Pinterest: An Illustrated Field Guide (Plus a Few Survival Tips)

​Friends, creatives, crafty types, and internet obsessed -- meet Pinterest, the prettiest time suck you'll ever see. 

No need to worry about small talk, Pinterest will cut to the chase. It already knows all your friends from all your networks and is wide open to anything you'd like to pin on its boards (just don't get any ideas). 

Simply put, Pinterest is the brainchild of a team from Palo Alto, California. It's an endless place to store, pin, and refer back to things you find while down the rabbit hole of the Internet and your friends' pin boards. Pinterest is an inspiration wall on crack, a bulletin board with no borders, and a supply of visual stimuli that'll take you a lifetime (quite literally) to get through. 

We're here, of course, to guide you through. Check out our illustrated guide above, and a few survival tips after the jump ... 

5. Use it to organize ... but be wary of getting stuck in the "oooh shiny!" craft cycle. 

Pinterest is a very cool way to organize everything you wish you could tear out and file or post on your wall, but you can't -- that would require a printer, non-glossy paper, and more than the three seconds it takes to click on the button that says "pin it." Be wary, there are millions of cool projects, recipes, and paint jobs we all want to try, but get too busy pinning to actually sit down with a pair of scissors. Every once in a while, do yourself a favor: step away (or better yet, step outside). 

4. Pinterest will find your friends for you ... just make sure you know who you're following. 
Otherwise, you'll get stuck looking at pictures of cheese balls and DIY toe nail polish. No thank you. Hint: You can also click on friends profiles and select which boards you'd like to "follow" ... or "unfollow" them after they decide to start a board about their future pregnancy. 

3. Yes, you have some extra time -- but spare us. 
If you've pinned 33 things in the last three minutes, that means your pins are crowding up our ever-scrolling, never-ending board of pretty things. Share some air. 

2. Do pin: 
Eye candy, cool crafts, pieces of artwork (with credits, please), organizational tools, colorful things, drool-worthy pictures of food (just not around lunchtime, thank you), baby animals, recipes worth trying, and anything you might normally fit on a (curated) bulletin board. 

1. Don't pin: 
Your latest polish botch job on your nails, every inspirational quote you can find (and can we all be over "keep calm, _____"? That shit died as soon as it was printed on a mug ... with a mustache), Ryan Gosling, what you want your stomach to look like in 5, 10, or 30 days (and no, that cleanse won't get you there), your outfit plan for the next month, and crappy photos of food ... unless you're pinning them to your diet board. 

Good luck! 

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest (because yes, we have one, and yes, we know...) 

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton