“Oh it is just lovely,” I exclaimed, as I admired the ornate vintage journal I held in my hand. It was beautifully bound with antique embossing. My heart sank at yet another reminder of my failure at journaling. Most of my circle of friends are diarists But I’ve never been the one to stick with it. As a writer, I consider my writing to be my journaling.
I have boxes of introspective notes that I glean from, which are in my handwriting.
My heart aches to know that the days of the lovely handwritten word have all but vanished. It was a thing of beauty to be sure. Even my own handwriting was lovely and something I took pride in mastering. But as the days of typing have taken over, so has our enthusiasm for the beautifully handwritten note.
I look back in recipe boxes containing recipes written by the hand of various and long-missed family members. It is like holding a piece of them in my hand.
I can actually see my great grandmother writing that recipe so very carefully while I watched so enthusiastically over her shoulder. I said to my husband recently, as I held out a recipe, smeared with who knows what, for him to view, “Look how my handwriting looked when I was in junior high school!” I was happy to see how carefully I composed each letter in cursive, making sure that every word was given equal space evenly on the recipe card. Then I felt a sense of loss. Like I had lost a good and special friend that I no longer knew.
It seems that everything in life has become so fast-paced that the things that we once held precious have become casualties.
I suppose some things had to go in order to make room for others deemed “more important.” I am grateful that I still receive handwritten notes: a thank you for a gift, or a birthday note or card from a cherished friend. I have amassed a series of scrapbooks filled with these treasured memories. My dear mother started a scrapbook for me when I was born and I am so happy that I continued with keeping the memories that matter to me. Come to think of it, these books are actually all that I have left of some of the people who were so important to me, who inspired me, and influenced me in my life. No wonder I’ve been feeling that sentimentalism is another casualty of technology.
I recently decided to go through my iPhone and delete all the messages that were “clogging it up” and slowing it down.
Thousands of messages. I rushed through the process and deleted entire conversations. As I began to slog through the messages I’d amassed, I initially felt like a message hoarder. But then...
I slowed down and started to actually read some of the ones that people had taken the time to send to me.
Some were from the most difficult times in my life. Times of loss when I could not imagine getting through it alone …. There were so many selfless and beloved friends. They literally held me up. Day after day, when I thought I could not go on, I was able to carry on, thanks to these messages of hope and love from friends and even acquaintances. They opened up their entire souls to me to help me bear my burden, or sometimes bear it for me.
I encountered messages from family members and friends who had passed on. How grateful I was to have those sweet messages from such dear friends.
Checking in on someone who is lonely can be so uplifting. Letting someone know that someone else is actually thinking about them and then taking a moment to let them know is such a powerful way of caring. I have a few friends that end their day with a sweet text to me, sharing their daily pursuits. Then I respond and I do the same.
As I read through these messages I had an epiphany. It suddenly occurred to me that THIS is my journal!
It also occurred to me how many of these messages are almost sacred and deserve to be kept. It felt almost disrespectful to randomly delete treasured messages merely to free up space, and then later I might possibly discover that a message had accidentally been deleted.
How and where could I “keep” or store those messages - to be able to go back and easily peruse them whenever I wanted?
How would I be able to feel all that love again, that had been shared with me during the good and not so good times? Even just knowing that I still had those messages somewhere would bring much joy to my heart.
I began to search online for some way to keep my messages safe. I saw and even tried a couple of products that I found but they either did not perform the functions they claimed to support or they ended up being a workaround to recover the messages, but not in a user friendly easy to read format. (As you know, messages backed up to iTunes are not readable, only restorable to the device itself.) None were as user-friendly and intuitive as they claimed to be. Also, I wanted more than a “backup and restore to device” option because I have so many messages. Plus I wanted another way to view them, besides restoring them back to my phone.
Then I came across KEEPSTER!
As soon as I installed the app I understood what to do. In no time I had backed up my messages and even discovered that you can create “Keepster folders” where you can store messages that are particularly special to you. Also, you can create beautiful Keepster books of these messages, either to keep for yourself or give as a gift to a beloved sweetheart, friend, or family member. Voila! An instant scrapbook. Well, almost instant. What a unique and unexpected gift. Who would ever guess what’s in THAT gift box!
This is what I have discovered about KEEPSTER.
First of all, the customer support and chat are articulate and insightful. They are polite, patient and eager to offer help. Not only are they obviously familiar with the product, but they made several helpful recommendations based on my questions. Nowadays, this type of customer service is truly beyond what is expected. They’ve raised the bar for customer service. I wish all agents were as pleasant and proficient to work with.
I also very much like the fact that your messages appear in their original format, just as they show up on your phone, which makes them so easy to read through.
Keepster is a work in progress. I was informed that there are additional features that I was interested in, that are in the pipeline. Also, more great news! Keepster has also recently released a new iPhone app, Keepboard, that allows you to mark or tag messages that have specific significance to you, the minute they show up. This makes it even easier to identify which messages you want to include in your Keepster folders. With the exception of actually selecting the messages for you, Keepster has almost done the work for you already!
So, as our lives have changed, it is nice to know that there are people like Jennifer Simchowitz, founder and CEO of Keepster, who are looking for ways to hang onto and “Keep” some sentimental nature of communications alive.
My heart is not as heavy anymore. This is a gift to those of us who appreciate that messages are more than just quick notes.
Sure some messages can be short, and practical, but some can be long or filled with meaning. Some truly speak to our hearts and reflect so much feeling. People matter. I hope that will never change. Thank you Jennifer, for understanding that… and for taking the initiative and doing something about it.
Guest Author & Verified Customer:
Toni Gull is a retired banker. She enjoys spending time with her husband Barry, dog Mocha, and family and friends, who constantly inspire her to be a better person. Toni loves to read and travel, and considers the Oregon coast her second home. Her passion is writing in general, and in particular, composing stories of the trials, tribulations and hilarity that is life, for which her dogs have been the source of her inspiration and serve as her muses. Toni believes laughter is important to our well-being. That is why God sent us dogs! She lives in Taylorsville, Utah with her husband and “bell-ringing” dog Mocha.