Part One: Creating your account on Pinterest
Pinterest is a fabulous tool for collecting notes on almost any endeavor, and it’s particularly well-suited for planning your next vacation. As a social network, Pinterest is becoming a powerful place to search for information on almost any topic, and its image-based layout will draw you into faraway places right from your desktop.
In these next few posts I’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up your own Pinterest account to plan your vacation. Today we’ll discuss how to set up your Pinterest account, and begin exploring the world of Pinterest “pins”.
Creating Your Account on Pinterest
As with any social network, the power in Pinterest is in its membership. It’s easy and free to join, here’s what to do.
Start at www.Pinterest.com, or add the free Pinterest app to your phone or tablet . Here you’ll find a sign up box with two options – sign in with your Facebook account credentials or create a new login using your email and a password. The only personal info Pinterest will ask you for is your name, email, password, and gender.
Once you have your info entered, Pinterest will ask you to get started by choosing five areas of interest. Don’t get too hung up on this – it’s here so when you get to your home page there’s something to see right away. Just check five things that look inviting. Then click “Follow”.
Now you’ll see a nearly blank page like the image below:
This is the page that shows your personal boards and other details about your account. The “5 following” thing is the five areas of interest you selected in the last step. Click or tap on the P in the circle that’s on the bottom of your screen and see what happens! (Sometimes the P is in a different place on your screen, just look for it and click).
This screen full of images is your Pin feed. All of these images and their captions were posted (or “pinned” in Pinterest parlance) by other members (“pinners”). These images are called “pins”, and they are usually much more than just pretty pictures or clever quotes. Let’s explore one and see.
Choose one of the images on your screen and click on it. The image will zoom into a bigger size for better viewing.
Above the image you’ll see some icons – tap them or hover over with your mouse to see what they do. Here you’ll notice several ways you could share this pin outside of Pinterest, like via email or Facebook. The heart icon is similar to Facebook’s ‘like’ button. And then there’s the “Pin it” icon – tap this to see what it does.
We’re going to talk more about the Pin It button in our next lesson, so for now just click the “x” in the corner to go back to the big image of the pin.
Now see what happens when you tap or click on the image on this pin. Just give it a tap/click right in the middle of the picture. We’re you transported to a website? Here is where I went when I clicked on the Top Tips for Universal Orlando pin:
What happened? It turns out the image I tapped on was originally “pinned” from the “33 Things To Know Before You Visit Universal Orlando” article on goinformed.net. Tapping on the image transported me back to that original article. So besides being a pretty image, most pins are also links to information beyond Pinterest!
Let’s go back to the pin where we started – just click the “x” at the top of the window/tab you’re in (it might look different depending on what device your viewing from, but generally you’ll see a small x at the top of the page you’re viewing, click this. Or sometimes you’ll see a little back-arrow, like at the top of the image below).
Now if we look at that pin again:
You might notice the information under the image – here is the origin of the pin. You’ll see who added this image to Pinterest and which board it appears on. The name of the pinner is highlighted, and so is the board. If you click on the pinner name you can see what else they’ve pinned, and if you click on the board name you can see what else is pinned on this board.
At any time to go back just click the little back arrow or the “x” at the top of your screen.
Notice the “Follow” icon when you’re looking at the pinner’s boards. If you’d like to see this pinner’s pins in your Pin Feed, click the Follow icon at the top of their board page. Now you are “following” that pinner and everything they pin will show up in your pin feed.
If you see a board that really interests you and you’d just like to see what the pinner puts on that board, you can choose to only follow that board. This can be really helpful if your planning overlaps with this pinner’s board – for instance if you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando, following goinformed.net’s Universal Orlando board means you’ll see what we add to this board.
Another way to discover pins is to use the search bar. You’ll find it at the top of your screen. Just type in whatever you’d like to search for, and Pinterest will display a bunch of related pins. Here I’ve searched for “Diagon Alley”:
Did you notice how many pins came up from my search? This leads me to Pinterest Mind-Blow #1: Pinterest is an amazing resource containing information on an endless number of topics. Yes, you can search on Google, but you will find a TON of information by looking through Pinterest. And this is all information that pinners have chosen to pin, which means it’s been cultivated by enthusiasts.
No matter where your next vacation will take you, I bet there’s another pinner collecting info on the same topic. This shared information, and the at-a-glance simplicity of the pin format, makes Pinterest a fantastic resource for your vacation planning.
As you can see, there are lots of branches from this one search. I could select “shops” for instance, to get pins related to shopping in Diagon Alley. There are also may be boards with this topic in their name, or even pinners. Clicking on the “pinners” or “boards” icon would show me any that relate to the subject.
You could stop right here and just spend the day looking through the pins that show up in your pin feed, clicking through to see where those pins came from, and choosing more boards and pinners to follow. In fact, that’s what I recommend. Take some time to get to know what others are pinning on Pinterest. Our next installment will show you how to curate those pins into your own boards, and how to add pins from outside of Pinterest.
Have questions or comments? Please comment below!