One humid summer’s day in the mid-1990s, my brother climbed on an airplane with a journal in his backpack and a promise to send postcards. Months of making pizzas had finally paid off, and Roan was setting off on what would surely be the adventure of a lifetime. I had just started my second year at university and, frustrated by the prospect of being tied to a timetable and textbooks, I hoped to live a year vicariously through the contents of my postbox. If you asked anyone in our family back then, we’d have told you we didn’t hold much hope of receiving many postcards – Roan has always been more of a doing and less of a recording kinda guy – but it turns out we were wrong. And the letters and postcards we received during the first year – although sometimes few and far between – fuelled my innate need to travel. 16 years and many journeys after he first set off, I still sit for hours in my parent’s lounge and rummage through the wooden box where they store the travel memories my brother, sister and I chose to share with them: postcards from the Czech Republic, Scotland, Iceland, Turkey. Photographs with Germany, Malawi, the USA, Mongolia scrawled on the back. Tickets from British Rail, the Eurostar, the London Underground. Boarding passes with confusing codes. Printed emails typed in China, Italy, England, Ireland. The way we record our memories now, in 2012, isn’t as tactile as we did it even five years ago. We’re obsessed with everything digital. Because it’s such a pity to forget what at the time may seem random moments, here are three apps that will help you record those memories beautifully. Please – just remember to press print every now and then?
Don’t have time to find a post office? Or the small change to buy a stamp? Postman ($2.99) allows you to upload a photograph from your phone, give it a treatment just like the front of a postcard, type a message on the back and then share it – via Twitter, Facebook, Tumble or email – with whoever you like.
Whether you’re wanting to record sentimental memories, simply label where you are on a particular day, or want to keep a journal of your travels but don’t have the time, Momento ($2.99) will have you covered. You can write your own entry, or tag anything online that’s appropriate to that moment. The app also connects with your social media accounts – from Facebook and Twitter to Vimeo and Instagram – to collect your online activity.
If you’ve ever shot loads of pics on a trip then returned home to sort through them – only to realise you don’t remember where some of them were taken – you’ll appreciate Labelbox (free). It’s a really easy-to-use system that allows you to choose the style of labels that you paste onto images. As soon as you’re done, you can share the images too. It’s a pretty neat way to keep on top of your snapshots.
Travelling with your iPhone? Here are five apps that will simplify the logistics of your trip.