Plan #16 – Get those photos stored safely!

Forever

Photos. They are an incredible joy; they can be an incredible pain. I have so many photos stored in so many places: On my phone. In my email. On my home computer, my work computer, my laptop. On SD cards. On CDs. Slides and negatives and prints, in boxes and bags and piles and – believe it or not – scrapbooks.

Over the years, I have been organizing my digital photos using a product I love. It goes by Forever Historian now, though it was once Memory Manager from Creative Memories. It lets you sort your photos into “Albums,” tag them any way you like, and search for them easily. It even recognizes faces after you label them once! You can rank your photos, write notes about them, edit them, and share them, all from one program. I’ve been using it for years now, and I really like it. (I’ve also used their Artisan program for photo projects for years as well. In fact, all my blog headers have been made on Artisan!)

I still have had two little problems with digital photo storage, though. First, I am not good at backing things up. I have known for ages that I should be backing stuff up online, but how?? Kryptonite? Dropbox? One of the photo services like Snapfish or Shutterfly?

Apparently the people at Forever have got our backs. They have integrated Historian with a permanent online storage program, so now all I need to do is upload the photos I have in Historian right to my Forever online account. In fact, I even got an app for my phone that automatically backs my phone photos to the storage account without my even having to think about it. I have just barely started using it, and I already love it. I’ll keep you posted as I transition the photos to that account and learn all its ins and outs. I’m totally psyched to get up to speed.

Now, if only I could get Forever to organize my future scrapbook room for me, I’d be set!

out of the consultant protection program

NaBloPoMo Day 25:
Tell us about the last thing a person or advertisement convinced you to buy.

On Saturday, my friend Deb and I went to a Preview Party for our friend Sue’s new business opportunity, Ahni & Zoe. This is the latest venture by Creative Memories, the company that brought scrapbooking to the masses.

Let’s start by saying this: I love scrapbooking. I consider myself a scrapbooker. I was, in fact, a Creative Memories consultant – not once, not twice, but three separate times. The first time was in 1995; I was a consultant for six months, but student teaching got the better of me and I gave it up – but not before I got hooked! Thankfully, Deb became a consultant so I still had easy access to products. When Deb moved to Germany almost five years later, I signed up again and stayed a consultant for eight years. I finally quit when the amount of product I was buying far exceeded the amount of product I was selling! I missed it, though, and signed up one more time – briefly – before I knew it was not for me.

I was intrigued to find out what the new Ahni & Zoe model of scrapbooking would look like. I was pleasantly surprised!

The new program is based around the following premise: people are taking more photos than ever now that everyone has a camera (their phone) with them at all times, but nobody is printing their photos or jotting down what any of the details. I can relate to that; even before I got a smartphone, as soon as I started taking digital photos, I stopped printing them. We were all compelled to have photos developed when we had film cameras, because that was the only way to see your pictures! But now, unless we post them to Facebook or show them to someone one-on-one, many of our photos never see the light of day. Even the ones shared on social media will only be available as long as those sites are up – and someone knows our passwords.

Ahni & Zoe starts with an app that lets you edit your photos and jot down notes about them, right on your phone or computer. You tag the ones you want to print. You sign up for a prepaid photo plan and your tagged photos are sent to you automatically. (I love the idea of not having to remember to print them!) The new A&Z scrapbooks are all pre-decorated, so when your photos arrive, you just use your Tape Runner to stick them into an album or slide your photos into photo-safe pocket pages. Instead of the weeks or months it might have taken to do a scrapbook in the past, you can get all your photos in an adorable album in one night of watching TV. Amazing.

So… what was I inspired to buy? The Consultant Kit.

Why am I doing this again? Let me count the ways.

  • I truly believe in getting photos off of digital devices. As the old saying goes, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be jpgs!” That goes for two-legged and four-legged kiddos!
  • I feel that it’s important to know even part of the story behind a photo. I treasure the one-line notes in my mom’s handwriting that are on the back of my childhood photos.
  • Ahni & Zoe albums have gone back to the doable, easy way of scrapbooking. There are no tools for sale, just Tape Runner and basic pens. Yes, I like creative scrapbooking, but 95% of picture-takers don’t. Those people deserve photo albums, too!
  • The minimum order requirements are really low, and print packages count toward them!
  • The new plan does not involve keeping inventory, which is what killed me during my longest stretch as a CM consultant, as inventory was taking over my house. Instead, orders are placed on a per-party basis.
  • The new system will take credit cards directly, making ordering sooo much easier for customers and consultants.

I’m excited about the new opportunity. Kits for new consultants won’t be shipping until January 1, 2014, so I’ll have time to learn all about Ahni & Zoe. I’ll be poring over every page of the new catalog and dreaming of the quick, easy albums I’ll be making.