Thursday, June 20, 2019

It's Not About Photo Storage: How to Organize, Print, and SEE Pictures

Isn't that kind of the focus these days, though?  Photo storage?  People spend a lot of time and money making sure their photos are safely stored somewhere.  But guess what?

We're missing the entire point!

Have you put away your winter clothes?  Why?  Because you don't intend to use them for six months, right?  That's what storage IS.  It's putting something elsewhere that you don't intend to use or see or even look at right now.

That's great for winter clothes, but what about pictures?

Pictures aren't meant to be temporary.  In fact, we take pictures to hold onto and remember moments that are fleeting.  So pictures aren't meant to be stored.  The purpose of a picture is to SEE IT.

So let's get back to basics and not listen to the digital photo storage frenzy going on around us.  Now I'm not saying digital pictures shouldn't be backed up, because they should, but that should never be our final goal.  We shouldn't be satisfied that our precious photos are somewhere where we rarely if ever see them, somewhere where we can't actually write down a couple of sentences about what makes that photo worth taking and worth remembering.

Connecting with your photos and memories has tremendous power including self-esteem and increased happiness.  Read more benefits, including self-care and wellness, {at this list}.

These four blog posts will help you organize, print, and SEE your pictures!  Read these helps and start seeing your pictures again!
Now when I talk about printing photos, there are lots of options, so here are three recommendations.  They're all highest-in-the-industry quality, so you really can't lose.  

Each of these three options is different, and I love that because there is truly something for everyone, from simple pre-designed templates to creative and flexible digital scrapbooking.  See which one is your favorite and would work well for you.  

Plus, if you're behind on preserving your photos, I have several suggestions (and a PLAN!) at the "how to catch up on your photos" tab along the top of this blog below the header.  Or find it {right here}.

When you're done reading whichever of those posts interests you most, or watching whichever video catches your fancy, come back and comment below to tell me which suggestions were the most helpful.  Which ones will get you SEEING and loving your memories in pictures, not just storing them?

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Time Saver Hack: Use Your Phone as a Phone

Is your phone as big of a time-suck as my phone?  Or--as big of a time suck as my phone used to be?!  I have a super quick time-saving hack to share with you today that will help you free up some time.

I tend to keep an eye out for time-saving ideas because the ability to set aside time to make your photos into something meaningful is so important.  It's life-changing, actually!  And {we need our pictures} more now than ever before.

Besides, I was noticing how much "just checking Facebook" and "just scrolling through Instagram" was really cutting into my day and my productivity.  And my peace, to be honest.  ({This study} shows that social media can contribute to feelings of isolation, lower self-esteem, and decreased personal connections.  Isn't it interesting that a few of the many {benefits of memory-keeping} are greater connections, higher self-esteem, and a greater sense of belonging?!  Sounds like the antidote to the depressive effects of social media to me.  But I digress.)

A few months ago, I had been feeling frustrated and probably a little depressed because I would sit down for a break and pull out my phone, and before I knew it an hour had gone by.  I didn't like how it made me feel, and I really hate wasting time.  I was inspired to really look at my phone usage and habits after I read this awesome {seven day phone detox} strategy by Michele at Confessions of Parenting.  Michele's great steps included turning off push notifications (which I actually never enabled in the first place) and not picking up your phone first thing in the morning.  Great tips!!

And I loved {this article}, too, about how you can actually GIVE YOURSELF more time by putting social media on the back burner.

These articles were fantastic inspiration for what I thought could help me.  Here's what I came up with:  I decided to use my phone as a phone.  Shocking, I know.

Now, for you young 'uns, I'll tell you what phones were like in the olden days.  They were attached to a wall.  You used them for talking to people.  Their ringtones were very boring, yes, but phones back in the olden days did the job just fine.  You could communicate with someone who wasn't standing next to you.  It was pretty revolutionary and quite handy.

So I decided to plug my phone into the wall.  I decided to treat my phone as an actual phone.  If it rings, or if I get a text notification, I pick it up.  I don't need to know if someone posted something on Facebook, and I don't need to know what's new on Instagram.  I can look at that later if I want to.  I basically just need to know if someone wants to get ahold of me.  That's all.  

I do unplug the phone and take it with me when I'm away from a wall, but otherwise the phone stays plugged into the wall.  Like, you know, a phone!  I chose a central location (my kitchen, which kind of echos) so that I could hear the ring from wherever I might be in the house.  Doing this has made a huge difference.  It's not in my pocket where it's so easy to just pull it out and check social media "for just a sec."

Plugging in my phone was just the first part, though.  In order to make it even less easy to waste time on, I decided to delete all my social media apps from my phone.  Yes, I really did.  I deleted Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Those are so easy to get sucked into because the feeds are endless.  You can scroll and scroll and see new things for literally hours.  Before social media, nobody actually knew what that guy who sat in front of you in 8th grade algebra was doing with his life these days.  And we were just fine.  (Remember, too, that if you want to know how a friend is doing, you could actually use your phone as a phone and call her.  Or even text.  You don't have to scroll through "I love my dog" and "I hate politics" posts to find out.)

Now, I'm still on {Facebook} and {Twitter} and {Pinterest} (at those links, in fact, if you want to connect), but because those apps aren't on my phone any more, I force myself to check them only on my computer.  You can post to all of them except Instagram from a computer, and you can check all of them from a computer.  It has cut down A LOT on the time I spend on social media, which is the main way I used to waste time on my phone.
"...As if we could kill time without injuring eternity."  -Henry David Thoreau
If you have an addicting game on your phone that you waste a lot of time with, that's another thing to look at.  Could setting a 10-minute timer help?  Could you just delete it all together?  What other things do you have on your phone that drag you down that you could get rid of?

What would you gain by giving yourself an extra hour every day? 

Because pictures and memories and family stories have such powerful effects on kids and families, I highly recommend making time for them and making them a priority.  Pictures still in digital form don't do much for us because we don't have the memories that go with them.  Print or publish pictures in a way you'll enjoy so that you can actually SEE your photos as well as make a record of what makes each photo worth remembering (your memories).

Quality is high priority when preserving precious photos and memories, so {look at these fantastic options}.  I recommend and choose whatever will work best for you.

Next, set aside time--if you need some {help finding time}, just click that link.  If you're like most people and haven't preserved your photos for a while, you're probably a little overwhelmed at even starting.  Don't be!  I have {two strategies, including video tutorials to walk you through, and lots of tips for catching up on your photos right here}.

Join me in doing things differently!  Don't let your phone suck away your valuable time!  Let's use our time more wisely and in more meaningful ways.  #dontletyourbabiesgrowuptobejpegs
"A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life." -Charles Darwin
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