Family Group Chat & Sharing

Do you struggle with having your family messages and photo sharing on multiple devices (iphones, tablets, android) and trying to set up a Family Group Chat for sharing photos, announcements and updates? We’ve all been there and it’s not fun. Uncle John’s phone doesn’t reply to the group and Aunt Jane is on Android so her messages always show up differently for the rest of the family. Trying to share a picture from the family reunion with everyone is a frustrating experience and feels like an impossible task.

We recently discovered the best way to set up a Family Group Chat and it’s called Bubble (check it out here). Here’s how I did it (and how you can too….for free).

Step 1: Get the Bubble App

group-chat-appYou can install it from the App Store or Google Play Store or by texting the word ‘Bubble’ to 41411. Once you’ve installed the app you’ll be asked to verify your name and phone number (or email) so you can set up your first group.

Step 2: Name your Group

Once you’ve got the app installed you’ll set up your first group. You can call it whatever you’d like ‘Smith Crew’ or ‘Best Family Ever!!!’. You can also use emojis to keep the name fun.

Step 3: Invite Your Family

Now you just tap on the ‘Add People’ icon on the upper right and add your family members. They’ll each get a text inviting them to your new family group and after they install the app, they are in.

Step 4: Go Live

private live video appThis is the feature we’ve used the most. With the kids and grandkids, it’s fun to let someone ‘go live’ for big and little moments and we can all be a part of it. Knowing that it’s just us in the group has allowed us to share some very special moments and keep the family close, even when we are spread out all over the country.

Bonus: Bubble works and looks the same on all devices so whether you’re on Android or iPhone, your experience is the same. This is especially helpful when you’re planning a family dinner or need to hear back from everyone. There are also read receipts which means that you can easily seen everyone that has read the message. I’ve found this especially helpful when making family announcements.

Double Bonus: Not having a giant string of family texts cluttering my messages has been very nice. My family crew is all on Bubble and my messaging app is for the one to one communication. Sharing photos is easier now too.

Give Bubble a try and share what you think in the comments below. You can install it from the App Store or Google Play Store or by texting the word ‘Bubble’ to 41411. What are some of the other ways you stay in touch with family?

10 Tips for Taking Better Halloween Photos

lantern fun

Halloween offers plenty of colorful subjects to photograph: people in costumes, trick-or-treaters, jack o’ lanterns and scary displays. With a little attention to detail, your photos can capture the spine-chilling spirit of Halloween in addition to capturing memories. Here are ten tips and suggestions to enhance your digital photography on this horrific holiday.

How I Picjoy

Picjoy came into my life right when I needed it.  I take so many pictures on my phone but when the time comes to share the photo or find it to show someone, I can’t.  I scroll and scroll and scroll.  Do you have this problem too?  That’s why Picjoy is a L I F E S A V E R!!

What I love about Picjoy:

  • customized tagging
  • automatic organization
  • backup to iCloud
  • create stories
  • deleting
  • quick tagging
  • sorting

These things are so easy to do.  Here’s a quick run-through of what I do as soon as I open the app (usually after a few events have occurred that warranted mass photo taking.)

Photo Apps You’ll Love

Favorite Photo AppsI love taking and editing photos on my phone. As a mom on the go, I rarely have time to whip out my DSLR and take photos. When I do, the images stay safely on my memory card and I don’t see them for years. I heard this quote: “The best camera is the one with you.”

Here are my all time favorite photo apps (in no particular order) that I use to whip up a filter, cute saying, or scrapbook page (yes, scrapbook) on the go:

Using Tags to Tell a Bigger Story

phone2-1If you use Picjoy, you know that you can tell a story about your photos. Not only can you provide back-story, context, and insights through text entries, you can tell a larger story by using tags.

What are Tags?

Tags categorize your photos. For example, you might tag pictures of your dogs “dog” and “pet” and pictures of your cats “cat” and “pet.” When you want to view only pictures of your dogs, you’d use the “dog” tag to do just that. Likewise, if you want to view only pictures of your cats, you’d use the “cat” tag. If you want to view pictures of both, you could use the “pet” tag (which you’d also use for pictures of your hamsters, fish, lizards, and other pets in your family).

How to Use Picjoy

organize-picjoyPicjoy was created to help you better enjoy the thousands of photos you’ve taken over the years by making them accessible in one place, no matter where you’ve stored them. Gone are the days of having to hunt through your photo hoarding history to find a specific picture you know you have somewhere. To help make sure you are getting the most out of your Picjoy app experience, here’s a quick overview of what’s possible.