An exercise to map your family’s timeline

Family timeline method on BJ Fogg's website
Family timeline method on BJ Fogg’s website

Here’s an exercise that psychologist, innovator and university lecturer BJ Fogg used at a family reunion that I’d love to do with my own family.

The idea was to collectively map their family’s story, starting from his parents’ wedding to the current day.

Each person was given their own post-it note colour and told to write their memories of that year on the post-it. They used 4 x 6 inch post-it notes to allow the writing to be larger and write more.

The post-it notes were then stuck to large boards. Each board was divided into three columns, one column per year.

The exercise led to a lot of sharing, about positive events and negative, both of which have shaped their family’s journey.

You can read more about the Fogg timeline on BJ’s website.

I wish I’d discovered this exercise earlier. Last year we had a huge reunion down in the Scottish Borders where family from California met up with folks here in Scotland, some meeting for the first time. This would have been tremendous fun and a great way to share our stories and see where our lives interacted and if there were any common themes.

Next time, maybe…?

Everyone wants to meet me again

This morning in the internal mail at the University I received an invitation to the Reunion 2008, since this year it will be 15 years since I graduated from St Andrews.

This afternoon in my email I received an invitation to the New College (University of Edinburgh) Reunion of Divinity Alumni. I graduated from there nine years ago.

Why, after all this time does everyone want to meet me again? Don’t they know I have a blog?

And I’m on Facebook.

And about a million other Web 2.0 social networking sites.