By: Lisa Johnson
When I first came across Pinterest (web and mobile app), I thought… “Wow, this is just like Scoop.it… why do I need yet another site that stores interesting blogs and websites?” I truly wondered if I had a need or space for yet another social networking site in my portfolio. I soon realized that Pinterest wasn’t a replacement for current networking sites… but a replacement for how we traditionally share and manage ideas and innovations…
While Google+, Linkedin, Twitter all co-exist to support my professional self, I never realized the needs of my personal self were going unnourished. Yes, it is true that my mobile devices and laptop are near and dear to my heart. However, much of my pre-Pinterest time online was spent feeding my mind professionally by searching for apps, blogging about lessons for iDevices and Web 2.0 tools, and social networking. I didn’t realize I had a void to fill in my personal online self… until I explored the boards…
How can Pinterest save me time and money? Sitting in a wicker basket is a stack of unread magazines on multiple topics. Why? Frankly, I don’t have time to digest full articles or flip through multiple pages to find a topic worth devoting more time to. I’m not saying I’m too lazy to read… Simply, that I don’t want to read to find out if something is worth the effort and time. This is why pinterest is so simple… and addictive. In a few moments each day, I can quickly peruse a topic of my interest ranging from Architecture to Weddings & Events (My favorites are typically DIY & Crafts, Design, Education, and Technology). If I am interested in the pin, I can tap to read the full article or simply re-pin the image to one of my boards for later viewing. Pinterest provides a much more direct and economical approach to gathering information on your interests.
How can pictures help me achieve my goals? Because I am simply scanning through a board of images, I can easily locate innovative and interesting ideas. In this case, a picture may not be worth a thousand words…but most times you get the gist of a DIY project, educational craft, or cool tech toy by picture alone or a brief caption. In olden days, we would clip cool ideas out of magazines and stash them in a manila envelope or drawer never to see the light of day again. With Pinterest, I can repin an interesting photo or inspiring image to my own boards(s) and easily locate it for later use.
What can Pinterest do for me? While Pinterest does clearly have a social networking framework, my addiction is not collecting and sharing pins and managing boards but collecting ideas and inspirations… for all avenues of my life. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I quite often said…” Wow, I would never have thought of that… what a clever idea…now that I see it, I think I could do that too…”. From Pinterest images alone, I was inspired:
- to repurpose a storage trunk full of unused bed linens to house scrapbook supplies that had been relegated from my youngest’s room (As my youngest son grew more and more into his room, I lost a dedicated spot for scrapbooking and crafts there. Until I was inspired to reinvent another space in another part of the house, these tools were scattered amongst closets and random nooks…)
- reorganize my closet to house my scrapbook and craft supplies to be easily accessible (The original shelving space in our closet awkwardly housed shoes. Seeing organized and purposefully dedicated spaces in Pinterest led me to use the space for craft supplies that would and could be easily accessible.)
- to create thoughtful and home-made teacher and family gifts for the holidays
- to gather odd-and-end things around the house to teach educational skills like phases of the moon, place value, word families, and number sense
I later even found myself conducting Pinterest evangelical speeches with friends, family members, and co-workers…“Have you heard about Pinterest? Let me tell/show you what Pinterest has done for me.”
Once you are done curating your board from re-pins and images found on the net, consider creating and contributing your own pins from your personal interests. Gone are the days of experts residing exclusively in monthly publications…now everyone can share their ideas, inspirations, vision, and expertise in a visual manner that will ignite and inspire innovation and purposeful productivity in others. A DIY home-improvement, thoughtfully-made craft, or educational project might seem obvious to you, but could be an innovative idea to another.