Pinterest gets a bad rap these days. Articles like this one portray it as a soul sucking environment bombarding you with reminders of how your parenting is not up to par. There are countless (hilarious!) listicles of Pinterest fails that would make you think it’s just a website full of hard to achieve craft ideas. When it comes down to it though, Pinterest is a tool, and you can decide how to use it. I use Pinterest for a few specific tasks, and it works really well for me.
First, I use Pinterest to keep track of recipes. When I’m at the grocery store, it’s easy to pull up the Pinterest app on my phone, find a recipe I wanted to try, and get my ingredients. I keep separate boards for recipes I want to try and recipes I have tried and liked and know I will want to make again. It’s this list of “winners” that I turn to first when I sit down to plan meals.
Secondly, I use Pinterest to get a better sense of my style. I have boards for both my personal style, and also interior decorating. I don’t have the money to buy new clothes or redecorate very often, so when I do, I can look back through my style and decorating boards and evaluate trends. For instance, I had pinned the same 3/4 length sleeve mustard yellow cardigan three times, so when it was time to pick out some new clothes, I knew there was a good chance I’d actually wear that cardigan a lot, and I do! Apparently I have a thing for Ginnifer Goodwin’s edgy pixie cut, so when it was time to try a new do, it was easy to make my decision.
With decorating, I can look through rooms I’ve pinned and look for trends that help me make good long term design decisions for my home. We moved into a new house this summer, and when I went to set up our new room, I was able to look back and see that almost every master bedroom picture I had pinned had white walls, a low dresser with a mirror over it, and bohemian looking bedding. This keeps me from going through too much expensive trial and error.
Thirdly, I use Pinterest to keep track of ideas I want for much later. My son is only 17 months, he doesn’t need a play structure or need rules about screen time yet, but I can keep track of inspiration and articles for later and I will be able to find them again in under a minute when I do need them.
What I love most about Pinterest is that you can make your searches so specific and still get really great content. I searched “budget lunches make ahead healthy” and found this idea to stack salads wettest ingredient to driest ingredient in big jars so nothing gets soggy despite making a week’s worth of salads at a time.
There’s no need to fear Pinterest- if it is showing you pins you aren’t interested in or feel pressured by, you can vastly improve your experience by telling Pinterest when you aren’t interested in a pin. Just click on the ellipses that show up next to the pinner’s username and this menu pops up. My Pinterest feed is pretty much all stuff I am interested in now, because I take five seconds to do this when a pin I am not interested in appears in my feed.
Pinterest, or don’t, but don’t make your decision based on the idea that Pinterest is somehow going to make you feel like a failure; it’s just a tool, and it’s all about how you wield it and make it work for you. You can follow me on Pinterest to get started if that helps.