Your Forever Digital Keepsake Box

Family Stories

We all have stories to tell. We can pass them down to our grandchildren in many forms in addition to oral accounts: in pictures, letters, documents, and recipes.

These visual memories are the tangible bits that we can put in a keepsake box and revisit. Seeing your grandparent’s handwritten wartime letters next to their wedding photo can make you believe in true love. Watching the videos of your grandson’s first day of kindergarten and years later receiving his high-school diploma can bring tears of pride to your eyes.

Technology advancements, like smartphones, have allowed us to be there for so many moments. A quick photo text can let you be part of your granddaughter’s first haircut. But those memories are fleeting and often difficult to find again, let alone be woven into the larger fabric of your family history.

Paper scrapbooks, photo binders, and journals still have a place, but they run the risk of deteriorating with age or getting lost in boxes as younger generations are increasingly digital-only.

The Jewish Grandparents Network discovered a free app available on iPhone and Android phones, and desktop, that solves this problem — BublUp. We have found it helpful in our own work, for example, we used BublUp as the hub for an online symposium and posted background materials, readings, notes, and images for participants.

Think of BublUp as a digital scrapbook. Bublup makes it easy for you to craft your story by saving anything — pictures, documents, videos, weblinks — all in one place. Everything you put in Bublup saves with a title and an image, so it’s really easy to find. And it’s totally private. Unlike social media, your content can only be seen by the people you invite into your folder.

Here are 3 tips for preserving your family story in Bublup.

1. Start small for big impact.

Moving photos, notes, paper documents, and more into a digital forum could be daunting. Like all things, having specific, achievable goals will remove the pressure. Pick one event to start with, such as your child’s wedding or your grandson’s first birthday party. Create a folder for that event, add your memories, and watch as your folder becomes a living time capsule. 

2. Lead by example.

Assign one person (it could be you) as the event owner and take some time to add a few memories before inviting others to the folder. Maybe it’s a PDF of your parent’s immigration forms or a picture of your granddaughter’s first ballet recital. Edit the name of the items, arrange them in chronological order, or just leave a couple of comments and reactions. Then invite the rest of your family. The power of storytelling with Bublup will shine through and they will start to contribute their own content and react to what you’ve shared.

3. Share the past and grow the future.

Your initial focus might be on documenting the past, but don’t forget about the future! Bublup is available on Apple and Android phones and accessible from desktop browsers, so as long as you have internet access, desktop browsers, so as long as you have internet access you can add new memories.

Is your grandchild an aspiring artist? Make a folder where they can share their latest creations for you to look at and react with emojis. Or maybe it’s your grandchild’s B-Mitzvah and some family members can’t make it. Start a folder and invite the guest list! When you invite people into a Bublup folder, you can set permission levels for them based on how much access you want them to have. Now all the guests can add photos, videos, notes, and more if you choose.

Once you start documenting your family history in Bublup you won’t want to stop. Bublup’s visual interface and easy-to-use features make connecting with family members simple, yet meaningful.

Get started today – download the app.

Jessica Cornell is a marketing executive with 15 years of experience working with consumer goods brands, such as San Pellegrino and Chiquita, and currently is the Vice President of Marketing at Bublup. She is also a new mom who has endless photos, videos, and stories to share with her loved ones and is actively using Bublup to store her expanding family’s memories.