One of the more interesting ways I’ve seen people using Pinterest is to create vision boards for various projects. A vision board, known as a mood board in design circles, is a useful tool for sharpening and focusing plans visually. We won’t get into the debates between educational psychologists about whether or not any of us are truly visually motivated, but there is evidence to suggest that having clearly visualized goals helps in attaining them.
In the case of the vision board, a creator gathers pictures, clippings, paint chips, fabric swatches, sketches, and anything else that provokes thought on a given theme or project, and then uses that to inspire and organize the project through to completion. It’s hung somewhere the creator can always see it, so they’ll be inspired constantly and possibly spontaneously.
Any flat surface you can attach things to makes for a good vision board. I’ve kept a combination of whiteboards and corkboards around my workspace for years to be able to capture items and ideas. Some boards get dedicated to a specific topic, others to a specific project. One of my whiteboards right now even lays out my intended learning sequence for the next several projects.
While physical, tangible boards are great and inspiring and helpful, sometimes there’s just too much to organize, or I’ve found things online I’ve wanted to add to a board. I’ve used Springpad, which was more useful before they changed the notebook system, to create virtual vision boards. I haven’t used Pinterest in that capacity yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.
However you choose to organize your own vision boards, do try them out for projects periodically. It’s amazing how they can help you think through plans and choices, and even help you sort out the logistics and logic of a design.