January 16, 2013

Organize your DIY & Craft Pinterest boards {so you can actually find things}

It's pretty clear that the crafting and DIY communities LOVE Pinterest.  I absolutely do, and Pinterest is a wonderful way to organize all of your holiday crafts.  In fact, I pinned about a hundred "pin now, read later" pins last year (you know the ones I'm talking about) for craft ideas for this Christmas.....except just one thing....I went back & couldn't find anything.  Correction, that's not totally true.  I usually can find what I'm looking for, but only after searching a few hundred pins, going to a few different boards, and going down a few rabbit holes.  Why can't I find what I'm looking for when I'm looking for it?



So, I'm on a mission for 2013.  This is going to be the year.  The year, when I organize my craft & DIY pins, so I can actually use them when I want to.

I love Pinterest.  But once I got up around 2,000 pins on 50 or so boards, I hit a wall.  I started repinning the same item. I would go to do a craft and not have a link to the right information (a "bad pin" to begin with).  I would see pins and wonder what was I thinking when I pinned that....Is it a link to a project?  A product I want to try?  Just an inspirational image?

I started to laugh at myself when each pin became an internal dialogue I couldn't finish.  When should I pin a craft project to "Cute Crafty Things" and when is it appropriate to pin it to my "Fun Crafty Things" board?  Does this pin belong under my "Sewing Love" board or is this pillow something that's more of a "Fun Thing to Do with Fabric"?.....I forgot why I made the boards and what was even in them!!!

My boards are a work in progress and I'm continuously editing them.  Over time, I came up with some suggestions to help keep my projects organized, and to make Pinterest act like it was intended to, by helping you get the actual content behind the images.


If you just use Pinterest to collect images to look at, or you'll never want to read the content that goes along with an image, then you are probably fine, though it's nice to give credit to the image sources. For crafters, DIYers, and makers like us, you need to be organized and you need good content.  Here are some suggestions on how to get both.

1.  Don't pin anything until you've verified the content. When I'm looking through potential pins, all I want to do is pin the image and move on.  However, I've gone to create something and the link goes to spam.  I've had situations where I assumed the pin went to a tutorial (based on another pinner's comments) but, surprise, the blogger gave only a very high level explanation of how she did the craft, not the step by step instructions I expected.  So if I'm on my phone or don't have time to track images down, I will "Like" the pin, then when I have free time, I go back and verify that it goes to what & where I assumed it goes before pinning it to a board.   Funny note:  I was about to pin the "awesome edible glitter tutorial for Christmas cookies" (according to the last pinner's wording).  I'm grateful I checked out the pin beforehand....it did go to a glitter recipe, but the recipe involved foil and glass, and last time I checked, I'd rather not eat my glittered Christmas cookies in the ER!  Don't believe everything you read on the internet  : )


2.  Clean up your pins. Face it, lots of people do not pin images correctly. If you repin without checking the pin out first, you're perpetuating the problem. The best time to clean up a pin is right before you pin it. There is nothing worse than getting ready to do a tutorial, thinking you're a click away, and being brought to an image with no directions, a tumblr post, a lone Google image, or some part of the right blog, but a totally incorrect series of entries.  This creates extra work to find what you really wanted, and that's no fun....especially when you finally have free time & are all excited to do a project.  Be sure the pin goes to the individual blog post entry with the content (always click on the blog post's title to get there)....not the website's / blog's main page, a blog's monthly posts, or a Google image search picture.  It's true that a tutorial may be on a blog's front page when you pin it, but when more content is added, the pin that only goes only to the blog's main URL, will no longer take you to the right content.

{Hand Stamped Cheese Spreaders via BeachHouseLiving}
 
3.  Label craft / DIY pins accordingly.  I follow some popular pinners that have lots of pins with descriptions as "." or "<3". That's great if you are collecting images, but for crafters & DIYers, that doesn't help. You can label each pin with 500 characters of text. I've found it really helpful to not just describe the image, but write some text about why you pinned it, e.g., "great idea for leftover small scraps of paper" or "love the color combo used in this ornament" instead of simply saying "ornament" or "love this."  The comments section is also a great place to write a little detail about what the informational link behind the image represents....Is this a full, written out tutorial?  Is this a link to a product you want to buy?   Is this image the result of a technique you want to try? Is this image just inspiration & you can figure out how to duplicate it yourself?

In addition, be specific so others can find your pins in the search feature.  A description like "great idea for kitchen back splash" is much more helpful & searchable than the description "great kitchen idea."   {Tip courtesy of Cyndi}



4.  Always add the content or image's source...the original source. The Graphics Fairy has this popular post on how to use google images to find the source if you don't already know how to do it.  Aside from helping you easily find the people, blogs, or products you want without clicking on the pin, giving credit to the individual who took the photo or created the tutorial is good karma.



5.  Use multiple boards and separate by content purpose. It goes without saying and you probably already have multiple project boards, but do you really know what each one means and how they are distinct?  Did you create cute & catchy names, and now you just pin everything, to....wherever?  

Pinterest recommends you use cute, catchy names for your boards.  I admit, it makes me jealous when someone else has thought of a clever board name.  However when you get 1,000's of pins and you have 15 boards each with pieces of tutorials, DIYs, & inspirational pictures all mixed together, a board like "The Crafting Life" won't cut it.  What are you supposed to do with those images?...be inspired, create something, read further / learn something, just look at the pictures, buy something?  It helps to be clear about what are actual tutorials, what are "fun to look at" pictures, what are products, etc. in the board's name.  Here is an example series of general crafting board names that separate pins by the purpose of the content:

Craft & DIY ~ Digital Art & Photoshop Resources
Craft & DIY ~ Downloadable Images I Love
Craft & DIY ~ Image Transfer Techniques & Tutorials
Craft & DIY ~ Painting Techniques
Craft & DIY ~ Project Tutorials
Craft & DIY ~ Supplies & Products



6.  Create multiple boards for each craft / DIY medium.  If you do a lot of crafting in a certain medium (e.g. sewing), putting 100's of pins under a generic Craft & DIY board and mixing them with other projects or creating "Sewing 1" (and then "Sewing 2" when that gets full), could be very confusing.  If you're an avid paper crafter, create multiple boards that start with "Paper Crafts."  You could do something like this:

Paper Crafts ~ Project Tutorials & DIY's
Paper Crafts ~ Christmas Projects
Paper Crafts ~ Inspiration & Ideas
Paper Crafts ~ Products to Try

I started each board with "Paper Crafts", so when I'm choosing a board to pin to, I have 3 or 4 Paper Craft boards next to each other alphabetically and I can quickly select the right one.  This is a lot easier than remembering to scroll through and figure out the difference between my old boards called "paper projects", "fun things to do with paper", "crafts I simply MUST Do", and  "neat craft and DIY projects"....all of which used to contain paper crafting projects but were alphabetically mixed since they started with C, F, N, & P.  If you get to 100+ pins in a category, you may want to segment the category further or see about editing down your pins.

7.  Rearrange your boards.  In my boards menu, I group similar boards together (e.g., all my Paper Craft boards are together), so I find things more easily.  Your boards don't need to be organized alphabetically on your boards page, in fact, I have some of my prettier, more popular boards at the top of my boards page in case people stop by and visit me.  But, you may want to group like craft / DIY boards on the same row of your board page so if you need a certain DIY pin, you can find it easily.




Whew....that post took a lot longer than I expected.  I've only been pinning for over a year, so I'm sure there are more tips & tricks to learn.  If you have some, please share using the comments below & we'll keep this post updated so everyone can benefit!

Happy Pinning!
Emily  {You can find me online.  I'll be the one fixing up & relabeling all my pins}



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34 comments:

  1. I haven't been pinning very long, but all of a sudden I have hundreds of pins. I thought I was organizing them so well when I started, but I didn't really get the BIG picture of Pinterest and thought I was just making Boards for myself, not giving a thought to a bigger process. As time went on a light bulb went off and I slowly figured it out better...there should be a manual to read before you can start pinning, like taking a driver's permit test! LOL...but true! Thanks for your tips Karen, I need to figure out a better system and clean up my act!
    Hugs,
    Pendra

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  2. We're on the same page, Emily: I just spent several hours yesterday organizing my boards on Pinterest. Yes, I had many other more pressing projects that I should have been working on, but I hit that point you described where all those pins began mocking me! LOL I'm not done yet, but I made great progress so far. Thanks for your tips - these will come in handy!

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  3. Awesome information! Thank you so much.

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  4. GREAT info! I learned a few tips that I'll use. I would add one thing to your list. When you create a description, in addition to "great idea for the kitchen" you should add exactly what the image is so that if others are looking for backsplash ideas, they may find yours among the search.

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    1. Thank you Cyndi! I'm updating the post right now to include this. This is exactly what I was hoping for --- more helpful tips so we can all help each other get this right! : )

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  5. im right there with you. i grouped them the other night, and have started to pay more attention where they're going to go. its working. but i do need to go thru ALL im following and clean it up YIKES....that will be an all dayer....lol organization, the name of the game. got a couple that are really going to be a trip to go thru. thanks for all the info.

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  6. Great information, Emily! I wish I could have read this before I found Pinterest!

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  7. I just now found your blog and so glad that I did. I'm now happily following you.

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  8. Great ideas, thanks! I like my boards to be super organised for fear that a) i will pin images more than once or b) completely lose an idea/link to back to blog that I want to read later! So I try and make my board covers as visually eyecatching as possible too!

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  9. Great tips, thank you!!!
    I just would like to add that you should keep your boards titles short, because they don't show up entirely if they are more than about 20/25 letters. For instance, I visited your Pinterest page and saw a series of "Repurposing - Repurpos..." and I had to open the board to see what the real content of the board was (winwows, doors, ...).

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    1. Great point! I just went back and shortened a few based on your comment .... always something to learn. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. Thanks for the great tips! I have the Paper Crafts board too and everything goes in there that has anything to do with paper crafts, which can be a lot. It will be easier to sort out and see what I have with new titles. Guess I'll be busy for awhile... :)

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    1. I need to go back and look at my Paper Crafts again...it's getting big enough to split up. Have fun organizing Jen :)

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  11. So that's how you do it! Thanks so much!

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  12. Only wish pinterest would let you move multiple pins at a time. Great tips!

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  13. Great post and good tips. Question: When you have completed a project that you have pinned, do you remove the pin from your boards?

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    1. Hi Pam. I usually don't remove it, because if I'm going to try it again, I probably won't remember the instructions & would need the links again. I've seen some people create something to the effect of a pinned it, did it board, and move the pin. I've also seen some really popular pinners change the description if they've actually done the craft, to something like "UPDATE: ________" and include how it turned out & variations they'd recommend to help people who pin it from then on.

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    my web site > stickers

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  15. Thank you for this great post. My pins, in the beginning were wonderful! Never had to worry about saving a bookmark & could close my zillion windows & know where that "a can't live without" inspiration link resides. But, now...my boards are just as wild as all my bookmarks/favorites on my lap top!

    Bad, bad, bad, but sometimes, I do not want to take the time to label my pin, therefore the dreaded, just any old letter or symbol will do, gets inserted, (ie... & , * or the most annoying, simpley a dot. . ...)
    Problem solved. Do you know you can highlight the wording from the page you are pinning & wala...it inserts the words right into your pin?! Love it!

    Also, if a page does not have an image, copy that page address & then find another page that represents the type photo that would remind you of why you were posting the no image page & post that page. Then post the pin & then go back to your pin & edit the html by pasting the addy of the no image page & then it takes you to your no image page you wanted in the first place! Another step, but lets you save it that way at least.

    Also for an index of your boards, go to your boards & click print & then hit save as a pdf to your desktop. You can print them too for easy reference or to take along.

    Now if we could just move pins within a board around!

    Happy pinning! I almost just typed, . instead!
    :)

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  16. I just found this via pinterest and want to say thank you for such an informative post.
    I am very big on organizing and I needed it for pinterest as mine was starting to get out of hand.

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  17. I have a Fall/Halloween board that has gotten 'top heavy'. I would like to split it into 2 boards - one for Fall and one for Halloween. How does this effect the people that are following my original board? Do they become a follower of both or do they lose one? I haven't been able to find an answer to this question. Does anyone know? Thanks, Kate

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    1. Hi Kate - I just tested this and created the equivalent of a "Halloween 2" board to my Halloween board. I then moved a pin from my original Halloween board to my new "Halloween 2" board. What happened to me was anyone who follows me & all my boards looks like they automatically became a follower of my new board. I lost people who followed only my original Halloween board when the pin was moved...they stayed as followers of my original Halloween board but wouldn't necessarily know that I'd created the new "Halloween 2" board or that I was moving pins over.

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  18. Karen you are a super star, thank-you for such a useful and clear post. I wish I had read this when I started pinning last November! I have higgledy piggledy boards and dots instead of comments, and didn't realise "like" would give me a chance to assess a pins usefulness. I will be pinning this on my board entitled Useful to Know !
    peace and light
    Lynda

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  19. Hi I just started a pinterest...and of course I am addicted . I love to craft n DIY. The GREAT ideas are endless!! I want to go through my boards and organize my crafting board and DIY boards into categories so it's easy to find. Do I just repin them onto a new board? Is there a way to do it so I don't overload my followers by all my repins and annoy them....I have already been told my a friend I pin too much?

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    1. If they're already pinned, you can create a new board and move that pin to the new / correct board (you do this by going in to the pin & changing the board it's associated with). It shouldn't show up in your feed since it's not a new pin & won't annoy anyone.
      I guess pinning etiquette is tough....I know some pinners who will create a new board, something like "Chairs" and then it seems like they pin 50 google images of chairs within 10 minutes, like they need to fill the board up immediately. I try to just pin things I really love. If you love the pins & they inspire you and you'll do something with them, I say pin them. If you're creating boards your friend doesn't like or pinning things she doesn't like, she can just choose to follow certain boards and not every pin you make. Hope that helps!

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  20. I just found your site and I'm loving everything on it! And all your pin boards!
    I really need to do a total overhaul on my boards - making new boards and re-categorizing everything. I don't suppose you've found an easy way to move multiple pins from one board to another all at once?

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    1. From what I've seen & read so far, there isn't a good way to do this.....it would be nice if each pin had a check box next to it and you could select a bunch and do something with them, but that doesn't exist...yet.

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  21. This post is absolutely golden!! I love that you've put all these wonderful strategies for pin and board organization, and tips about being courteous to other pinners, into this post. I'd also like to encourage you to visit my website, www.pin4ever.com, and get a free backup of your pins and boards. Besides being a good way to ensure the safety of your pins from hackers and accidents, our backup lets you search your pins by typing in a word or phrase!

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  22. Thanks for the tips - so helpful. I am going to begin "cleanup" today!

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  23. Excellent Karen, such a great help. I knew a few months ago that I was in trouble with too many pins. Also good knowing I am not alone.

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  24. Great ideas! I love all your graphic ideas too. I'm a librarian, so I save a lot of projects and images (some in Pinterest) for later use as programs. Your Steampunk category has been especially helpful!

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  25. Love the post, thank you for sharing some great tips! I completely agree on the importance of checking and pinning from the original source. I hope more folks take the extra few seconds to do this.
    xo

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