How to Create a Digital Vision Board for FREE
It’s difficult to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. Picturing the life you want can help make it happen. Making a vision board can help make your dreams a reality.
I recently made a vision board to fulfill a marketing class assignment. I was surprised by the motivating power of this simple project.
Through trial and error I found some free digital tools that made it easy. I’m passing them on to you so you don’t have to have the frustrating error part. You get to have the easy way.
In this article I cover:
- What is a vision board?
- Why make a vision board?
- How to figure out your vision.
- How to make a digital vision board for FREE. (including where to get pictures)
NOTE: This blog post article is long (about 2,300 words) click here for a free PDF of this article.
What is a vision board?
A vision board is basically a collage of graphics that represent what you want your life to look like. It often includes photos, text, and other creative elements.
It may be focused on one area of life or many. (I’m going to talk about the many areas of life version but you decide what you want to include in your vision.)
Vision boards are also called dream boards, so this article is also a good source for how to make a dream board.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
The very next morning after I finished my vision board, I realized a positive effect on my life. I had that moment of wavering about doing my morning workout. I immediately flashed on a strong-woman picture I had included in my collage and a wavered no more. I was motivated and energized to jump on my mini-trampoline and lift those barbells.
Creating a vision board for the life you want helps set your intention. That helps you reach your goals in a couple of ways.
- It helps motivate you to work toward your goals and get past roadblocks.
- There is a mysterious power that seems to get set into motion helping you get where you want to go.
The mysterious power
I don’t want to get all woo-woo on you but there does seem to be an extra something that assists with the attainment of your clear vision.
There are a variety of explanations for this mysterious power.
Maybe it’s a spiritual power. Maybe it’s that when you are clear about your vision you are better at recognizing the opportunities to take steps toward that vision. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s all of it.
Case in point: My sister’s story.
My sister was going through a very difficult time in her life. Her house and business burnt down taking all of her possessions with the exception of about 5 items she managed to escape with. Fleeing the building she fell on the ice breaking her arm in a way that required surgery.
She was a single woman starting over from scratch─with a broken arm. She had to rebuild her business and her home. Basically she was rebuilding her life.
She made a vision board. Her vison board included financial goals, career goals, places she wanted to travel to, and relationship goals.
When she showed me her vision board, it was clear that having a loving partner was way up on her priority list. There were about five pictures that depicted love. She really wanted a partner in life.
Another thing that stood out on her vision board were mountains. She had never seen mountains and clearly she wanted to.
She worked away at rebuilding her business and reestablishing a home, but the really astonishing thing about her vison board story lies is in the romance and travel arenas.
About a year after my sister made her vision board, during her regular phone call with a long time guy friend who had offered her tremendous emotional support as she struggled with the fire aftermath, the friend asked her, “Do you think there would ever be a future for an us?”
Unlike other phases of their lives, they were both now single at the same time. They delinquently asked each other questions to check their compatibility to move from friendship to partners. Both concluding “yes.” And─he lives on the other side of the country near the mountains.
She recently spent a wonderful week together with her boyfriend in a cabin in the mountains. Now they are planning how to bring their worlds together. It looks like a several year process, but that’s OK with them.
Moral of the story: There is a power in seeing where you want to be (figuratively and literally).
Using a vision board
Using a vision board is a 3 step process:
- figure out what you want in your life
- create the vision board
- use it
Step 1: Figure out what you want.
Get clear about your vision.
Note: Your vision for your future may change over time. This is just the vision you have moving forward from where you are now. It’s not set in stone. Don’t get stalled out by thinking about too many what ifs.
Make a list of goals that you might include on your vision board.
Consider all aspects of yourself for inclusion: body, mind, and spirit.
Consider various areas of your life:
- Physical well-being: movement, fitness, eating, weight, health
Tangible: things you want to own, be around, or see
Mental: learning activities and/or goals (skills, education, certificates), creative endeavors
Emotional: risks to take, attitude you want to have
Relationships: family, friends, romance, what kind of partner you’d like to have or be
Work: career/business choice and milestones, service and volunteering
Financial: debt goals and earning goals
Fun: entertainment, vacations, places to visit, hobbies
Some goals you may want to make specific. For example: be a size 10, walk 3 times a week, make $100K a year, write a book about Tangier.
Some goals you may want to be more general. For example: laugh a lot, enjoy family, travel somewhere fun.
You may want to prioritize what goals you want to represent on your vision board.
Begin to visualize how you can represent your goals on the board.
Step 2: Create the vision board
A vision board is a collage of graphics representing components of your vision for your life. It typically includes pictorial representations and words or phrases that label an element of a goal (ie $100K) or inspire you.
Make a file to collect graphics. Either a physical file to place your pieces until you are ready to put them together, or a computer file to collect graphics in.
Where to get pictures for a vision board
You can use:
- Photos you already have
- Photos you set out to take in order to capture the images you want to include on your vision board
- Online sources of free graphics (There are many sources for paid photos such as my current favorite, CanStockPhoto, but I am only listing sources for free to use graphics in this detailed list.)
- MorgueFile http://www.morguefile.com/archive
In MorgueFile, when you click on a photo you want, a download bar pops up at the bottom. So does a promo box for Bigstock. You can shut the Bigstock promo box by clicking the “x” and still download the picture.
- FREEIMAGES http://www.freeimages.com/
FREEIMAGES displays free and paid images after you put in your search term. Free photos are to the left, paid to the right. If you right click on a displayed free photo you can then click “save picture as” and get a clean photo. If you double click on the photo it takes you to a signup page.
- Stockvault http://www.stockvault.net/
Stockvault has 62K free images plus other paid images. Pictures displayed in the top and bottom black panels are paid. The ones in the middle display area are free. It may seem clear to some people but it took me quite a while to figure out that not all the displayed photos were free to use.
- Google Images https://www.google.com/imghp
The home page for Google Images is just a search bar. From the Google Images homepage, enter a search term for the topic you want a picture for.
To restrict your search to graphics that are not copyrighted: Click on the gear symbol in the upper right. A menu pops down. Click on “Advanced Search.” On the Advanced Search page, the bottom field is “Usage Rights.” Here you can choose to look for graphics that are “free to use or share” or “free to use or share, even commercially.”
Putting it together
There are two ways you can put your vision board collage together:
- You can create a vision board with physical materials using printed photos, magazine pictures, phrases cut from printed sources, written words, and artistic representations on a cork board, piece of paper, or poster board, or
- you can create a digital vision board.
Creating a digital vision board using Picasa
I created a digital vision board using Picasa, so that’s what I’ll explain in detail.
I looked into using Pinterest, but I didn’t want my vision board in internet land even if it is supposedly private. (Not that there’s anything scandalous on my vision board.)
I tried Jack Cantefield’s vision board free app, but I couldn’t make it do what I wanted so I found it frustrating. (It may be a good app. It might have been user error.)
I followed a few other promising leads that led to dead ends.
Then I found Picasa. Picasa is a Google photo platform. It is free, quick to learn, easy to use, and gave me a result I am really happy with.
BTW: The vision board I have included with this article as a graphic is a sample I made using Picasso and graphics from the sources I listed. It isn’t my personal vision board (because, as I said earlier, I’m keeping mine private).
How to make a vision board using Picasa
Put the photos you want to use for your vision board into a designated computer folder.
Download Picasa for free from here http://picasa.google.com/.
Picasa will pull your photos into the program automatically.
From the top menu. Select Create > Picture Collage.
The Collage page has a work area to the right and control panel to the left.
Settings Tab. On the left control panel:
- set the “Page format” for paper size. If you want to make a print copy, select 8.5 x 11. (I didn’t notice the page formatting initially and had to redo my collage to size it properly for print.)
- The other settings can be left at their automatic settings for now.
Clips Tab. On the left control panel:
- This is how you load your pictures
- Click on the clips tab then the “get more” button.
- The library tab is opened. Search down for your vision board folder. Click on it.
- Click the Collage tab at the top of the page.
- Now you’re back to your collage work area and your photos are there in the left control panel area labelled “clips.”
Manipulating the pictures:
- The pictures start off all selected. You can drag them all over to the work area.
- The pics create a pile on the work area.You can select them one by one and move them around.
- To move a photo: Select it > Drag
- To resize a photo: Select it > Move the cursor to the dot to the side of the circle that appears over the pic > Drag the hand cursor outward to expand and inward to decrease the photo size
- To rotate a photo: Select it >Move the cursor to the dot to the side of the circle that appears over the pic > Rotate
- To set a photo as the background: Right click on the photo > Choose set as background (If you want a different pic as a background, just go through the steps with another pic and the new one will replace the old one. If you want a color background, use the Settings tab to get to the Background Options display.)
- To edit a photo: Right click on the photo > Choose View and Edit. After editing the photo, click on the collage tab at the top to return to your work area. The photo is there already in its edited form. (Very Cool!)
- To delete a photo from the collage: Select it > keyboard delete; or Right click > Remove. Either way the phot moves back over to the clips display on the left.
- To change the pile order of the photos: Right click on the photo > Choose Bring to Top or Move to Bottom
- To add text to Photo: Right click on the photo > Choose View and Edit. On the left control panel choose the icon for Text. After adding text, click Apply on left control panel.
Saving the vision board:
- Seems like saving the project should be more intuitive than it is. There were actually quite a few people searching for “How do I save my collage in Picasa?”
- At the bottom of the left hand control panel, click on Create Collage. It gets saved into a Collage folder that Picasa creates.
- To put it where you want it, with a title you want: Top Menu > Save As.
Step 3: Use it
Take the time to acknowledge what you have accomplished in creating a vision of the life you want. Yeah! You did it!
Put your vision board where you can see it often. Let it inspire and motivate you.
Now you can use your vision board as a launching pad for creating a plan of how to get what you want, how to make your vision a reality.
I’ll talk more about making a plan that works to get to your goals in an upcoming post.
For now – congratulations! You’re on your way to where you want to go! Savor the moment.
click here for a free PDF of this article.
- Ann Silvers