Vegan recipes & puppies + {Pinterest}

Veganrecipes_Puppies_Pinterest

Now that you’ve mastered Twitter, time to move on to another fun social network – Pinterest. It seems like Pinterest is everywhere but what do you actually do with pins? You might hear people say what a great tool it is for wasting time (not going lie, guilty. . .). But it can also be incredibly useful for organizing and discovering. Pinterest, to me, is the best tool to collect and organize information in a visual way – for fun or practical reasons. Do you want to . . .

. . . find a new, fun paint color for your bathroom?

. . . find the best summer cocktail recipe for your bbq?

. . . browse photos of places to travel on your dream vacation?

Pinterest has you covered on all this and a lot more. Lots of examples are below, but first the basics. Pinterest is a digital corkboard.  You can create “boards” with a particular theme, for example, fashion, and then “pin” pictures of dresses you love to the board. A pin not only has a picture, but a link to the original source, for example, the page on Nordstrom.com where you originally found that dress or the blog where you saw a picture of someone wearing it.

Pinterest_Boards

Some of my Pinterest Boards.

HOW I USE IT: BOARDS

Here are some ways I personally use Pinterest:

  • Dessert Recipes: Maybe one of the best reasons to use Pinterest.  If you want to drool, check out the thousands of pictures of amazing desserts. I save the ones that look the best and on a random weekend when I want to bake something new, I refer to my board and pick one to try. (And because of my next bullet, I try to find a creative way to make it vegan). :)
  • Vegan Recipes: Recently, for health reasons, one my parents started following an oil-free, vegan diet. This was a whole new world for my Sicilian-Cajun-French-Irish New Orleans family. Whole. New. World. No seafood, meat, dairy or oil? WHAT DOES ONE EAT?? My God. Well it turns out, there are tons of recipes involving colorful vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Tons! Doing some digging on blogs and Pinterest, I’ve created a board of recipes to try. You can also add collaborators to your boards so I share this board with my mom and sister so we can share recipes and comments.

  • Home Projects (ex: Bathroom Paint Colors): Home is the most popular category on Pinterest as a whole (followed by Arts & Crafts, Fashion, and Food). When my husband and I moved last year, we repainted some of the rooms of our new apartment. So many options! Do you know how many shades of creamy beige there are?? To narrow it down, I pinned pictures of living rooms and bedrooms I liked and could compare paint colors side by side to narrow it down. Process of elimination is your friend and Pinterest makes that really easy. Think of any home project possible, from vegetable gardens for small spaces to repainting a mirror the right shade of turquoise, and Pinterest will give you lots of ideas and links. In fact, I’d turn to Pinterest for this type of stuff before I ever Googled it.

  • Style: Tons of people use Pinterest to keep track of fashion, make-up, and hair ideas that they like or want to try. This is probably the biggest category I personally see on my Pinterest feed. . . after desserts (that also probably says something about the friends I follow – they have their priorities straight, people. Dessert always comes first). Brands are now making it easy to pin their products and share. In fact, JCrew just made headlines for debuting their new Fall 2013 catalog on Pinterest.  I don’t tend to focus on this category a lot, but I do keep boards for fashion in case I see something I really love. It’s interesting to see all of things you like grouped over time – it really starts to help you define your style and what you do and don’t like.

  • Movie Character Boards: After telling my husband about Pinterest, he came up with a really creative way to use it for the movie he just wrote, directed, and produced (shameless plug: check out the Facebook page of “Sales & Marketing” and like it to get updates before it’s released!). He created boards for each character with pictures, video clips, and wardrobe ideas. It was a great thing to share with the wardrobe and make-up team as well as the actors as they prepared for production. Isn’t that a creative way to use Pinterest? It goes to show that you can use Pinterest for lots of things outside the traditional categories. Good job, husband.

  • Beautiful Things: Yep, I just pin things I think are pretty. It’s that easy. Cool artwork, an interesting flower arrangement, the occasional cute puppy. When I want to see a collection of things I think are beautiful, I look at this board. It doesn’t really serve a purpose other than making me happy.

  • Funny Things (or as I name it, Wisdom): A place to put all those funny quotes and pictures. I can reference it when I need a laugh. (Tell me, this doesn’t make you smile!)

  • Things to Make / Do: A place for my inner-Martha-Stewart. Creative projects that I’ll get to. One day. But at least they are all waiting for me in one place instead of scattered throughout emails or floating around in my head.

Finally, there are Secret Boards. All of the previous boards I mentioned are public. You can follow me on Pinterest and see what I pin. But now Pinterest allows each user three secret boards. Pin whatever you like there – gift ideas that you want to keep secret, a work project you don’t want to share, whatever you want. But for right now, you only have three of these.

HOW I USE IT: PINS

Where do I find the things I pin? Two main places: I repin things I see on Pinterest or I pin directly from content on the web.

  • Re-pinning: Just like other social networks, Pinterest makes it easy to find your friends and follow them. You can link your Facebook and Twitter profiles to find friends from there or go through your email contacts. You can also follow brands and bloggers (this is particularly good for food and fashion bloggers). When you’re following people on Pinterest, you have a constant stream of new content to browse (think Facebook Newsfeed and Twitter Feed). When you see something you like, click the red “Pin It” button (see below) and choose which of your boards you’d like to pin it to.

Pin_Button

  • Pin Button: The other way is to install the Pin button in your browser. This allows you to pin anything you come across on the web! You’ll see the pin button more and more on sites and blogs (see it highlighted in green below on Ann Taylor LOFT’s site). But having it in my browser let’s me Pin anything freely.

Pin_It_Loft

WHY I LOVE IT

Overall, Pinterest is a tool that:

  • gives me a way to define my style (what do I actually like over time vs. trends?)

  • narrows down recipes I want to try (Champagne sangria before summer is over!)

  • provides an easy way to reference ideas (ex: gift ideas, paint colors, etc)

  • is a fun way to see what others like and share things I found (just like Twitter and Facebook, start following people to get ideas on your home page)

  • serves as an easy, instantaneous pick-me-up (see Beautiful Things)

HOW TO GET STARTED

  • Sign up: Go to http://pinterest.com, click Join Pinterest, and sign up using Facebook, Twitter or your email address! Create a profile and check your settings.

  • Install the “Pin It” button for Chrome – do it! It makes pinning so much easier.

  • Add friends to follow. Find Facebook friends and follow your favorite bloggers and brands. You can also follow certain boards of your friends and exclude others.

  • Create a board. Pick any theme! You can always go back and edit it. Architecture, Home Decor, Motorcycles, anything that interests you.

  • Add a pin! Find pins in your feed (now that you are following friends), from the internet (now that you have the Pin It button installed), or upload your own.

  • Download Pinterest for your phone or tablet (AppStore or Google Play).

  • Like, Comment, and Pin away!

AND SOME LAGNIAPPE: 21 Pinterest Projects The World Will Never Need

What are other creative ways you use Pinterest? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

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