Friday, October 11, 2013

Using Bump for Genealogy Files

How many times have you been somewhere when someone says, “Can you send me that photo?” or “Can you send me that file?”  Usually you reply something along the lines of “Sure, I’ll put it in Dropbox” or “I’ll email it to you later”.   The impatient friends will drop everything and ask for your email or phone number and spend a few minutes typing away to transfer something to you immediately, or gathering your contact info to send files.  This sometimes involves several tries as you figure out the best way to get the information back and forth.

Imagine just bumping your phones together to transfer contact information, photos, documents, video or audio files.  Yes, bumping is just like a fist bump.  Or imagine that you can then download everything from your phone to your computer just by bumping your phone to the space bar on your keyboard.   Better, yet, don’t just imagine this- you can do it now!

When Bump started a few years ago, it was just for sharing contact information and photos.  But in February it expanded to documents including spreadsheets, text files, word processing files, email messages or PDF files.   This app is free, requires no set up or password.  You just choose the files, bump and confirm your transfer.  For using computers, go to and for smart phones you need to download the free application.

I found that WiFi works better than a phone connection, but I’ve been using my phone connection almost exclusively “in the field” and have had no problems other than speed issues.   I’ve shared family photos with family, contact info (good for exchanging full size files later), and documents back and forth from devices with other people, and then to my computer when I get home.  I wish I had known more about Bump when I was at RootsTech or NERGC.

You can use this app as a virtual business card, just bump phones with people you meet at archives, conferences, society meetings.  No need to collect paper anymore.  Contact information is instantly shared this way.  Well, we have to wait until all genealogists start carrying smart phones first!

According to Dick Eastman “the app is limited to a total of 30 megabytes in file transfers”.  I tried downloading a large photo file from my computer to my phone, and it reduced the file considerably.  This is a good app for smart phone photos, but not vice versa, unless you are in a pinch.


Dick Eastman

A tutorial on how to use Bump

Read about a genealogist who is already using Bump

Disclosure:  I was not compensated by Bump Technologies in any way for reviewing the app or website.


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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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