Using Pinterest to Find and Organize Ideas for Your Family (plus a list of folks to follow!)

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The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

Using Pinterest, the virtual bulletin board, has become one of my favorite ways to find and organize ideas for my family.  I”m a visual person and being able to see my bulletin boards, and organize them by type, is more helpful to me than any other link favorites documenting system I”ve used in the past.

It also appeals to me because it is a paperless way to plan and organize, and the fewer piles of paper we have around here the better!

I love that I can organize the ideas I find for my family and home by season, type, age and stage – really, any category that I can come up with! 

If you aren”t currently on Pinterest and you don”t know what all the fuss about “pinning” is, let me share a few tips and tricks with you today, as well as some of my favorite people to follow for kids and family ideas.

Getting Started

One of the first things you”re going to want to do once you set up an account on  Pinterest is to create some bulletin boards for yourself.  I have boards for different ages/grades, types of crafts, tutorials, and for the home as well as for holiday ideas.

You can edit the boards you create later, and in the future I would encourage you to customize them as specifically as you can so that they will be the most useful for you, but for now just create a few boards with some basic categories.

Here are a few board name suggestions to get you started:

  • Kids” Rooms
  • Holidays
  • Snack and Meal Ideas
  • Crafts
  • Books
  • Birthdays

Once you have created your boards, you can begin pinning ideas into them.  As you go along, you”ll probably discover categories that suit your needs and you can get more specific.  I know my board categories have evolved as I”ve been using Pinterest longer.

For example, I”ve created Pinterest boards for each of my children with their favorite animal (owls, horses, penguins, and foxes) and my 10 year old has been curating a board of paper dolls.  I”m compiling Valentine”s Day ideas, too.

If you need more help with Pinterest, Megan of Sorta Crunchy has written a wonderful series of tutorials:

What to Pin?

How do you find things to pin?  It is easy!  Pin items as you come across things you would like to try on the blogs you read as you go about your normal web wanderings.

Pin While You Surf

More and more bloggers are adding “Pin it” buttons to their posts.  Here on Simple Kids, you can find them at the bottom of the posts.  Simply click the red and white “Pin it” button, write in your description, choose what board to add it to and ta da!  You”ve made a pin!

Pinterest also has a button that you can download to your toolbar so you can pin sites that don”t have buttons already on them.

Pinning from the Pinterest website

When you are on the Pinterest website, there is a search box and it is easy to use, especially if you are seeking out a specific idea or person.  I”ve used this feature recently to look up items related to sourdough, Chinese New Year, and painting with kids.

But what if you”re just looking for inspiration and don”t know exactly what you are looking for? One of the best ways to start finding ideas is to simply start following others.

The majority of the things that I pin I find from following others and seeing what they pin. If you”re not interested in every single thing they pin, no problem!  Just follow the individual boards you are specifically interested in.

Try searching for your friends or your favorite bloggers on Pinterest and follow their boards.  See who they follow and try following a few of those people as well.

Here are a few lists of people that I follow, as a suggestion:

Simple Living Media on Pinterest

Simple Kids Contributors on Pinterest

Other Terrific People to Follow

Pinterest also has a Kids category that shows what all users are pinning related to kids and family.

Now What?

Okay, you”re on Pinterest, you”ve made a few boards. Now what?  Well, get started creating! Put those terrific ideas and tips into action!

Nicole, of Simple Organic, has started a link up for all of those wonderful Pinterest ideas that get put into action.  If you need a little motivation to move your Pinterest finds into real life, perhaps linking up with Simple Organic”s From Pinterest to Real Life monthly link ups would work for you?

Need an Invitation to Pinterest?

Do you need an invitation to Pinterest?  I”d be happy to send you one!  Simply email me, or leave a note here in the comments, with your email address and I”ll invite you (note:  I don”t check my email more than once or twice day, so be a bit patient with me when waiting for a response, okay?)

Already on Pinterest?

Are you already on Pinterest?  Leave me a note in the comments with your username/link and I”ll look you up!

Happy pinning!

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About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout-out. Pinterest is definitely fun!
    Jessica´s latest post: If You’re Not Making Any Mistakes…

  2. Can you send me an invite? Interested in the non paper organizing of ideas! asimlaramee@gmail.com thanks!

  3. Anyone heard of or use pinspire? I’m not sure if it’s worth setting up an account there as well since they seem to be virtually the same.

  4. Thanks for the great post. Tons of new people to follow. I’m on pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/goexplorenature/
    Debi´s latest post: 10 Places to Explore Nature in Los Angeles This Winter

  5. Thanks for all the great sources. You can find lots more great kid ideas on my page, user name Modrentmessykid: http://pinterest.com/modrentmessykid/

    • You’re welcome, Steph. And thanks for sharing you’re link! I’m following you and I’ve added you to the list – you’ve got SO many great ideas in your boards and I love how you organized them, too.

      Best wishes!
      :-)

  6. Isn’t pintrest just wonderful. Thanks for the list of people to follow. if you fancy follwing me I am under serenity77 http://pinterest.com/serenity77/ hopefully that link will take you there! Thanks for a great post!
    pippa´s latest post: LAZY SUNDAYS!

  7. What a great post about Pinterest. We have enjoyed being able to organize our online files together (my BFF and Blogging Buddy) http://pinterest.com/educatorsspinon/
    Amanda´s latest post: Kids in the Garden, Learning to LOVE vegetables

  8. Oh, I am loving pinterest… I can justify spending indordinate amounts of time on there as ‘work’!! Some of it is, of course, but I am enjoying exploring other people’s links and the amazing things that they find!
    I started my pins on there as being strictly work related (speech, language and literacy) but have now expanded to nice houses, yummy food, cute crafts, etc!
    I am at http://pinterest.com/playtalklearn/
    Thanks for your ongoing inspiration in raising happy kidlets

  9. There’s just something so enticing about the photos — love Pinterest! And, thank you so much for the mention. :) Now, I’m going to make sure I’m following everyone you mentioned!
    Melissa @imaginationsoup´s latest post: Standardized Tests – Your Rights and the Impact on Your Child

  10. Thanks! I’m now following a whole bunch of new people/boards! I totally agree…..I have such a better handle on what I’ve bookmarked. I’ve actually tried a lot of the recipes I’ve pinned. That never used to happen with bookmarks. :) I’m pinning here: http://pinterest.com/seemommysew/

  11. Thanks for sharing all these great boards and people! I’m so excited to check them out. I’ve been using Pinterest for about 8 months and I’m slowly getting all of my playgroup friends on board!
    You can find me here: http://pinterest.com/eaaroach/
    I am using it both for blog related finds, like my Recycled, Upcycled and more board, but find I use it most often for Recipes.
    Emily @ Random Recycling´s latest post: Meal Plan Monday Jan 23

  12. Kara – there’s something goofy with Jennifer Brown’s pinterest link . . . just goes to this article again.
    Melissa @imaginationsoup´s latest post: Standardized Tests – Your Rights and the Impact on Your Child

  13. Katherine says:

    Great list of pinspirational gals! I follow a lot of them but was happy to find some great new boards too. I also love Debi’s board (in comments).

    This article is fantastic to explain how/why of Pinterest – some people ask me and don’t seem to get the explanation. ; )

    I am at http://pinterest.com/galwaygal/

    I use it for EVERYTHING and it does keep me on task (projects), inspired (recipes, creativity pursuits) and happy (PIN all the things!).

  14. KARA! This is AWESOME! It makes my tutorials look absolutely piddly. Thank you for compiling such a fantastic list!! I was already following quite a few of these, but I am seeing so many I was not following that I sure will be now. (And thank you for including me. So very, very kind.)
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s latest post: weekend snapshots: january 22 + #janphotoaday

  15. I love Pinterest!! I’ve completed so many more projects than when I used to just bookmark stuff. We made most of the kids’ Christmas presents this year, and I used it find ideas…way to many than I could ever make. I love it for toddler play ideas, homeschooling ideas, cooking, organizing. I can’t wait to check out all these Pinterest links! Here’s mine:
    http://pinterest.com/medinafamily/

  16. I love Pinterest! I’m a bit addicted to it, but it’s an internet time suck that helps me actually be productive too.

    I’m @ http://pinterest.com/ashlee_geesaman
    Ashlee´s latest post: 4 Diaper Wipes/Washcloths – Assorted Plaid

  17. Oh how Pinterest has changed my blogging and homeschooling life! I can’t wait to start following some of the ladies mentioned above! Thanks for the list!
    Carisa´s latest post: Legos Kindergarten Printables

  18. Great list of new pinners to follow. Thank you!
    Kathryn (Becoming you)´s latest post: Weekend Wanderings – Chart Farm

  19. Thanks for this list – great stuff. Find a mix of things on my boards: http://pinterest.com/abadab/

  20. @KieningersAZ on pinterest! :) Thanks for the list — found some new-to-me and some I already follow! :)

  21. Love Pinterest. I joined about a month ago. Here is my link: http://pinterest.com/clmay5/

    Thanks!
    Lisa´s latest post: Menu Plan January 23-29

  22. Thanks so much for the suggestions of people to follow. I need to follow more people on Pinterest! I think I’m babysteph there- http://pinterest.com/babysteph/

    Steph
    Adventures In Babywearing´s latest post: A Bedtime Story: The Karate Princess

  23. Thanks so much for the reminder to check out pinterest! Like you, I’m a visual person and I’m excited to think about ways I might use pinterest in my personal and work life! I think it will help new ideas I come across not get lost so easily.
    Suzita @ playfightrepeat.com´s latest post: Tears at the Airport: How Kids Can Learn Emotional Intelligence

    • Suzita, it helps me a good deal.

      Normally, pre-Pinterest, I was going through scenarios where I would have a mental image of the craft or idea I saw that I wanted to try but probably didn’t remember the name of the project or even the blog. A google search, when you don’t know specifically what the name of what you’re looking for is, isn’t the most helpful.

      But, having a picture, and then being able to go back through my boards and SEE the pictures makes it so easy to find exactly what I was looking for.

      Now my problem is trying to remember if I’ve already pinned the idea or not ;-)
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: Using Pinterest to Find and Organize Ideas for Your Family (plus a list of folks to follow!)

  24. Loving Pinterest! I agree, it’s so much easier to find what I’ve bookmarked when there’s a visual. I’ve used so many of the ideas I’ve pinned. In fact, I think I use the search engine on Pinterest more often than Google these days! Thanks for a great tutorial, I’ve sent it out to my family. And thanks for including me on your list! I’m already following so many of the same people you listed, but I’m excited to check out a few new ones!
    Amanda Morgan´s latest post: Weekend Reads 1.21.12

  25. I absolutlely love Pinterest! I am a very visual person as well and it helps me to keep so many ideas in check!
    Thanks for all these new people to follow! You can find me at http://pinterest.com/bernicewood/
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s latest post: The best way to clean out your closet

  26. I looove Pinterest….Thanks for the new people to follor…Here’s mine: http://pinterest.com/airamty/
    Airamty´s latest post: Please, share it and VOTE (50 more votes)!!!!

  27. Kara, this was such a great idea for a post. I’ve added several new people and will check out the rest of them tonight when I have more time.

    I sincerely, truly love pinterest! I’ve seen lots of people talking about it as a time-suck, and while it can be, I suppose, I’ve found it to be an incredibly useful tool. It’s so great for the visual thinkers among us.
    Two Chicks and a Hen´s latest post: A Half-Birthday and Some Thoughts on Ritual

  28. There’s something about seeing things to spark off an idea. Thanks for including me, Kara. So many interesting people you’ve mentioned.

    I see a few I’ve missed. One thing, I love are some of these collaborative boards. It’s really interesting to see new points of view.
    Like, http://pinterest.com/playdrmom/kid-blogger-network-activities-crafts/
    Melitsa´s latest post: 31 days to a more Playful Tot {Day Twenty Three} Problem solving

  29. Wow, this is great! I was just thinking I need to add some more people to my ‘following’ list. :) I’m at http://pinterest.com/nicolereaves/ I love Nicole’s From Pinterest to Real Life idea! I actually started a “Pinterest to Reality” series on my blog before the holidays and need to get moving on that again. That would be great motivation. Thanks!!
    Nicole´s latest post: my less list : no 04

  30. I am just so thrilled with this post – the best interest post I have seen in weeks… packed with all these lovely folk to follow… I am going to be here hours!!! What a great resource – love it!!! Really love it!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Saturday Spot: The Worm Farm…

  31. love pinterest for the organizational aspect.
    http://pinterest.com/tiffany_malloy/
    (co-author of http://www.playeatgrow.com)

  32. Great post. I love Pinterest! I’ve been a follower of yours for a long while now. You always have great “pins”.

  33. This is a great post! I’m crazy for pinterest. I was an early adopter so I’ve been enjoying it for at least a year. I wonder what I did before I had it! My username is emilycake84

  34. I love Pinterest too! It is so inspiring and the visuals make a great reminder of what each thing was about and why you were interested in it.
    Catherine´s latest post: setting up a computer for my son to use

  35. Pinterest is my favourite place to collate and collect ideas for the kids. Thanks for the list of great people to follow – some new to me so I’m off to check them out. I’m http://pinterest.com/cathyjames/
    Cathy @ NurtureStore´s latest post: Contact paper art

  36. Shannon Morris says:

    Love this post! So many great boards to check out.
    My user name is shannonemorris.
    Shannon Morris

  37. Wow, Kara- I had quite the day on Pinterest! Thanks :)
    Robin´s latest post: Lactation consultant

  38. Great info! I am totally addicted to pinning. Especially things to do with my toddler!

    I have an acct: pinterest.com/tutusteaparties

    I also have a weekly link party of great crafts, tutorials, tips & recipes to pin:
    http://tutusandteaparties.blogspot.com/search/label/Link%20Party
    Lauren´s latest post: Oh Me, Oh My. What’ll I Do? {Advice Please: losing the binky…and my mind}

  39. I hardly ever bookmark things anymore. Pinterest is such a great way of organizing ideas visually – and as a visual learner, it’s exactly what I need!
    http://pinterest.com/apfelmus/
    Stephanie´s latest post: why I leave the tea bag in the pot

  40. Okay, friends, I think I have everyone invited who asked as of 7am this morning.

    I’ll check in again later and add anyone else who needs it :-)

    This is one of my favorite SK posts now, ever, thanks to all of your comments. i have so many new boards to follow now. :-)
    Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: Using Pinterest to Find and Organize Ideas for Your Family (plus a list of folks to follow!)

  41. OH my GOODNESS, I am addicted to Pinterest. I think somewhere deep inside me there was a little girl who always loved making silly scrapbooks with random things taped in them, just WAITING for an online equivalent. : )
    Steph@theminddoeswander´s latest post: Booked

  42. Kara,
    Could you send me an invite? I have always loved seeing what everyone pins but do not have an account. ;o)

  43. S. Larson says:
  44. That first photo startled me because I’m sitting here at my computer, my son on my lap, and our own Sophie the Giraffe staring at us from beside the monitor. It was a very meta moment.

  45. Would love an invite to Pinterest! It looks like a wonderful place for ideas and inspiration. Thanks and here is my e-mail a_vervaecke@hotmail.com

  46. Angie Pearl says:

    would love an invite…my email is evepearl@hotmail.com

    thanks

  47. What a great list!! Headed to each of these right now! Thank you!! :)

    http://pinterest.com/Shelbsterific/

  48. I really enjoy seeing the pins from the contributors of the Simple Mom Network! I’m on and addicted: Georgia Monroe

  49. i think it is supposed to be: georgiamonroe10

    sorry!

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