You read the title of today’s post and laughed, right? Most people who have a Pinterest account will vouch for the fact that Pinterest can, like many other things on the Internet, be a time waster. When I was first on Pinterest (and sometimes still) I would browse, browse browse…and pin, pin, pin. There’s great recipes, awesome decorating and craft ideas, organizing tips, household solutions, fashion inspiration…and the list goes on and on!
Eventually I got to where I wasn’t browsing as much. I don’t think it was a conscious choice. I just got busy. Fortunately most pins resurface months down the road, so no worries. You’re not likely to miss anything! Over time, as I got more familiar with Pinterest and all that it could do, I learned how to use it to my advantage and actually utilize it to save time rather than waste it.
Not that I think getting inspiration and new ideas is a complete waste of time! It most certainly is not!
Please don’t leave my blog. (Insert sad, pouty face.)
Here are some things I’ve found that help make the most out of Pinterest without eating so much time (and that might make it easier to follow my blog and others!).
1. Search rather than browse.
It took me a little bit, but eventually I realized that if I used Pinterest to SEARCH things that I really wanted to learn about or ideas I needed, then it was more functional. In case you don’t know what I mean, “browsing” would be what you do when you scroll the hundreds and thousands of pins that show up on your home page from the people you follow. “Searching” would be when you actually type a keyword or words into the search box on Pinterest to look for a specific thing.
|Red arrow points to search box|
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to browse occasionally. I now browse at times when I just need to be “mindless” and don’t really feel like doing much else. I still love to see all the cool ideas I may not have thought of. But Pinterest can also serve a purpose like Google or any other search engine does. If I want to learn about something, I search Pinterest and I have yet to come up with anything short of a slew of pins on the topic I’ve entered.
2. Organize your boards and pins.
See yesterday’s post for more on this, but organizing your Pinterest page will make it a lot easier to figure out where to pin something and to find it later!
3. Use Pinterest to save time with email and following blogs.
I followed a few blogs before, but since January and recommitting to my own blog, I have added more to my reading list and subscribed by email to several for my own inspiration (see my blog list on the right side of this blog). Getting blogs by email is often the only way I remember (or take the time) to read the ones I want to follow. (To follow my blog, enter your email in the “Follow By Email” box between the umbrella and the Twitter bird on the left column of my blog. Be sure to become a “Follower” as well so I know you’re here!)
Email of any kind can easily get out-of-control, however. When we start to get too many emails, it becomes easier to just delete, delete, delete, and then all the things we were interested in learning about (whether blogs posts or sales at our favorite stores) go immediately to the trash without a second glance.
That, my friends, is where the Pin It Button comes in handy!!! Download the button to your toolbar, then whenever you’re on a site that has something interesting, you can pin it for reference later. As far as emails go, what I do is quickly look over an email, particularly if it’s a blog subscription. I decide if it’s brief enough that I can read now, a longer email that I do want to read but needs to wait for later, OR if it’s an idea or project I want to save. If I can read it now, I do just that and delete it out of my inbox. If it’s longer and something I want to read, I save it in the inbox until I have time to read it. (If I don’t want to read it, it will get deleted immediately so as not to clog up my inbox.) However, if it’s a project I want to save, I open the email/blog in my browser, and immediately pin it. That way I don’t have to read through the entire project at that very moment, and since it’s not likely I’m going to repaint furntiure/make a wreath/try a new recipe immediately, it’s saved for when I’m ready for it! If I’ve organized my pins well (see #2!), then it will be no problem locating it later.
4. Using the Pins
Using the pins? What??? You mean we don’t pin “just because” and let them sit in cyberspace forever?
NO. Not if you’re using Pinterest to the fullest and making it worth your time!
Here’s what I mean by “using” the pins, and then what I do with the pin when I’ve done just that. When I am menu planning for the week, I either refer to my cookbooks and recipe binders, or I browse through Pinterest on my boards. (Note: I’m not browsing all of Pinterest. I’m browsing MY BOARDS. So for example, if I want a main dish recipe, I’ll look at my “Food: Main Dishes” board to browse through recipes I’ve already pinned.) Once I have chosen a recipe from Pinterest to try, I might print it right then or just follow the recipe from my laptop. If I decide it’s not worth keeping, the pin gets deleted (and the printed recipe recycled).
(If you don’t delete things you’ve done and don’t like, you not only clutter up your boards with unnecessary pins, but you run the risk of forgetting you tried it, and wasting the time and money to make it again!)
If I like a recipe, I move the pin to a board that I created called “Tried It, Liked It”. This would also be a good time, if I haven’t already, to print the recipe and put it with my recipes to file, or directly into a recipe binder. If I don’t get a chance to print it right then, at least I know that it’s still saved on Pinterest, and will know it was already tried and is a winner.
(Make sure you edit the pin to move it to a new board. If you simply repin, you will have double the pins…one where it was originally stored, and a second in “Tried It, Liked It”.
I do the same with craft project pins, recipes for cleaners, etc. Once I’ve tried a project or cleaning recipe, it gets moved to “Tried It, Liked It”. Home decor projects will likely always stay where they’re at for future inspiration, and the same with organizing ideas. Ultimately you have to decide where to keep a pin so that you can easily find it and keep Pinterest as efficient of a resource as possible. Be sure to go through that board and print off recipes every-so-often so that it doesn’t get cluttered. A board like this is also great because your friends and followers will know that you actually tried a particular recipe or idea and that it’s worth keeping and trying themselves!
Hopefully these ideas were helpful! I’d love to hear any ideas about how YOU make Pinterest more useful and time-efficient!!! Feel free to always comment and share ideas!