Pinterest Explained

I’m assuming that a lot of you know what Pinterest is, but I love the site so much that I wanted to make sure EVERYONE knows about it. Once upon a time Google had a service called Google Notebook. I still use it, but it’s now become a site that you can only access if you used it previously. I use it to bookmark all sorts of things, like articles on birth, parenting, Chicago places you recommended that we eat, and a host of other things. It’s an awesome service that I’m grateful to have, but it does have one huge limitation, and that is the ability to bookmark photos (plus the interface overall isn’t very pretty).

Enter Pinterest!

To sum it up, Pinterest is a site you use for bookmarking things, and you do this bookmarking using images. Blogposts/pictures/items for sale/stuff from Flickr/quotes/etc/etc/etc. The one thing you can’t use Pinterest to bookmark is articles with no pictures or sites that use flash (that’s where Google Notebook still comes in handy for me).

When I was wedding planning this would have been a lifesaver! I had folders and folders full of pictures which had no sources (and thus were pretty much useless when I started writing for Weddingbee), and I couldn’t access them away from my computer, or easily share them with other people. Now I use Pinterest the most for bookmarking recipes, crafts I’d like to try, home decor ideas, photographs I love, and ideas for hair/makeup/outfits.

This is what I see when I clicked on my Pinterest page while writing this post. All those pictures you are seeing are “pins” that other people have saved to their own profile. If I like something I see on this Pinterest page, I click on the picture and pin it myself. Then someone who follows me likes it and pins it, and that keeps happening over and over. It’s fun to see what becomes popular!

If you’re browsing the internet and you see something you like, pinning is very easy here as well. Visit this page, and drag the “Pin It” button up to your toolbar. When you are ready to pin a picture and save it for later reference, you click on the Pin It button on your toolbar. Step two is selecting the picture you like best. Step three involves a box that pops up and asks where you want to store the pin in your boards, and asks for a description.

Quick note about pinning, try to remember to pin from the actual page where the picture/tutorial/post is, not the homepage. For instance, if you were pinning this granola recipe you would pin from, not from That makes it easier for everyone to find what you pinned later on.

You’re going to want to separate your pins into boards, so you can easily find them later. My Make It Again board is probably my favorite, I access it all the time to look up recipes I’ve used and liked previously. I’m also using Pinterest to help plan our Italy vacation, ookmarking beautiful photos, trying to figure out a knock-your-socks-off Jenna Cole packaging approach for my clients, and marking posts that give tips to help me “go green” with cleaning and beauty products. Yesterday I used it to make a board compiling all the ideas that I plan to use for making a church bag, based on your suggestions.

On Pinterest, you follow the people/boards you like. One of my favorite people to follow is actually the mom of one of my friends! (He was the “bridesman” in my wedding party if you followed my wedding blogging). She pins a lot of stuff, and I love looking through to see what she found interesting.

I have two options when I visit her profile. I can follow all of her boards (arrow on the left) or I can follow individual boards (arrow in the middle).

To use Pinterest, you need an invite, which I would be happy to send to anyone who asks for one in the comment section below. You can follow my pins/boards on my Jenna Cole Pinterest page once you have an account!

Blushink reminded me that Pinterest has an etiquette page, which is a great resource for those who want to learn how to play nice on the site.

95 thoughts on “Pinterest Explained

  1. Oooh, a make it again board is a great idea! I’ve made a lot of the recipes I’ve Pinned, it’d be good to separate them out!

  2. Love pinterest way too much – I wish the app was better, but with every build it’s been crashing less and less.

    I’m also working to pin via iPad – if you have a solution let me know!

  3. I would love an invitation as well! You explained it so well and now I think I could do it!

  4. I would love an invite. I’ve seen it mentioned a ton on the interwebs, but this post is the first that has actually made it seem appealing!

  5. Hi Jenna. Just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for ages, and I so much appreciate how generous you are with information like this – it must have taken a while to put this post together, just so people new to pinterest (like me) would actually understand it. I’ve heard about it a few times, but now that you’ve explained it I think I’d really love to join! Could I please have an invite as well? 🙂

    Jenna Reply:

    This is so kind Amy! Posts like this do take a lot of time, which is why I don’t do them often. You made me feel so nice with this comment <3

  6. I love Pinterest! It’s pretty easy to get your own invitation too. All you have to do is sign up. I don’t know how long it takes now since it’s become pretty popular but when I signed up they emailed me and told me to wait for an invitation from them and by the end of the business day I had one.

  7. I love pinterest, but I do wish they had some more privacy options. I have boards going for books and decorating items that I don’t mind being public. However, I wish I could start some “goal” (future babies, weightloss) boards that I could keep private. Does anyone know if this exists? I couldn’t do it the last time I looked.

  8. Hey Jenna,

    I don’t know if you have a limitation in invites, but I would love one too if you’re able. I’ve heard you mention Pinterest before, but I didn’t know what it was until this great post!

    Thank you as always for the heads up, hope your day is going well 🙂

  9. Thanks so much for offering to send an invite, Jenna! I would love to take you up on that. This post is super helpful!

  10. If I REALLY have free time, I like to click on my favorite pins and click back to the people and boards it was previously pinned on. If I like something another user likes, I must like their other pins, right? It’s a great way to find new boards to follow!

  11. I’m OBSESSED with Pinterest these days! So many cool and beautiful things! Unfortunately, it also makes me aware of things I didn’t know I wanted/needed, hehe

  12. I love Pinterest. I already follow you as Jenna Cole on the site. I wish it had been around when I was wedding planning as well.

    Kayakgirl73 Reply:

    I’m not Kayakgirl73 on there. I thought I had to use a real name.

  13. Great Tutorial! I’ve been explaining to all of my friends who aren’t yet members – I’ll send the next people with questions to this post!

  14. I am glad I am not the only one obsessed with Pinterest. Sometimes I feel everybody I know only uses it for the first few days and then forgets about it. It is such a great organization tool though that it’s addicting.

  15. I would love an invite! I’ve been hearing about Pinterest for ages now but haven’t been able to get an invite for some reason. Thanks!

    Alice Reply:

    Thank you for the invite!!! That was fast. I’m excited to explore!

  16. This is such a great lesson and I would love an invite as well! This is definitely something I’ve looked into and would love to use. Thanks Jenna!

  17. Can I please have an invite? I’ve heard so many good things about Pinterest and would love to follow you! I feel like with this tutorial I could actually figure it out too, thanks for putting it together!

  18. I would love to give it a try. I’ve been addicted to Evernote for quite some time, seems like a similar, but less boring concept. If you’re able to send me an invite, I’d really appreciate it.
    Thanks for putting together posts like this Jenna! They’re so interesting, you make a great teacher!

  19. I would love an invite! I am planning my daughter’s 1st birthday now and need somewhere to organize my thoughts!

  20. I actually downloaded the app for my iphone a while ago when someone suggested it but haven’t used it yet. I had no idea how much you could do with it, great post! I would love an invite too 🙂

  21. I would love an invite! The Husband and I have just (literally just this week) decided to buy a house and started looking, so this will come in very handy!! I also think we’ve resisted the tide long enough and are going to upgrade to spartphones as well.

    Your tips are great, can’t wait to see the recipes and other great stuff you’ve pinned!

  22. Oh man! You’re not the only person who has talked about this site and it has made me SO interested. I’m buying a condo soon and this would be perfect for decorating ideas. I’d love an invite!

  23. Definitely going to have a look at that, I have USB sticks full of things I’ve found on the internet, this would save so much time and computer memory!

  24. Thanks for the introduction and tutorial – I could definitely make use of this and would love an invite!

    Also just wanted to say that I read this blog every day and really enjoy it. You put a LOT of work into it and it’s very obvious from the stellar quality – it’s one of a few blogs that I make a point to read every day!

  25. I’ve tried to sign up for this in the past. Could you send me an invite, too? Thanks!!

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