I used to be a page collector. For years, whenever I read magazines, I would carefully tear out pages of things I wanted to save. Recipes, garden tips, home decorating ideas, you name it. (Okay, I have to be honest. I still do this. I even have a file folder system that keeps them sorted. I’ll explain why in a minute.)
Then the Internet came along and I became a bookmark collector. I would bookmark pages of things I found interesting, sorted into categorized folders. The thing about bookmarks though, is that they don’t show you anything more than a link. This makes it easy to forget what it was you saved, and to not go back and review the information.
Enter Pinterest. The visual cork board of the Internet. I was hooked from the minute I discovered it. On my personal page, I have 110 public boards, 4 private boards, and 11,948 pins between them. I don’t tell you that to brag or impress you. It’s of no interest to me how many followers I have or how often my pins get re-shared, or liked.
Here is why I use Pinterest, and how I think you should use it too.
- I use Pinterest to collect recipes to try, and then I actually try them. I sort mine by type (pasta, meatless, breakfast, etc.), which makes it easier to find ideas when I do my meal planning. If Pinterest would create sub-categories, I would have two folders: Recipes to Try, and Recipes I’ve Already Made, and I would keep my same sub folders in each parents folder. As it is, they are all mixed together which makes it harder on my husband when he says, can we have x, y, or z again, and I say, “Sure, the recipe is on my Pinterest page.”
- I use Pinterest to discover my decorating/fashion/whatever style. I don’t necessarily save pins of items I want to buy (though I have a few folders for that reason too), but of ideas that catch my eye. Because when we finally decide it’s time to renovate the kitchen, or work in the back garden, and they ask, “So, what would you like this to look like?” Instead of saying, “I have no bloody idea”, I can look through my pins and see what shows up repeatedly in the images I’ve saved. Through the use of my Pin-boards I’ve discovered my likes and dislikes, and even what colors I’m drawn to in clothing.
- I use Pinterest as a planning tool. I save books I want to read, things I want to do in the places that are on my vacations lists, and when my kids were getting ready to start college we created shared boards to do some collaborative planning. I have boards dedicated to each holiday, and every season.
- I use Pinterest to dream. Someday I hope to have a yard big enough to have a few chickens, and so I have a board about raising backyard chickens. I want to learn how to make a quilt, and I have a board dedicated to that. I am going to learn to play the guitar (I already have my guitar), and I have a board dedicated to that as well.
- I use Pinterest to save things I find beautiful or inspiring. I save quotes, pictures of sheep, and pictures of barns. Into my seasonal folders I mentioned above, as well as saving practical things, I save beautiful images that people share from each of those seasons. When I need a pick-me up, I browse my folders and look at what is lovely.
- I use Pinterest to play. I have folders dedicated to coloring pages, and fountain pens, and crafts, and knitting, and various other hobbies.
- I use Pinterest to stay connected. I have boards full of ideas of things to do with my nieces and nephew. A folder of ideas of letters to write to my Compassion kids. A folder of ideas for each of my kids, and one for my marriage.
The sky is the limit when it comes to Pinterest. Yet, too often I hear other woman toss around this idea of things needing to be “Pinterest perfect.” Or they will say that they can’t share a photo of whatever they made because it’s not “Pinterest perfect.”
Let’s get rid of that idea that everything needs to be curated for the Internet. No one needs to be worrying about having the perfect home, or throwing a children’s party that is going to make every mom on the block envious. Who needs that kind of pressure? I certainly don’t, and I doubt you do either. It’s not a competition to see who is the craftiest, best dressed, or who has the most tastefully decorated home.
Let’s get back to using Pinterest for what it was intended: a virtual pin board of collected ideas, shared with others.
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