Give the gift small icon
HELLO!
Give the gift big icon
Give the gift
of Artifcts

The perfect gift for the person
in your life who has everything.

Give a gift Close

Product Update | Starting the New Year Strong

January 03, 2023

Resetting for the new year?  Us, too!

We’ve got you covered so you won’t miss a thing at Artifcts as your closest friends and family share those moments and memories behind everything from grand collections to the most unassuming new and old objects alike. 

_________________

NOTIFICATIONS HAVE ARRIVED!

You might be thinking, “But every app has notifications.” Yes and no. Yes, it seems like it and maybe you turn them off a lot because so many apps have so much noise. It’s hard to know why you’re seeing what they are showing you. Why those specific ads, news breaks, and other updates that seemingly have nothing to do with you? 

Not at Artifcts. Each alert is tied directly to you: Your Artifcts and your network. And for every notification – such as new Artifcts shared with you or posted by people you follow, an invite to a new private circle, or new details added to your Artifcts by a collaborator – you can decide if and how often you receive email updates about it to avoid cluttering your inboxes. 

This feature is in “beta” – that means feedback is especially awesome about now. So please share your thoughts with us at Hello@Artifcts.com.  

alerts menu on artifcts.com

Bonus “Easter Egg” 

“Easter egg” means some fun bit of trivia is tucked into an image, movie scene, or similar. Well, we’ve added a little bonus to your alerts: messages from friends and family. If someone shares an Artifct with you and adds a note in the optional "comments" box, you’ll be able to read the messages any time you like from your alerts menu or page

Customize the timing of your email alerts -> 

 

SIGN IN WITH YOUR FINGERPRINT OR FACIAL SCAN 

*$#@& passwords! We know, we know, you want security, but 12-character passwords can be a mess to deal with. You can now use the built-in biometric authentication options on your smart phone (fingerprint or facial recognition) to access your Artifcts.   

Enable biometric authentication: iOS / Android

 

WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE 'STUFF' BEHIND YOUR ARTIFCTS? 

Last but not least, we hope you’ll consider the future for your physical possessions. With our new (optional) “In the future” field, you can record your intentions to sell, donate, bequeath, or keep the object that inspired the Artifct within the family. And if you already parted with the object select, “Too late! Enjoy the memory.” Just like the value, location, and documentation for your Artifcts, only you will see this information, giving you the freedom to have important discussions with loved ones when you're ready.

At risk of stating the obvious, Artifcts did not become a legal platform overnight. Formalize your wishes through a will and/or estate plan. Send your advisor your Artifcts (aka "tangible assets"), and let them take care of the rest! 

In the Future - Optional field on Artifcts

Create or edit an Artifct. Record your wishes! -> 

 

THANK YOU. DON'T BE STRANGERS!

With 2022 in the rear-view mirror and 2023 roaring at us, we want to thank you for the incredible feedback we’ve received from all of you during our first full year of Artifcts. You've made all of this possible!

 Click button to check out past product updates from Artifcts

Send feedback anytime to Hello@Artifcts.com. Our founders make every effort to respond personally to every Artifcts Member who writes in. Here’s to an exciting and meaningful 2023, recording the "why" behind those objects that mean something to you!   

XOXO The Artifcts Team

###

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Share With Friends
4 likes
What's New at Artifcts
Could You and Should You Part with a Family Photo?

Today our invited guest curator, genealogy expert Thomas MacEntee of GenealogyBargains.com, explores drastic methods used to ensure future access to precious family photos. You might just discover you have company in your own approach to old family photos!

______________

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for click-bait news headlines like the recent one, 'I sold family heirloom to pay for my wedding - guests are now refusing to attend'. Basically, the eldest son in a family inherited a valuable family heirloom and decided to sell it in order to fund a lavish destination wedding. His reasoning? “I'm not much for big family traditions, so although it's a nice thing to have, I'm not massively attached to it. I have plenty of other good memories of my father and I don't need a fancy heirloom to remember him by.” 

I won’t weigh in with my opinion on this specific situation (well, okay, I will at the end of this article), but many of us experience similar dilemmas. The heirlooms we inherit are often not “high value” and consist mainly of family photographs. And many of these items hold no sentimental value for us. The challenge? What to do with the vast collection of family photos especially if we haven’t found a family member interested in keeping them? How do we ensure that these items are available for future generations? 

What Should Stay When I Go? Should I Keep or Should I Throw? 

I recently celebrated a Big Birthday (one that ends in a 0) which caused me to ponder my own mortality and what I would be leaving behind for my family to sort through. I have a HUGE collection of family photos dating back to the 1860s … literally over 4,000 photos. While I have spent many hours digitizing and cataloguing these images, what is the next logical step?  

The concept of “Swedish death cleaning” has always intrigued me: the process of cataloguing items accumulated during one’s life and attaching notes or instructions as to how they should be passed on or disposed of. Would I be willing to do the same with old family photos? Just like the article about selling an heirloom that one deems less important than other family members, what is my duty to hold on to and preserve family photos and what methods should I use?

Golf tally card and photo in an old scrapbook

 
 
Facing a similar dilemma with family scrapbooks?
 
 

My Decision and My Methodology 

I consider myself a “steward” for my family photos as well as my genealogy research. I don’t have a deep need to hold on to the actual photograph of my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin at age 18 months taken in 1897. The image has been scanned, catalogued, and I have even Artifcted it here.

Old fashioned black and white photo of a child in a long gone on a chair circa 1897

What I haven’t yet decided is:

    1. If I still want to keep this photo;  
    2. If I want to send it on to an organization like the Lewis County Historical Society in Lowville, New York where my great-grandfather was born; or  
    3. If I’ll simply include it in my estate plan and let my executors decide on the disposition.

A neat feature when creating an Artifct is the In The Future field where I can designate what I want done with the photo:

In the Future menu with options to sell, bequeath and more

 
 
Give it a try! Click the image to create a new Artifct. Or edit an existing Artifct and use the 'In the Future' field.

While every family historian has different approaches to preservation of heirlooms, I strongly recommend creating a digital copy of the item in case the original is lost due to fire, flood, natural disaster, etc. In addition, make sure that digital copy is somehow backed up to the Cloud, an external server or some mechanism providing redundancy.  

Conclusion

In terms of the valuable family heirloom mentioned at the beginning of this article, I thought it was very poor form for the groom not to consult with the rest of the family, especially the younger brother who had a keen interest in keeping the item. Again, this simple act is in line with my role as a steward for my family history and heirlooms. What may not seem sentimental to me, may have a strong attraction for one of my cousins or other family members.

Please put together a plan on managing your family heirlooms and seek input from others in the family. It’s so easy to do here at Artifcts. Spur conversations about valuable or sentimental items, even if it is just a phone call or video call. Often you’ll gain perspective by learning more about the heirloom: what you remember about the item could be very different from that of an aunt or a cousin. At the very least you’ll collect new information to expand the story of that precious family Artifct.

______________

If photos are weighing on or inspiring you, we have additional ARTIcles by Artifcts that might interest you!

###

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read more
How to Share Genealogy Stories with Non-Genealogists

We drafted this piece for you today at the direct request of multiple Artifcts Community members. There seems to be some frustration out there when it comes to family history enthusiasts sharing the excitement after hours of toiling* away at genealogy research. For some, the issue is that friends and family refuse to even listen. We warned about this in an earlier post.

Others simply want their friends and family to sign into genealogy websites to look at the timelines, galleries, and trees they've built but the loved ones hit the same wall: intimidation. People tell us that they find the sheer volume of ancestry information and the hyper-detailed nature of it overwhelming. They just want the highlights.

Then there's the anxiety that genealogists report with regard to the 1000s of photos and documents that remain locked on their hard drives, behind subscription paywalls, or in their physical possession, all deterring easy sharing of the stories we’ve pieced together with our families.

A New Resource for Genealogy Story-Sharing

Here are some of the ways we’ve made story-sharing and storytelling simpler and more powerful than ever before for family genealogy and history.

  • No ‘story’ is required. Or at least not what the weight the word “story” might carry for you. A few words will do! And if you’re capturing the history of an ancestor from long ago, consider using a photo, snapshot of their place in the family tree, and maybe a census record with their entry highlighted. You can always fill in more details about who that person was and their life, where they lived, and the heirlooms they left behind later.  
  • You can include video and audio snippets to bring your story to life! You learned that your ancestor founded a major port city in Virginia? Click record on your phone, tell the story, and add it to the Artifct. Move on! This becomes even more fun when you have a living relative to tell the story. No more second guessing, “What did Grandpa really say?” Grandma’s biscuits are legendary, and now so is the video of her showing you how to make them.   
  • To share or not to share, that is always up to you! Some memories will be private until the day we die. But, for others, sharing with a family member may help recall more story details (or an alternate version of events!). Import your contacts to Artifcts, create family invite-only circles for easy group sharing, and off you go!
  • Devil is in the details, and we’ve got your back! If you like to color code your ancestors, highlight key story gaps or points, or create custom folders for your research, Artifcts is here for you. As you write, you can easily format your story. You can even use the @ feature to link to other related Artifcts about the same collection or family line. And tags are infinitely custom with the rigid structure of folders – use a special tag like #MayFamily52 to easily click and sort your collection or tag related relatives and events that help you organize your work.
  • We help you balance details with privacy. Genealogists know, birth dates and other important biographical information for living family members need to stay out of any story or tree you might share with people outside the family or publicly, even at Artifcts. At the same time, we’ve learned you want to be able to share documentation—like a scanned collection of letters or the life story Grandpa wrote—privately with friends and family. Now you can!

What tips and tricks have you discovered for telling and sharing your family genealogy and stories with Artifcts? We’re all ears and would love to hear! You can contact us at hello@artifcts.com.

Happy Artifcting!

________________ 
 
Check out related ARTIcles and tips about storytelling and genealogy with Artifcts: 
 
Genealogy Gems checklist – Free downloadable! 
Chasing Histories Can Be Exhausting and So Worthwhile! 
Artifcts Quick Tips – Free downloadable! 
Not sure what to write? Tips from author Jeff Greenwald

* Toiling, they'd have us believe! As though they aren't having fun? Hmm, we suspect otherwise.

Read more
What Should You Artifct (Now)?

Even the most ardent Artifcts supporters struggle sometimes to get started. And then they do start and suddenly they are late for meetings because they are enjoying the experience.

If you find yourself stuck, or maybe you think you don’t even have much to Artifct, see if any of these experiences from around the Arti Community get your wheels turning.

No Idea Where to Start.  

One of Artifcts’ own advisory board members confessed, “I joined Artifcts because what you’ve built is amazing. It will change relationships and relationships to ‘stuff’ forever, but I was slow to start Artifcting. I just kept over thinking it! I wanted to start with the most meaningful items to me, but that was delaying me. So, I turned around at my desk and I Artifcted the first interesting thing I saw. It was a dried flower my daughter had picked for me outside her preschool. She’s thoughtful like that – it’s so her. That’s all it took to get going.”

grid of Artifcts from egoody

 
 
Well, Artifcts co-founder Ellen Goodwin has about as eclectic an Artifcts collection as it gets. Her recent Artifcts include a Mother's Day card, a rock from Tucson, a Taylor Swift concert, DAR insignia, furniture and more!

I Needed to Artifct the Most Valuable, Quickly. 

One woman shared, “At first, I went collection by collection and just added a few words about each item so I knew my most valuable possessions were safe in Artifcts. Now I’m going back through my Artifcts to add the stories. I want to be able to say these things, have them here. I’ve also started adding audio and video to some, too.” The "Alberto Lagos Print" Artifct captures the provenance of an item in a big way. Check it out ->

My Adult Daughter Inspires My Artifcting.

A gentleman wrote that his daughter is his Artifcting inspiration. “She Artifcts a lot at night and when I wake up, I have new Artifcts she’s shared with me waiting. They give me ideas about other things I want to Artifct."

Black outline of a bell with a coral colored dot Look for the alarm bell on Artifcts.com and the Artifcts mobile app for your newest alerts!

He continued, "This morning my daughter’s Artifct about a purse she bought in Paris reminded me to Artifct my wallet. I bought it in a market in Brazil years ago during a work trip that my wife accompanied me on. She drove me crazy trying to pick the best one. I think of her every time I grab it. I don’t think I’ll ever finish Artifcting. It’s more like a way of life now.” His story reminded us of our #HabitChange story in ARTIcles ->

I don’t think I’ll ever finish Artifcting. It’s more like a way of life now.

It Usually Starts with a Story I Tell.

“Sometimes I catch myself telling a funny or very personal story, and realize in that moment, I really need to Artifct it. I’ll add or take a photo to go with it; other times I record a quick voice memo of myself telling the story. I think my family will really appreciate it one day.”

lightbulb Arti Tip! Use a tag like #LifeStories, #EarliestMemory, #LessonLearned, and #BestTallTales to help quickly find all the stories of yours you love best. Just click the tag to sort your Artifcts!

Don’t Judge: I Made an Outline.

At an Arti Workshop last month, one woman told us that in preparation for starting to Artifct, she made an outline. We were intrigued. “I wanted to capture objects from my personal and work lives, my childhood and adulthood, each of my hobbies (stained glassed, travel, and reading), and about key relationships. I’m working on each of those one at a time. I got the idea from an Artifcts post that talked about going room by room. I just used different life-based groupings!” 

Example checklist from Artifcts

 
 
If you like outlines and lists, you might like our inspirational checklists you can download.

It Was Bulk Trash Day.

Sometimes the act of giving or throwing stuff away is your ultimate motivator. “I dragged this old trunk to the curb that first I had used for sleepaway camp and then my son, too. And I looked at it and realized I needed to Artifct it! It held so many memories. I couldn’t let it go completely.” 

Black travel trunk sitting on cement curb

 
 
Sometimes our stuff outlasts the memories. But with Artifcts, you can let go of the stuff and hold onto the memories!

What will you Artifct first? Next? Share with us at Editor@Artifcts.com; we’d love to feature your own stories!

Happy Artifcting!

_________________

Artifcting Starter Resources 

We have all sorts of helpful resources that we want to be sure you know about to take the pressure off and let the fun begin: 

Inspiration Checklists

Videos on YouTube

Artifcting Quick Tips

###

© 2023 Artifcts, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read more
Your privacy

This website uses only essential cookies to provide reliable and secure services, streamline your experience, allow you to share content from this website on social media, and to analyze how our Site is used. Learn more about these cookies and cookie settings.

Accept & Continue
Oops! This Web Browser Version is Unsupported

You received this warning because you are using an unsupported browser. Some features of Artifcts will not be available or will be displayed improperly until you update to the latest version or change browsers.

Close
Image for unsupported banner Oops! This Web Browser is Unsupported

You received this warning because you are using an unsupported browser. Some features of Artifcts will not be available or will be displayed improperly until you update to the latest version or change browsers.

Unsupported banner close icon Close