Getting the hang of Pinterest

I liked the look of Pinterest – I like the fact that links are displayed visually on ‘boards’ which make it easy to see what they might be about. However, every time I tried to use it I got stuck. I’ve finally got the hang of it now, and am now not sure why I was having trouble. Anyway – this is how I do it, on I pad and on Chrome on PC.

I Pad

Install the Pinterest app on the i pad. This also installs the ‘pin it’ bookmarklet into Safari. When you find something on the Internet you want to pin, click on bookmarks, then ‘pin it’.

This brings up the Pinterest interface. You can choose the board you want to pin the link to or create a new one. Choose the image you want to pin. Write a description of the link, click ‘pin it’ and that’s it.

To save to Pinterest from Twitter, I click on a Twitter link, then open it in Safari, then pin using the above process. Although it’s not a one click solution, it does mean all those juicy useful Twitter links can be easily archived. The alternative I also use is to save to Pocket from Twitter, then at some later date go through the Pocket links and pin them using Chrome on my PC.

Chrome (it’s almost as if this has been planned!)

I use Chrome as my PC browser  however this is, I’m sure, also just as easy in Firefox. Pinning to Pinterest in Chrome is really simple. Install the Pinterest extension from the Chromestore and while you’re about it also install the Shotpin extension (more later). This installs a Pinterest pin icon on the toolbar and (from what I remember on first use) lets you associate this with your Pinterest account.


When you find a link you want to save you just click on the toolbar pin, choose the board you want to save to + write a description. If there are lots of images on a link page, you can choose which one you want to use as your pinned image.

This leads onto the problem with Pinterest – if there’s no image on a page it is more difficult to pin the link. For this I use Shotpin – also a Chrome extension. On the picture above its the less sophisticated pin next to the bookmarks star. It becomes active if you’re on a page which has no images to pin – click on it and you can select any part of the page as your image and save to Pinterest in the same way.


I think one of the things that confused me when I first started was that Pinterest shows you all the images on a page and you choose one as your ‘pinned’ image. Also, when I tried clicking on a link I’d saved it took me to a larger copy of the image and some info about the link – to get to the link itself you need to click again.

Rachel Jones @rlj1981 uses Pinterest with students as a research tool and has blogged about that here Rachel also has loads of good boards Mark Anderson @ictevangelist has written about ways teachers may use Pinterest here and also has loads of good boards There will be very many others – I haven’t been using it long and just use it as a means of social bookmarking which is nicer than Delicious.

My boards are  here – I particularly like the photography one, and there are some really useful links on the  Music Industry for Media Studies, most of which have come from tweets by various people.

Any suggestions for use, boards to follow etc, please leave a comment. Thanks for reading.