Enter ARTKIVE! This is one of those apps that I wish had come around about 8 years ago but I am determined not look a gift horse in the mouth! Artkive is an adorable little app currently available for the iPhone and iPad (sounds like the Android version is in the works). This app let's you snap photos of your kids work each day as they bring it home (or in one big batch if you have some catching up to do). Then you can "file" the image by child, grade and date. Genius!
A couple of tips:
1. Try to keep up with the papers by taking the pictures on a daily basis. This way you won't get overwhelmed and give up on the whole thing.
2. Be careful of shadows when taking your pics. Either take the photos outside or by the light of a window. You may have to move your body and/or iPhone to eliminate the shadows. You can do it!
3. Create a share circle! Grandparents and great aunts and uncles would love to see what your kiddos are up to in school. Just click on the "Share Circle" button at the bottom of the app and add names and email addresses. After you photograph and label the work, you can choose to simple "Artkive" the work or "Artkive and Share." I am sure your 500 Facebook friends love to see little Jimmy's scribbles but they may not want to see them everyday. Just a thought (coming from a chronic oversharer!).
4. The app saves your images on their servers as well as in your own Photo Library. COMING SOON you will be able to order prints and books of your Artkive. How cool!?
5. As hard as it might be, after you photograph your image (make sure you are happy with the way it looks) and Artkive it, try recycling some (or all for you really brave people out there!) of the artwork and papers. You will be amazed at how freeing it is to eliminate those piles of work. If my kiddos catch me in the act, I always explain to my kids that I have photographed and Artkived their work. They are totally on board!