Making Pinterest Work For You


Are you on Pinterest? Chances are good you are. 42% of American adult women use Pinterest for everything from just browsing existing “pins” to promoting their original blog content.

Lately I’ve noticed that my friends are using Pinterest less, now that they do their aspirational browsing on Instagram. It’s where they find their bridal bouquet inspiration, their new favorite make up products, where they follow top designers, and get ideas for home decor and craft projects. Does Pinterest have a future in our Instagram world?



Pinterest does have a few drawbacks. The home feed gets clogged up with sales gimmicks, there’s the danger of overstimulation from too much material, and we can’t curate our desired content quality the way we can on Instagram. But I don’t think it’s an obsolete tool yet, if it is used as a tool, rather than a social media outlet or a catalog of inspiration.

There are three main things I (still!) love about Pinterest:

  1. Organizing by category
  2. Collaboration
  3. Self-discovery

I recently gave my Pinterest account a mini-overhaul, and thought I would share a few ways you can use Pinterest to organize your activities, keep track of ideas, and even understand yourself better than ever before.

  • Virtual Recipe Book or How-To Guide
    It’s no shock to anyone that Pinterest is a great place to save recipes or craft projects that you find in your travels over the web. Looking for a great brownie recipe? Pin one off Smitten Kitchen and you know you’ll have it for later. So handy. Much better than a batter-encrusted binder in your kitchen cabinet.
  • Planning a Party
    I threw my sister-in-law a baby shower when she gave birth to her son a few summers ago. It was so great to have one place to track everything I wanted to order, bake, or craft for the party. I pinned everything from the striped paper straws to the activities to the recipe for mini chocolate trifles. I could look at the board as a cohesive whole and make sure everything matched, and I never had to email myself links of orders to place at a later date. This is also super helpful if you are planning an event with other collaborators.
  • Gift Ideas
    Alexandra Stoddard, decorating maven and the author of “Living Beautifully”, recommends buying a gift for someone whenever you see something that they might like. You can always tuck it away for later, and when their birthday rolls around you will never have to panic to find the perfect thing! We can’t all do that every time we see something a friend might enjoy, but why not have a private Pinterest board where you keep a record of gift ideas for the people in your life? Few of us are epic gift-givers under pressure, and this practice makes being thoughtful much more effortless. You’ll never be stuck giving a scented candle again (unless that’s something you know they love!)
  • Wishlisting
    Along the same lines, why not make it a little easier on the people who love you? Make a “wishlist” board and consistently pin things you’d be thrilled to receive, in a range of price points. Make it easy for your husband to surprise you on a Tuesday with a delicious hand cream as a little treat!
  • Finding Trends in Your Taste
    When it comes to personal style and home decorating, I’m a big believer in pinning with abandon. Pin whatever catches your eye on blogs, on shopping websites, in magazine spreads. Pin it all- it’s free! Set up a few basic boards, such as “Home” and “Style”, and pinpinpin for a few weeks. After a short time, go to the board and see if you can find trends and commonalities among your pins. You might be surprised with what you find.You might dress now in soft layers most often, but really you’re hungry for more of a modern, minimalist style. Maybe you notice you love sassy short haircuts, or a crisp white shirt. See what color palette you’ve chosen. This is where your gut is pulling you! Sometimes it’s good to let your subconscious speak freely and then focus on what it’s saying.

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Are you on Pinterest? What do you find most useful about it?

Check out my newly-streamlined boards here!

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