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How do you manage your browser bookmarks?

Fyodor on December 27, 2019

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 li... [Read Full]
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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.

 

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

 

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.

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‘

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€“

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 
 

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).

 
 

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.)

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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?

 

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.

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

 

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!

 

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!

 

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‘

 

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.

 

I'm using my own tool, Static Marks. All bookmarks are stored in plain YAML files and managed via git. The final web app is regenerated on every push. I access the bookmarks by using the browser search engine feature, i.e., I type "sm fire" into the browser address bar (sm = Static Marks) if I want to access my "Firefox" bookmark(s).

I have up to 4 levels of structure - first: different files (misc, dev, work, ...). Then there are multiple categories/sections per file (e.g. dev > web dev, tools, ...). Then come the subsections (containing the actual bookmarks) which are mostly sufficient for me. Finally, every bookmark can have additional notes and bookmarks.

This approach works for me, because I only add links that I want to keep for future reference, NOT for something like a reading list/inbox. I also prefer hierarchy over tags for bookmarks.

 

Your static way is very interesting, thanks πŸ‘

 

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.

 

You can try using something like raindrop.io

 

Yes, I'd tried that, but without a system it's useless. I'm ready to pay for a subscription if it proves to be a decent working option

 

Welp, the other thing I've heard of is Notion, but I haven't really tried it. I just know that it's a good tool for keeping notes and documents. Additionally, you can save links with the notion web clipper extension. Now, you may have already checked notion as well, but in case you haven't then give it a try.

It's not a very fast way. I'd tried Notion, including the web clipper (and Evernote too). I don't like it personally, and it's too slow for me.

 

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/...

 

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

For my dev/work related bookmarks I've taken the matter in my own hands and developed an open source project bookmarks.dev. I mostly use tags, save my searches, pin the ones I use most currently and add to Read Later. You can add new ones via bookmarklet or chrome extension.

I wrote more about this here at How I manage my dev bookmarks to save time and nerves

 

raindrop.io

flat folder structure for free. If you want nested folder structure you need a paid account.

 

Is it worth it? How does it help you as compared to default browser way?

 

Its the same a default browser but you can have the extension in multiple browsers without the need of exporting/importing bookmarks. You bookmark once and have it anywhere you have the extension installed.

Yeah, probably I need to try the paid account to work with their nesting functionality. The way you describe it looks very promising. Thanks, Gilberto!

 

At the beginning, it was with chrome bookmark and for important article I saved them in pocket. It practical because offline but a flat architecture become quickly a mess.
I just migrate to raindrop.io
And having a hierarchical structure I found it more useful. At this time I appreciate it.

 

There are three types of bookmarks, some mentioned already. One is something to read later, and pocket is good for this. Two is a standard bookmark, and there's no good cross browser solution for this. Raindrop is okay. Third is a session manager, and there's also no cross browser solution for this.

 

Totally agree with you. There's no really good solution currently, at least not for me(
There're obvious patterns, but most of them have their tradeoffs. I need some kind of bookmarking stevejobs to invent something different)

 

I have over 14,000 bookmarks and also looking for a better way to get them organized. I am looking now at buku for its tags and searching. But I use multiple browsers open, 2-3 different ones with hundreds of tabs open. I have a problem. I am also looking at the eversync extension to sync my bookmarks between browsers.

 

I thought I have gone too far, but you definitely win!) let’s look for a way to get out of that 🀝

 

Hi Fyodor, a couple of days ago I did relative the same question.

So far the answers were
pinterest
evernote

as an alternative to use as a bookmark

And if anybody find a good solution let me know coz at the moment I have 26 folders in the bookmarks and around 100 links. 😰

 

I use Toby. You can add bookmark with extension. And it also has new tab UI with all the bookmarks. And, it syncs with an account. There is also Toby Mini if you don't want new tab UI.

 

I don't use bookmarks.
Because I know it's becoming a mess eventually.

I find content on Reddit, Medium, dev.to and leave them open in Safari on iPhone until I get back to my desk. Sometimes I leave sticky notes on Windows that are supposed to remind me of certain links. If I remember something that was important, I search in my browser history instead. For specific content like documentation there's a built-in bookmark list for Microsoft's documentation. For open source projects I leave a star that will add it to my starred projects in return. For articles on Medium for instance, I simply clap and add it to my reading list. On Reddit, I leave an upvote and look into my upvoted posts when I want to dig something up.

I've tried out several bookmarking tools but always struggled to keep up with them. I think the best way of doing it is to not worry too much about it and do it in an intuitive manner.

 

I think the real solution is for all the content to be searchable (bookmarks, notes, other reference material, etc). Anytime my categories/folder structure gets too ambitious/detailed, I wind up neglecting it and falling back on search.

Purely for keeping bookmarks of web pages, my ideal solution would be the regular browser bookmarking tool, but with an option to search through the bookmarked page's content as well.

I think a big issue with categorizing any content is the time it takes to put the system in place...and then follow/remember/take the time to implement the rules. Most of the time you want to just bookmark something and move on....or do you?;)

On the flip side, probably everyone has their most frequently used bookmarks on the browser toolbar and then some "reference" bookmarks organized in folders or with tags. (that's what I have). Great post!

 

Hey @fyodor!

Ah bookmarks what a time suck.

TLDR;

  • Store frequent bookmarks in folders in bookmark bar

  • Use a SORT folder in bookmarks bar, take a few bookmarks each day and filter in to cats in raindrop then visit and save link in to todolist and add to my articles to read and add to X day

  • If a bookmark is worth keeping leave it in raindrop in a cat folder and tag it, if not bin it.

  • Any link worth using to make examples from I can build the code and put on github or codepen with the article link in comments.

  • Seems clunky but it's working for me at this present time. Just wish chrome bookmarks was more capable e.g. Raindrop checks for duplicates, broken links and allows for much more powerful management of links I just don't like hoarding links now, it's a time suck so if something I see is worth a read later I use this process, if it is a regular visit I keep in my bookmarks.

I also use onetab to store my current tabs if I need to leave my session suddenly so my current tabs are there for the next session.

I used Workona for this function but it ate my 32gb of memory and I could not have that!


I've tried mostly all of the below solutions and I kinda got stuck in this process of late.

Regular bookmarks for work and tools I use alot are stored in my chrome bookmarks bar in folders.

Then for other ones like in process of reading later I have a sort folder in chrome book marks bar which I then categorise in raindrop and then add a couple of these in to my todolist daily tasks so I read them and eliminate them. If it's worth keeping it stays in raindrop and is categorised and tagged or otherwise it's read, I thank it and I say goodbye.

It's a system that is working for me.

I used to have over 15000 bookmarks but decided to bin them all and start over because if something is meant to be it will come back to me!

So for each # of bookmarks I read through in my to-do for the day I will add same number.

I have a backlog but this works for me.

I am considering pocket again for the commutes but I hate how flat it is.

Ived tried Toby, qlerly, Workona and loads others, there was one that would allow you 24 hours to use the bookmarks and then it would delete them if unread, I think it was more a to-do list than a bookmark manager. I've used loads of others but my current system of chrome, raindrop and todolist is working.

I tried notion and Evernote before but too clunky.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write that, your approach has a solid ground as I can see πŸ‘
I like your way of incorporating the bookmarking process into a todo-management flow, that's something I want to do in some way too. And also add notes there too. Though my experience shows that Evernote and Notion (especially Notion, can't see why people love it) don't work for that too (in my personal opinion).
I haven't found a solution yet, though I believe this thread will help me to do that.

 

I don't think you'll find one tool that will cater for your entire needs but rather a mix of tools and process that suit you - everyone is different but I feel yours and everyone else pain!

BTW my process also works for youtube videos too! :)

I used to aggregate everything then stress about getting through it all at least this way I see counters on my stuff I want to get through and consume :)

Bookmarks:
thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...

Raindrop
thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...

Todois
thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i...

 

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!

 

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)

 

I use the floccus browser extension to keep my chrome and Firefox bookmarks in-sync with each other. The extension synchronizes both to my own self-hosted nextcloud instance with the nextcloud bookmarks add-on.

 

Thanks for another clever solution, Brennen, I'll check this out πŸ‘

 
 

So you keep a set of boards, right? How do you structure them? What's your approach to getting the necessary stuff out of it as fast as possible?

 

I just have two boards: Work and Personal. Under Personal I have just 3 columns: News, Tools, and Deals. Under Work, categorized all the links based on the Environment :).

Looks interesting actually. I'll give it a try definitely. Thanks a lot for sharing that! πŸ‘

 

I stumbled upon Bookmark Ninja a few months back and have never looked back. There is a free 30 day trial, and the cost of $2 a year is a drop in the bucket compared to going through bookmark hell. I highly recommend trying it out.

bookmarkninja.com/m-home

 

Thanks, I'll try that, looks promising!

 

I make a bookmarks folder on my bookmarks bar for every year at the beginning of the year. Like, Bookmarks 2019. I make a category folder for every thing in there. I try to never put anything in that yearly folder unless it's in a category folder. So no loose bookmarks. I arrange the categories alphabetically. That's it. I've been doing it a few years and it's been ok. Still not perfect

 

So how long is your bookmarks toolbar then?)
Is your categories set consistent through the years, or it depends?

 

I use the awesome and very complete integrated firefox bookmark manager tool to classify and tag my bookmarks.

 

Yes, Firefox has the most convenient in-browser solution for storing bookmarks.
If it's not a secret, what is your approach to structuring the collection? Do you have a lot of bookmarks or only the necessary set?

 

I have a set of folders, which are generic categories ("Projects", "Articles and talks", " Tutorial and guides") under an "IT" category (I have some other bookmarked content).

I bookmark most articles and projects I find useful, and set tags on them.

I have language tags (basically, "language-", such as "language-rust"), domain tags ("web", " accessibility", "software", " system", etc) and some other random category tags.

The biggest issue, and the reason I decided to go for this workflow, is that I reached a point where I had a ton of random unsorted bookmarks, which were hard to browse, especially since I had them all randomly organized.

Great approach πŸ‘ thanks for sharing!
I'm sure that all of your bookmarks are in good hands.
I have the same problem you've mentioned, and I'm on my way to a new order)

 

Mine is a nested set of folders from chrome's bookmark bar, but it occurs to me that keywords are available and unused (by me) but at this point it would be a pain to go and add them.

 

That bothers me too - it would be so perfect if there were some ways to do it faster and without much efforts, including thinking about the keywords

 

Bulk select and assign key word should be doable from outside

 

Default chrome bookmarks worked very well for me.

I have more then 30+ website managed in bookmark folders & synced in devices with my google account.

 

You are a very organized person I would say!) my numbers much higher

 

I'm just using default Chrome bookmarks and I use this plugin:

chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/...

But I use different tools also, for example I don't really bookmark news sites or blogs, I exclusively use Inoreader for that. Also when I have links related to projects, I usually import them into OneNote.

 

Currently, I use macOS' Notes app to store my projects' links separately too. But I see having some kind of a store for all the bookmarks as a better solution. Single source of truth lowers cognitive load very much, not only in programming)
Bookmarks sidebar extension looks like a great simplifier for working with Chrome bookmarks. Thanks, I'll try that!

 
 

Thanks, Gabriel! Very interesting! Another developer-oriented approach πŸ‘

 

Built my own bookmarking service in Laravel, React and Redux, with a bookmarklet for easy bookmarking.

 

So wouldn't you mind sharing that? πŸ‘

 

Yep, just made the repo public. It's at github.com/matthewbdaly/linklater - feel free to check it out and have a play with it. The UI is a bit ropey because it's just me using it, but it's quite a simple application anyway.

 

I use booky.io
You can categorize and search very easily.
It is online so good across all browsers.
Export list for offline use.

 

Thanks! I'll look into it deeper. From the first sight looks like it's a rather simplified approach (don't have tags, for instance, which would be useful, or do it?)

 

I use the browser's built-in bookmark tools and don't keep very many bookmarks.

I know this probably isn't the answer you were looking for, but...

 

Recently I have created an self hosted solution for notes and bookmarks (combined), feel free to check it out: github.com/fr0tt/benotes

 

I have bookmarks from 2012 that i haven't gotten back to probably. Its more like a blackhole TBH.

 

pinboard, with lots of tags for general things and references, structured bookmark folders and tab folders for specific projects and activities

 

Another pinboard user πŸ‘ It's gonna be the first thing I'll try by the end of this year

 

Soon I will be releasing late.rs that might help you with your problem :)

 

Promo video looks interesting, thanks!) Will try that in Chrome

 

I use Diigo for saving webpages. It's good at organizing pages by tagging them. You can use your own tags, but it suggests you few during saving. This is a huge help to find something after a while.

 

I've been using Diigo too. My primary reason is so that my bookmarks are accessible anywhere in addition to being easily searchable & shareable.

For example, here's my publicly accessible bookmarks:
diigo.com/user/gamesover

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