I am a new Keepy user, not an experienced one. I am personally child-free, but I have recommended it to organizing clients as an option for managing their kids’ paper clutter. Meanwhile, I am intrigued by the possibilities of using Keepy for genealogy purposes, and the more people who agree, the more likely it will be customized to this use.

First, if you are unfamiliar with Keepy, it’s a nifty little app designed for parents (keepers) to 1) save their kids’ artwork, schoolwork, photos, videos, and other memories; 2) enrich them with voice and video narration; and 3) share them with relatives and loved ones (fans). The app is available both for iOS and Android.

 

Benefits of Keepy:

(from my organizing and genealogy perspective)

  • Parents can preserve memories in a way that frees them up to ditch the physical paper clutter that inevitably piles up over the years. Thank you, Keepy!
  • Comments can be added in written, audio, or video form, allowing families and fans — think grandchildren and grandparents — to stay in touch and give each other positive feedback. Fans need the free app if they want to make audio and video comments, but not if they simply want to view the memories and make text comments.
  • Memories can be automatically synced (backed up) – we’re talking original, full-resolution images — to your Dropbox account (which can also be free, depending of course on how much storage you need and want).

But Keepy can be used in other ways, too! I figure (and Offir agrees) that the more ways people start using it, the more likely the app is to be upgraded and customized to accommodate those different uses. Here are some I’ve thought of. There must be others as well.

This video illustrates ideas #2 and #4 below:

 

5 Ways to use Keepy

  1. Parents with Kids — As intended, and as described above, for preserving and sharing kids’ artwork and other memories. This record – a virtual scrapbook with audio and video commentary — will be more valuable to grown-up kids than a pile of old, deteriorating paper, don’t you think? Not to mention the recorded interaction with loved ones.
  2. Senior Relatives — Grandparents (for example) can share their own memories. What a treasure for the younger, and subsequent, generations! Names, dates, and family trees are important, but imagine enhancing them with audio and video stories too! Everyone wants to record older relatives telling their stories, but few actually get around to doing it. This would make it easier.
  3. Genealogists — The family genealogist could use Keepy to update family members on their research findings. There are lots of ways to share this information, but none that I have found entirely satisfactory. Keepy, if customized to this purpose, could be just the ticket. The more family members who see a particular memory (photo, vital document, etc.), the more comments and stories can be triggered.
  4. Assisted Living Facilities — Offir tells me that a Front Porch Assisted Living facility in the Bay Area has been using Keepy to record residents’ stories and share them with their families, similar to #2 above. But it also occurred to me that it would simply be nice for the rest of the family to see what Grandpa was doing on occasion, between visits. Sure, everyone could just join Facebook, but Keepy seems like it might be easier for some to use, more private, and easier to back up to Dropbox.
  5. Facebook Users — Speaking of which, the new Keepy Bot tool mines Facebook for photos (if you authorize it to), and you can decide whether or not to save them to Keepy, and whether or not to share them with fans. You can scroll back from today as far as you like, or you can wait for Keepy to notify you each day of photos you have uploaded in previous years on that same day. Now, if you have been diligently saving your photos – and backing them up in original, full-resolution, form according to the 3-2-1 rule — the only advantage I see here is to remind you of what you deemed as share-worthy on Facebook in the past. But if (shudder) Facebook is your go-to spot for downloading your photos from your camera, Keepy will be saving (and Dropbox will be backing up) the low-resolution, quick-loading internet versions (because Facebook automatically resizes all photos, because it has to), not the originals. But if that’s all you have, by all means save them to Keepy! And sync them to Dropbox!

 

Here is a Family Search video in which they talk about their app gallery, mentioning only Keepy by name:

Testing…testing

As you may know, I have been going through my Mom’s Boxes and looking for the best way to share the treasures I have found there, as well as my genealogy research, with my family. I tried using Keepy to share a story I wrote about my grandfather, adding him as a “child”. The URL I included was not clickable within the Keepy app (they don’t advertise this as a feature, I was just curious), but it was clickable in the notification email I sent to family members. The child-centric verbiage on the automated emails was a little odd in this context, as are the clickable fan reactions (“I love it!” “I’m so proud of you!” “This made me smile!”). I signed myself up as both a “parent” and as a “fan” so I could see what my family sees. Example: “I will be sure to show George D. Hankins all of your comments, I know he would love them!” (BTW, Grandpa is long dead. I input his actual birthdate, so he shows up in the app as being 120 years old, LOL!)

Offir seems very open and responsive to suggestions on his website and on Facebook. Let him know your thoughts, and maybe we can get enough Keepy upgrades to make this a go-to solution for genealogists! With RootsTech coming up later this month, Keepy could be a refreshing addition to a genealogist’s toolkit.

Have you tried Keepy? What did you think of it? What unique Keepy uses have you thought of? What is your current favorite method of sharing your family memories and genealogy research with your family? Please share in the comments below!

Hazel Thornton is a professional organizer and genealogist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico; creator of The Clutter Flow Chart Collection; and author of Go with the Flow! The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life. Visit her online.
Disclaimer: KEEPY’S CREATOR, OFFIR GUTELZON, GAVE ME A FREE YEAR’S UNLIMITED ACCOUNT TO PLAY WITH, BUT IT ONLY COSTS $29.99/YR. — HARDLY ENOUGH TO SWAY MY OPINIONS!

 

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