Pinterest: Five Ways to Use the New Social Pinning Site

PHOTO: Pinterest, a digital pin-board service, has a number of different uses.
ABC

Believe it or not, everyone is pinning. And we don't mean that old act of men giving women their fraternity pins.

Thanks to Pinterest, a website that helps you create digital bulletin boards on the Web, pinning has taken on a totally different digital meaning now.

The service, which you can access in any Web browser at www.pinterest.com, is simple to use. After requesting an invitation and signing up, it will prompt you to add a "Pin It" shortcut to your bookmarks bar. Then, when you come across an article, picture or video you like, you use that bookmark to pin it to your own bulletin board(s). Pin lots of items and the result is a colorful page full of images and links.

Of course, this is a social network, so you can then share the boards with your family and friends, or you can keep them entirely to yourself. You can also easily see which of your Facebook or Twitter friends are on the service and repin their content to you own board.

It is unlike a lot of the other services out there in that you just share by pinning, not text updates. It has become popular among twenty- and thirty-something women. But there's plenty of uses for everyone. Here are five ways to use the digital pinboard.

PHOTO: Links to a few delicious recipes on a Pinterest board.
ABC
Recipe Collections

Pinterest has mastered the art of recipe sharing better than any of the other social apps. You can find your favorite recipes across the Web and then start pinning them to your own recipe board. You can also search "recipes" on Pinterest and take a look at what others are cooking or baking.

Insider tip: If you're a real foodie, you can make multiple recipe boards for different kinds of cuisines (i.e. Italian, Chinese, etc.). Not only is it incredibly helpful to have all your recipes on one page but all the food images create a tasty-looking board.

PHOTO: A few destinations in Greece pinned to a Pinterest board.
ABC
Vacation Planning

Going to Europe this summer? Lucky! Well, even if you are going to some place less glamorous, you can use Pineterest to organize the locations you want to visit. Visit travel sites or grab images of the destinations on Google Images and pin them right to the board. You can even leave a note on each pin to remind yourself to see something specific.

If you aren't planning a vacation, it's common practice to use a board to fantasize about where you'd like to go. Search "travel" on the site and you'll come up with hundreds of boards with collections of beautiful sights and scenes. Again, these make for stunning pages; you'll want to start booking that ticket right away.

PHOTO: A photo of a new apartment and furniture on a Pinterest board.
ABC
Interior Design

A Pinterest user who just moved into a new one-bedroom apartment in New York City with her boyfriend has designed the entire space on Pinterest. Each section of the apartment (bedroom, bathroom, etc.) has a board with different items she'd like to buy, has bought, or is in the process of buying. She has pinned everything you can want in a new place: dishes, cute mugs, a comfy chair, you name it. Cleverly, she has also added a picture of the space to each board to get a feel for what it might look like.

Even if you don't have a new apartment or house, you can use the service to collect items you'd like to purchase when it's time for a redesign or a move.

PHOTO: A few life goals pinned to a Pinterest board.
ABC
Inspiration

Jordana Jaffe, founder of Quarter Life Clarity, is all about inspiration and dreaming up her future, and her boards will tell you just that. Jordana and lots of others create inspiration or visualization boards, posting images and goals for the future. Sometimes that might include a picture of a house on the beach, a dream job or a Bentley. Others include inspirational mottos. Dream big, as they say.

PHOTO: A gift board on Pinterest
ABC
Gift Lists

How many times do you see something online and think, "That would make a great gift," but then completely forget about it? Well, if you pin it, you won't forget it. Lots of pinners are creating collections of gifts, including but not limited to gifts for themselves, gifts for Christmas (it's never to early) and gifts for others. Or, hey, you could just collect some really cool stuff, even if you have no intent to ever buy. It's like window shopping at its best.

Of course, there are tons of other ways to use Pinterest. Let us know how you are using it in the comments or on Twitter at @abcnewstech.

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