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  • 100 Family Conversation Starters & a QR generator review

    One of my favorite things about my family of 6 is that we talk to one another. The lines of communication are wide open partly because Jeff and I ask our kids a lot of questions during carpooling to swim practice, family dinners, and on family outings. Our kids are destined to have 2 things thrown at them: questions and a camera. As my oldest daughter told our neighbor, “That’s the price of being a Meyerson kid.”

    The main purpose of these questions is to foster healthy relationships with my kids and challenge them to think about why they have their opinions and why they make the choices that they do. These questions are not meant to add to your to do list. You can simply ask these questions (not record the answers) and still get tremendous benefits from asking them.

    Here is a list of 100 questions that we have asked or will ask the kids. We have 4 children ages 2, 8, 10, and 13. Obviously, I have to adjust a couple of the questions for our 2 year old but she is always part of the conversations.

    Click here for a printable pdf or just click on the image below to enlarge and read the questions more easily. I would be thrilled for you to share this on pinterest, facebook, or twitter.

    If you didn’t see the video of some of the questions we ask from my post yesterday, the 2 minutes will make you laugh and start your day with a smile.

    I hope you enjoy these questions and feel free to share with those you know. It makes me smile to think of families talking around the dinner table tonight enjoying one another and laughing.

    So I have been recording the kids answers in various journals and minibooks over the years. Recently, I have started video taping their answers and uploading them to Youtube, burning them to CDs, and then including them in my PL albums. But when I saw Tracy’s video last week about Scan Life and using QR Codes with Project Life, I almost spit my iced tea out! I was beyond excited.

    Edited: Here is my review of Scan Life. Reader Kara Monroe recommended using a free generator called Kaywa. I haven’t used it yet, but she says it works well. I’ll check it out.

    After doing more research, I am disappointed in Scan Life as a memory keeping tool in its current state. Let me explain, as the concept of Scan Life is totally rad!

    I’m an optimistic person so let’s start with the positive things about Scan Life:
    –It’s extremely simple to use.
    –The scanning function is fast and efficient. The best I’ve seen.
    –You can resize the QR code as desired.
    –The QR codes are scannable through the Project Life page protectors.

    Before I tell you the limitations to Scan Life let me tell you what I envisioned. I want to document in a video format my kids’ answers to one question a week, plus I want to include videos of sporting events, musical recitals, and funny things they say or do. Overall, I envision including 3 videos a week for a grand estimated total of 156 videos in one year.

    The website says you can scan 500 codes for free, BUT only 3 of those QR codes will be active at any one time with the free plan.

    And yes, upgraded services are available.
    For 5 active codes and 500 scans it costs $25/month.
    For 20 active codes and 1,000 scans it costs $85/month.
    And for more active codes, you must contact them for their Professional rate. And keep in mind that all of these upgraded plans require a minimum subscription of 6 months.

    So I only need 156 scans but I want them all active. I’m afraid to find out what that would cost me. And then in addition, I want them to last forever. What’s the point of scanning them and including them in my album if most of them are going to be inactive? I at least can use my CDs for less than $1 each.

    The idea behind Scan Life has great potential for memory keeping, but I do not like that they limit the number of active codes you can use. What puzzles me is the fact that Scan Life is not storing this information. The video can come from your personal website, Youtube, or Vimeo. Those sites are actually storing the information for free.

    Perhaps I’m spoiled. My Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram accounts are all free. My information and pictures are stored at no cost to me. So it’s hard to justify a monthly fee for a limited service.

    And before you ask…Yes, I would pay a moderate service fee if the service was for unlimited active codes.

    In Scan Life’s defense, their product wasn’t designed for memory keepers/scrapbookers.

    Hope you have a fabulous day. If you have any questions or other suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

    Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

    If you are new to my site, welcome! Like what you see? I would love for you follow along on this crazy adventure of mine by subscribing to my blog and joining me on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.



    Kara Monroe

    Jenny – I so loved your post yesterday and the idea to add videos to your albums using a QR Code. I use QR codes for lots of stuff, but hadn’t thought of this idea. I was really sad to see that Scan Life charges so much and has such ridiculous rules.

    I wanted to share – hoping it might help you, I use a free tool called Kawya – it’s available here: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. Since you said you upload the videos to YouTube, this might still work for you as all you need is the URL. I just keep a list of all the ones I’ve ever made in a word document for reference, but I’ve seen QR Codes work that are very, very old. I just right click the image to save the code and can add it to different files for printing. I’ve not tried to scan it through a page protector but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    I love this idea so I hope I can be of a little help. Thanks for being such an inspiration – your blog is always a must read for me.

    14 March 2012 at 4:13 am Reply

      Thanks Kara – will most definitely check it out! Always looking to learn more.

      14 March 2012 at 5:57 am Reply
    Dawn Beery

    Hi Jenny! I love your blog! Thank you for posting the 100 questions. I think I am going to incorporate 1 question a week in my project life album. Can’t wait to see the answers I get from my girls! Thanks so much for all your inspiration! You rock! :)

    14 March 2012 at 7:23 am Reply

      The kids are just loving these videos and our oldest has sent some of the videos to her friends. That’s considered a success in my book!
      And I love having the answers/videos in my album – just makes them come alive.

      14 March 2012 at 7:38 am Reply
    Heather S. in VT

    Thanks for your wonderful blog Jenny and all the wonderful inspiration. I just love it and I’m so excited when there is a new post to read! I’ve even started a life list thanks to you! I know nothing about the whole scanning code thing and don’t even have a smart phone but now with this and Instagram and the possibility of adding videos to my PL album I might just have to get one!! I do have a question for you though. What program are you using to edit your videos? I have a ton of digital video just sitting on my computer and I never do anything with it! I tried using a Sony product for editing the video but it just seemed to take forever and I just don’t want to spend what little free time I have editing video. I have really significantly reduced my photo editing time and am just going with straight out of the camera for my photos especially for PL. But when it comes my video I’d like to make reduce the file size to make it easier to post on FB and YouTube for sharing with family (lots of family spread across the country!) and it never fails that I want to share only a minute of about 3 minutes video and would love to know what you use for this process. Even if you have some great links to how to’s that would be great! Thanks so much! Thanks also for the 100 ideas! I’m gonna start doing this too! Love it!

    14 March 2012 at 10:53 am Reply

      Thanks Heather! I hope you enjoy the questions – we find our conversations so much fun and full of quirky personalities.
      I use my Canon 5D Mark II to take most of our videos (dual camera and video) that we bought last August for our trip to Washington D.C.
      My dancing video in Washington D.C. was the first time we ever used the camera. I use iMovie to edit my videos. Jeff often helps me and we find it extremely easy to use.
      We also take videos just using our iphone and uploading them to Youtube is ridiculously simple. We typically don’t edit those.
      I’ve only had a MAC since starting with photography and video, so I don’t know what PC options are out there. Do you have iMovie and would it help you if we do a video to show you how we edit one of our kids’ videos?

      14 March 2012 at 11:39 am Reply
        Heather S. in VT

        Thanks Jenny. No, I do not have iMovie. I am running a PC. I’m a bookkeeper running Quickbooks and even though QB is available in a MAC version, the PC version has some small differences that make my life easier so I’m sticking with my PC for now. I do have a Canon Rebel T3i and I have taken alot of video with that. I also have a hard drive video camera that we’ve taken a lot of video with. Just wishing for a simple way to edit it and get it rendered to a CD even! Thanks for the help! By the way, we are in VT and make our own VT Maple Syrup and I have a recipe for Maple Icing. I’ve actually never used it myself (only because of a time factor.) If you are interested in it for your cupcake series, email me. I’d be happy to send you some real VT maple syrup and the recipe!

        14 March 2012 at 12:36 pm Reply
    Melanie Jackson

    What a cool idea!!! Thanks so much for sharing this. We also try to encourage and maintain open communication with our 3 kids. Will definitely be using this!!! You have such cool ideas, so inspirational. Thanks again.


    14 March 2012 at 11:39 am Reply

      We have really found this fun. At first the kids scoffed a bit, but now they ask what the question is going to be when asking what is for dinner?
      I’m looking forward to their answers to next week’s question: “If you could have one super power what would it be?”
      Have a great day Melanie and thanks for stopping by.-J

      14 March 2012 at 11:42 am Reply
    Catherine at Design Editor

    Love this! The video is so awesome-your family is adorable.

    14 March 2012 at 1:12 pm Reply

      Thanks Catherine. I think I’m going to keep those stinkers around a little longer. Wish I had done more video taping when they were smaller. At least I’ll capture Sam though. -J

      16 March 2012 at 8:02 am Reply

    Do you have a tutorial or a link on how to use scan life? Does it work for Vimeo? Thanks!

    14 March 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

      Maridette – It works for any site as long as there is a URL code. So vimeo, youtube, your own blog, etc – it all works. I’m researching several other companies and will do a tutorial this next week.
      It took about 3 minutes to upload a 2 minute video from our iMovie account (where we edit our videos) to Youtube. Then we went to Scan Life, created an account, and entered the link to the video to the Youtube account which took us about a minute.
      The other site Kaywa mentioned above is a free site and doesn’t require an account and is free. I will try them out this weekend and do a quick tutorial as long as it is a free account which it appears to be. Thanks for being patient. I’ll send you an email as soon as it’s up and posted!-J

      16 March 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

        thanks! Will be on the look out for it.

        16 March 2012 at 9:12 am Reply
    Heather George

    I asked my four year old, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. After a long and thoughtful pause, he responded, “I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out.” After another long pause, “That’s okay though ‘cuz I’m still really little.” LOVE that kid :)

    15 March 2012 at 8:02 am Reply

      Heather – What a terrific answer! Last night we asked the question about what power would you have if you were a superhero. Oh my! Emily chimed in and said she would have fashion superhero so she could change her outfits quickly and look the way she sees in her mind. I’m in BIG trouble.
      Thanks for stopping by. -Jenny

      16 March 2012 at 8:09 am Reply

    Love the idea of incorporating the videos in project life, but do you need to make the videos public on you tube before you can print the scan code?

    20 March 2012 at 12:30 pm Reply

      Great question Carol. You can keep your videos on private from Vimeo or Youtube. The scan works just as well. All our other kid’s videos are private for that very reason. I feel that I already share plenty from our lives. Thanks Carol for stopping by!-Jenny

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