While researching for the best technology tools to use as a genealogist, I thought, “Why would anyone use Pinterest for genealogy?”
Genealogists need methods to organize their discoveries, research, and discoveries so I read blog posts and watched YouTube videos. I learned that Pinterest organizes photos, quotes, tips, training from blog posts, YouTube videos, and direct uploads onto visual bulletin boards. Family historians can quickly view and access the content they need to answer genealogy research questions or write family histories.
Let me share with you the advantages I discovered about using Pinterest for genealogy.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a free tool for bookmarking and organizing things you like on the internet.
Instead of using a web browser to bookmark web pages you want to revisit, you can use Pinterest.
Pinterest works on any browser or through a dedicated mobile app.
This means you won’t have to find hacks to access your bookmarks in Safari while you’re using a PC computer. (What a relief!)
Can you find genealogy topics on Pinterest?
Initially, I didn’t think so, but Yes! Yes, you can find genealogy topics on Pinterest.
When Pinterest debuted in January 2010, I was too busy with four small children and another on the way. I wasn’t crafty and I didn’t have time to explore recipes and crafts that I would never successfully create.
Pinterest has evolved from the myth of attracting only middle-aged women interested in extreme crafts, impossible recipes, perfect home decor, and unrealistic fashion hacks.
The expanded Pinterest universe of topics includes vintage movies and cartoons, camping gear, travel tips, STEM education, finding balance, writing tips, self-publishing, and yes genealogy!
Users of all ages are pinning their future and hobby activities. They value the visual reminders of lays beyond the bookmarked image that directs them to a blog post, database, storefront, or YouTube video.
Lisa Lisson, of Are You My Cousin, often states that people use Pinterest to be inspired or to solve problems.
It’s safe to say that you, a genealogist, would like inspiration and to solve problems.
You’ll find genealogy quotes that will inspire or make you laugh. You’ll find tips for using FamilySearch, Ancestry, and Internet Archive. You’ll find blog posts and videos about genealogy methodology and writing family history. There is a wealth of information available on Pinterest right now, and being added every day. You just have to start searching.
What Problems Does Pinterest Solve For Genealogy?
Using Pinterest in genealogy can help you in many ways.
Create a Personalized Genealogy Education Center
The first problem Pinterest solves for genealogists is creating a visual reference library.
In the past, I used my web browser to save links to articles about how to research Civil War unit histories, how to encourage my children to do family history, and how to write family histories.
These bookmakers should have helped me know where my resources and training material resided online.
I soon forgot why I bookmarked each of these ‘ genealogy’ links. Only by clicking on each link will I hopefully remember. What a waste of time!
Using Pinterest you can save your favorite genealogy blog posts and videos that teach you how to research tax records, translate German handwriting and work around newspaper scanning errors, and more. (*cough* these links go to our Pinterest accounts – hint, hint)
You’ll create a customized genealogy education and reference guide using Pinterest.
Stay Focused on Your Genealogy
Pinterest helps you stay focused on your current genealogy project.
While researching a genealogy project, I may stumble upon an article, web page, or database that I know I’ll want to explore. However, it’s not relevant to the current research problem.
I’ll pin these articles, web pages, and databases to Pinterest and revisit them when I finish my current questions.
Think of how much more you can accomplish by reducing your distraction while saving your great ideas.
Share Your Genealogy With Others
Another problem genealogists have involves sharing their research with others. Using Pinterest you can share anything you discover in your genealogy quest. You can share blogs you’ve written, photos you’ve taken, or records you have found.
Pinners can click on these images and go directly to your blog posts and connect with you. (Cousin bait at its finest!)
Create a Genealogy Wish List
Pinterest can serve your genealogy wish list. You can save books, home decor, archival products, and conference registration pages to help you remember what you would like to spend money on in the coming year.
Plus, if anyone ever wants to know what you want for a present, you can direct them to your Genealogy Wish List on Pinterest
How do you set up a Pinterest account?
When you’re ready to use Pinterest as a free tool on your genealogy journey, you’ll need to set up an account.
Check out this video that walks you through the process.
Watch the step-by-step process for setting up your account, adjusting your initial topics to follow, saving pins, creating boards, and more. A must watch video for newbies to Pinterest, or for those who want a quick refresher.
In a future post, I’ll share with you some genealogy boards that you might want to create to help organize your genealogy research and writing projects.