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Thinking Outside the Board – How to Use Pinterest Creatively

Briallyn Smith 19-06-2015

Pinterest is a powerful tool that should be used for more than just daydreaming about weddings, impossible fitness challenges, and mouthwatering recipes. Try using it for more useful purposes instead!


Pinterest’s capacity for usefulness is almost unbelievable — it is a platform that will let you curate visual collections of anything that you can find online, with or without the input of others, on a centralized, easily accessible, and popular network. Don’t forget that you can make these Pinterest boards private, which lets you make even more personal projects.

By using Pinterest effectively How to Use Pinterest Effectively (And Avoid the Ridiculous Nail Art) It is actually possible to use Pinterest for useful tasks, though it may not seem so at first glance. Here's how. Read More , avoiding common Pinterest mistakes 6 Common Pinterest Mistakes You Might Be Making Are you using Pinterest to its maximum potential? Or are you losing out on followers and exposure by making these common mistakes? Read More , and adding a little creative thought, Pinterest can be used for any number of tasks – here’s a list of five of our favourites.

1. Writing a Research Paper


Do you have a paper to write that requires a ton of academic resources? Pinterest is a great way to keep your online resources organized in a single location with visible notes about the information that each article covers.

There are several ways to organize your pins for a research paper:

  • Write your thesis statement in the board description so that it appears at the top of your pin collection
  • Use each board to represent an entire paper or subsections of a single paper
  • Arrange pins on each board by topic, relevance, or the order you plan to use them in your paper.
  • Describe each pin with the key argument of the paper, and your reasons for including it in your paper
  • Use tags and keywords to help you find specific pins more efficiently

One thing to note is that not every research article will have an image to pin automatically through Pinterest. If this happens to you, take a screenshot of the title of the article, and then upload it to the board you want on Pinterest with a link to the page you originally found it on.

2. House Hunting


It can be incredibly frustrating searching for a house online, especially when you constantly need to be switching back and forth between multiple bookmark folders or realtor websites.

Instead of making a complicated spreadsheet or a complicated system of bookmarks, why not make a ‘House Hunting’ board, and pin the homes that you are interested in to a single board?


To make this method even more effective, consider:

Looking for a house is an incredibly stressful event – using Pinterest to keep track of listings can save you from spending hours frantically looking for the link to a property you’ve fallen in love with in a picture-less list of links.

3. Planning an Event


What does preparing for an amazing event require? Coordination, organization, and a ton of resources!


This makes using Pinterest a no-brainer for planning any kind of event. Whether you are throwing your first dinner party in a new home, hosting a baby shower for a friend, or coordinating a surprise party, Pinterest can be your secret weapon and allow you to pull all of the details together in an organized way.

Some of the best ways to use Pinterest when planning an event include:

  • Having separate boards for different aspects of the event (food, decorations, etc.)
  • Adding others who are involved in planning to the boards so that they can have input too
  • Being sure you don’t overwhelm yourself! Consider having one board for brainstorming and another for the final selection of pins. This lets you focus on the plans you have actually made for the event, and not the hundreds of options out there!

Remember that many of the pins you will see while event planning are great for inspiration, but may not translate well into real life.

Pinterest fails are hilarious Not Every Pinner Is A Winner: Making Fun Of Pinterest Pinterest is, for the uninitiated among you, a social network which revolves around images, with users pinning pictures of anything and everything in vast collections. It's an intriguing idea which seems to resonate mostly with... Read More , but you don’t want any aspect of your event to be one of them!


4. Acquiring an Education


The Archer Library at the University of Regina has an amazing initiative based entirely on the use of Pinterest. Their Pinterest boards are curated to engage with students and online viewers to improve and enhance the research, teaching, and community-building qualities of their institution.

One of the reasons that the Archer Library chose to use Pinterest as their method of engaging with the public was because they recognized that nearly half of students are visual learners, and wanted to offer resources to meet their needs.

The Archer Library’s boards focus primarily on resources specific to the University of Regina, the university’s archives, and book suggestions, but there are many other opportunities for using Pinterest for educational purposes :

  • Searching for how-to articles will quickly lead you to a wealth of resources (often with easily understood graphics) to help you solve almost any problem imaginable
  • Teachers at any level may choose to use Pinterest as a way to share activities and articles with their class and engage in online discussions about their contents
  • Groups working on a collaborative project may find that Pinterest is one of the best ways to share resources and ideas
  • It is almost guaranteed that there is an expert in your field or area of interest who has an active profile on Pinterest. Following their boards is a great way to have access to the information that they have curated.

The Internet has an incredible number of resources for learning new things online 6 Ways To Learn Something New Online Everyday The Internet is a double-edged sword - it can be used to procrastinate the day away, or it can be used to learn something new everyday. Here at MakeUseOf, we're particularly focused on the latter.... Read More , but it can sometimes be hard to find the ones that will be most useful for you in your educational pursuits.

Following trusted Pinterest users, and creating your own boards of educational resources is an amazing way to expose yourself to all kinds of new knowledge.

5. Staying in Touch


I am the first to admit that there are probably far too many ways for us to communicate online.

With that being said, I think that Pinterest is often overlooked when it comes to sharing funny memes, thought-provoking articles, and fun DIY projects.

I want to make it clear that I’m not suggesting either Pinterest’s outdated messaging system, nor am I suggesting that you frantically tag people in pins you are desperate for them to see.

Instead, why don’t you create a private group board for you and a group of your close friends, where you can all share things with each other?

This is a great option for online communication because it removes the immediacy of texts, increases the likelihood that people will read the article you sent them (if they’re a regular Pinterest user), and keeps you from annoying others on your Facebook friends list through endless wall posts!

As well, unlike using a group message on Facebook or iMessage, Pinterest’s layout gives you the chance to browse your friends’ collection of funny cat GIFs and weird mixed drink recipes at your leisure, and without feeling like you are going to miss out on anything!

But Wait, There’s More…

I’m sure that you’ve seen more than your share of the frustrating side of Pinterest, but there’s so many great Pinterest boards out there! What is the best way that you have seen Pinterest used?

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  1. Anonymous
    June 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Pinterest would have been more of a tool if there was an option for writing own notes and to load up from the computer.

  2. Anonymous
    June 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I like finding the boards of other introverts and enjoying the funny aspects. The SciFi boards let me see others' visions of the future, and albums on science and history let me collect information that is interesting and may be useful to me as a writer.