How to organize bookmarks in Firefox?
July 9, 2010 9:45 AM   Subscribe

How do you organize your Firefox bookmarks toolbar?

Recently, I've discovered the joy of the Firefox bookmarks toolbar - mine's got 13 folders (Video, Jobs, Academic, Daily Reads, Downloads, Music, Events, Shopping, Reference, Food, Business, ToRead), and a few direct links (Readability is at the center, and the most frequently used of these. )

I'm about to use Portable Firefox and Dropbox to give myself a unified setup across machines, so I think now is the time to get things straightened out.

So MeFites, what's your organization strategy?
posted by matkline to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have a bunch of nameless bookmarks, since Firefox already shows website icons.
posted by domnit at 9:55 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by neuron at 9:57 AM on July 9, 2010

I only put my most frequently-visited sites in the toolbar for one-click access, and everything else goes in the Bookmarks menu. The only folder I have in the toolbar itself is called "Tools" and contains a whole bunch of bookmarklets I use all the time.

I've gone to great lengths to reduce clutter, mainly because screen real estate is such a precious commodity on my 13" MacBook screen. One thing I did to conserve space in the bookmarks toolbar is hide the favicons, which you can do by adding something like this to userStyles.css:
toolbarbutton.bookmark-item > .toolbarbutton-icon {
	display: none;

toolbarbutton.bookmark-item {
	padding: 0 1em !important;
I find textual names to be more usable than domnit's suggestion of using favicons only, though they do take up more space.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:00 AM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I only put my most frequently-visited sites in the toolbar for one-click access

Yep. Mine go in little groups and I even use the divider. Here are the groups: MeFi, Webmail, my own stuff [my blogs, my accounts on wikipedia, ebay, facebook], banking, the IP of the router and then a few folders including one full of WordPress admin URLs, one full of misc blogs not in my RSS reader, one full of webtools and one full of recipes. I have a few more folders that I pretty much never use called todo and work which I should probably just delete.
posted by jessamyn at 10:05 AM on July 9, 2010

I've got a very important folder: "Temporary" is where I drop all bookmarks to be sorted later. It's directly below the favicon of the address bar so I just need to drag and drop anything I want to save for later.
I also have one folder "Daily" that contains my morning checkup: daily webcomics, news (until recently Google News, before they did that horrible, horrible redesign), and other stuff I like to check on when the day begins; just select "open all in tabs" and you're set. My bookmarks toolbar also has several RSS feeds like Slashdot and Tokyo Times.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 10:29 AM on July 9, 2010

I only have in-browser bookmarks for bookmarklets, not sites. And I put them all (except for two I use constantly) in a folder to make a drop-down menu, and group them by function and frequency of use, with dividers between:

Site Search w/ Google (searching functions)

Share w/ Google Reader
Gmail this
Share on Facebook (sharing tools)

Zap Colors
Printliminator (page cleanup tools)

etc. (that was about half of what's actually there)

Probably way more than you needed to know. Oh, and the folder they're in is named " " so it takes up the minimum amount of space on the toolbar. The two other bookmarks not in the folder are also named space and I just use the favicons as a label. I don't worry about syncing them across browsers because I so seldom change them - I'll just manually add a new one to both locations.

For site bookmarks, I use a site called Netvouz that uses both folders and tags to organize, which I like better than tags alone. Admittedly, I usually end up searching rather than using the folders, but I like the redundancy in case I forget one of the tags when I'm entering them.
posted by timepiece at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2010

I'm on a Mac and use a scheme similar to yours. I sync across browsers (I use four at various times for different things) with Bookdog, although I'm considering an upgrade to BookMacster that I haven't gotten around to yet.

I have 50-odd bookmarks and bookmarklets. The bookmarks all live in four folders (Favorites, Finance, Games, and Tools) and the bookmarklets (7) live on the bar where I can see them. Everything else goes to delicious.
posted by immlass at 10:53 AM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I find sub-folders difficult to navigate. So when the "Food" folder in the toolbar acquired so many restaurant bookmarks that they scrolled off the bottom of the screen, I put those in a new folder - named "Rest" to save space - and put it alongside the existing one. Likewise, there's a group of folders for the arts - Music, Visual Arts, Literature, etc.

The "Reference" folder contains "repository of information" sites - loosely defined to include both the National Weather Service and my Google Docs. And a "Download" folder collects "stuff to check back on soon" - since those are usually Rapidshare links I'm required to wait before snatching.

A bookmark to the page where favoritings of my MeFi comments come in gets its own valuable toolbar real estate. I'm not bragging about that. But that's how it is.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:21 PM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I hide that toolbar personally. But I still organize a bit. The most important reason to organize I know of is the "open all in tabs" feature. All your webcomics, opened at once and loading in parallel. I've since moved to RSS for this, but for stuff like website analytics reports, it's still nice. I think that's a principle I should use more myself: organize bookmarks into workspaces rather than categories.

In practice, I don' follow that principle much. I mainly organize by general purpose and sort by popularity. All the hot picks like mefi and webmail at the top of the bookmarks menu, followed by folders and subfolders for things like all my financial related bookmarks, gaming technology, followed by unsorted temporary bookmarks for current research topics at the bottom.

My experience has been that most of the time the things I bookmark rarely overlap the things I wish I had bookmarked the next day, so I rely more on search interfaces to browser history. Now that you have a sync tool, one thing you'll want to do is clear out your history of insecure URLs, so that autocomplete uses HTTPS by default for places like your bank and other high value targets. Also check your bookmarks for HTTPS availability; you only have to check them once and then it remembers to use HTTPS for you!
posted by pwnguin at 1:05 PM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I save screen space by hiding the address bar and the status bar. Cmd-L to temporarily reveal the address bar when needed. The bookmark bar has some urls which I have renamed to one letter to save space. A group of urls I read with morning tea are in one folder to be opened all at once. Then there are various subject folders with urls I read regularly.

If I don't read a site regularly, then I put the link in my delicious online bookmark collection. I've learned not to store infrequently used urls in my browser; they accumulate over the years and become unmanageable, and besides I like social bookmarking. Only keep in your browser links you are currently interested in and actively use. This means I regularly weed out stale bookmarks.

I do have a folder named "to be read" to hold urls when I don't have time to finish reading something. But in practice I find I don't go into it and catch up, so it may be a fallacious idea.
posted by conrad53 at 1:38 PM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I use subfolders:

spiffy - flash games
grrls - uhm.. self explanatory
heh - funny stuff, single serving sites (Texts From Last Night, Not Always Right, Clients from Hell)
toons - self explanatory
woo - stuff to read (MeFi, news sites, Craig's List, b3ta)
look - stuff to look at (Regretsy, fffound!, The Daily What)
yay - photoblogs
jorb - I'm currently searching for a job, so this is where interesting articles, job ads, etc go

And then to the right of that I have a row of favicons:, Google Voice, Facebook, Pandora, Reddit, The Pirate Bay and other websites I use pretty much daily.
posted by sacrifix at 1:54 PM on July 9, 2010

Best answer: I used to use the Favicon method, but I moved over to Safari and it doesn't support favicons, so I went in and gave each site a shortened name to save space. So, now my bookmarks toolbar looks like:

G YT Ask W FB T PvP XKCD etc

I also used to use dividers to split things up, but now I find that when I group things together I can add a folder at the end of each group for overflow, so I do that instead (also with a shortened name).

Sounds mad I know, but works for me (and syncs to my iPhone/iPad from safari as well, which is a bonus!)... :)
posted by ranglin at 6:53 PM on July 9, 2010

I use the bookmarks toolbar for frequently used links, although in practice the command line is much quicker, especially when you're passing in a search query.

For other bookmark storage I abandoned folders when FF3 introduced tagging. Why create and manage static folders when you can assign/remove multiple tags on the fly, and find, display and sort your bookmarks by their tags? TagSieve makes this really easy, especially where you have thousands of bookmarks as I do. As well as filtering and sorting them by tag you can also query tags and titles using a simple syntax eg (classic & (film + book)) - hamsters ?telecaster.
posted by amestoy at 3:02 AM on July 10, 2010

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