Keepy vs. Canvsly: Which Should You Use?
Anyone else have A TON of art created by their kids? Mine is just 17 months old and has been at school (daycare) for barely one year. And we already drowning in construction paper!
Some of it is just random stuff glued onto a piece of paper, projects obviously intended more for sensory development than for the creation of an art piece.
But most of it is precious. They have his footprints and handprints. Or they have scribbles drawn personally by him. And some are super-cute projects orchestrated by his very thoughtful (and very patient) teachers.
We know we can’t keep it all indefinitely. We want to keep our home organized and clutter-free. But at the same time, we don’t want to lose the memories on these pieces of paper.
We considered a few solutions, but narrowed them down to two apps: Keepy and Canvsly. We tried both out for a week to discover the plusses and minuses of each app. And we used one of them to implement the perfect system for preserving, organizing, and archiving our son’s work.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about these apps, and to discover which app — Keepy vs. Canvsly — is the best for organizing and streamlining the mounds of kid art work in your house.
We Ruled Out Several Options Before Narrowing Down to Keepy and Canvsly
Let me back up a bit and talk about the options we ruled out, just so you know everything we had considered.
We initially thought of simply taking photos of everything, but that didn’t seem to be a very good way of documenting information about each piece, such as the date created. And we wanted to keep art photos separate from the thousands of other photos on our phones.
So we looked into apps specifically designed for this purpose. And by “looked into”, I mean we Googled.
We read about Art My Kid Made, but couldn’t find the app. I went back online and did a search for the app and every article I saw that referenced the app was from 2015 or earlier. Since it wasn’t easy to find (and possibly no longer in existence), it quickly got eliminated from our list of contenders.
We also read about Artkive, an app that offered similar features as Keepy and Canvsly. It had quite a few recent negative reviews on the App Store. The reviewers mentioned that the app crashed and was unreliable, and some reviewers expressed disappointment (to put it mildly) at Artkive’s switch from a free service to a subscription service. We’re parents of a toddler — we don’t have time to even experiment with unreliable services! So we ruled this one out.
So that left us with Keepy and Canvsly….
Keepy and Canvsly Are Actually Very Similar
The user experience is similar. You create a profile for your child and add photos of his art work. Those photos can be taken through the app or uploaded from your photos.
Both apps have somewhat limited photo editing options. Neither allows you to do more than crop the photo you’ve taken or adjust the brightness. Although we are all used to having many more editing options (filters, special effects), these apps give you enough to be able to realistically capture your child’s work.
Both have a way for you to share works of art with a group of people, such as grandparents. Keepy calls those people “fans”, and Canvsly calls them your child’s “circle.” And both apps allow for those followers to “like” or comment on your child’s pieces.
Both apps have the option of turning your child’s artwork into a gift, and both apps have an impressive selection of gift options. Photo prints, cards and calendars, mugs, phone and tablet cases, t-shirts and tote bags, and even blankets and towels!
Everything You Need to Know About Keepy
The App Is Free, But You Probably Will Need a Paid Subscription For Service
The Keepy app is free, but using the service requires a subscription if you add more than 7 pieces per month.
You Can Sort Art Pieces By Category
Keepy starts you off with categories that include “home”, “family”, and every single holiday. You can also create your own categories. When adding a new piece for your child, you can tag it with multiple categories. You can then filter by category when viewing pieces, so that you can easily find what you’re looking for.
Here are the categories Keepy starts you off with. As you can see, there are lots! You can select as many as you’d like.
Keepy Lets You Create Audio Or Video Recording of Your Child Describing His/Her Masterpiece
When you add a work of art, you have the option of recording a video or audio to go along with it. So you could record your child describing his work. Pretty cool!
With Keepy You Decide Which Pieces to Share
Each time you add a piece to the app, you decide if you want to share it with your child’s “fans.” This is a great feature if you don’t want to inundate your child’s “fans” with every single piece you add to the app.
Everything You Need to Know About Canvsly
There Is a Charge for the App, But the Service Is Free
The app costs $2.99 to download, but you won’t need a subscription to use Canvsly’s service.
In Canvsly, Art Pieces Are Sorted By Album
Each piece of art you add to the app gets placed in an album. You can only choose one album, so if you are looking for a way to sort pieces of art, your options are limited.
All Works of Art Are Shared With Your Child’s “Circle”
All of your child’s work is shared with everyone in his “circle.” This could be a good feature for you if you’d like to share all of your child’s work without making specific selections.
Same-Day Prints Are Available
Canvsly’s gift store is almost identical to Keepy’s. But, Canvsly had the additional option of allowing you to have your photos printed at your local Walgreens, which generally offer same-day printing service.
The Result of our Keepy vs. Canvsly Analysis Was Clear
Keepy Is The Hands-Down Winner
Canvsly restricts your cropping options, so that you must use a square shape. Canvsly gives you a square shape, and you must move the square around to capture the portion of the photo you want to include. Here’s what the photo cropping option looks like in Canvsly.
I found this limitation to be frustrating. Of all the apps we use regularly, most (if not all) allow us to crop our photos however we’d like. Not having that option in Canvsly, you need to be much more careful about how you frame your photo when you take it.
In contrast, with Keepy, you can crop a photo of your child’s artwork any way you’d like, just like you can in your phone’s Photo app. Just move the edges and corners of the frame until your photo is cropped just the way you want it.
Keepy’s Tags Make It So Much Easier To Stay Organized
The ability to tag photos with one or more labels also makes Keepy the winner. We’ll be able to sort by occasion, or by event/holiday, or by type of work, or any other category we create! This makes it so much easier to keep D’s art work organized and will help us pull the right pieces when we want them.
Audio and Video Recordings Allow You To Create Even More Memories
The ability to create audio and video recordings is a great opportunity to create and record even more memories. D can’t quite explain his masterpieces yet, but we have made a video of him pointing and saying “duh”. We know we’ll look back at this video in a few years and fondly remember how he couldn’t say “duck.”
Choose Which Pieces of Art to Share
Keepy also gave us more control about which pieces we share. We don’t want to bombard D’s “fans” with every. single. piece. of work he created, so we liked this flexibility.
Keepy’s Interface Promotes Consistent, Organized Storage of Art Work
We found Keepy’s interface to be more intuitive. Once you take or select a photo of your child’s work, Keepy gives you this menu:
We liked that Keepy offered customization for recordings, tags, and sharing. And we really liked that we were prompted to make selections for all of these options right when we took or uploaded a photo. It makes adding art work a smooth and consistent process, which will make it easier for us to find specific works of art months and years down the road.
Conclusion: Keepy Is Worth The Subscription Cost
Overall, Keepy offers greater customization for both uploading photos of your child’s art and keeping everything organized. It is intuitive and easy to use, which means you’ll actually use it, instead of letting your house get overrun with construction paper!
I hope this helps you find a way to reduce clutter at home, while hanging on to the precious memories your child has created. If you have any experiences with Keepy or Canvsly, I’d love to hear them! Please share them in the Comments section below!