One of my favourite things about Instagram is the Throwback Thursday (or #TBT). If you’re not on Instagram, it’s essentially people sharing photos of things that happened ages ago – hence the throwback. While I certainly don’t think that I’m the most nostalgic person out there, I do reminisce about the easy, breezy days gone by. You know, the days before mortgage payments, parental will discussions, VISA bills and all the other realities of grown-up life. I was thinking about this the other day while browsing Pinterest for some ideas for Spring refreshers for my living room. What on earth did I do before Pinterest? Oh, right. This:
The answer came to me during the Refined New Year series when I cleaned out my home office. I uncovered a small black binder brimming with cutout images from magazines carefully cut and pasted into a scrapbook. I can remember flipping through the book while looking in my closet for inspiration on what to wear. I had recipes cut out for fancy dinner parties I was surely going to host and even how-to guides on dressing like Reese Witherspoon. While somethings have changed (and I’m not talking about wanting to dress like Reese Witherspoon, feature of our past Woman Crush Wednesday) the reality that people like to have vision boards. Boards about what they want in life, who they want to be or even what they want to be. That’s why I love Pinterest.
— Refined Side (@RefinedSide) January 15, 2014
I’ve used Pinterest since it was in beta and my Safari homepage tells me it’s one of my top webpages I visit. It’s helped me plan the décor for my home, dinner parties, healthy eating meal plans, shopping lists, trips, home renovations and even inspired thoughts, actions and goals. It’s exactly the same as the binder I used to keep for “inspiration” but now involves much less (real life) cutting & pasting. While most people can easily get the concept of Pinterest and even the practicality, they find themselves swimming in the depths of content known as the eternal scrolling page. You can pin, pin and pin away without getting anywhere, or more commonly, without being able to find what you pinned 5 minutes ago. I thought I’d share my tips on:
How do you use Pinterest effectively
The first thing I have found in having a useful experience on Pinterest is to categorize your boards. Make boards about specific things you are passionate about and treat them as a curated collection. I routinely change the cover photos on RefinedSide’s Pinterest page to reflect a standard aesthetic, which changes as does time. Here is a sample of a few of our boards:
The second thing that has really helped has been to routinely go in and check what is pasted on your boards. I have often pinned things and then completely forgotten about them. What’s the point in pinning all these clothes about your fabulous new wardrobe if you don’t even reference it when you’re heading out to go shopping? Pinterest also recently added a great feature where you can search within your own pins, so making sure you have a good description rather than just “SO CUTE!!!!!” is a plus.
While this all started with a tip of the hat to Instagram and the #tbt, it quickly merged into a Pinterest love letter. I think that is what has been what made Pinterest so successful – it took something we were all doing (68.2% of Pinterest users are female) and made it into an indispensable web experience. Plus, it saves my shelves from having to carry the weight of my pre-Pinterest binders, and frees them up for whatever DIY craft I decide to make next on Pinterest.
Do you love Pinterest? Hate it? We’d love to hear it and if you don’t already, please follow us on Pinterest!