Over the past few months I’ve had many people ask me how to use Pinterest. It is great for wasting time on the internet, but can it actually help you live better?
I’ve seen several posts lately sharing how to use Pinterest, but those have been geared toward bloggers and how they can use as a social networking tool. While Pinterest is a great tool for bloggers, you don’t have to have a blog to use Pinterest.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. I like to compare to a binder that you would use to store all the awesome ideas you found in magazines. Instead of keeping a binder full of magazine pages it is all virtual. Less clutter = I love it!
How Do I Join Pinterest?
Just sign in via Facebook, Twitter, or with an email address.
I’m In….. Now What?
Invite your friends. Someone invited you, so how about inviting someone you know who wants to get in?
Get familiar with the site.
When you log in you’ll see pins from the people you follow. If you aren’t following anyone go to your name and click on the arrow. A drop down menu will appear and you can click on “find friends” to see which of your friends are on Pinterest. The more people you follow the more Pins you see on the main page.
You can also follow “boards.” This means you aren’t following a person just their pins on a specific board will show up in your stream, but pins from their other boards will not show up.
After you are following your friends you can create your own boards. Boards are how you categorize what you are pinning. When you start, Pinterest has boards already created for you. You can use them or create your own.
If you aren’t sure what boards you want to create you can always create as you go.
Once you find something you want to pin, hover over the image and the “Repin” option will appear. Remember everything on Pinterest as been pinned before. So you are repinning items when you are on the Pinterest site.
Click on Repin and a drop down menu will appear. Remember to chose the correct board so you can easily find your pin later. You also have the option to write a short description. If you want to increase the chances of other people finding and repinning your pin, take a second to write up a quick description.
How do I Pin Stuff I Find on the Web?
Some websites have a “Pin It” button at the bottom of their posts.
Click that button to pin the article.
If the website doesn’t have a “Pin It” button you can add a one to your bookmarks bar on your browser. It just takes a minute to install.
Pinterest Is Imaged Based
You can’t pin something that doesn’t have an image on the webpage. So if you find a great article on Martin Luther King Day you probably won’t be able to “Pin It” unless it has a large image accompanying the article. (You can always use StumbleUpon for bookmarking articles without images)
If you are pinning a post from the blog make sure you write a short description, but do not copy and paste the entire post. Pinterest is a bookmarking site, not a syndicated site. Copying and pasting an entire article into the description is like stealing the content from that site.
How Exactly Will Pinterest Help Me ?
I’ll be the first to admit Pinterest can be a huge time waster! It is easy to sign on and get lost in the sea of delicious desserts, sewing projects, and home decor. If you spend all your time pinning and not doing, what’s the point?
Pinterest is a great source for inspiration. You can also use it to bookmark recipes you find on the web, DIY projects, or even homeschool units. My friend Andrea uses it to find inspiration for outfits, then takes the images on her phone to discount clothing stores and finds outfits based on her pinterest board.
Can you live your entire life without Pinterest? Absolutely! But I have found great recipes, sewing tutorials, homemade Christmas gift ideas, and home decor ideas much quicker than if I were just browsing the entire internet. So in a way, it could be a time saver….
To manage my time on Pinterest I usually set the timer on my phone and limit myself to ten or fifteen minutes for browsing. I consider it part fun, part research and try to use my time wisely when I’m online.
There is a lot more you can do on Pinterest, but hopefully this tutorial will get you started pinning and finding great ideas to help you get organized, eat well, and live better!