Forever Just Had Their National Convention, and Now There Are Tons Of Specials To Check Out

Forever Just Had Their National Convention, and Now There Are Tons Of Specials To Check Out

That was a huge subject line for me, so hopefully this hasn't ended up in your Spam folder. I just wanted to be really clear why this email is worth opening.

I'm kind of sad that I didn't make it to the convention this year, because I am so excited about Forever has to offer. (I think you've probably picked up on that by now!) But, they are sharing the love with a bunch of deals that run from now through the end of August. If you've read enough and you want to check it out right now, just head to http://www.forever.com/ambassador/debrodriguez and click on DEALS on the top. (That's my affiliate link … if you click on it and sign up or purchase something, you'll be designating me as your Ambassador. You can change that any time, or you can choose your own Ambassador at checkout.)


Forever After Party Sale

The first REALLY COOL thing about this sale is that ALL print products are 25% off through August 31st. PERFECT time to get started on early Christmas gifts, PLUS, you actually HAVE enough time to complete the project before the sale ends. I'm shifting gears right now.

Ok, my apologies for yelling in that last paragraph, but I was just really excited. :0)

The second cool thing, both software packages and a lot of new content are also 25% off. So if you've been waiting to upgrade or jump on Artisan or Historian, this is a great time.

But my absolute FAVORITE part of the sale?

Permanent Storage is on Sale, too!

Yea, you knew this was coming. Permanent Storage is on sale for the rest of the month, too. I'm about ready to need more storage, and I think I might be jumping on this one. Forever just upgraded their storage accounts and photos are now a little easier to find, and they are loading faster. There are a few more tweaks coming soon, but I'm finally at the point where I'm working from my Permanent Storage first, and then Historian is my secondary organization. (Partly because I don't access my photos from only one computer anymore.)

Hope you are having a FABULOUS month, and let me know if you have any questions!

What Price Would You Pay To Save Your Photos?

Several Dollar Bills Tucked In A Wallet

Several Dollar Bills Tucked In A Wallet

Recently, a new friend of mine brought me her son's computer.  It had completely crashed.  It couldn't be booted at all. He had taken it to the techs at one of the big box stores to see if they could fix it, or at least retrieve the data on it.  They weren't able to make it work.

Most of the files on the laptop weren't that important to her son, but he really wanted the photos that were on there.  I recommended my own tech guys, who have saved my photos from a similar fate in the past.  I don't know the end of the story yet, but I'm hoping that they can retrieve those files for him.

But that situation got me to thinking.  How much would I be willing to pay for my tech guys to retrieve my photos from a dead hard drive?  And, what if they couldn't do it for any amount of money?  (I've seen that happen to another friend in the past.)

In addition to this, I learned today that Costco has temporarily suspended their Photo Center service because their third party vendor (who also services Sam's Club and CVS, among others) was hacked last week and they haven't yet determined what data may have been breached, or if it's safe to go back online.  So services have been suspended until at least early August.

What does this mean for you?  Well, if you use Costco or one of the other affected sites, you have no access right now to the photos you've previously uploaded.  Probably not a huge problem for most of you, but what if you don't get access back?  Did you print those photos?  Do you have another backup?

This is where I beat my drum about setting up your shadow copy in Historian (this is a bit of an old post, but the concept is still the same.  I'll work on updating that soon).  It's also where I remind you about the importance of backing up in general, and how that works.

If you're not comfortable with the different backup strategies available, I actually have a quick booklet on that subject on the site that's my OTHER home on the web, now called Simple Digital Life.  If you're interested in learning more about creating your backup plan, be sure to hop over there and check it out.

I hope your week is starting out well.  Until the next time, Enjoy!

~ Deb

Have You Created Your Christmas Cards Yet?

1071-seasonalFor several years now, I have let December get by me and I haven't managed to send out Christmas cards.  And I always feel guilty for that.

So this year, I'm changing it up.  I am going to create my cards this weekend and hope to get them ordered by Sunday night so that I can get them out before Christmas.

One of the big difficulties for me with Christmas cards is the family photo.  Traditionally, I have not had great family photos to share.  Up until about only a year ago, every family photo we had taken, whether it was a special event like a wedding or just a casual photo with our own camera, we had at least one child frowning or crying.  In many cases, we had two children crying.  Which is odd, because in every other candid photo we would shoot, they would drop everything and smile like they were going to win money for it.

In this past year, my kids finally grew up enough to stop crying during family photos, so it's time to send a photo Christmas card this year.

The biggest question for me now is, where can I get a good deal?  Everyone is competing for Christmas card sales now.  I even learned this morning that tomorrow (Sunday) is the biggest day of the year for holiday card shopping.  So I guess I may have to be patient if I wait to upload my card tomorrow.

But hopefully, that will correlate with some really good Christmas card deals.  The only issue will be finding the card that I like because there are so many choices!

If I can get the cards made this weekend, I've decided to take advantage of a cool offer from Tiny Prints.  I really like some of their beautiful designs.  The reason I chose them is that they are offering 40% off my order of ANY size, AND I'll get free shipping.

If this sounds like a good deal to you, here's the how-to:

1. Go to Tiny Prints and select your holiday card style.  There are oodles to choose from.

2. Personalize your card with your pictures, your text, etc.

3. When you checkout, use the promo code TPCARDS40FS to save 40% and get free shipping.

The fine print is that the offer is only available until Noon Pacific time tomorrow (Sunday, Dec 7th), so make sure you get your cards ordered by then.

Of course, if you don't, there may be other offers available starting Monday.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Stay tuned, I'm working on another quick video post if you'd like an alternative to ordering traditional Christmas cards.

Until then, Enjoy!

~ Deb

P.S. – The links in this post are my affiliate links, so if you do decide to take advantage of this, Tiny Prints will compensate me for recommending them.  I had planned to order through them before this became available, and would not steer you to something I wouldn't use myself.

The News We’ve Been Waiting For

I know I've fielded questions and concerns from some of you over the last few months about whether your software will be of any benefit to you after CM finishes taking Storybook orders on September 23rd.

The good news is, there is a solution!  A motion was filed today with the bankruptcy court with the plan to have Panstoria, the company that makes Memory Manager and Storybook Creator, continue supporting our software and supply an option for us to use the software to print future projects.  So don't stop creating those projects!

According to CM's CEO Chris Veit, here's what is being proposed:  (Keep in mind, this still awaits bankruptcy court approval, so it's not quite set in stone yet.)

  • Both Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator software will continue uninterrupted. Software can be activated through December 31, 2013, and Panstoria will continue to provide software updates as needed. This means that even after September 23, you'll be able to activate your software.
  • Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator users will be contacted by Panstoria, and will be given access to printing and other features through Panstoria. The plan and timing for printing has not yet been finalized, but will be forthcoming. Please look for Panstoria news and updates in the Memory Manager and StoryBook Creator news feeds (right side of the main page).
  • Any Creative Memories digital artwork you’ve purchased can be activated (without an end date) on any computer.
  • Anyone who’s made an investment of time or money in software, projects or artwork can continue to use them uninterrupted.

There's still a possibility that the other interested investor will come through with their deal between themselves, Panstoria and CM, and supposedly, that would be even better.  We'll just see.  But either way, we can still use our fabulous software.  Sweet!

Until the next time, Enjoy your software!

~ Deb

Changes Coming For Our Software and What You Need To Do Now

You may have heard already about Creative Memories' bankruptcy filing and been wondering how this will impact your use of the software.  We haven't had a lot of information recently on that, but last Friday CM did release some updates for us in that regard.  Not everything is well-defined or definite yet, so please keep checking back.

Here are a few answers and action steps you should make time to do soon:

  1. First of all, YES, your software is still usable going forward.  It will not cease to work for you on August 21, September 23 or any other pre-determined date.  There is a possibility that there will continue to be updates and support for it after that date, just not from Creative Memories.  That is still being determined, so there are no further specifics at this time.
  2. The CM Photo Center/Digital Center will continue to take orders until September 23rd.  So any Storybooks or other digital projects you have in the works must be completed and ordered by that date.
  3. It's a good idea to make sure that your software, both Memory Manager and Storybook Creator, are updated.  The current versions of the software are listed below.  (To find out which version of the software you have currently, click on the question mark icon in the corner and select About.)
    * Storybook Creator 4.0 – 4.0.4728
    * Storybook Creator 3.0 – 3.0.3950
    * Memory Manager 4.0: 4.1.4780
    * Memory Manager 3.0: 3.0.3691
  4. Whether your software is up-to-date or not, you'll want to back up the files necessary to reinstall your software in the future.  The last day you'll be able to download the full software or the updates is September 23, 2013.  To back them up, pick the appropriate version of your software and use the link below:
    Memory Manager 4.0
    http://downloads.creativememories.com/MM4.0/MM_4.0_Setup.exe
    Memory Manager 3.0
    http://downloads.creativememories.com/MM3.0/MM3Setup.exe
    Storybook Creator 4.0
    http://downloads.creativememories.com/SBC4.0/SBC_4.0_Setup.exe
    Storybook Creator 3.0
    http://downloads.creativememories.com/SBC3/SBC3Setup.exe
  5. To download and backup these files:
    – Click on the appropriate link above
    – Select your backup location to save it to
    – Make sure you know WHERE you saved it!
    That's all there is to it.  Just make sure you save the activation code with it.
  6. If you have uninstalled/un-activated versions of either Memory Manager or Storybook Creator, you'll want to get those activated no later than September 23, 2013.  We don't know now whether those will be able to be activated past that date.
  7. To backup you Memory Vault(s), you've hard before that I always recommend creating a Shadow Copy as the best form of backup.  In my experience, it recreates the vault more cleanly, when needed.  However, if you need to just make a copy of your vault as a backup, you can copy the entire Memory Vault folder to another backup location.  You will need to know where your Memory Vault resides, which is the Documents/My Documents folder by default, but may be different if you designated a different place when you set it up.
  8. Storybook Creator and Memory Manager aren't the only things you need to consider.  All digital artwork will only be available for download from my site through August 21, 2013.  So if you have been waiting to purchase content, the waiting is over.  That is the absolute last day to purchase content for use with Storybook Creator.
  9. Likewise, if you still need to download artwork you have purchased previously, the last day to access your account for the download links and activation codes is August 21, 2013.  You can also get to your account here.  If you need help backing those up, please comment below or contact me.
  10. Don't forget to use the feature in your Storybook Creator software to back up all your activation codes.  It's handy and quick.  Just make sure you know where the .txt file is when you're done.
  11. The last thing to remember, all product codes will (for Storybooks, calendars, etc) will expire no later than September 23rd.

That's the gist of it.  Ask me questions, I'll do the best I can.  Let me know how I can help!

~ Deb

 

What is Universal Content?

So, if you've looked at any digital content on my CM website recently, you may have noticed what seem to be duplicate packages that are listed as “Universal Content.”

So, what is Universal Content?

These packages are the same digital content packages that you can purchase for use in your Storybook Creator software, but in more universal file formats (like .jpg, .png, etc.)  that can be used in other non-CM software and on Macs.  Hence, the term “Universal” because you can use it in numerous platforms.

So, which should you purchase?  Storybook Creator content or Universal content?

If you're following this blog, chances are, you already use/own Storybook Creator Plus.  In that case, your best bet is to continue to purchase the Storybook Creator specific content.  These packages are marked with symbols indicating they work with Storybook Creator 3.0 and/or 4.0.  The reason that this would be your most valuable option is that the Storybook content is tagged with extras that will benefit you within the program.  CM now pre-tags all of your content so that it's easy to find within the program, doing a lot of extra tedious legwork for you.

However, if you're using another program, the Universal content option, which sports an icon showing an open lock, will give you the same artwork for use in your software of choice.

Hope that answers your questions on that … Until next time, Enjoy!

~ Deb