AUDIO JOURNALING SUBSCRIPTION

**CURRENTLY IN BETA TESTING**

Message us directly to sign up at a steep discount to become one of our beta testers.

With our new Subscription service, you can add stories, memories, experiences, and heritage to your virtual time capsule–what we call your Memory Vault–as you go by submitting audio journals to our company. We will organize and index your memories for you so that they are searchable. They are kept safe and consolidated so that they can be easily accessed by the family members and descendants you want.

The value of these memories can only increase over time!

Imagine if you had audio recordings of your parents or grandparents telling you stories about their lives? What if you had stories of your great-great-great-great grandparents’ lives, in their own voices? That is what you’re creating for your family when you participate in this powerful service. Not to mention, natural aging can often rob us of so many memories without the added threat of memory-affecting diseases. Cementing your memories now, while you have them, is a perfect way to ensure you always do.

Read on to find out more.

You use your smartphone to record memories on a weekly basis (or daily, if you get really into it), then send them to us to index and organize. Your memories are storied in your private, online Memory Vault where only you and those you give access may see them. View, download, and search through your memories at any time. And when the time comes, we can hand the torch to the next generation so you and your stories are always remembered.

So many reasons. To be clear, we love all forms of journaling, and we don’t want to discourage you from using other methods. But hear us out on audio journaling.

  • It’s incredibly convenient because most of us have phones on us at all times.
  • It’s faster than writing or typing.
  • It captures the sound of your voice, which is invaluable to other family members, as well as the way you speak and your audible mannerisms.
  • You don’t have to look presentable to do it (video journaling can often create a pressure to look nice, which can lead to you putting it off)
  • You don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation, or writer’s block. Telling stories is natural, and that’s all you’re really doing.
  • You can use it with other artifacts (like photos, scrapbooks, videos, creative projects, etc), to quickly give context and relevance to things that might not have any meaning if you were not there to explain it to someone.
  • It captures your stories in a concrete form, so the details can’t be diluted, misremembered, or lost over time.
  • The ratio of file size and length compared to video formats is much better for storage.
  • It’s easily transmutable to a written form for those who are hearing impaired.

The Subscription is great for:

  • People who are interested in journaling, but feel like they don’t have the time.
  • People who like the idea of journaling, but not writing.
  • People who enjoy talking and sharing experiences.
  • People who have a smartphone and feel comfortable on it.
  • People who want to document the stories of their life, but a little bit at a time.
  • People who have young kids (think of all the one-off cute little things they do!) or pets with a lot of personality (combine audio journaling with the videos you take of them being cute or silly)
  • People who take a lot of pictures (talk through those photos in your journaling. Cement those 1000 words that picture represents to you so someone else can know its story too).
  • People stuck at home who want a new, creative outlet that will have lasting benefits.
  • People who see value is documenting history as it happens.
  • People who like to pretend they’re a space captain, logging their life’s adventures for science and humanity.
  • Enhanced audio files that have been broken down (if necessary) into smaller clips and labeled appropriately.
  • An archive that you can easily search through to find a specific memory.
  • Resources on getting the most out of your subscription.
  • Peace of mind that your family heritage, stories, experiences, and artifacts won’t be lost.
  • Delayed Benefit: Time back that you or someone you love might have spent trying to go through and organize your memory artifacts (boxes of photos, journals, looking for digital pictures on phones, computers, hard drives, pin drives, social media, cloud backups, etc)
  • Delayed Benefit: The ability to find and recall moments of early life with the level of clarity you have right now (and give those moments to your family), even if your memory might fail you in the future.
  • By journaling as you go, you have the ability to capture crisp details while the memories are fresh. The longer you wait to document them, usually, the less detail you have.
  • You’re giving yourself the ability to search through your memories like a database, as well as giving your descendants that ability too so they can learn about your life.
  • Having your memories in one place, backed up, organized, and accessible from any device is virtually invaluable, but it’s not something we usually think to do until we’re trying to find one picture or recall one detail… or we’re trying to find memorabilia for a loved one’s funeral. When your memories are all in one place, it makes all that easy and painless.
  • Detail your journey. This is especially powerful when you document the lows as well as the highs so you can see how much you’ve learned and grown.
  • Journaling–especially talking–can be very cathartic when you talk through the challenges of the past or present.
  • Improve your ability to remember simply by audio journaling. This happens because the act of journaling sends signals to our brain that this event we just experienced was important, and we want to remember it. Being intentional and talking through the detail helps separate memories we want to keep from the ones that fall away.
  • By utilizing the way our brains work, we can use something called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) to help you recall more memories or find new positive things to document more easily, which lends to being happier and feeling gratitude.
  • By paying for a subscription service, much like signing up for a gym membership, you are holding yourself accountable and saying, “This is important enough to me to pay for.” When you have that thought, “I don’t feel like doing it today,” the accountability of the subscription will give you that push to just do it. And you’ll be so thankful later that you did.
  • Every memory, story, and experience you document only gains value with age, and for so many different reasons–whether it’s because later in life, you struggle with memory, or because something happened to you and these recordings are now your child’s lifeline to you, or because you shared adorable stories about when you were a young parent that now mean the world to your kids, or because it’s been hundreds of years and your descendants think that literally everything you do is so interesting and fascinating and gives them a window into your world and the time you lived in.

Truly, anything that’s important to you. We recommend setting some upfront goals (which we can help you with as well). Do you want to document your childhood memories? Memories about your career? Your faith? Your hobbies? Your kids as they were growing up? Your pets? Your time in the military? Building your business? The progression of music you listened to? Early parenthood? Traveling? Your relationship with your significant other?

We give you the resources to break these down, figure out where to start, and make a plan to get through everything you want to. Our coming-soon Oral Storytelling Kits are also a perfect pairing with this service. You can choose the kits that include the topics relevant to you, and then you won’t have to worry what to talk about at all! We really want to make this as easy on you as possible.

We completely understand. There are plenty of people who have incredible life experiences and stories to share, but wouldn’t feel comfortable using this subscription service. That’s why we offer a separate service called Oral Storytelling Projects where we will facilitate the storytelling and guide them through the process. Soon, we will also offer Oral Storytelling Kits that help you lead your loved one through specific topics. Check out our other services on this page to find out more.

You absolutely could. But, just like how anyone can exercise from home for free without paying for gym equipment, memberships, apps, or getting a personal trainer, people still can and do gladly pay for all of the above for a number of reasons. Gyms help you navigate fitness. We help you navigate the world of memory. We provide guidance, accountability, and convenience, saving you time and frustration. When you don’t have a guide or any accountability to actually get it done or it’s inconvenient or takes too much time… it often leads to “I’ll get to it someday,” which turns into memories never being shared at all and a lot of regret after it really is too late. Part of our job is helping you stay true to your goals, even when you don’t always feel like taking the time to do it.

We take privacy very seriously. Your memories (meaning your personal information and anything you submit to us) will never be shared with anyone, with the exception of the people you explicitly grant us the rights to share with. After all, a large point of this service is to pass down your memories to someone who loves you. Every person who provides us memories is highly encouraged to detail who will receive their memories. We keep that information with your account so we can respect your wishes. Any employee or contractor working on your files must sign an NDA stating they will not share your information or memories.

Now, you might fall on the opposite end of the spectrum of those who are concerned about privacy. Maybe you’re thinking, “But I want to share my stories and experiences with the world!” We have an option for that as well. Eventually, we will integrate social media sharing and other top-secret exciting things that will allow you to do just that. For those who want to be public, they can be. For those who want to stay private, they can be.

SUBSCRIPTION TOPICS INSPIRATION

childhood memoriesnew baby at homeabout to or just got marrieddaily life journalingcurrent/old college storiesmilitary memoriesactivism memoriesyour creative journey/projectscurrent/old high school storiescareer storieslife then verses now

PROJECT TOPICS INSPIRATION

elder's storiesoral biographylooking back: childhoodlooking back: marriagestories of heroismlooking back: careerprogression of musicjourney of spiritualityjourney of recoveryprogression of artlife then verses now

ORAL STORYTELLING PROJECTS

An Oral Storytelling Project is a way to quickly and affordably document the memories and stories of a loved one (or multiple loved ones). We arrange a way to interview the Memory Giver(s) directly, guiding them through the topics that they or family members have selected. Depending on your budget, we can also process these stories, organize them, index them so they are searchable, keep them safe for you online in your personalized Memory Vault, turn them into a transcript so they can be read, and much more.

Imagine if you had audio recordings of your parents or grandparents telling you stories about their lives? What if you had stories of your great-great-great-great grandparents’ lives, in their own voices? That is what you’re creating for your family when you participate in this powerful service.

If you are interested in an Oral Storytelling Project, book a consultation call using our contact page, and we’ll meet with you on Zoom to answer any questions and find out more details so we can best serve you.

Read on to find out more.

  1. We sit down together (well, virtually, for now) and talk through the details of the project. Whose memories are you wanting to document? What are the big themes or topics you want to make sure we cover? Who might want to be present for the storytelling?
  2. Next we look at pricing and go over where you want to start. Since we can’t know exactly how long it will take to tell memories, we give you a range, and we can always select a cap and not go over.
  3. We plan out the date(s) for the storytelling sessions and how long we’d like each to be, and where we will meet.
  4. We meet for the storytelling sessions. We will have prepared a tailored interview based on our discussions and chosen topics. The Memory Giver simply answers whatever questions they want to or are able to, and this is recorded using our high-quality tabletop microphones.
  5. Depending on which options you have chosen, you might then receive the raw audio files to back up and store yourself, or we can run all of our convenience processes on them so you can easily find the memory you are looking for without having to listen to hours of content.
  6. The oral stories we collect can be stored in a private, personalized Memory Vault, so family members with access can easily access and pass down these family treasures.

We are located in Indianapolis, IN, USA. We will travel to you for local interviews, but a travel fee may be required to do non-local in-person interviews. That said, if the Memory Giver has access to a computer or phone with a webcam, microphone, and good internet, we can conduct the interview in that way. Quality is very important to us, which is why we love in-person interviewing; the audio quality of a Zoom or phone call might not be as good as our live microphones, and connections can drop and affect the quality of the content itself. However, while we always strive to deliver a high-quality audio file to you and your descendants, we also firmly believe that something is better than nothing! If a Zoom or phone call is all we have to work with, and you need our help, we will find a way to make it happen. We would so much rather you have a lesser-quality audio file that still contains the voice and stories of a loved one, than to not have one at all.

As our company expands, we will have representatives all over the state, nation, and globe who can conduct these sessions in person (and safely) so traveling fees won’t be an issue.

This depends on the scale of the project and any add-on services you might choose.

If you choose our very base model, we will deliver you the raw audio files from our storytelling sessions. These might be an hour long or more each.

Now, I once conducted 13 hours worth of stories from one person (all incredible content). Can you imagine trying to find one particular story in all that? It would take an eternity and, let’s be honest, you probably won’t take the time to find it. This is precisely why we highly recommend our indexing and organizing services, especially for medium and large projects. If you add this service on, you will receive all the content you would have with our base service, but broken up into smaller, bite-sized memories, and labeled appropriately so it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for.

If you additionally want to be able to search through those memories like a database, you would receive a PDF that will help you find exactly what file you’re looking for using keyword searching.

If you include photos or videos that accompany your stories, those can be included in your archive, and incorporated into PDFs.

If you’d like your content transcribed, we can do that as well, and you’d receive another PDF with the full transcript of everything said. Unlike most transcription services, we really try to capture the character of what’s being said and the way it’s said. It’s a blend of transcription and creative embellishments to help the hearing-impaired have an accurate experience while reading.

All of your digital files can be stored and backed up with us indefinitely, organized for you so you can focus on the stories and not on the tedium of categorization. We highly recommend you do this. The reason being is that it’s easy to lose track of files on an old computer. Hard drives go bad. Acts of God happen. And even if you kept them safe, there is still no guarantee that these files will get passed down to the right person. Your account with The Memory Collective includes our promise to personally hand these memories down to the people you designate, so even the descendant didn’t know about the files, they will be informed of them and receive them.

Lastly, if you choose to have us transmute your digital files into a physical form, we can turn your transcripts into a beautiful, hardbound book that combines your stories and photography together and refers back to your digital files and Memory Vault. We call this an Heirloom Memory Collective. It’s our most expensive service/product because we are essentially writing a novel for you by hand, which includes transcription, editing, punctuation, proofreading, content editing, formatting, layout, design, and print-planning and interfacing. The process can take many months to complete, but when it’s finished, you would have a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind book that honors the person or topic it contains. An upside to having something beautiful and shiny (we do plate it with gold to catch the eye) on a shelf is the ability for a kid to ask, “Dad, what’s this?” and have Dad respond, “Those are your grandma’s stories. You probably don’t remember her because she died when you were just a few years old. But there are some great stories in here. Did you know her dad rode a horse into work? C’mere. Let me show you.” Digital files are powerful, but one thing they can’t do is sit ornately on your coffee table and invite people to discover them. The Heirloom Memory Collective does.

That is completely fine. We understand that not everyone feels comfortable sharing personal stories with a stranger, but may open up more to a loved one. We want you and the Memory Giver to have the best, most comfortable experience possible.

In cases like these, we would recommend purchasing whichever Oral Story Kits seem the most relevant to you, and they will walk you through how to conduct the interview yourself.

You could also become a Subscriber and record a few stories at a time with your loved one on an ongoing basis. This is a great way to connect regularly with your loved one and not put too much pressure on them in one session. It just depends on their personality and preference.

If you need help deciding, or want to create a custom experience that blends one of these options with our direct guidance, please send us an email and we’d be happy to help you out.

The Oral Storytelling Projects can require us to meet in person for storytelling sessions when Zoom is not an option for a family. We try to follow all recommended safety guidelines and procedures, which currently includes not meeting at all for safety.

When it is safe to resume in-person meetings, we will open that back up as an option. We will wear masks or face shields during the interview, and sit at least six feet from everyone present. There will never be a need for anyone besides the interviewer to touch the microphone, which sits on a table near the Memory Giver. We will wipe down any surfaces we touch with disinfectant wipes. And we will confirm the day of that neither we nor anyone participating has had Covid symptoms, tested positive, or been around someone who tested positive.

Virtual storytelling sessions are absolutely welcome right now! And even after Covid-19 is just a bad memory, if you’d prefer to interview virtually, we completely support that. Bear in mind that Zoom or phone sessions may have reduced audio quality compared to in-person sessions, but we firmly believe any audio recording containing the voice and stories of your loved one is better than none at all.

When we meet for our consultation, we will go over the broad topics of what is important to you to capture. We ask that you read the resources we will provide you, and if you want the best experience, do a few of the memory generating exercises in preparation for your storytelling session. Though this isn’t required and we will proceed regardless, we highly recommend fully participating for the best experience. Preparing a little bit can go a long way; making a list of stories you want to make sure you tell, getting pictures or other artifacts ready to jog your memory, asking family members to help, and other exercises will help you make the most of your storytelling session with us. Personally, we think that part of the process is really fun! If you choose not to do prep-work, we do our best to draw out the memories you want to talk about, but we don’t know what we don’t know.

The bottom line is, don’t worry too much about what to talk about. We will guide you through the storytelling session, and our resources will guide you through the preparation.

Yes! Absolutely. In fact, these can make for great interactions, capturing the dynamic between two or more people.

We encourage families, couples, friends, and caretakers to participate together. Most of the time, this helps ease any awkwardness (which usually goes away after a few minutes of storytelling anyway), and can keep participants on track and remind them of memories and details they might not have thought to add. In situations where a topic may be difficult, having another person there can also help ground the Memory Giver.

  • It’s done and checked off your list. If you’re aren’t looking for a recurring commitment, but want to get memories captured in one go (or a few timed sessions), a Project would probably be best for you.
  • You will be working directly with us, so you get our expertise, personal guidance, and everything aside from the storytelling itself done for you.
  • You don’t have to mess with any technology other than email and opening PDFs–and technically, if that’s an issue, we can go the paper route.
  • If you or a loved one doesn’t have a lot of time left, this is a way to capture stories quickly and efficiently.
  • It’s easy to set a budget and work within that.
  • All the benefits of preserving your memories, which include never forgetting the little details you recorded, even if time or disease tries to take them from you; a sort of “insurance” that if anything happens to you, your loved ones will still have your voice and stories to cherish and honor you; and allowing future generations to better understand where and who they came from.
  • If you or the Memory Giver does not own a smartphone and is not the most tech-savvy person, we definitely recommend doing a Project instead of a Subscription or Kit. We take care of all the technology for you.
  • In situations that are time-sensitive, a Project is usually best. For instance, if a loved one has been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, memory affecting disorder–or, they are a perfect image of health, but they’re entering their 80s or 90s–time is of the essence, and a Project will help ensure the stories get documented in a timely fashion. One less thing to worry about or regret.
  • If you have a lot of memories you want to get through, but you’d like it to be a one-and-done kind of experience, a Project would be perfect for that.

That’s perfect. We need to chat first before moving forward anyway. 🙂 Send us an email or book a consultation appointment on our calendar. We’d be thrilled to help you and answer your questions.

That’s true! When The Memory Collective was founded in 2019, the main idea was to take stories from the mouth and get them into a written form. We are suckers for books and being able to physically hold something ancient in your hands, like it was a treasured family heirloom (which, we hoped it would be!). The idea behind this idea was that with a physical book–a book you could display on a coffee table or on a bookshelf–stories would be more likely to be seen, shared with curious kids, and ultimately passed down. Parents could pull the book off the shelf for bedtime and tell them stories of their kids’ late grandparents so they could be remembered.

We still love this idea, but because these books are hand crafted from start to finish (meaning, we are cultivating the content, transcribing, researching, editing, proofreading, punctuating, formatting, photo-editing, and working with an artisan book bindery for premium book design, quality, durability, and longevity), it was a pretty expensive process.

When the pandemic hit, we shifted to more digitally-focused services, and we are so glad we did! Our goal has always been to help families of all income levels affordably document their personal and family stories. Though the books are beautiful, they don’t serve the average person–especially not at this unprecedented time in this uncertain economy–so we shelved that idea to bring back any time for the appropriate kind of customer.

If you are that appropriate kind of customer and curious or interested in a physical book, we are happy to provide this service to you. Email us or schedule a time with us and we’d be happy to talk about it.

ORAL STORYTELLING KITS

**COMING SOON**

An Oral Storytelling Kit is a great way to conduct a DIY oral storytelling project from home solo or with your family or friends. Each Kit represents a topic to thoroughly talk about so that you aren’t overwhelmed by hundreds of potential questions all at once. You’ll find kits tailored to childhood, marriage, high school, college, pets, hobbies, philosophy, religion, music preferences, career, military service, veterans, friendships, relationships, anniversaries, holidays, travel, moving, immigration, heritage, beliefs, current issues, politics, character building, and more. Every kit will provide unique questions specific to the topic and also comes with resources to guide you through the process from all perspectives, whether you are the one asking your loved one questions, or you are the one documenting your own memories.

One Kit will have roughly 25 questions to it; we wanted to balance making sure you had enough to talk about from one Kit while not overwhelming you with 300 questions that would likely deter most people from starting at all. And this way, it’s a very low cost, not a huge time commitment, and you can customize your experience by picking only the Kits you’re interested in.

We recommend pairing these kits with our Subscription service! They are the perfect duo and help you never run out of things to talk about. You can work your way through each kit that is relevant to you, and when you’re done with it, you can comfortably cross it off your list knowing you’ve documented what you need to on that topic for your family’s personal history books.

An Oral Storytelling Kit is a collection of questions about a topic, packaged as a PDF. Each Kit will come standard with 25 or so questions–the perfect balance of diving into one topic without beating it to death. Kits are designed to help you think of things to talk about without overwhelming you with hundreds of questions at a time. Each Kit comes with recommended instructions and tips too.

We know trying to think of everything to ask your loved ones or even plan storytelling for yourself can be overwhelming and time-consuming, so we thought the Kits would make this process incredibly easy for you.

When you purchase and download a kit, you’ll have instructions that walk you through recommended practices–but don’t worry, it’s all very easy! You’ll get a PDF of the questions relevant to the topic you purchased, and you simply use whatever your preferred journaling method is (we highly recommend audio journaling) and answer each question you want to. When you’re finished going through the list, you can either keep your answers safe through your own methods (backup, scanning them in, etc), or use our services to back them up, organize them, and even pass them down.

Though it may sound self-serving, we really do recommend you let us help you keep those memories safe, and the rationale is genuine. Here’s why: our company model is specifically designed to make sure your stories and digital artifacts (photos, video, text, scans, etc) are passed down to the descendants of your choice, organized, and indexed like a historical archive. We want it to be as easy and painless as possible to hand those memories off–because we know that when someone passes away, the last thing the family wants to do is have to hunt through a million places to find priceless photos. With us, you could theoretically have all that stored in one place, organized, with their entire life’s story right there. And unlike a computer hard drive–which, to our knowledge, does not alert loved ones that it contains precious memories of the person they just lost, or let them know precisely where the files are stored–we can and will make sure the files get passed down to the right people.

The biggest difference is that a Kit is something you do entirely on your own. It is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) resource that you download from us and complete on your own time with whomever you want. Since we are not personally interviewing you or a loved one or guiding you with personalized help (both of which we do for you in Oral Storytelling Projects), we are able to massively reduce the cost and make this accessible to many more families across the world.

We are planning on having options to build your own bundle of 3, 5, and 10 Kits so that you can still customize what you want. And yes, we would like to give you a discount on that, and a large discount if you wanted to buy them all! You can claim one free Kit of your choice per month with a Subscription. And our upcoming Membership will give you a discount on all products and services. Coming soon! 🙂

We do realize there may be a temptation with these little PDFs to just share them with anyone you know who is interested. During a recession, or a global pandemic when times are tough, we can understand the desire to give.

Hear us out for a minute on why we ask you not to do that, at least not with our products.

Know that we hand make each one of our products with thought and care. Yes, it’s “just” a list of questions–but we used our time and resources to put them together so that other people wouldn’t have to. And we will also use the profits from these little products to help run and expand our business so that we can create more living-wage jobs, reach and help more people, and make our services even more valuable to the masses in the future. Plus, we priced them to be very low-cost not because they have an equivalently low value, but so that even low-income families would be able to afford them. For every time one of our Kits gets illegally shared (and yes, it does violate the terms and conditions you’ll need to sign to purchase one), you may help someone, but we may lose the opportunity to reach and help ten families.

When you purchase one of these Kits, you are supporting a small business’ big dream to reach people across the globe. With enough funding and support, we want to have these Kits in major languages, and eventually, in as many languages as possible. So we humbly ask that you limit the sharing of these Kits to within your household. We pride ourselves on character, integrity, and making strong moral decisions in the way we run and practice our business. We just ask that you do the same when it comes to our products (and, you know, in general too!).

KIT TOPICS EXAMPLES

musicchildhoodmarriagefriendshippetshobbiessportsthe futureparentingspiritualitybooks & moviesbucketlistdreams & goalstriumphsself-love developmentsexuality

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Though The Memory Collective is a small company right now, we still strive to be the only place you’ll ever need to go for your memory preservation needs. We offer personalized services that fit your situation and preferences. For any of these services, please reach out to us directly and we’ll work with you on details, planning, and pricing.

PHOTO SCANNING – STARTING AT $1/PHOTO

ARTIFACT PHOTOGRAPHY – $100/hour

TRANSCRIPTION OF AUDIO/VIDEO – STARTS AT $1.50/AUDIO-MINUTE

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY – $100/HOUR

BLU-RAY VIDEO CREATION – CONTACT FOR PRICE

DIGITAL BOOKMAKING – CONTACT FOR PRICE

PHYSICAL BOOK MAKING – CONTACT FOR PRICE

CREMATION ASHES TRANSFORMED TO GLASS – CONTACT FOR DETAILS (PRODUCTS MADE THROUGH BLISS GLASS LLC)

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