Over the years, I created several Pinterest boards that I used in workshops and classes. Unlike a slides-shown-in-sequence presentation, a Pinterest board allowed me to customize my talk to the audience. I could select and discuss the pins most relevant to the audience, in any order.
I liked that I could add a pin anywhere (from the web or Pinterest’s Android and Apple mobile apps), and people could view the pins from any device.
Then Google launched Google+ Collections, which let me share images just like Pinterest. But a Google+ Collection item could include things other than multiple images, like a video, article, link, poll, or Google document (Doc, Sheet, or Slides). And by the end of August 2015, Google+ Collections also worked on the web, Android, and iOS.
As a result, I chose to move my Pinterest boards to Google+ Collections. For me, this meant one less app on my mobile devices and one less username and password to manage. Most importantly, I could still create and share sets of resources from any device.
I manually moved the pins from each of my 9 boards on Pinterest to a corresponding new Google+ Collection. For each set of pins, I went through the steps that follow. I logged into Google+ on the web, but similar steps work in the Google+ mobile apps.
1. Create the Collection
From the Google+ home menu, choose Collections | Create a collection. Provide a name for your collection and, optionally, a brief description.
Select the collection’s Visibility setting carefully, because it can’t be changed. You have several visibility options, including Only You, Your Circles, or Public (Figure A). If you use Google Apps for Work, you may also restrict a collection’s visibility to people in your organization. Finally, click Create.
Create a Google+ Collection and customize the visibility.
2. Customize followers
By default, people who have you in circles will automatically follow each new public collection you create. I didn’t want to fill the Google+ streams of people that follow me with each added item, but I did want to make each of my collections public. So, I changed the setting for each of my collections (Figure B). From the collection’s main page, I selected Edit Collection (on the web, do this from the sprocket icon; on mobile, from the three-vertical dots menu). I turned off the option for People that have you in circles automatically follow this collection.
For public collections, you may want to change the default follower setting.
3. Add items
Next I added items.
As you would expect, many of the items were links to images from articles. I tested each link and didn’t transfer links that no longer worked.
Not all items were images. In a few cases, the image was an illustration that I’d uploaded directly to Pinterest. These items I downloaded from Pinterest, then uploaded to a post in the Collection. For videos that I’d linked to, I simply added the YouTube link directly. Unlike Pinterest, I could easily add a link to a page without a image (Figure C).
Unlike Pinterest, a Google+ Collection lets you share things other than images, like video, links, and more.
4. Optional: Customize photo and color
For a few of my Collections, I added a custom photo and adjusted the collection’s color. This helped visually differentiate one collection from another. (On the web, these options are under Customize; on mobile, find them with the paintbrush icon in the Collection’s main page in your app.)
I also took a screenshot of my Google+ Collection page, then added the image to my Pinterest board for each Collection. I added text to the image to indicate that the items formerly on the Pinterest board had been moved and were now on Google+.
5. Share the link
Each collection has a unique link. Just copy the URL from the main page of the collection. For example, Google for Education created a collection of Google Classroom resources.
You can share a link to all of your collections, as well. For example, I created a custom URL for my Google+ profile, so all my collections are at http://google.com/+AndyWolber/collections. That’s a relatively easy address to save and share (Figure D).
Create and share a Google+ Collection on the web, Android, or Apple mobile devices (in the Google+ app).
In my case, Pinterest served as a presentation tool, not a social network. If you’re active and engaged with a community of pinners, stay active on Pinterest. But if you use Google Apps for Work or Google+ and want a fast, mobile-friendly way to group and share resources, give Google+ Collections a try.
Do you use Google+ Collections? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.