When my mom passed away last year, all I could think of were all the missed opportunities. The most glaring of all was that she had never met Evan beyond hearing his voice on the phone or seeing his photos and videos online. But there were also so many questions I still wanted to ask my mom about her life – growing up in Chicago after World War II, coming of age in the 60s and 70s, being a mom (and for most of her life a single one at that)… The oral histories of families have been passed down for generations, and in our lifetimes so many tools have been created to help preserve those histories outside the realm of our own memories.
Services like Saving Memories Forever can guide families and friends through the process of creating an oral history. Saving Memories Forever is a two-part service – an app and a website – that allows you to record stories and memories based on prompts from different periods of your (or a family member or friend’s) life. Recordings are uploaded from the app to the website, and using the website you can share the stories with others or attach photos or other documents to enhance the oral version of the story.
Within the app, you can add Storytellers – people you want to be able to add their stories. A free account has up to two Storytellers; the paid account ($3.99 a month or $40 per year) lets you have an unlimited number of Storytellers on the account so your entire family’s stories can be in one place.
Once you select a Storyteller, using the app is simple. There are provided prompts for different periods in a person’s life, and selecting a prompt brings up the recording screen where you can record and then upload your story. The service recommends 5 to 10 minutes for each prompt.
After uploading, all stories appear on the website, where register Storytellers on your account can listen to stories or, on paid accounts, add additional info like photos and documents. The account Manager can add additional Storytellers.
Saving Memories Forever is a great service for preserving the stories and memories of a lifetime. I highly recommend using it and sharing it with those you love as a way to document both the memorable and mundane parts of everyone’s lives.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.