Wednesday, July 29, 2015

10 Ways to Make Pinterest Boards Useful

Here are some things I learned while using Pinterest as a pin board for things I want to remember. Pinterest should not be static. A pin is not forever. Curate.

Alphabetize your Boards. They're easily dragged up or down and side to side to put them in order. Rename Boards that you want to be in the same alphabetical order: Greenhouse Inside, Greenhouse Lights, Greenhouse my Style and Greenhouse Peeks line up on my Boards. The same is true of Christmas Plaid, Christmas Plants and Christmas Trees, which could be grouped with other dates by putting Holiday in front of Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

Make use of Secret Boards and Likes to park fleeting ideas until you know it is something you want to keep. Putting 15 photos at one time of similar subjects in a Secret Board will prevent flooding your followers' home feeds. Go back later and move --easily done with the MOVE button -- pins to a permanent board and delete the ones that no longer appeal.

Label Your Pins. Use the edit button to overwrite what shows up from the source Make a long enough description so that you remember why you pinned this pic. I've deleted pins because I didn't look closely enough to recognize some item in the photo that was the reason for saving it some months before. If it is a recipe, list the primary ingredients. Name the flowers in a garden photo. Make sure you know how to find it again if it is something you may want to order online.

Pin ideas for projects within your reach. A painted chair is reachable. A patio that was designed by a professional and the work done by a crew of 10 with heavy equipment and 40 tons of boulders is not a DIY undertaking if you haven't the skills and equipment. If you have the budget for it, pin it. There may be just a single element that you just want to use. Be sure to note that in your description.

Have separate boards for photos that you just like to look at, kind of like visiting wealthy relatives but you are not going to move in. I have Secret Boards called Grand Ideas and Just Parking.

Cull pins. 543 pictures of ideas for a bedroom redo must be sifted through and the actual project items chosen: ONE pair of draperies, ONE bedspread, ONE pair of tables and lamps, ONE rug. Start with curating down to a very few until you are sure. OR, make a second board to move those pins that make a final cut.

Make more Boards. One board for Porch is fine. One board for Garden Path is good. A broad board like Flowers or Garden may need breaking down into Flowers: Color, Spring, Summer, Perennial, Annual, Shrubs unless you only plant one flower bed and all the flowers are in two colors.

Make a Finished Projects Board. Move your ideas to this board when you actually MAKE that tote bag or tuteur made of sticks. Show your finished item, or just describe it on the inspiration photo. You'll be able to look at this board and see progress on whatever projects you pinned. If no pins show up here, rethink what you are pinning.

Repin desirable pins that are at the bottom of a board. Making sure you have a window open with the original source, Delete your pin. Pin it to the Board again where it will now be the first pin you see rather than having to scroll down. Example: I had a pin of Ranunculus at the end of my Bulbs Board. I deleted that one and brought it to the top to join the other bulbs I ordered. I need reminders of what I'll expect in the mail in September. Then I'll need reminding to take them out of chill to pot up. Meanwhile, I can enjoy anticipation. I deleted a picture from a Garden Show that served to help chose the colors for this year's bulbs. 

Combine dissimilar items. In my zeal to make separate boards for every category, I ended up with some boards with only 2 or 3 pins and the number did not grow. I noted these boards and found some that could be combined, like Pulleys and Croquet Sets. What do those have in common? Both are wood -- actually Block and Tackle -- and they're of sentimental value, vintage. Maybe I'll put them to use. I combine separate flowers that grow together in my garden and have similar bloom times and care requirements, rather than general Perennial and Garden Bed categories.

Pin your bookmarks. Pin the first photo on a page, making sure the URL returns to the page, not just the blog. Note in the description that you pinned for the page.

Last night I was reading that 42% of women have their self-esteem lowered because of 'perfect' photos on Pinterest whose perfection they cannot attain.

Someone started a popular blog with 'Pinterest Fails' showing copycat trials where the icing on the perfect cupcakes ran off the cake or the perfect baby pose was less than desirable. Was it the fault of the baby or the photographer? Maybe it was the light.

I always think about how my mother treated the elaborate dessert with piped whipped cream that looked like a wedding cake on Good Housekeeping Magazine's cover. I passed it over as too much trouble. Mama made the basic gingerbread cake, cut it in squares, sliced bananas over each serving and added a mound of whipped cream. Sometimes you just use the elements, you don't have to make the whole show.

If you'd like to see my Pinterest Boards, they are HERE.

Note: None of this has anything to do with SEO or Marketing using Pinterest. My ideas are for using Pinterest as a personal memory tool.


  1. Great recommendations, Jean. With Pinterest it's too easy for what was intended to be a scrapbook or bulletin board to become the closet you never want to open...

  2. Lots of great tips! I need to go into my boards and curate it some.

  3. This is great info for someone who doesn't know anything about using Pinterest. I still haven't quite understood how to use it, but when I'm ready to delve in, I will be sure to visit this post! Thanks!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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