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Creating a Digital Time Capsule

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Creating a Digital Time Capsule

Time capsules are a great way to capture and celebrate memories, and today's technology makes it even easier to share yourself and your thoughts with future generations. Find out how you can work on a digital time capsule project right from your assisted living apartment.

What Is a Digital Time Capsule?

You're probably aware of the concept of a traditional time capsule. You gather news clippings, photographs and meaningful items, saving them for years in a location that can be discovered or unearthed by yourself or family members in the future.

Since you can't really bury such a time capsule in our Thornton, Colorado, assisted living community — and today's families don't always stay put in the same homes or towns, making it hard to find a safe location for your memories — you might want to consider making a digital time capsule.

A digital time capsule is a grouping of files you save online (via the cloud) or on a computer or flash drive. In the future, children, grandchildren and others can access the files to see photographs, videos, slide presentations or written text that shares your thoughts and memories.

Fun Tips for Making a Digital Time Capsule

Digital time capsules don't have to be complex, so you shouldn't fear interacting with technology. Something as simple as a recording of your voice can be cherished by family and friends, and you can create such audio files with only a computer or smartphone. Here are some ideas for putting technology to use in capturing your memories and thoughts.

  • Create a text-based time capsule with documents that capture your life story, memories, thoughts or advice you'd like to pass on. All you need is a computer or tablet and the ability to type. Alternatively, you can use text-to-speech software to turn your spoken words into written text.
  • Use voice recording software (typically available for free on all smartphones, tablets and computers) to record your messages via audio.
  • Capture video of yourself speaking with a smartphone.
  • Work with family members or friends to gather and scan old photographs, creating documents to go with them that list who is pictured and what event or memory is attached. You could also scan yearbook pages, newspapers and other documents.
  • Work with children or grandchildren to create slideshows that capture favorite memories; make it a point to add to them each year for a living time capsule that can be passed down to future generations.
  • Create video messages or online letters meant to be delivered at future dates; some people create messages to be delivered to grandchildren on special birthdays or to adult children on special events such as weddings.

Save the documents or media files on your computer, a flash drive or via a free online service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Ensure someone knows where the time capsule files are and how to access them — especially if you mean to surprise someone in the future with the items. Storing your files on a cloud service such as Dropbox or Drive helps ensure they're readily available when the time arrives.