Maybe you’re an expert scrapbooker, a hoarder of printed photos, or a database of genealogical knowledge. But when it comes to the phrase “digital archiving,” you freeze. You want to preserve your family’s history. You know leaving all those photos in boxes in your basement isn’t the answer. You know we’re in a digital world. Yet what do you do when you’re not tech-savvy? Here are six tips to help you move forward with your digital archive without breaking a sweat.
1. Choose user-friendly software. First things first: If technology isn’t your comfort zone, you’re going to want to find a digital archives platform that’s user-friendly. The last thing you need when trying to jump-start telling your family’s history is clunky, confusing software. There are lots of great options out there for organizing your photos or storing your digital files, but not many platforms give you the versatility of FamilyArc. Our professional-quality platform allows you to preserve your family’s stories, photos, videos, important documents and more in one visual, storytelling format.
FamilyArc makes digital archiving user-friendly by:
- Creating a great user experience: Our software is simple, beautiful, and easy to navigate.
- Assigning you a personal historian: Every account receives a personal historian who will be your tour guide for the platform. Your personal historian is available to answer any questions and to help you get started with a Professional Services package.
- Providing an orientation: Your personal historian will set up a one-hour orientation to walk you through the site and answer any questions.
- Offering ongoing assistance: Don’t remember everything your personal historian showed you? No problem. We’re developing a Tour Mode to walk you through the platform at your convenience as well as a Support Center to help you search for your specific questions. Look for these features coming soon!
2. Enlist a tech-savvy relative to help. Do you have a niece who loves taking photos? Ask her to show you how to upload your photos to your archive. Maybe you have a tech-savvy brother who can troubleshoot any issues you run into. Getting other family members involved in your archive can take away the stress and make the entire process more enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to lean on other people’s strengths and employ your own. You don’t have to be a pro at everything!
3. Hire the pros. Speaking of pros, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by this digital archiving thing or simply don’t have the time, relax. The pros are to help! Consider hiring a professional photo organizer or a personal historian to help you tell your stories through pictures and words. Check out the Association of Professional Photo Organizers and the Association of Personal Historians to find a pro in your area. There are also a myriad of digitizing services available for preserving all those great memories that are still on slides, film, or even in scrapbooks.
FamilyArc employs a team of professional biographers, photographers, videographers, and archivists to help you preserve your family’s history in a compelling way. With our Professional Services, you’ll receive a team of dedicated pros brought together specifically to meet your family’s needs.
4. Keep a physical backup. Launching your digital archive is a great opportunity to sort through what you want to keep and pitch what you don’t. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw out all of your physical copies. Purchase a fireproof lock box for your important documents. Sort your favorite photos and keep them in an album. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can always digitize them again if necessary.
5. Go geo-redundant. If you’re nervous you might accidentally delete something you need, use that as all the more motivation to get your important memories onto your digital archive. When choosing a digital archive platform, look for geo-redundancy. Geo-redundant means that your files are kept on different servers in multiple geographical locations. One of the major benefits of digital archives is that if something happens to your personal computer, you haven’t lost all of those precious memories. In the same way, if something happens to one of the servers where you archive is stored, geo-redundancy will ensure that you don’t lose your content.
FamilyArc offers 3x geo-redundancy of all files stored in your archive’s Library, and 6x geo-redundancy on all files stored in the Private Vault. You can breathe easy knowing that lots of tech-savvy people are looking out for your memories too!
6. Take a deep breath. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to successfully curate your digital archive. With a passion for telling your family’s history, simple tools, and the right people and services around you, your digital archive experience will be a huge success.