Friday, January 2, 2015

Me, Myself and Pinterest: Mastering the Monster

I must confess, I really like Pinterest.  I was hesitant to get on it originally, just because it seemed like an incredible waste of time, which it can be. However, as soon as I had my own account I was bitten by the bug.  There are so many great ideas, good tutorials, yummy recipes that you can easily get sucked into a world of virtual clutter in which you are always hunting for the next "great, new thing."

About two months ago, after an unintentional hiatus from Pinterest, (read, I didn't even have to time to think about it) I decided I wasn't really using Pinterest the way that I could be using Pinterest. It had become more of a toy than at tool. I had well over 4000 pins which I'd acquired over the two and a half years I'd been on it and I honestly never really went back and looked at any of them. It was time for a change.

I determined that Pinterest needed to be a tool not a toy. Without some guidelines for what I was going to use it for, I could spend hours and hours just looking at nothing. And with thousands of pins it was hard to find specific things that I was looking for.

Over the course of a week, and working on it just a little at a time, I deleted thousands of pins and in some cases entire boards. I purged my virtual hoard.

Created a rule of thumb for all of my boards. Use it or Lose it. Really, it's just that simple. If I'm not EVER going to use what I have pinned, why should I keep it?

That being determined I went to town and deleted and reorganized my Pinterest account. Essentially, every pin I had had to fall under a specific category or I would delete it. I have three basic categories.

How-To Boards - Pins that are tutorials or links to articles that are informative and will help me to learn new skills or grow ones that I already have. My photography board is a good example of what I mean by that.

Research Boards - Pins that are example of something that I'm studying. For example, I have boards that are of pictures, museum display and fashion plates from different time period which allows me to  study clothing from different eras. I use these pins when ever I'm working on costuming projects.

Inspiration Boards - Let's be honest, any quilter and a crafter will understand that you need to have some inspiration for things that want to create. These aren't things that you're necessarily going to copy, but things that you want to pull ideas from. 

The pins that I had left then got organized into smaller boards so that I could find specific pins easily when I was looking for them. Instead of having "Projects" or "Quilts" boards with hundreds and hundreds of pins. I have a few smaller "subcategory" board with 200 or less pins. 

I'm not saying that I've got Pinterest down to a science, but since I've been more purposeful and methodical about it, I have been using it productively. Now that I'm applying these things I'm hoping to use it as a tool to inspire me to do things, not as a trap to keep me from doing things. 

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