I don’t know about you, but sometimes finding unique presents for family members year on year can be a very difficult task. Once you’ve done the socks and pyjamas and hampers and framed photos in previous years, the ideas start to run dry.
My parents are especially good at telling us they have everything they need. Which although I’m sure is true, doesn’t make buying them gifts any easier. This year we’ve decided to go down the homemade route, and send them a few small things from Evie rather than spending money on things they might not want/need.
And in seeking out unique handmade gifts, I think I’ve come up trumps with this year’s. I was recently introduced to Neveo – an app which you can add and store all of your favourite family photos to then be collated into a photo book and sent to family members of your choice every month.
If there’s one thing that I know will always put a smile on my parents face, it’s looking at photos of their one and only grandchild so signing up for a years subsrcription to Neveo was an unexpectedly perfect gift.
We added all of our favourite photos of Evie in the run up to Christmas into the app before the beginning of December, added captions and then left the rest to the Neveo team. Within a week or so, I’d received a message from my mum, exclaiming ‘what a lovely surprise!’ as their book had arrived in the post in time for Christmas!
Essentially like a monthly magazine with news from your family, Neveo is such a great simple way to help family stay up to date with each other and an especially good way of sharing pictures with people who you might not see regularly. Obviously for older members of the family, who maybe don’t use social media or have a whats app, getting a tangible paper magazine each month with photos, is a brilliant way to let them see what your little ones have been up to. And with the app being so simple to use and the printing process taken out of your hands, it’s a much easier route than remembering to print and collate photos each month by hand.
For us, not having family nearby does sometimes mean that there are moments our parents and wider family maybe miss out on with Evie, and a constant stream of shared photos is the best way to help her grandparents feel like they were part of it, even if they couldn’t be there in person. We have a shared family Whats App of course but I’ll admit during busy times I sometimes get a little slack at adding photos in and making sure it’s updated. Now that I have the Neveo app, I just make sure that at the end of each day I add in any snaps I’ve taken that day, write a short caption about what we got up to and then I don’t need to worry about it anymore. At the end of the month the photos are collated, printed into a glossy magazine and sent out for you. It really is completely hassle free! You even receive a copy yourself too so you can remind yourself of all the best moments from the month.
The app itself is simple to navigate and only allows for certain actions – mainly adding photos and writing captions – and once you’ve input the addresses of where you’d like it to be sent, everything is done for you. All you need to take care of is remembering to add the photos. One key feature is that you can invite other family members into your account and they too can add photos in throughout the month making it a truly collaborative project between the whole family. With one shared account you can ensure a magazine full of pictures from all sides. There’s a limit of 50 photos per month within the magazine (probably more than enough for one month) and although the app is free to download there’s a small charge per month should you want to subscribe and send a monthly magazine (£9.99 per month for a 50 photo album, £14.99 per month for a 100 photo album), but it’s still a whole lot cheaper than printing photos out in store every month.
Neveo asked us to try the service for the month of November (ensuring a magazine delivery in time for Christmas) and review it, and I have to say overall we’ve been really impressed with the app. Specifically how easy it is to use and how quick the whole process is. Printing photos out is a bit of a dying art isn’t it? But whenever we do it, we’re always really glad to have those tangible memories to hand. But I guess the thing that stops us doing it regularly is the fact that it takes time to collate all of the photos onto a memory stick, head to a printing shop, wait for them to be printed and then figure out what to do with them once we have them. Not to mention the cost, as printing photos is rather expensive nowadays. Neveo has taken that hassle away slightly, and although the quality within the magazine isn’t as great as it would be getting a printed photo, it’s brilliant having a completed book of all our adventures within that month. Neveo have kindly given us a year’s subscription to the app and I’m really looking forward to keeping all of the magazines and being able to look back on them in years to come, knowing exactly when each of our adventures took place.
Obviously as it’s a fairly new service there are still a few kinks to iron out and the app isn’t totally perfect yet in my opinion. A couple of things I’d love to be different; I’d really like it if you could personalise the magazine slightly more. I realise this would then take more time and perhaps put people off as the process wouldn’t be a simple as it is now, but I’d love to be able to arrange the photos in a certain way within the magazine (currently they go in time order depending on when you added and also per person adding – i.e. all of the ones I added first then all of the ones my husband added and so on), perhaps choose fonts or colours and what I think would really make it more special is to be able to add a personalised message to the recipient at the beginning. Although my parents loved getting their magazine in the post, as it was a gift and therefore a surprise they were a little baffled as to where it had come from and who had created it. I’d loved to have written a personal gift message alongside the book, and perhaps even had a page at the beginning of the magazine with a small blurb like ‘Dear Nana and Bapa, we thought you might like to see what Evie’s been getting up to this month, here’s a collection of photos of her getting ready for Christmas and enjoying the festivities’ or something along those lines.
I also didn’t love the way each photo was preceded with the name of who had added it in bold letters at the top of each column. I can see how this might be good if a large family were all adding photos so that the recipient could see who took what, but for us it was a little redundant as it was only myself and my husband adding photos in and therefore quite repetitive. And lastly as it’s me who has the app and I set up the account, I’d love if I could add captions to all photos to ensure the book is fully completed before printing. Unfortunately you can only add captions and edit/delete the photos you’ve personally added in. My husband isn’t much of a writer and therefore many of his photos remained caption-less. We initially didn’t think this was a problem, but upon receiving the magazine through the post, we realised it looked a little odd with one section of the magazine (as I mentioned the photos are laid out by person rather than all mixed up) completely blank and the other full of words (easy to guess whose was whose right?).
But I’ve no doubt that as the app continues to grow and develop those small issues will easily be resolved and they definitely haven’t put me off continuing to use it. My parents were really pleased with their personal ‘book of Evie’ and even more excited when I told them it would be a monthly thing. I’ve been adding pics in ever since and can’t wait for them to see the December issue, as we are spending Christmas with my husbands family this year and I know my parents will love seeing all of the pictures of Evie throughout the holidays, seeing as they won’t be with her.
If you’re keen to have printed photos of your children and easily keep other family members up to date with everything they do, Neveo is the app for you. It’s honestly so easy to use and compared to other similar services, very affordable too. So if you’re still in need of a last minute Christmas present for that family member who is proving tricky to buy for/ has everything, this could be just the thing!
What do you think? Would you use an app like this?