Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WotW: Preserve Your Child's Masterpiece and Decrease Clutter with Artkive

I have a weird confession to make: I hate paper. I know, I know, that's weird, but I really hate paper. I don't like how paper stacks up around the house. I don't like how it gets crumpled and messy. I don't like the way it feels. So, for my bizarre mind, I love anything electronic that simplifies and removes the paper from my life. Hence my love for email, ebooks and so many useful apps.

My daughter, on the other hand, has a pathological love for paper. She loves the stuff. She steals all sorts of paper – receipts, mail, envelopes – so she can draw on it later. I'd like to think this means my child will grow up to be a great artist one day, but if not, I guess she can fall back on becoming a kleptomaniac. Either way, we go through a lot of paper as she creates her artistic masterpieces. Our house is bursting at the seams with her artwork.

Of course, being a good parent, I can't throw it away because she'll ask where it is. And some of the art is pretty awesome, but where do you store all that paper? Thankfully, there's an app for that. It's called Artkive. It's an online archive for your child's art.

This free app is available for iOS and Android. When you first set up an account, it will ask you for the names and current grade in school of each of your children. Yes, you can save the artwork for multiple children with this app and it keeps their artwork separate and organized. Nice, eh?

The way Artkive works is simple. You simply take a picture of your child's artwork with your phone camera and save it to your online Artkive account.

You can then access the art any time you want to look at it.

You can also send it to your "share circle" (friends and family), and even print a high-quality photo book with your child's art. Not bad, eh?

One of the features I really like is the options the app gives you when you first take a picture. You can select which child did the artwork, what grade they were in at the time (the app takes into consideration the fact that your child grows up), the date the photo was taken, a title for the art, and a description. This provides way more detail than you'd probably have if you just kept all the paper artwork in a folder in a filing cabinet somewhere.

In order to print a book, you need to have at least 20 images. When printed, each page will contain only one image with the child's name, the title of the artwork and description. The current price for a 20-page 8x8 book is $25, which is really not that bad. Then, it's only $1 for each page after that. What a cool way to preserve your child's art in vivid color, and without all the mess of the paper.

This is one app I would highly recommend. The interface is super simple and you can't go wrong with an app that's useful, simplifies your life and reduces the clutter.
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