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Fyodor
Fyodor

Posted on

How do you manage your browser bookmarks?

I'm stuck.
I have accumulated a decent set of browser bookmarks, both in the browser and in my notes. And I need to combine them somehow, comb a little and structure the whole set to make it more accessible. Like, tools, articles, documentation, whatnot.
Currently, I use default browser bookmarking capabilities and divide links by topics (in a deeply nested way). I don't use any specific tools, though I had taken a look at a bunch of them and didn't stop at anything.

What is your way of keeping your bookmarks in order? What tools do you use? How do you structure the whole system? What is your approach to fast access and synchronization?

Top comments (129)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Poorly

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pierpaolo profile image
Pierpaolo 'pier' Pernici

Very very very poorly too :( it's a mess!

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ama profile image
Adrian Matei
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dustyh profile image
Dustin

Same here!! It's so bad

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

πŸ™Œ

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pierpaolo profile image
Pierpaolo 'pier' Pernici

My biggest concern is that I jump from Chrome to Safari and back! shrugs

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Yep! Exactly! I use a couple of browsers too and it would be very convenient to have a sync'able approach to bookmarks management

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mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

I switched to Shaarli this past year. Installation was a piece of cake, I threw it in a subfolder on my personal Wordpress site.

There is a Chrome extension to add bookmarks, and also a cli tool. I use a Shortcut on my iPhone that uses the cli tool to add bookmarks from my phone.

Shaarli uses tags for organization, so it's really easy to organize links as I add them. So far I have 599 links saved since July 15.

There are two other features I like. One, is that bookmarks can be made public, so you can easily share them with others, and two, RSS feeds can be generated from searches, or tags.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

The true dev approach to bookmarking πŸ‘ thanks for sharing, I’ll dive into that

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corvusgoosy profile image
corvusgoosy • Edited on

I was also using shaarli for the better part of a year. I've never found a good solution since del.icio.us fell away back in the day. Someone brought back the idea that was original del.icio.us it's now known as Pinboard. Highly recommended. If that's not your deal the bookmarking abilities of Notion are pretty profound, reminds me of old school Evernote before feature-creep almost killed the company. Good luck in your search!

Edit: just saw your responses about notion and that makes me suggest to you Pinboard even more.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

They've chosen a very original target market - "social bookmarks for introverts") But anyway, it looks interesting and distraction-free. I'll play with this service, thanks a lot πŸ‘

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geraalcantara profile image
Gerardo Alcantara

I did a Pinboard with a11y dev articles and best practice, I'm sure the target market of pinterest, will never use my board but I made it for me first, to have a place to find the articles in one go insted of the bookmarks that I also have (with the same links); then if someone want to use it is ok for me, I agreed that normaly noone will go and search pinterest for a11y articles or links, however my intend it was to find other solution for bookmarks. And it work for my personal preferences.

I keep my mind and ears open for more sutible solution if anyone has it let me know. πŸ€“

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eliodran profile image
EliodRΓ€n

same here ^

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charleswritescode profile image
Charles-Eugene Loubao

Hi @EliodRΓ€n!

Charles here. Have you found a good bookmark app to solve your problems? If not I am working on a new bookmark app that will combine notes and bookmarks and I would like to have a quick chat with you about what problems you are facing with existing apps and possibly become a early adopter for my app.

If you are interested DM me here on Dev.to or send me an email charles@charlesthecoder.dev :)
Thanks.

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yogibaba profile image
yogibaba

Using Shaarli past 5 years and is great, currently evaluating linkding.

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mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

Looks a little heavy, what are the advantages of linkding over Shaarli?

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yogibaba profile image
yogibaba

Shaarli is better.

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v6 profile image
πŸ¦„N BπŸ›‘

First impressions here, but that does not sound secure.

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mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins

There are .htaccess files in the appropriate folders to stop any rando from downloading the bookmarks files. Unless I'm missing something else you found. πŸ˜ƒ

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flaksp profile image
Petr Flaks • Edited on

You're welcome to try my Chrome extension called Camellia, I have created it to solve a problem with 100+ bookmarks visualization hell. It uses native Chrome bookmarks, so they will sync across all your Chrome installations.

At this moment it's only for Chrome, but I'm planning radical refactoring with full Firefox support and a lot of other improvements (including design).

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Thanks, Petr! I'll try it πŸ‘

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mateus_vahl profile image
Mateus Vahl

I actually don't have a lot of items, but I like to keep a few shortcuts:

my bookmarks

Everything else is throw into folders,
You can also try use the chrome://bookmarks (url) to better visualize your bookmarks.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

The folders part is the trickiest one actually) I have a pile of information (mostly useful but not structured in an effective way) in them. I use the corresponding browser tools like a pro already, but it doesn't help very much.

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ghost profile image
Ghost

I just keep adding them and once a year I make a folder called older{next_available_int}, and those folder are forgotten forever. "If you like a website, set them free. If it come back cool; if they don't, must be happier in the browser of someone else, it wasn't meant to be."

It's pretty much a luck based system. Somehow gives me comfort to know they are not lost in the web, just lost between thousands of other bookmarks.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

You are bookmarking cowboy) is it really possible to find anything then inside those oldies?)

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ghost profile image
Ghost

no idea, I've never tried, too scared...

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flrnd profile image
Florian Rand • Edited on

I've been using larder.io and I'm very happy with it. My two favorite features are Github star and StackOverflow sync. It also has a very nice API to play with.

Even if that's not enough, the idea of supporting (economically) the small indie studio behind it was enough reason to start using it.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

wow, larder.io looks really cool from the first sight, and it's really dev-oriented. I need to try it asap πŸ‘ I'm totally fine with pricing if it works well enough!

Florian, what is your approach to categorizing, btw?

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flrnd profile image
Florian Rand

I try to keep it simple, general categories and subcategories, with propper tags to speed up searches. But I must admit, in practice, I'm a mess organizing them.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Me too) looks like we need some kind of GTD methodology but for bookmarking)

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flrnd profile image
Florian Rand

That would be a great idea indeed :D

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mattcobley profile image
Matt Cobley

I'd recommend Pocket (getpocket.com/). It's now owned by Mozilla and allows you to save pages as you would bookmarks, but with added features. Pages can be stored for offline reading, you add multiple tags to pages (more powerful than using a folder structure), and there are browser extensions across all the main browsers, plus good Android and iOS apps. And it's all free!

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

I use pocket a lot for reading, but didn’t think about it as a bookmark manager. Thanks for the idea, I’ll try to test the concept πŸ‘

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ecognito profile image
E Cognito

The bulk of my bookmarks are in Pinboard with appropriate tags. Frequent bookmarks and stuff I want easy reference to in the bookmark toolbar, and a few other folders and stuff that have kind of grown organically.

There's an extension for Chrome that I use occasionally to sync (one-way) to a folder in the browser's bookmarks. Allocated into sub-folders by tag. (I really wish there was something similar for Firefox!!!)

I use xBrowserSync to keep bookmarks synchronised between my Firefox and Chrome browsers. (I really miss Xmarks.)

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

I remember using Xmarks too, it was a convenient service. Though it didn't solve all the problems, as well as today's tools.

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ecognito profile image
E Cognito

What are today's tools?

I use the aforementioned xBrowserSync, and keep an eye on Floccus but neither are as good as Xmarks was IMO.

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pixeline profile image
Alexandre Plennevaux • Edited on

I made my own Chrome Extension to easily store on the go, then retrieve using full text search of the TITLE meta.... This way, I don't need a structured folder organization, I can rely solely on keywords, which, of course, I must think about when storing the bookmark.

It has worked very well for me : chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/...

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

I like that, thanks a lot, Alexandre! Will try to work with my bookmarks this way for some time πŸ‘

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giorgosk profile image
Giorgos Kontopoulos πŸ‘€

@pixeline I must say this is very useful, already posted some suggestions on your issue queue

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pixeline profile image
Alexandre Plennevaux

oh cool! I'll look into it! I'm pretty swarmed at the moment but i look forward to working on it, it's been a while i haven't updated it. Thanks !!

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earl profile image
Earl

You may want to try these three:
PearlTrees pearltrees.com
TagPacker tagpacker.com/
Tabbles tabbles.net/

In addition here are a couple of resources reviewing different Bookmarking apps:
lifewire.com/best-bookmarking-tool...
slant.co/topics/164/~best-ways-to-...

The Slant site is particularly helpful since for every app it lists extensive Pros and Cons as well as direct app-to-app comparisons as well as multiple competitors for every app (not just Bookmarking sites)

Personally I'm looking for something more global to organize and index both external data sources (bookmarks) as well as internal data sources (local files) all in one repository.

Something like TagFS but it would include bookmarks:
web.mit.edu/6.033/2011/wwwdocs/wri...

And if you want a real deep-dive:
ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.js...

ps - that's a great tag line: "Single source of truth lowers cognitive load" - I'm going to have to borrow that!

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madealive profile image
MadeAlive

Great topic for discussion, I made an account just to comment and follow. Please share when you adapt a new system.
I find myself in certain situations where I need to organize bookmarks, and also take notes, or save collaboration or meeting info for best access at a later time. If you are working with a team how do you keep project meeting notes, and action items sorted? What tools do you use for that?

Keeping focused on your situation:
What is your way of keeping your bookmarks in order? I use folders based on topic and date, this has pros and cons. For example, I'm taking a course and searching for a specific solution, I create a new folder for today's date under the folder for JavaScript course.
Pros: This makes it easy to review notes and searches when going over the course or sharing with someone else. This also works when doing research for a project or article. Cons: Can be hard to find if I forget what day or what course and I need a certain tool or answer again.

What tools do you use? I've just recently switched to using LastPass for managing my logins. There is a free and paid version. The enterprise version is what we use at work. Allows for sharing folders of sites, passwords with the team. Install the app, and use the browser extension and all synced up. I login to chrome to save and sync bookmarks, works with Android phone pretty smooth.
For taking notes I've tried so many tools going to test some shared in comments. Also going to try MS Notes again, recently heard it will OCR text from images of whiteboard.

How do you structure the whole system? I use LastPass for all sites needing login, can easily go to folders and open the page in the extension or app. This saves me from needing a folder for that in my bookmarks. I have a topical main folder in the bookmarks bar, only one sub folder based on date or more detail. Recycle those quarterly, export to a file, then delete what I no longer use. So far I've been fine with just using the import bookmarks feature on any other browser after that update. I use chrome for most things, Firefox occasionally. For testing brave or opera.

What is your approach to fast access and synchronization? May have already answered this, I think the point of failure or when my system gets slow is when I don't plan my project or search, or the folder topic isn't clear. Also it takes time to review and recycle then import to another browser.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Wow, thanks for the comprehensive comment!

I'll definitely share the results of testing of the most suitable solutions mentioned here in about a month :)

I use macOS' Notes for storing and structuring project notes. It's the fastest solution and has all the necessary features today.

Your way of storing bookmarks gave me the idea of practicing something like "expiration date" for a bookmark - if it's not "resolved" in some time, it can be deleted... It would be useful for some kind of bookmarks. And would help to keep a kind of automated order in the system. I'm interested if there's such feature in some of the tools listed inside this discussion...

Fast access and synchronization are my main concerns here too. Because default browser solutions don't provide for it (except for Firefox in some way - tags at least). Possibly some kind of close-to-native-browser solution (something on top of internal bookmarks) will be the most effective one. I'll test the options and try to find the answer.

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sams_here profile image
Sams_Here • Edited on

Have you looked at Bublup? Very intuitive and clean interface. Options for creating folders and sub folders. You can 'roll up' a folders contents and share it as a web page (the other person does not need to have Bublup installed to view.) There is a Chrome add-on which allows you to one-click save pages. It's pretty feature rich. I'm just getting started with it. Good luck, and let us know what you finally settle with!

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

Thanks, I'll check Bublup out, didn't hear about it before. Though I'm more a "list-person" than a "grid-person", if we can say so)
I'll definitely share my thoughts on most of the solutions mentioned in this discussion, probably after about a month of active testing)

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kareem79 profile image
A. Abdul-Rahman

any thoughts on Bublup vs Pocket? thanks

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darshpatel27 profile image
Darshan Patel

I have faced a similar problem and hence built a small bookmarking application on my own lynks.in

You can organize your bookmarks by adding customs tags and folders. Also, you get a powerful tag-based search to look-up for a particular bookmark on the fly.

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ewatch profile image
ewatch

I started gathering my links in Google Keep and give them labels.
This way I can also post websites from my iPhone through Safari.
However in the desktop browser I currently have no shortcut to fastly bookmark a website and login to Google Keep if needed.
Maybe there is a better way for the desktop browsers.

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips

I don't have any.

That isn't actually true. At work I have items like pto, time sheets, and vpns where bookmarks make sense.

With the new awesome bar (10 years old now) your entire history is a bookmark and I just type what I want to go to.

I do add stars with no organization because it adds importance to the awesome bar.

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fyodorio profile image
Fyodor

You have a great memory, congratulations!) I don't remember particular details on a service/site I search for sometimes, so I don't trust myself in such cases. Also, I don't like to store too much history in the browser (mostly because I use different browsers for different purposes). So it would be so cool to have some "box" accessible at any browser and to which you can trust storing of the addresses of places you gonna come back to sometimes.

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips

Sometimes I do a search over again. Other times I go through Google's activity logs, I will also leave tabs open. I think the main thing is I will have new search terms to find info on what I need after reading an article.

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