Ways to Use Pinterest

It's interesting, the different ways I see people use Pinterest. I thought I'd share how I use it. Maybe it's totally different to the way you use it.

I often start creative projects with a board devoted to collecting up all the inspiration and ideas I have for the project. For example, when working on branding for someone I'll find examples of type, imagery, layouts, and colour palettes that communicate the style I have in mind. I often share this board with the person I'm working with to get their approval on the overall creative direction of the project. Here is a mood board I created while working through Colette Patterns' Wardrobe Architect series.

I always disliked the standard bookmarking options available within browsers because their text-based nature didn't appeal to me. I'm a highly visual person, so image-based bookmarking is so right for me. I now only bookmark pages I'm interested in with the Pin It tool, so it's a little frustrating when an interesting page doesn't have a 'pin-able' image. My Think. Read. Listen. Watch. board is where I bookmark interesting things to go back to later.

Like many other people I keep boards and boards of pins for inspiration. Everything from future home or garden inspiration, to sewing, knitting & crochet inspiration, typography styles that I like, inspiring or interesting words, and vintage clothing inspiration. 82 or my 124 boards I would class as 'inspiration boards'!

I have a few special interest boards including: David Bowie, Symbology, Totems, Taxidermy, Real Estate Gems and Scientific Illustration.

My One Day I Will... board is pretty self-explanatory; things I'd like to learn/do/acheive. By pinning images to this virtual list it becomes more visceral and expressionary. Usually the pinned image doesn't lead to a website I want to keep track of, rather is purely for visual purposes. I wish Pinterest would add a feature that allowed for pins to have check boxes, then I could tick things off the list.

I recently composted 12 years worth of recipes I had clipped and collected from magazines & newpapers since moving out of home. I just pinned the exact or very similar recipe to my recipes board first. Ditto with a giant box of 'inspiration' I've been accummulately and moving with me everywhere since my teen years. My hoarding just went digital baby! It felt so good to free up that space in my home.

Now that Pinterest has added the map feature, I've started making boards to help plan future travels. For now I just pin attractions I might be interested in visiting, for example an interesting accommodation, or flea market, or national park, so that one day if I visit a country I would already have a number of 'things to do' that are tailored to my interests and not grabbed from a commercial travel guide aimed at a broad audience.

Closer to visiting I will use the map feature to include exact locations. A big-picture view could help me plan where to go (perhaps most of my pins are concentrated in one area). This feature also helps keep track of info, so when actually visiting a city I have all my useful info in one spot. One draw-back though, is that currently you can only 'add places' that have been added to Foursquare. I'd also love it if it were possible to draw line to market the route I'd like to travel.

At a more local level, I also have maps for other Australian cities, such as Melbourne, so I can keep track of restaurants, cafes, galleries, shops & parks I would like to visit. The map feature allows me to see the things I have pinned previously that are near the location we are staying. That way I can do things in a closer vicinity, and I find the visit much less draining and much more enjoyable.

I've noticed a lot of people have wish lists on Pinterest, but I don't add things to my wishlist  all willy-nilly. These are things I have truly considered and would really like to purchase. I use this list to be a bettter consumer. If I feel like impulse buying I try to remind myself of that board and that I might like to save the money for those things instead.

I often don't finish reading books before I have to take them back to the library. So I've started pinning an image of the book cover and noting where I'm up to. I know it's not necessary to use Pinterest for this, but it works for me because I'm using the tool so often and I catalogue so many other things here anyway.

So tell me, how do you use Pinterest?