70 something man holding up childhood photo

Use ZOOM to save your family stories!

At this time in history, most people have been on a ZOOM call in the last month
and most of you had never heard of it before we started social distancing. HOPE Organizing is here to help you navigate how to use ZOOM so that you can seamlessly connect with your friends, family and colleagues. We will also share how you can use ZOOM to keep a video diary of this unprecedented time in history.

#1 – Set up a free ZOOM account

Most people can use a free account unless you want to have a larger group and for
the call to last longer than 40 minutes (one-on-one calls have no time limit).

Go to ZOOM.US and you can either set up with an email, Google Account or
Facebook account.

#2 – Set up your profile

  • Insert a picture so that if you “turn off” the video it allows others to see who you are.
  • Make sure your name is showing the way you prefer.
  • Check your language.
  • Check your time zone.

#3 – Schedule your first ZOOM meeting

  • Click on Meeting (on the left).
  • Choose Schedule a New Meeting.
  • You can also attend virtual training by selecting Get Training in the upper right corner (training tools are also located under Resources).
  • Give your meeting a Topic.
  • Give a Description if you would like.
  • Pick a time and date.
  • Turn on Audio and Video.
  • Give a Description if you would like.
  • Pick a time and date.
  • The most IMPORTANT part is that you choose “Record the meeting automatically on your local computer.” o You can always turn it off when the meeting starts. o You can always delete the recording if you don’t want to save it. o BUT if you turn if off, it is very easy to forget to turn it back on and you might miss something.

#4 – Invite your guests to your “meeting”

  •  After you “set up” your meeting it will give you a link to copy and you can email, text or message in some way to your guests.
  • Give your guest 1-3 topics that you want to chat about. o Need topic ideas – visit our recent blog, “Share a story with HOPE”.
  • Suggest that your guests use a computer with a webcam. If they use a phone or tablet recommend that they don’t hold as that can result in awkward angles and bouncing around.
  • Honestly, if you just want to record your own story – you don’t need to invite anyone.

#5 – Host your meeting

  • Log into your ZOOM account and “start” the meeting.
  • You will likely need to “admit” your guests into the room.
  • Choose either Speaker (just the person speaking will be displayed on screen) or Gallery View
    (everyone’s face on screen).
  • For story telling I recommend Speaker view.

#6 – Save and Celebrate your stores

  • At the end of your “meeting”, it will ask where you want to save your video
    (it will automatically save to the ZOOM file on your computer)
  • Change the file name to indicate what the video is about
    o I recommend starting with the date of the “interview” (for example: 2020-04-13 –
    Family History – Hank and Jane Tonjes)
  • Now you can have fun. Edit out anything you don’t need, clip it into
    segments and SHARE with other family members.

Contact HOPE Organizing if you need help setting things up or editing your finished video. I offer a 20 minute free consultation and would love to help you discover all the ways you can manage and organize your memories.

Call today at 402-350-3220 or visit HOPE Organizing for more ideas, tips and tools to help you organize your photos everywhere.


  1. Linda Samuels

    With so many people learning to use Zoom these days, I love how you shared such clear and visually appealing instructions for basic “how-to” navigate this platform. I am not new to Zoom. However, I’ve been using it A LOT in recent weeks. And it’s been fun to experiment with creative uses like having our weekly girlfriends breakfast, a virtual cocktail party, fundraiser concerts, family calls, and even a Passover seder. I love your suggestion of sharing family memories and stories!

    • Lisa Tonjes Moritz

      I think a very large percentage of the population is using Zoom for the first time and many people are using it in different ways, I really want everyone to understand that they can also set up a call. 🙂

  2. Ronni

    This is so helpful. Especially for beginners. Over the last 6-7 weeks I’ve gone Zoom crazy. At first I wasn’t even sure how to join a meeting.
    There’s a lot here that I didn’t know. Thank you!


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