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Data Privacy Day 2023: How are you doing?

Data Privacy Day is an international event that occurs every year on 28 January (this Saturday). Never heard of it? Chances are that you're not alone. The day was created back in 2007 to bring awareness to the “importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.” 

As you may or may not know, one of our founding cornerstones here at Artifcts is privacy. We believe your information is yours and yours alone. We will not sell or otherwise transact the personal information you entrust with us. Similarly, we want to ensure you are in control of your information and data, which is why we’ve made it easy for you to upload and download your files (and your Artifcts!). We also make it clear in our Content & Community Policy that you retain not only the right but also the ownership of any information you use in creating your Artifcts. Sadly, not all online platforms share our beliefs.  

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about simple steps you can take to enhance your privacy and safeguard your data wherever you have online accounts and transactions.  

  • PASSWORDS. Have you changed yours lately? We recommend you update your passwords at least once a year. And while you’re at it, ensure that your password is a strong password, that is, it has at least 12 characters, and includes alpha numeric and special characters.  
  • TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION. You may not like it, but you should use it, where available, especially when dealing with financial or personal, sensitive information, like medical records. Two factor authentication simply means that in addition to your login, you will be prompted for a second means of authenticating that it’s really you. This could be a text, a call, or an email. The latest generation even can include voice. Do a quick scrub of all your online banking and medical accounts to double check that two factor authentication is set up, and that your second means of authentication is up to date.  
  • PRIVACY MODES. Don’t want Google to track your every move? Tired of getting Amazon ads every time you click? Consider using the privacy mode setting in your browser (go to File > New Private Window, or similar path) or use a privacy-first browser from the get-go, such as Duck Duck Go or Brave. These browsers do not store your personal information or follow you around the Web with ads.   
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, DON'T CLICK! If you receive an email from an unknown sender with an attachment or link, don’t download, don’t click, and just to be extra safe, delete it from your inbox. What if you receive the link from a trusted contact? If it is out of the ordinary, or something you were not expecting, text, call, or otherwise double check outside of email just to be safe. Cyber criminals are getting smarter and developing new tactics seemingly daily, including spoofing (i.e., impersonating) email addresses. 

Interested in learning more or looking for other resources? The Future of Privacy Forum has helpful infographics and educational materials, especially tips for protecting youth online. The Electronic Privacy Information Center also offers simple guidelines for consumer privacy and a break-down of some of the most common internet scams.  

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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At Artifcts We’re Talking #HabitChange

I spent a week last summer with my aunt and uncle in Colorado. Each an engineer by training, and family genealogists and historians by passion, our conversations were wide ranging and invariably fascinating.  

What made this visit noteworthy was it was the first since my uncle retired. With a lot more time on his hands, he's in the throes of, you guessed it, #HabitChange. No more daily drive to the university where he worked. No more rush to feed the dogs, take out the trash, and out the door he goes to run his engineering lab. Instead, like a scene out of the movie The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, he now has to make a daily plan to get out of the house and engage with the world as he steps into and shapes his retired life and lifestyle. 

Habits are of course hard to change. I am reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, and it's a must read in my view because it speaks to all of us no matter our day-to-day way of living. 

For example, are you the type of person for whom the moment an item is added to your to-do list you ignore it as though it were written in invisible ink? Or do you sweat that list out until it's done, hopefully as soon as possible, and then cross it off your list with great satisfaction? 

Yup, James Clear sees us all and has strategies to help. 

As I read, I could see how the new habit of Artifcting fits into Clear’s strategies for #HabitChange and wanted to share my translation of a couple of his tips to help you build as you curate your Artifcts collection. Taken slightly out of context, the best line of the book may even be, “Stop thinking about your environment as filled with objects. Start thinking about it as filled with relationships.” Relationships reflect interactions, shape habits. Don’t you want to capture those meaningful relationships, memories, stories? We think so, thus, Artifcts! 

Three Habit Strategies for the #Artilife 

STRATEGY ONE 

Like everything else in life, to create new habits, you need to consider first what “rewards” you want from, in this case, Artifcting. Depending on your situation, maybe you identify with one of these, and it will help guide you to the right habit-based approach to Artifcting and what you do with your Artifct once you create it: 

  • I need to be better organized and in greater control of the ‘stuff’ around me. Consider our 5 Ways to Start Artifcting, room by room, most valuable, most cherished, that closet you hate to open … 
  • All this stuff will not fit in my new home. There’s no arguing with dimensions. Get Artifcting early and don’t forget to include those dimensions in the Artifct details! 
  • I want to make sure my loved one is not forgotten. Artifcting need not be a solo experience. Create an invite-only circle to share and remember those who you have lost. 
  • I need help researching my family history. Invite-only circles on Artifcts are one place to start so that you can invite family in to see heirlooms, but social media groups are often another great source of information, and you can easily share your Artifcts into social media for more fact and family lore gathering. 
  • I love swapping good stories, laughing and remembering with friends and family. So try sharing an Artifct or two and see how that works for you. 

STRATEGY TWO 

Frame Artifcting as a "when" activity so it becomes intentional. The key here is to be very specific! 

  • "Every Tuesday at 9 pm, I'll grab my phone and create two new Artifcts." 
  • "When I add something into storage, I'll Artifct it first."
  • “When I buy something over $100, I will ask myself, “Is this an Artifct?” and Artifct it on the spot (with receipt!) and fill in the full details later. 
  • "When I unpack my suitcase, I'll Artifct my new mementos as I place them around the house." 
  • "Every Friday when my son brings his art folder home, I’ll Artifct his projects with him while he has an after-school snack.” 

STRATEGY THREE 

Try out what Clear calls "habit stacking" to incorporate Artifcting into your regular routines and existing habits. 

  • "Each season when I organize my closet, I'll Artifct any sentimental pieces, and then sort the items into three piles: keep, consignment, or donation." 
  • "As I review my estate plan each year, I will check that my Artifcts are included in the tangible assets memorandum."
  • “As I add an item to her baby keepsakes box, I will Artifct it. Then I will put the box away immediately.” 
  • "After we clean out the woodshop each winter, we will take breaks. During the breaks we’ll Artifct special projects and tools.” 

Still wondering whether and why to adopt an Artifcting habit? You're busy and you have your ways, after all! My uncle made an excellent point by referencing the 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."

Don't lose your history. Pass it on with all the beautiful photos, videos, audio, and story details included, Artifct by Artifct. 

Happy Artifcting! 

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Any mistakes in the interpretation of the habits to Artifcting belong to Artifcts. In fact, we would encourage you to download the free habit cheat sheets from the author at atomichabits.com/cheatsheet

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You Deserve More Than an Inventory of 'Stuff'

We did say, "It's that time of year again." Many of us are making plans to get organized once and for all. We tell ourselves, "2023 is the year. Yes!" But are you setting yourself up by relying on old habits and processes that never worked before? Why would they work now?  

Case in point: inventory apps. Is that your tool of choice? Don’t get us wrong, we know inventory apps are critical across industries and even in private households. But they are unifunctional. These apps are administrative in orientation with not a whisper of fun or human connection. They support management and listing of large volumes of objects so you can keep track of them and their value. In our opinion, that’s a lot of work for a very limited scope of value and use to you!  

Let’s Review the Newcomer: Artifcts 

Taking a page out of the book of publications you find online (like this one) that, for a fee, rank “best” tech apps and gadgets, here’s how we’d review Artifcts’ pros and cons compared to inventory apps: 

PROS:

  • Modern and intuitive interface with multiple view style options 
  • Capture any object or collection with photo, video, and/or audio
  • Use preset categories alongside custom tags to categorize according to your own preferences 
  • Track important documents, manuals, and more 
  • Includes built-in optional fields covering smart categories such as weight, dimensions, location, and even future intentions for the object 
  • Private by default but permissionable and shareable for individuals, groups, and even social media 
  • No file compression – your files are secure, private, and exactly as you created them 
  • Ad free, and you own your data. Download in a click in multiple formats!

CONS:

  • Intended for personal use; not suited to business inventories. We did mention fun, right? 
  • Limited to five media files and three documents. Focus on what’s meaningful and interlink related Artifcts if you like with the @ feature. 
  • Beta features are released first to desktop. And usually released to mobile one week later; we want to ensure each feature meets your expectations. 
  • No barcode scanner. Got us here. Most 'stuff' people Artifct are too unique for barcodes!

We give Artifcts 4 stars as an inventory app, but a full 5 stars a tech startup redefining "artifacts" to help transform 'stuff' from a burden to a source of connection, history, legacy, and financial security.

Where Artifcts and Inventory Apps Coexist 

There exists an interesting opportunity for Artifcts and inventory apps to work for you, together. How do we know? Members of the Arti Community have told us! Here are three recent examples. (Names are charged for privacy.) Let us know if you have others! 

Meet Jeff. He’s spent several months cataloging his personal library using LibraryThing. He stepped back, proud of his work and realized, "Oh, but that one and that one and that one are uniquely special. They are gifts from people I admire, they are signed copies, I sought them out in off-the-beaten path shops." Essentially some of Jeff’s books are particularly valuable to him and maybe the world.

  • At Artifcts ... Like Jeff, you can easily attach your inventory to an Artifct as a document, include a link to the inventoried book’s listing in the “location” field of your Artifct, or tag your Artifct #LibraryThing so you know which Artifcts exist in that app as well. 

Meet Sandra. She hired a moving company that offers complementary digital inventory to ensure they know what she is moving and the condition of the items of particular value to her. Great!

  • Sandra (and you!) can Artifct those objects and attach the mover’s inventory or cross reference it if it has as digital presence. And, if you like to keep track of items by room or location, simply tag your Artifcts #livingroom, #teddysbedroom, and #garage for easy future reference. Click the tag and all Artifcts with the same tag in your personal collection will appear. 

Meet the Shroads Family. This family has traveled far and wide in the world and curated a valuable art collection along the way. They have a file with hardcopy receipts and related documentation as well as a running inventory in Excel that they update faithfully during tax season as part of their general estate management. But the details of the when and where and even the ‘why’ of specific pieces are becoming blurry and not everyone has access to these important supporting documents.

  • Through Artifcts, the documents, the details of each person, and critically the ‘why’ of the moment of the purchase coexist in each Artifct. Now they can permission and reference these Artifcts in their planning documents and not worry about separate bits of information. 

Happy Artifcting of those inventories and beyond!

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© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Cheers to 2023!

Dear Readers, 

As we approach the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support, encouragement, and feedback, whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or are just joining.  

Ellen and I created Artifcts to change the conversation around ‘stuff’ and lighten the financial and emotional burden that so often surrounds the stuff we keep and the stuff we let go. Our goal as founders is to enable you to not only to capture, preserve, and share the histories, stories, and memories behind your most cherished objects, but to also discover (or maybe even rediscover) the joy and human connection that go hand in hand with the items that make us, well, us! 

Heart value is just as important as financial value here at Artifcts. We’ve seen from our members over the past year that some of the most “valuable” Artifcts—postcards and letters, glass lamps, even a collection of old cookbooks—may have no financial value whatsoever, but are bursting with the histories, stories, and memories of us and our families. (Still stuck on the financial value piece? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We partnered with Heritage Auctions this past year to ensure our members can request and receive a free valuation for those Artifcts suspected to have financial AND heart value.) 

Speaking of partnerships, we’ve traveled the country during the past year on our quest to understand and transform the world of ‘stuff.’ We’ve partnered with positive aging and memory care organizations such as AgeWise Colorado and Insight Memory Care to give families a new way to spend quality time together, connecting and engaging around the objects of their lives. We’ve spoken with experts at Leading Age; presented at genealogy, AgeTech, and downsizing conferences; and learned from and shared with experts in the estate planning and insurance space who are eager to harness the power of Artifcts.  

As founders, we like to think big thoughts and dream of new and imaginative ways to build community and connection. Imagine one day being able to put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and “seeing” your childhood home and all your favorite Artifcts from years gone by. Or being able to say, “Siri, read me my Artifcts,” and have Siri take you on a trip down memory lane. These are all things we’re thinking about daily as we continue to design, build, and deploy Artifcts.  

As for the here and now, the Artifcts team is hard at work ensuring Artifcts is where you need it, when you need it. Stay tuned for a slew of new product features, publication of our spring webinar series schedule, and announcements of new partnerships spanning positive aging, end of life, moving and decluttering and beyond as we transform our relationships with ‘stuff’ together. 

With that, Ellen and I invite you to join us in a virtual toast as we say, “Cheers to 2023!” May it delight and surprise us in all that we do.  

Happy Artifcting,

Heather 

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© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Meet Lynn, Owner of Oseyo

Oseyo? Oseyo: A modern Korean restaurant tucked in near downtown Austin, Texas. What attracted us at Artifcts to owner and restauranteur Lynn Miller's story about Oseyo was the roots, plural. 

Lynn attributes Oseyo’s traditional Korean food—rich in vitamins and minerals that are only enhanced by quintessential preparations such as fermentation—to her father's ability to defy the odds and survive his terminal cancer diagnosis for nearly two years beyond doctors’ original expectations. This experience contributed to Lynn later advancing her learning in food as a healing art and gaining experience in cooking for special dietary needs at the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts. 

Then, there's the reality that had Lynn’s tween-aged daughters not stubbornly urged her to reconsider an opportunity to purchase the restaurant space in central Austin, Oseyo would have been nothing more than a dream! When and why do we put our dreams on the shelves? How amazing is it to raise children who would be so bold and loving to see this dream in their mother and urge her toward it? 

a weaving loom on sticks with green, blue, yellow, and white yarns

Grace's Loom. View the Artifct.

And finally, you guessed it, the artifacts. The original recipes of Oseyo were derived from Lynn's mother's family recipes. You could argue the recipes are not your version of "traditional Korean," because what does “traditional” necessarily even mean? Does your mother cook the same marinara sauce as your neighbor? We didn’t think so. But family recipes are beautiful artifacts (and now Artifcts, too!). Oseyo is also elegantly and cozily decorated with family heirlooms, modern, dramatic art created by Lynn's husband, and upcycled and vintage finds.

Click any image below to view the Artifct.

Beige six-panel screen with images of battle of Japan

Wall-sized painting of red hues on canvas

Whiskey colored leather Wissily Chair with chrome metal frame

We hope to return again and again for bites, but also to learn about new artifacts, including new recipes from Oseyo's executive chef Mike Diaz whose Mexican heritage plays so excitingly and surprisingly with the original Korean recipes at the very heart of Oseyo.

Front entrance and sign for Oseyo

Take a peek inside Oseyo and remember to support your local entrepreneurs! View the Artifct.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And, if you see Lynn, say hello from Artifcts!
 
 
 
Lynn Miller in the kitchen at Oseyo

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© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Is That a Toy Camera?

Objects can not only have different names—flipflops vs. thongs; church key vs. bottle opener; bubbler vs. drinking fountain—but different hidden meanings.  

Maybe that’s not just a handbag. Instead, it’s a Christmas gift from your grandfather the year before he died, and you think of him every time you see it.  

Or that’s not an unused faucet part, but a token reminding you that hard problems need solutions and sometimes you have no choice but to be the one to solve them.  

Brass Water Tank Faucet

 
 
© 2021 108 Beloved Objects

And you don’t hold onto worthless trinkets like toy cameras. You just wish you’d made a better impression on the great Ansel Adams. 

 small toy camera made of bamboo

 
 
© 2021 108 Beloved Objects

Photos can’t talk. (We’ve discussed this before.) 

Objects can’t talk either. 

The meaning behind each could transform something from random object to family heirloom, thrift shop consignment to cherished keepsake, trash to life parable. Have you read about the solo sandal?

Share a hidden story, a piece of you, and consider making space in your life for the unexpected. Storysharing can be freeing, as one author will undoubtedly convince you tomorrow, Thursday, September 22, during part two of our free series Evenings with Artifcts. 

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© 2022 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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