By Jayne McGarvey
If you have never used Pinterest, maybe it’s time to have a look. Think of a marriage or partnership between a series of mood boards and filing cabinets and you have Pinterest. It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words – and a picture is much easier remembered and identified quickly. If you have ever scrolled through a very long list of URL web-site addresses only to get to the end and still not have found the link you know is there for a web-site whose name you cannot remember, then Pinterest may be something that will save you time and effort.
You may already use Pinterest to while away a few virtual shopping hours or to plan decoration ideas for your home, bookmark different models of printers, or search for genealogy sites and family history humour. Pinterest is capable of being so much more than just a pretty shopping or aspiration list. It can also be a very valuable tool in the genealogy box.
Pinterest is free to register with and use – always something that ranks high in my book. Once you have registered and selected a few topics to follow, you can begin to set up Boards for yourself.
Think of a Board as a filing drawer or folder where you place items that you want to retain for future use, whether these are web sites, blogs, tips, or items you wish to review further before deciding whether or not to purchase.
Pins are visual bookmarks that you collect on boards. Each board you set up can either be private (only you can see it) or public (everybody can see it). You can save Pins you find on Pinterest, add new ones from your favourite web sites or upload visual images of your own. If you want, you can physically attach a URL address to each item. You can upload JPG, PNG and GIF image files. If you want to Pin a video, you’ll need to upload it to Youtube, Vimeo or TED and then Pin it to Pinterest.
The practical uses for Genealogy and Family History are enormous. I have Boards for Genealogy Websites where I pin links to many of the websites I use from time to time. Genealogy Tips on another board, Facebook links on another (although these are a bit more tricky to set up). I pin and upload old photographs by area and family.
If you have family certificates and forms like census records on your computer, you can upload these as images to family boards and or boards for individual people. (Think free back-up as a bonus.) While PDF files cannot be pinned it is possible to either print these out and then scan them to your computer as images or take a screen shot and save this as an jpg and then upload them as an image. Check out what alternative programmes you can use to save documents and downloads on your own computer and how apps can help convert files to visual images.
See what other people are pinning publically, save their pins to your boards, share your boards of family photos, documents, favourite genealogy tools and books. Organise photos by family, census records by location, pin ideas for family history layouts. Add fun images of quotes and family history humour. The choice is yours.
If you have other family members interested in sharing photographs or research you can create group boards that all the family, wherever they are in the world, can access and share old family photos. Best of all it is FREE. I like FREE!