As I’ve tried to streamline my social media to make more time for getting things done, I’ve given all of my networking sites a hard look. Despite cutting back on things like Facebook, I’m still online far more than I want to be and I’ve got that feeling of being spread too thin.  If I’m going to use or visit a site, it needs to offer me something more than distraction from real life.

Enter Pinterest, the self-described virtual pinboard where you can “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” I first joined last year and, although I thought it was pretty, I didn’t quite get the point and wrote it off as another place for me to waste time on the internet.  I kept my account (of course) and popped on every once in awhile, but I still didn’t get it. Until a month or so ago. Now Pinterest is quickly becoming one of my favorite online destinations.

Here’s why I love Pinterest. If you are a visual person, there is NO BETTER WAY to organize your bookmarks. I never got the hang of using sites like delicious because there was no appeal to me. And my browser favorites became bulky and unmanageable. But Pinterest is so lovely to look at. When you enter the site, you are greeted with rows and rows of photos: pretty pictures that lead to other websites.

Pinterest is easy to use. You create boards in a manner of moments and you start “pinning.” You can install the “Pin It” button on your bookmarks bar. If you are on a site you want to go back to or share with others, simply click “Pin It.” The tool will bring up all of the images from the page you are currently on. Select the image you want to use, then select the board where you want the image to appear. Type in a little something about the pin, hit the button and you are done. When you visit that pin later, it will take you back to the original source. It is really that easy.

It is also a fountain of inspiration. Since Pinterest has a social networking aspect to it, you can follow people (or specific boards). When you log in to your account, your home screen shows the recent pins from the people you follow. See something you like? Simply click on the photo and repin it to your own board. You can also “like” and comment on pins if you are feeling more social.

It can actually save you time. I use Pinterest to get organized. I’ve got a number of recipe boards where I pin and repin meals I want to try out. It might be August, but if I come across a recipe for a yummy winter stew, I can pin it and have it easily accessible when the weather turns cold again. In the old days, I would have simply bookmarked the site and probably forgotten about it. Now, when I’m making the weekly menu for my family, I open up my recipe boards to see what looks good to eat. Or, if I’m craving something specific, I can do an easy search of ALL THE PINS OUT THERE and find something that fits the bill.

I also use Pinterest to bookmark projects I want to try out with the kids, products I might want to purchase, and (occasionally) to highlight some of my own work. Getting married? Create an inspiration wedding board. Redecorating your living room? Pin color ideas. Thinking of doing an Etsy treasury? Pinterest lets you save those items until you are ready to use them.  You can also mark artists you want to feature on your blog, movies you want to see, or quotes you find uplifting. The possibilities are endless.

Pinterest is still a fairly new site and there are occasional small glitches, but overall I have nothing but love for my boards. You can check out my pins by visiting me here. If you use Pinterest, has it helped you organize your online time?

Bettie is a business lawyer and a self-taught photographer living in Portland, Oregon who just started selling her prints and notecards in her brand new Etsy shop. Bettie eats tomatoes like apples, hangs out in thrift stores, and collects knee socks and red shoes. You can find her blogging about life and DIY over at Little Paper Cities or hanging out with her two daughters and two ridiculous little dogs.


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20 comments on “Organize Your Online Content with Pinterest”

  1. Love this piece about Pinterest! I was just musing yesterday about how pinterest is funtime play area for me and it has been a free time indulgence…but you blew the roof off and I see it in a whole new way! Love love love the recipe idea. And wedding detail collecting. Better than bookmarking….bookmark-let-ing!

  2. Pinterest can be a bit of a time suck because of all the pretty – you can get lost if you don’t rein it in. I’m also hesitant to pin things I find that I want to eventually share on my blog because then all my Pinterest followers see it before I’d like to share it and I lose a bit of the “wow” factor.

  3. I just was thinking the same thing yesterday about Pinterest be fun and inspirational but not sure hoe else I could use it for business. Thanks for the how to on pinning things from pages I want to come back to. I’m installing ithe “Pin it” on my bookmarks tool bar right away!

  4. I don’t use Pinterest – as the “invitation” part has always been little “off-putting”…? But there are a few people who’s pinboards I LOVE checking out – and I could definitely see me wasting inordinate amounts of time looking through them.

    Very interesting article – and a way of looking at Pinterest in an entirely new way.

  5. Actually I stumbled upon Pinterest a week or so ago and really loved looking at all the lovely pics. I’m now trying to create my own boards but I’m having problems dragging the “Pin It” icon to my browser tool bar. Anybody have any suggestions?

  6. Thanks!! I did the invite thing this morning and already downloaded their free iphone app as well :) I started to create boards that give me color inspiration for my designs<3

  7. I’m a Pintrest addict and I’ve added the “Pin It” icon and the “Follow Me” icon to my blog. I’ve been using it for several months now and it’s so fun!

  8. Love this! I never thought of using Pinterest for recipes. I really like the idea of being able to see the recipes to help me decide what to make. Also, your “get organized” pins are awesome! You will be seeing a lot of repins by me :)

  9. I actually just made an account yesterday. My favorites list was getting out of hand, but now I can keep everything organized! I have boards like “To Sew,” etc. When going through my list, I found all sorts of tutorials I had forgotten about.

  10. Like you at first I thought Pinterest was just another way to get lost on the web and waste time but I recently discovered how much it really can help you get organized! I also have boards for craft projects and recipes along with things I just find pretty or inspirational. Also as a handmade business owner I am always looking for great ideas for packaging or how to improve my craft show set up so I have boards with inspiration to give me ideas for those things as well. It’s definitely my go-to site to organize things that I want to come back to later.

  11. Thanks for chiming in, everyone! I love all the different ways people are using the site! The Thirty-Something Bride is right, of course. Pinterest (like any online site) can end up being a huge time waster if you don’t practice self-control. Maybe set a timer for 15 minutes if you don’t think you can pull yourself away. I also read on Twitter earlier this week that Pinterest is looking at adding a private board feature which would address not blowing the “wow factor.”

    Margaret, did you figure out how to install the Pin It button?

    I hope to see you all pinning away for inspiration and organization. Come find me at

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