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A tutorial for Pinterest perfection

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The basic mechanics of using Pinterest are simple: Drag a bookmark to your browser toolbar and click it when you want to post an image.

After that, however, it’s a world of possibilities.

Since Pinterest’s launch in March 2010, users have found myriad ways to use it. Some users are curatorial, pinning the choicest of images. Others might prefer to “pin ALL the things!” Many users create wish lists for holidays, weddings, and dream vacations.

The Daily Dot has collected a selection of innovative ways that users have expanded their pinning horizons beyond the norm.

1) Meal Planning

With Pinterest, a picture could be worth 1,000 calories. Take advantage of the visual platform to put your food choices right in front of you.

According to Briana Carter, the blogger behind BargainBriana, Pinterest helps her quickly choose healthy new recipes to cook for her family.

“This not only gives me the links to the recipes but it gives me a visual of what I have planned for the week,” she wrote.

Some meal planning inspiration boards: Meal Plan 9/25, Food and Drink, Favorite Recipes.

2) Teaching

Pinterest isn’t just a social platform. According to Pearson School Systems, it’s educational, too. On the group’s blog, Aaron Morrison writes that teachers can use Pinterest to plan lessons, connect with other teachers, and even as a learning tool for students.

“If students are engaging in a group project, they can create a board for collaboration with their group members,” Morrison wrote.

Already, a number of teachers have embraced Pinterest to easily share ideas and printable lesson plans. Some notable ones include The Teacher’s Lane, Teacher Appreciation, and the international community, Teaching Blog Addict.

3) Improving your Photography

What better use for a purely visual platform than to improve your own visuals? Blogger and photographer Tasra Mar suggests using Pinterest organize your work into categories such as photo lighting, posing, and location.

“Study the patterns to find your unique style and taste, then make a mental note to implement that style at your next photo shoot,” she wrote.

To get started, here are a few photography boards: ImprovePhotography, For The Love Of Photography, and Photojojo.

4) Growing a Business

In November, Pinterest surpassed 3 million users. And, thanks to the site’s addictive platform, those user are likely to stay there a while. That’s a lot of potential customers.

According to Search Engine Land’s Christ Silver Smith, Pinterest’s growing userbase makes it an SEO boom for the businesses that manage to harness it. The blog suggests creating a board designated for company products and then integrating into the community by staying social.

“Here’s a bonus tip: declare a Pinterest contest to customers who visit your establishment — offer compelling prizes to those who post pictures of your business and products,” Silver Smith wrote.

Some Pinterest-savvy businesses to learn from: Handemadology, Seasonal Heart, and dale mclain.

Let us know how you use Pinterest, and, of course, don’t forget to follow the Daily Dot.