I have a confession to make: I’ve only created physical vision boards.
With digital vision boards on the rise, I’ve been hosting virtual vision board workshops and my audience has been asking for digital vision boards.
To learn more about them, I polled my audience to find out how many of them are creating digital vision boards, what challenges they are having and what advice they have for others just starting to create their own vision boards digitally.
The results were surprising.
While nearly 50% of responders had created at least one digital vision board, it seems that many were still not satisfied with their digital vision board because they found it difficult to find pictures for free or they couldn’t find the images that represented them or their goals.
Find free images for your digital vision board using Google, Pinterest, Stock Photo sites and Instagram. You can use a simple snipping tool on a PC or the grab function on a Mac laptop or desktop to copy the images from the website and save them onto your desktop. Once the images are on your desktop, move them from your desktop into the tool you’re using to create your digital vision board. Popular online tools for creating digital vision boards are Canva, PowerPoint, Google Slides and Pinterest.
In this article, I’m going to walk through the steps to find free, goal-specific and relevant-to-you images for your digital vision board.
Search Instagram for Hashtags, Accounts or Content Creators you follow on other platforms for images and quotes you like.
If you type your favorite hashtag into the search bar on Instagram, you’ll see that there are two sections: Top Posts and Most Recent. The top post section contains the most liked and shared posts and these more popular posts are more likely to resonate with you. I recommend finding images from the Top Posts section. The “Most Recent” section contain every post created using that hashtag and can often be random.
Another way to find hashtags relevant to your goals is to look up Instagram creators you’re already following and click on the hashtags they’re using under their posts.
The second way to find images on Instagram is to search accounts you’re already following. These accounts will already be posting things that you like and care about since you’re already following them. Scroll through their feed to see if they have any recent images that will meet your criteria.
You can also use the Instagram accounts you like to find hashtags that are related to your goal. I’ll be honest, I don’t always keep up with the latest and greatest hashtags. Luckily, most Instagram posts will have hashtags under the post to make them more discoverable by searchers.
Once you find an image you like, check out the hashtags underneath. You can click on each one to expand your hashtag search and collect more images for your goals.
Blogs, Podcasts and YouTube channels
It’s possible you’re setting a brand new goal and you are not following any accounts that posts these goals yet. Maybe you know of a few blogs, podcasts or YouTube channels that talk about the goal you want to set.
For example, I want to set goals to pay off debt and begin saving my emergency fund. I listen to the Bigger Pockets Money podcast to learn, find tips and new ideas for saving and debt payoff.
I can search the Bigger Pockets Money podcast on Instagram to see if they have some content there that I may like.
Copying your images
Instagram doesn’t have any great way to copy images from the platform, so you’ll have to use a screen grab tool to save the images to your desktop.
Search stock photo sites, like Pexels, to find visually appealing, free images tailored to your goal.
I have been using Pexels for my stock photos for years because the images are beautifully designed and the site is easy to use.
Find your vision board images by typing your goal into the search bar. You’ll see tons of images here that can represent your goal. Because this website was specifically made to share royalty free (and actually free) stock photos, there is a download button next to each image that you can click to download them.
The image will go to your downloads folder so remember to check your downloads folder when you’re creating your digital vision board.
Find Pins of articles and quotes matching your goals using popular ideas platform, Pinterest.
Similar to the other sites, you can type your goal right into the search bar and Pinterest will immediately show you image relating to your goal.
One unique thing about Pinterest is that you can drill down by adding additional keywords to create a more focused goal. The image recommendation are also endless in Pinterest - you can keep scrolling for days.
You will often click on an image that you like and realize that it’s actually a video. In this case, click on the video to pause it on an image that you like and use your screen grab tool to save a still image from that video.
Add Quotes to your search
Once you’ve added all the images that you like from your initial search, find new image by adding “quotes” to the end of your search. For example, if my initial search was “save money” I would then search “save money quotes” to get new images that match my goal. This will help you vary the style of images on your vision board to make it even more versatile and inspirational.
Adding Personal Qualifiers
In my poll, a few readers commented that they couldn’t find images matching their gender, race or ethnic background. In Pinterest, you can add qualifiers to see more images that relate more closely to you.
For example, if my first search was “save money” my second search can be “save money women over 40” and I’ll see different images, articles and ideas to match my new search.
Find your remaining images using Google Image search.
First, search the goal that you want to find images for. With Google’s powerful search engine, you can get as detailed in the description as you’d like.
Similar to your search in Pinterest, you can add “quotes” to the end of your search to get a completely different search result. You can also add unique identifiers like age, race, gender, ethnicity, etc. to return images that look like you and still meet your goal requirements.
Save all of your images directly to your computer desktop.
When it’s time to move your images into your favorite digital vision board creation tool, you’ll want to have them easily available to upload so I highly recommend saving all of your images right to your desktop.
Canva, PowerPoint and Google Slides will all allow you to drag your images right from your desktop onto your slides. With some simple resizing, you can create your vision board within a few minutes after that point.
When I polled my audience, I found that Canva was used in 55% of all digital vision board creators! So I created this video showing how to make a vision board using Canva.
Upload your images to Google Drive for easy phone access to create a digital vision board using an app.
If you have the Google Drive app on your phone, you can simply drag your digital images into a folder on google drive. Then open the app on your phone and save the images to your photo reel.
Once the images are in a photo reel they will be available for you to use inside of any vision board app you like.
I’ve reviewed several vision board phone apps and I found Dreamer to be the best one by far. Here’s a video showing you how to create your vision board using the phone app Dreamer.
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About the author
Cyrene is a fun and accomplished workshop facilitator, learning and development guru and Human Resources professional. Being at the helm of Thrive Lounge has been a long-time dream. Through vision board workshops she plans to accomplish two-way learning. Sharing her vast years of knowledge to motivate and encourage others; while simultaneously getting the reward of great energy, ideas and questions to ponder back from each group. A super win-win. Please join our Thrive Lounge community so you too can benefit!