Everyone talks about how great Pinterest is. It’s like a giant online cork board complete with instructions, inspiration and never-ending contributors. How could you not love it?
There are some things you need to know, though, if you really want to utilize it. How do you create a good board? What should you search? How do you keep it organized and useful? Don’t worry! Let us show you just how great of a tool Pinterest can be for you and your family!
First off, if you don’t have a Pinterest yet, it’s very easy to create one. Just go to the Pinterest home page and choose to either sign up with Facebook or with your email. If you do sign up with Facebook, make sure to choose to NOT allow Pinterest to post to Facebook on your behalf. This could get very annoying for your Facebook friends when you are on a serious Pinterest bender. If you don’t see this option when creating a Pinterest, no big deal. Just go to the settings (on your profile page marked with the typical gear symbol) and click account settings. Then under social networks, switch “post your activity to Timeline” to off. Crisis averted.
How to Search
The pages already outlined by Pinterest are collections of the most popular ideas that have come through. To search for a topic of your choosing, go to the navigation bar (located under the search bar) and click the drop down menu labeled more (pictured above). The kids page, for example, has everything from getting kids to sleep at night to homemade cereal bars. Other pages we recommend are Gifts, DIY & Crafts, Education, Food & Drink, and Holidays & Events. They're great if you're just surfing for good ideas in a broad category. This is also the easiest way to start building a Pinterest.
On Pinterest, or any search engine, it’s best to start out broad and then get specific. If you search for something like “a pink and purple DIY jewelry box for necklaces” you'll come up with nothing. If you drop the color preferences as well as “for necklaces”, you'll find endless pins for “DIY Jewelry box”. If you're still having trouble with your searches, try using synonyms, dropping punctuation, or dropping pluralizations. For example, a jewelry box could also be a jewelry holder, or a jewelry organizer. If you can’t find one that holds necklaces, just put necklaces in place of jewelry. This system can work for just about anything you want to search.
The key to making the most of your Pinterest experience is having great home feed. Like Facebook or Twitter, the people you follow show up on your home feed--this means the things they pin are now yours to pin! Unlike other forms of social media, however, you can filter what categories pin-wise you view. Within individual profiles, you can view different boards and choose to follow them individually--or you can follow all of their boards, of course! It’s a great way to have all the best ideas every time you log on. Speaking of which, don’t forget to follow Familius on Pinterest! ;)
How to pin
On Pinterest, you create your own boards. Common board categories include food, home decor, quotes, holidays etc. However, within the food category, you might want to separate your "Healthy Recipes" pins from your "Favorite Junk Food" pins. This makes for faster searching. Take care not to make your Pinterest profile too crowded, though. To edit which pins go to which board, go to a pin, click "edit" on the top right corner and change the board. If you’re just hovering over a pin and haven't expanded it, click the pencil icon to get to the same editing page.
Ultimately, all pins are meant to link back to their original sources. Occasionally, however, you'll come across what I call a dead pin--meaning the only thing that will come up when you click on it is an image. Check the source before you plan your entire party/dinner/project around one pin. You can do this by clicking on the picture or on the “visit site” button above the pin.
To avoid cluttering up your Pinterest boards, watch for the warning when you're about to pin something twice! It'll come up in a yellow bar above your selected pin. However, you won't be warned if not if it's the same pin created by two different people, so keep an eye out.
Tip: There are a few boards that can be infinite without the risk of inefficiency. Boards relating to inspiration, quotes, art or books always need more. Indulge there!
Utilizing your Pinterest
When find yourself constantly pinning (aka. you’ve hit Pinterest "expert" level), you often forget the pins you already have. Make sure to check your pins before going on an epic search for the perfect rainy day craft for you and your kids. Your past-self was probably pretty smart and has three or four under you kids activities board. There are a few ways to search your own boards. You can scroll through the boards that may have the pin you need. Or you can type your search in the search bar. When the search page pops up, there will be a section labeled "Show" in the left hand corner. Click the option that says “just my pins” and you’ll see how smart you were a few weeks ago. This works best if you have good captions.
Don’t let the pins you no longer need or want sit there. You can delete pins the same way you edit a pin. Click the pencil icon and there will a be "delete" option on the left hand corner. The more useless things you delete, the better the board becomes.
Captions are always the thing that people ignore (including myself), but Pinterest is designed to run on captions. If you have concise and descriptive captions it is easier to search and retrieve pins. For example, you may have 50 plus costume pins for the kids during Halloween, but if they all say “Halloween costume” there won’t be much to search. Each costume should have a description including the character or idea, if it is DIY or purchase, and the general category the costume falls into. “DIY Buzz Lightyear, Disney, Toy Story costume” or “Funny, Easy, DIY Jelly Bean Jar costume” work, for example. The easier things are to search the less time it takes to find them and the more time you have with the kids!
When checking up on your favorite news sites, blogs or, of course, Familius.com, and you see something totally pin-able, create a pin! It’s one of the best features that Pinterest has and there are a few ways to do it. You can log on, go to your profile, and click on "pins" (right next to boards which is the default for your profile page). Then there will be an “Add a pin” button on the top left. When you click on it, you will see the window pictured above. To pin from a website click, “The web” and paste the url of the page you want to pin from. Then you will be asked to choose a picture.
Pinterest also asks you if you want to have a “pin it” button, which essentially shortens the process by adding a button to your toolbar. Just click the button, choose a picture and pin it. I use this tool almost every day. You will need an updated browser like Google Chrome to install the tool, but it is definitely worth the upgrade.