a family story into words

A few years ago, Mum turned 70. When this happened, I wanted to commemorate that with something meaningful that she could keep forever. Something personal that had aspirations to be an heirloom. An item that might remain in the family for generations to come. Inspired by the TV show This Is Your Life, I decided on a book where her children would tell her family story in our words.

I loved watching This Is Your Life as a kid. What a fabulous idea. Engaging people from your past to tell stories about the adventures shared. While this seemed easy in theory, I spent 10 months researching my mother’s life. Which left me with 2 weeks to design and layout the book, then 1 month for production. Oh how I wish I’d had another 10 months to do that part alone! Once the sleep deprivation faded, I started thinking about how I could use this lesson to help others. I wanted to find a way to create template for other people who wanted to create books to tell their family story. More research to find layout options that were available to most people. Something where they wouldn’t have to sell a kidney on the black market to get a copy of the software.

Choosing the software

Canva’s free forever plan didn’t allow enough flexibility. While Google Docs wasn’t going to be powerful enough. PowerPoint offers everything I need. Custom layouts, custom page sizes and the ability to create click and type fields. The real power of PowerPoint – most Windows users will have a computer on their PC.

At this stage the template is compatible with printing with Blurb. Blurb provides a cost effective way to produce small book runs, soft or hard cover. If printing a family story then you can set up your book so other family members can buy it online. It would also work with a landscape ring binder, wiro or plastic comb binding.

Quick preview

That’s enough of a project background. Let’s get to the fun stuff. Time for a sneak peek at the latest template design that I am working on. See below for the first 3 layouts of the internal pages of a family story template. Approximately 17 more to go.

Family story layout quick preview

Have your say!

What do you think of the design so far? Are there any specific layouts would you like to see in a family story book? Let me know in the comments section.


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