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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