4 ways to use Pinterest secret boards

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Pinterest just announced that they're giving us unlimited secret boards (thanks, Pinterest!).

There are some obvious ways that we might use the secret boards-- ideas for a surprise party, gift ideas for a special person, or private pins that we don't want to reveal for one reason or another.

But there are also some less-obvious ways that I use secret boards. I shared some of these in the first edition of my newsletter, but when I read the announcement about secret boards I thought it'd be nice to write these tips up and share them in an expanded, well, pinnable format for you.

4 Ways to make Pinterest Secret Boards work for you

1. For bookmarking things you want to keep... secret.

This sounds obvious at first, but a couple of specific ways I've done this is bookmark articles for a large project I'm working on (or may work on someday) and also bookmarking visually pleasing sites for a design palette.

When I was having Oana redesign my header and artwork, I gave her permission to view one of my secret boards (yep, you can collaborate on or share secret boards with specific people) so that she could have an idea of what kind of blog art I liked. It made it easy for her to define what I was looking for without me having to try to just explain it with words.

I also have a secret board called Save for Later where I bookmark sites/articles I want to come back to, although now that I've discovered the Chrome extension OneTab (seriously if you need to go to a Tabs Anonymous program like me, this extension will change your internet-browsing life), I'll probably phase that board out.

2. Current Eats

I love my current eats board. I have to give a shout-out to my friend Rena, who first gave me the idea for a board like this. Since I use Pinterest so much for meal planning, this board has really simplified and organized my life.

Each week when I plan out my meals, I take any recipes I'll be using and re-pin  them to my Current Eats board. I have a lot of food boards (ice cream, other sweets/snacks, recipes to try, favorites, smoothies/drinks, paleo-ish stuff, breakfast) so to have to search through all of those at 4:30pm when I'm trying to get dinner going (while also keeping my kids from complete witching-hour meltdowns) to find a recipe I pinned a few weeks before is bit of a pain.

Now, when I go to my Current Eats board I see a handful of pins that I'll be using that week, there for easy access. When I've used them, I delete them from the board (although I leave a one or two there that I use often). This doesn't delete the original pin, just the version on the secret board. At this time, I also decide if I want to re-pin the recipe to my Favorites board or totally ditch if it was a complete fail.

3. Current Projects

My latest way of using secret boards is similar to the previous idea but for projects. I have a lot of ideas collected-- on boards like Make & Do, Home Sweet Home, Sewing, and Kid-Friendly Art & Crafts that I often forget about. A new way I'm trying to intentionally try out more of the ideas I'm planning is to re-pin them here.

During the weekend, I'll sit down and browse through my own boards for a handful of ideas or projects that I want to tackle, try or implement in the next week. I'll re-pin them to my Current Projects board so that they are handy and I also write them down in a list in my planner (like I do with my meal plan) so they are visually handy even when I'm not on Pinterest.

4.  Currently: Pinterest to Real Life

My newest secret board is where I will keep track of new pins I try for Pinterest to Real Life. Each month I sit down to recap what pinspiration I've brought to real life and again, I'm a bit overwhelmed, looking through over 60 boards and over 2,000 pins, to try to remember which ones I used that month.

So now I will move them from Current Eats or Current Projects, or re-pin them from anywhere, right to my Currently: Pinterest to Real Life board, so that when I comes time to write up my post, they're all in the same place. I'll probably even make notes in the description box on how I liked the recipe or if I had a particular thought about the project that I want to remember.

Then, after I write that month's post, I'll simply delete the pins off that secret board (remember, this won't delete the original pin), and start fresh.

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Let's recap

Here are my four ideas for using Pinterest Secret Boards: for inspiration/articles to keep private, for current eats and current projects, and to keep track of pins I use in any given month.

My goal with these Current boards is make Pinterest work harder for me. It's not just a place where I find and collect pretty things. It is that, but so much more for me, too. It helps me organize and compartmentalize my very visual brain, and these secret boards help me to feel more productive in this inspiration-overload world we live in.

Well, I'm off to pin some secret pins... what about you? How do you use secret boards? I'm sure there are lots of ways that we could use them, especially now that we can create unlimited secret boards. That is, if it's not too big of a secret to tell us. ;)

Embracing Self-Care

10 on 10: March 2014