How to capture email, text and chat conversations from a screen

mobile burst applicationsRecently I wrote that when going through and organising DB’s effects after his death, I came across a printed copy of our first email conversation that he had hoarded away with other paperwork. My messages had been sent from an email account that I had forgotten about and hadn’t used for over ten years. When I decided to log into the account again to reclaim our old correspondence, I realised that the company had since been acquired twice, renamed and that my membership no longer existed. Later conversations were lost. At the time, it was heart wrenching.

So I’ve been on a mission to avoid the same situation happening again, looking into apps and services that exist to help people capture correspondence via text, chat and email.

You can get email, phone, text and chat management systems that archive and back up all correspondence (particularly useful for business or for legal purposes) but the options below are for capturing specific conversations you want to keep as memories. They are mostly straightforward and also eye catching.

Surprisingly, there seem to be relatively few options out there but here some that I’ve discovered with costs ranging from free to those sitting on the higher side of the price spectrum. If you are aware of others that you can share, please post below. I’d love to hear about them.

A heads up. These services do not work if you are trying to capture conversations with someone who has a memorialised Facebook account (what is Facebook memorialisation?). Memorialised accounts do not show up in the search functions of the services below integrating Facebook, I suspect because Facebook does not provide access. As a result, it’s not possible to download the conversations you’ve had with deceased Facebook members whose pages are memorialised, even if you’re trying to do so from your own account.

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Social media etiquette & talking about death – what do you think?

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Credit: KROMKRATHOG at freedigitalphotos.net

At Away For A Bit, we want to know what your view is when it comes to social media etiquette and how we talk about death. What’s your response when you see the news of a friend’s death posted on a Facebook wall? How do you send condolences these days?

Please share your opinions in this very short survey. It will take a couple of minutes and all individual responses will be treated confidentially. We’ll be sharing group feedback from this survey shortly and report back on what you think.

Many thanks for participating. We appreciate your time. Have your say in this survey.

A fun idea for turning photos into wall art

Having organised photos and set up a system for keeping memories updated and easy to access, I’ve been looking at ways to display photos of events and loved ones. I’ve been struck by Author and Photographer Beth Jennings and her philosophy when she said “the planning bit is not the fun bit. The fun bit is commemorating lives. Once you’ve done the cataloguing, you can get on with the remembering.” The better half and I have moved house recently and considering the walls are still quite bare, we’ve been considering options to fill them.

I was recently introducPreserving_memories_with_digital_photo_arted to PosterCandy, an Australian service that allows users to take a selection of their photos to build and create posters. It’s relatively straightforward and easy to use, offering standardised poster templates ranging in size from 18x24cm to 84cmx119cm that you can populate with your images. The end result is a type of photo mosaic.

There are some customisable options such as colour of poster surround and flexibility around the number of photos that you can include within the poster. But it’s your images or photos that make the poster striking. You select photos either by uploading from a folder from your laptop or device or alternatively by directly uploading images from social media accounts Facebook and Instagram. Then you drag and drop them into your chosen template, moving them around until you have the result that you’re looking for.

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Sorting out photos requires a good system

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Organising photos is a challenge. It’s easy to capture spontaneous moments that hang around in a phone or somewhere in a laptop folder to deal with another time.

Years later, you have pockets of squirrelled away memories on multiple devices and in boxes under the stairs. These are accompanied by a growing unease gently etching away in the back of your mind that sorting out these digital and print moments in time is a task that a) is going to be overwhelming or b) is likely to be insurmountable and won’t get done at all.

Maybe that was just me.

I smugly say ‘was’ because after years and months of procrastination, I finally got around to organising my hoarded past. It was about a year ago that I started the process, organising through 40 years of family memories after DBS died. Here are some thoughts on how to go about it if a similar project has been quietly nagging you.

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