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Share Your Family Moments Privately With Origami

For me, family is very important, and I was raised to always think of them first. Well, now that I have a family of my own, the term has taken on a whole new meaning. With my son growing and growing and with my family thousands of miles away, it makes it hard for me to share with them all of the funny and cute moments of his life. We have tried a couple of different avenues to make this happen. We tried to get my parents onto Facebook, but that was short lived. Then we tried to set up a website, which works decently well, but privacy was an issue.

That is why Origami was very intriguing when I first read about it. It is a platform that caters toward sharing your memories with your family members and just your family members. For the past few days I have been testing it out and I have to say I really like it and I look forward to using this with my family.

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I have always been jealous of others that are able to be disciplined enough to keep a journal and be consistent with it. I have tried so many different times to start one, only to stop in a week or two. I tried a variety of ways to make this happen, including pen and paper,  typing, using cool apps to do it, but nothing seems to work for me. I struggle with this because, I feel like I am at a point in my life where I want to be more reflective as there are some very significant things happening right now and I want to be able to look back on them and see what my thoughts were.

A few weeks ago, I came across a web app called Loccit, that takes a different approach on journaling. When I watched their video on how it works, I started to realize that they may be on to something. Their whole premise is to take the apps that you use on an every day basis to share what is going on in your life and bundle them into one to create your own journal. Now, there are other similar services out there that do this, but this one just seemed like it was interesting to try.

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Family gatherings are always somewhat bittersweet for me since my immediate family lives about 2,000 miles away and can’t necessarily come to where we are, and vice versa. Now, with our little boy in the picture, they make it here more, but it still isn’t the same. We try our best to stay in touch with them through Skype, and sending pictures on our blog, but it never seems to be enough. Not only that, but the majority of my family members are not on social media sites like Facebook, so that doesn’t help either.

All that to say, I am always looking for ways that our family can stay updated with each other through the beauty of the web. With family all over the western United States, that can be tough, but I came across a web app called Family Leaf a little while back and I was somewhat intrigued by what it did and what it could accomplish for families like mine. After I started to play with it a bit, I knew that I had to try to convince the rest of my extended family to sign up as well.

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I’m always looking for simple ways to keep a log certain activities- my workouts, my side project progress, my lesson plans, or whatever else I may want to reference later. So far the most trustworthy has been my handy-dandy notebook (cue Doug- “Dear Journal…”), but I don’t always have that with me and well, my notebook is really, “a bunch of notebooks.” What I really want is an easily accessible, singular place to keep journal entries. Since reading the Quick Look we published here a while back, I’ve though 280daily might be just that.

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Communicating internally, within the team or office, happens primarily through emails, but emails don’t have the flexibility of a real-time conversation involving multiple people. That’s when instant messengers come to the rescue, which have their own share of issues. First and foremost is privacy and security — you cannot be talking about sensitive business information over MSN or GTalk.

Second is distraction from buddies in your IM list and that’s the reason most IM clients are banned behind the office firewall. A private corporate messaging client for communication and collaboration can solve the problem. HipChat is a great example of one such app.

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Remember when people used to keep journals and diaries? Okay, maybe some of you still do—but mass sharing has taken over in recent years with platforms like WordPress, Tumblr and Twitter. Every day millions of people share their immediate thoughts and moments of life—to millions of strangers; what happened to privacy?

Penzu brings the classic diary and journal into the internet age, providing a platform for private (sharing optional) blogging with a digital paper-like interface. In this review I’ll take a look at Penzu and the quality web app they’ve created to make something old, new again.

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