Links and tags and categories, oh my!
June 21, 2006 7:29 AM   Subscribe

How do YOU use those bookmark/web info organizers?

I've played around with Evernote, Google Notebooks, Firefox's Scrapbook, Delicious and Blinklist. I think they're all fabulous, but so far, it hasn't *clicked* as to how I can best use one or all of these. I still have a ton of links in my Firefox bookmarks. My head is spinning from all these options!

I want to have one spot I go to for work and personal bookmarks. I'd love to be able to categorize and tag. And I'd like to find some way to make these visible to me on a regular basis, so I don't forget about them. (The Delicious plugins for the customizable Google homepage,, are pretty cool.) I'd like to have the ability to make some links private and access them from other computers.

So, how do YOU do this for yourself (assuming you're inclined to do so)? Do you use the tools I mentioned above? Do you have other favorites? What's the best one you've used and why?
posted by lucyleaf to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use delicious, broken into categories that make sense for me (verbs that describe the various things I do, essentially), and with lots of tags that fall under multiple categories.

I have a couple of friends who also use delicious, and I like that they can "send" me links they think might be interesting. I also like browsing my network to see what people I know are interested in in general.

I also really love looking at who else has linked to pages I bookmark -- especially those pages that only one or two other people link to. Sometimes I'll browse on over to their delicious pages and find more interesting stuff online that I wouldn't know about otherwise.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:35 AM on June 21, 2006

I use browser bookmarks for things like my bank's website. I use delicious for random articles that I might want to refer to again at some point in the future, and use tags heavily to make it easy to find. I also like delicious because it lets me publish links on my blog, so I can show my friends what I think is interesting.

I also use the Cocoalicious (Mac-only) delicious client, which speeds up entry and finding a little, maybe.
posted by adamrice at 7:42 AM on June 21, 2006

Nothing special - I use the browser's bookmarks and just keep things in folders. I delete them when I am done with them. I only check maybe fifteen sites regularly so it's not an outrageous mess for me.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:02 AM on June 21, 2006

I copy the url into an excel file, with a title, organize by Dewey Decimal, and use library sites to figure out a good category.
This leads me to a lot of references I'm currently interested in. A published book may still be bs but the costs act as a simple veracity filter, sort of like peer-reviewed publishing.
posted by dragonsi55 at 8:05 AM on June 21, 2006

Best answer: I stick to the browser's bookmark system, but that's just because I have one laptop that I use everywhere. If I switched computers often, I'd definitely use one of the online systems.

More importantly, I have a bookmark "inbox" and it's greatly improved how I handle bookmarks. Almost all bookmarks go directly into the inbox.

This is perfect for when I find something and it looks interesting but I'm not sure if I like it yet, or it's relevant to what I'm doing right now only, or I need to turn off the computer, or I'm too busy to file it. Later, I know right where it is and I can read it and file or delete it.

Once a week (usually Sunday morning), I go through my inbox and choose how to file everything -- my options are: Delete, subscribe to the RSS feed, move to my Daily list, move to my Weekly list, or File in bookmark folders. I have Copernic index the bookmarks so I can search them from my desktop.

Only problem with this search method: As I said, I use the same computer (my own) for work and home. The Copernic search looks through all bookmarks and I sometimes worry that while looking for a work-related bookmark with a coworker watching over my shoulder, I might use an ambiguous search term and come up with something, um, embarrassing. Any suggestions?
posted by DrJJ at 8:19 AM on June 21, 2006

What I love about delicious.

So, I have like 800+ bookmarks. I know I bookmarked something, but where? Delicious' ability to use more than one TAG allows me to categorize things more than one way.

I organize in a free style way. It's easy for me to quickly tag pages (and via cocolicious have a local copy.)

I wrote about it for some friends here
posted by filmgeek at 8:36 AM on June 21, 2006

I use Firefox with multiple folders in the Bookmarks toolbar. There's a great Firefox extension Add Bookmark Here (which I can't find the URL for this morning, because the Mozilla Extensions website isn't doing it's thing right)

Add Bookmark Here puts a link in every bookmark folder, so you just click the link to add the current page to that folder. Incredibly easy and very handy. Couldn't live without it now.

The Bookmarks Synchronizer Firefox extension lets all my browsers share bookmarks -- work and home, pcs and macs can all have the same bookmarks.

I've just started using Furl, because it retains the page info where with Delicious you can end up with links to vanished pages, but haven't had time yet to know if Furl is any good.
posted by anadem at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2006

I use, along with the foxylicious extension for firefox, to keep all my delicious tags as bookmarks. I've got like 4 computers I surf the web on, and so I tag everything though as a more portable form of bookmark synchronizer.

But then I tag things ad hoc, haven't come up with a really good scheme for that yet.
posted by soundslikeobiwan at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2006

Using Firefox and I have put links to "My Delicious", "Delicious Popular" and "Post to Delicious" urls on my navigation toolbar. Same for each computer I use. Allows for one click access to them

For tags I have moved from using a few fairly general tags ("design", "fun") to having many more and making them considerably more concrete ("typography", "scotland"). Contrary to the case with a folder structure having a couple of hundred different tags creates few problems.

I try to always try to put something in the "notes" field for a tag to say why I am interested in it - like a mini blog. This information is also indexed so that it can be searched - and I can look up what others are saying about a link I find interesting.
posted by rongorongo at 9:24 AM on June 21, 2006

Not delicious specific, but one way I use the delicious tags is to have a few "meta tags" - _unread, _action, _review that I add on to whatever other categories so that they show up as a list of stuff I meant to read, or do something about before they disappear into the general tag soup. It's basically applying GTD to bookmarks.
posted by crocomancer at 9:36 AM on June 21, 2006

How do YOU use those bookmark/web info organizers?

I don't.

Don't understand 'em, don't understand the need, is baffling, don't understand tags in this context.

I only have a bare minimum of bookmarks set on the browser. Everything I access frequently is on my links page, a web-page I've been maintaining for ten years, now. Kinda old school, I suppose, but it works for me. Links on that page are categorized based on my interests. I either access this page directly, or use the version on the floppy I carry between home and office.
posted by Rash at 9:47 AM on June 21, 2006

Response by poster: All of these answers have been useful to me, and I've marked a couple that have given me some big a-ha's. Thanks all and please keep answer coming.
posted by lucyleaf at 10:18 AM on June 21, 2006

I'm a bookmark hoarder, and a few years it got really bad. I had folders upon folders filled with them and they were impossible to search.

Enter Now I have 3000+ bookmarks all easy to look up. If I think 'what was that cool Perl site I saw a few weeks ago?' I just go to my 'perl' tag page. I use it almost every day. is also great to keep up with the latest links in your field.
posted by wackybrit at 10:33 AM on June 21, 2006

I use, plus I have .Mac, so my Safari bookmarks are the same on my home and work computers.

Ma.gnolia is a nice-looking alternative that saves copies of web pages. You can import links. (I hate these clever domain name spellings.)

I used to use Backflip, which was one of the first online bookmarking sites. It's much clunkier than (I just logged in for the first time in several years; it's like time travel, but nerdier.)

Wikipedia's page lists some utilities and alternate interfaces.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:33 AM on June 21, 2006

Anadem, you're my hero. I do the same thing as you (minus the Furl part), but I'd never heard of Bookmarks Synchronizer for some strange reason. It's exactly what I need. Thanks!

I avoid Delicious like the plague; it's a serious time waster for someone like me who's easily distracted.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:38 AM on June 21, 2006

@Anadem - FoxMark appears to be the new black, since Bookmarks Synchronizer isn't being updated anymore.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:55 AM on June 21, 2006

Is anybody else dissuaded by the terrible terrible speeds of Furl and I've tried both, but it seems like every time I tried to bookmark something it'd take a minute to add, and occasionally wouldn't go through.

I don't mind a preliminary page that asks me for tags, but I don't want to have to wait around 2 minutes after I tag it to make sure it goes through.

I used this bookmarklet for quicktagging on delicious, but occasionally it would fail to save bookmarks (like when the page had no title), and either way it sure didn't help out's bandwidth.

Are there any reliable bookmarking sites that'll let me bookmark a page as fast as using "Add Bookmark?"

For right now i"ve been using google sync to save my bookmarks cross-browser -- it's a little annoying with the stupid "syncing to google" non-backgrounded process during startup, but much better than "losing" a page i wanted to
posted by fishfucker at 12:43 PM on June 21, 2006

Best answer: I use as a portable bookmarks tool, and also as a much better way to sort and organise my bookmarks. I use two pieces to do this.

1. The mozdev firefox plugin. Just hit ALT-SHIFT-S to bookmark a page to I've tried the official plugin, but I didn't like the fact that it didn't have a keyboard shortcut (I used to use CTRL-D all the time for regular bookmarks).

Once I've decided to bookmark a page, I don't really have any specific tagging theories, but I try my best to keep them consistent and avoid adding slightly different spelt tags (ie. always 'macintosh' and not 'mac').

2. Every page has an RSS feed attached to it. This makes it easy for me to make new live bookmarks in firefox for various different categories. For instance, up the top in my bookmark toolbar currently I have a live bookmark for 'daily', another for 'comics' and another that just does ALL bookmarks on (shows the last 30 sites or so I've bookmarked).

This system makes it really EASY for me to move bookmarks between home and work. It also allows me to do a search on different tags by going to ... Although I like the idea of Cocoalicious, which I might have a look at...
posted by ranglin at 4:19 PM on June 21, 2006

Is anybody else dissuaded by the terrible terrible speeds of Furl and

No, you're not the only one. Delicious has it's place, but it's not the be all end all for me.

I keep the basics in the browser (safari). For everything else I use webnotehappy. Tags, smart folders, notes, browser independent, I control backup and I don't have to count on delicious staying around. If I want to share a link with delicious I can upload the link from webnotehappy. But there's a lot of links (shoes I want to buy, etc) that I have no reason to put on delicious.

I don't have the problem of multiple computers, but I doubt that I'd change my system even if I did. It works too well for me.
posted by justgary at 8:38 PM on June 21, 2006

One of my favorite tags is '.toread'

This is something that I come across on the net, that I want to read (and still possibly have later), but just not now.
posted by filmgeek at 7:27 AM on June 22, 2006

Personally, I can't rate Netvouz highly enough. All the fun of tagging with with all the categories that one is used to. Plus ask the developer for a particular feature - and if you're lucky, it's implemented that weekend!

Now if only you could tag a link in two categories.
posted by badlydubbedboy at 8:25 AM on June 22, 2006

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