Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pin the Tangle on the Board

"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned."   Benjamin Franklin

It was that time again... time to rethink the organization of all the tangle patterns I've gathered. When I first began tangling more than four years ago, I had to find a system to organize all the patterns I liked. My system ended up being a collection of index cards on which I drew out the steps for each pattern (it took forever!) I kept them in a file box.

The box soon became too heavy to take wherever I went, and slow-going when flipping through all the cards to find something that inspired me at that moment.

So my next idea... I photocopied all the cards, four to a page, and put them in sheet protectors in a binder. 

That was better for a while, easier to carry around than a file box, but as my collection grew it got heavier and heavier, so... time for another idea. The next idea you can read about here on my blog post from two years ago. The little ring of cards grew to two rings, but was still very portable and manageable. It's worked well for two years...

But now I've decided that it's kind of time consuming (again!) flipping through the cards. And since choosing the patterns is the hardest part of tangling for me, I find myself spending an awful lot of time flipping! 

So... what next? I thought of my Pinterest boards, pitiful as they were, compared to the rest of the world's, I'm sure. I'm not very tech savvy, so although I had started a few boards a while ago, there was not much on them, and I never really used them for anything. It was time for me to catch up with the rest of the pinning world and see how I could really make Pinterest something of value to me.

As I started thinking it through, I began to get excited about all the possibilities. If I pinned all the patterns to a board, it would be much quicker to scroll through them than it was to flip through all my little cards. So, for about the last week I've been spending many hours finding patterns and pinning them to my board called "zentangle patterns." I thought that was a pretty clever name, don't you agree? 

This was also my opportunity to weed out of my collection any patterns that I've since decided I don't really like... and of course an opportunity to add lots more. And I didn't even need to draw out the patterns and/or the steps, because all of you out there in the Zentangle universe have done it for me... thanks!

I also decided it would be helpful to have more specialized boards in addition to the catch-all board. So I pinned all patterns I wanted onto the main board, and then pinned them a second time onto boards for grids, organic, woven,  lines, borders, high contrast, and round patterns. If I have no idea what type of pattern I want to use, I scroll through my main board, but if I have a category in mind it's more efficient to go to that specific board. Quicker and easier to find on the smaller boards.

My boards have grown exponentially in the last week. If any of you happen to have been following them, you probably wondered what's been going on. I also decided to keep a master list of which patterns have been pinned, so when I find something I like I can check first to make sure it's not already there. One of my pet peeves is scrolling through someone's board and finding the same pattern over and over again. It drives me crazy, and honestly, is a waste of my time (sorry if you're in that group of repeat pinners!)

I've put so much time into organizing the boards that I haven't spent much time actually using them yet, but what I have done shows me that my system should work well for me. At least for now... who knows what the future will bring?

If you'd like to take a more in depth look at my boards, you can see them here. Feel free to re-pin, like them, follow them, or whatever. 

Happy pinning and happy tangling!


  1. WoW! Caren --- you have done an amazing job, congratulations! You have far more patience than me;) Thank you so very much for sharing your journey and experience -- it helps so many of us!

    1. You're very welcome. I have the patience for organizing things like this when it lasts for a short time. If it went on for too long I'd probably lose patience. But now that it's set up it should be very simple and quick to add new things that I like.

  2. I've done something similar, only I use Evernote. When I find a tangle I like, I can use the Evernote web clipper to clip the image to Evernote. I purchased the upgrade (something like $25/year), which allows me to see the patterns on any device without needing an internet connection, which was really important to me. Instead of multiple boards (or notebooks, in Evernote terms), I tag each tangle with multiple tags, including the creator, and then I can search on that tag. I've used very similar tags to the names you have on Pinterest. My next step is to create a tag called Favorites, because we all have those "go-to" tangles!

    1. I once did a couple of things on Evernote, but for a person like me who is technologically challenged, I find Pinterest much more intuitive and easy to use.

    2. I LOVE Evernote and all my tangles are now on my iPad!!! They do the alphabetizing for you and you just tap on the name and up comes the step outs! I also use one of those little flip books like you show on a ring. I have a commercial one but for my classes I give away home made ones. You can see them on my blog. http://ginnystiles.blogspot.com (just scroll down). I like the portability of having the ring cards when I don't have the iPad with me. I laugh because I have gone through all those organizations too. I am MUCH fussier about what tangles I keep now. Let's face it no one needs more than a couple hundred tangles! I think there are over 2000 named ones now.

  3. a nice feature with pinterest now is when you try to pin something you have already pinned, a prompt will pop up telling you it looks like you've already pinned this :)

    1. I see that Alice, and it is very nice. However, it does not seem to work every time - at least not for me.