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Emailing Collections as holiday gifts

A hypothetical situation - you have uploaded 1,000 photos and short videos into your LightJar account, these coming from various recordings that you have taken over the past 10+ years.   You want to organize these items according to certain themes, and then send the resultant collections to your relatives as a seasonal gift from you.   You have 5 relatives, and you wish for each relative to have their own distinctive set of shared, recorded memories specific and special to them.

  • How do you approach this task, and what needs to be done?  This sort of gift is very personal and very unique, and as expected, will take some time to organize.  
  • Below, we suggest the needed steps to accomplish this goal.  It represents an electronic means to sort through your digital memories, organize them, and share them with friends and family.   If you have lots of memories to organize, give yourself time to complete the tasks. 
  • If it is just one person doing the organization, then it would be faster doing the sorting and organizing on one's laptop; and then uploading the results into LightJar for sharing with the other relatives.  But if more than one person is working on the project, then doing the work in Lightjar can be a quicker route to go.

1.   Determine the top themes for your whole collection of media items that you wish to share - memorable events that define your life, the special people common to both you and your relatives, special occasions, seasonal times when families got together, historic moments that you personally recorded, and the times that you spent with a particular relative.   Create a LIST of the Birthday parties, weddings, graduations, holiday trips, business successes, family celebrations around the campfire, or annual holiday family poker games......which all serve as starting points for your organizational plan.   You may have 20 major themes, you may have 50, but once you have them all listed, you can start on the next step.

2.  Next to each theme on your LIST, add the names of each relative to whom you would like to share the memories represented by this theme.

3.  Create a new Collection in LightJar for each top theme.  Title the Collection to represent the event or reason for this collection.  In front of the title place a prefix of "SP - ", the SP being short for special project.  Doing this will make it easier to find all of the resultant collection from this exercise later on in the process.  When making the collection, edit the Collection to show the theme's calendar date, the place it happened, the title, and give a paragraph or two description of why this collection is special.   Recipients of shared collections will see this information when you send a collection to them.

4.  Divide your 1000 photos and videos into groups of 100.  This step is done faster on your laptop or desktop computer.   Once done, upload the groups of 100 images and videos into separate new collections, each collection labeled as "1st 100", then "2nd 100", "3rd 100" and so on.   If you wish to perform this step within LightJar, click "Show All" on the My Media main page.   Scroll down your list of media items and check-mark the first 100 media items, and add these items, via the "With Selected" feature, to a new Collection titled "1st 100".   For the next 100 items, do the same thing, adding these to a new Collection titled "2nd 100".   Create a collection for each set of 100 items.   Continue to label the collections as 3rd 100, 4th 100, 5th 100, etc.  Note - this part of the process is currently tedious in LightJar, but we will be adding tools to LightJar to quicken the selection of thumbnail images in large collections. 

5.  Open up the first of the numbered collections, the collection titled "1st 100", containing the first one hundred thumbnail images (media items) to organize for this project .  Change the presentation of the thumbnail images in the Collection 100 from "By Page" to "Show All".   Look at your list of top themes created in Step 1.   With the first theme in mind, scroll down the showing of the thumbnails in this first batch of 100, and check-mark all the thumbnail images that should be associated with this theme. When done check-marking, use the "With Selected" feature to add these thumbnails to the Collection titled after the first theme on your list.    Go to the next theme on the list, and repeat this procedure.   If you had 25 main themes in your list from Step 1, then you may need to review Collection 100 twenty-five times in order to associate each media item with as many themes as necessary.  Note - media items can be associated with as many collections as you choose.   Image #1 in your Collection 100 might be associated with 10 to 15 major themes, and therefore, be in 15 final collections that you plan to email and share as gifts.

6.  Repeat step 4 for each Collection of 100 images and videos.  When finished with the "10th 100" Collection, you will have made a decision on all of your media items in your LightJar account.   Some media items may not have been assigned to any Collections because these items did not match the themes established in the first step.  

7.  Review your list of themed collections within LightJar.   Edit the description for each Collection with additional notes and messages to the relatives.   

8.  Go to the "view my collections" page and see your themed collections, sort the collections as "A - Z" so that all the "SP" collections are shown together.  For each collection, click share, and type in the email addresses of the relatives assigned to this Collection.   Add a message in the email so that the relatives know what they are receiving.   Leave the expiration field blank, or give it a date far into the future when the link is no longer active.   *Sometime in the near future, LightJar will speed up this selection process.  We'll give you the ability to check-mark multiple collections at one time, and then use the "With Selected" feature to share them with a relative via email.

9.  Each relative will receive emails with links to the Collections that you wished to share with them.  Clicking on the LightJar link will give way to a LightJar landing page, displaying the name of the Collection, its date, its place, and a message description from you as to what this Collection represents.  Every media item in the Collection will be shown on the landing page as a thumbnail image.  Relatives will have the option of viewing/playing the media item within their device's browser, or downloading the item(s) onto their computer or smart-phone.     If individual media items have names and descriptions, then these will be shown as well.

10.  Your relatives will visit these links again and again, and they will appreciate your sharing these memories during the holiday season.   If they want, they can download all the items to their own computer, putting them in corresponding folders to match the names of your collections.

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