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Ask The Readers: How Do You Manage Your Bookmarks?

2011-11-09_144246

It’s easy to amass a pile of bookmarks and even easier to end up with a mess on your hands. This week we want to hear your tips and tricks for keeping your bookmarks in order.

We’re interested in the ways you organize them, manage them, and even sync them across devices so you always have access to the web sites you’ve filed away for later use.

Sound off in the comments with your organization strategies, syncing tricks, and other techniques you use to keep your bookmarks from becoming unmanageable. Don’t forget to check back on Friday for the What You Said roundup when we highlight reader tips and tricks.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/9/11

Comments (102)

  1. nt0xik8ed

    xmarks

  2. harkx

    Firefox (with Sync) used to be my favorite but now it is http://www.diigo.com/

  3. Aidan

    I’m interested to see some of the replies to this. I have a loosely organised Chrome bookmarks bar with 3 or 4 folders that cover some broad subjects and then a huge “Misc” folder. Pretty poor organisation on my part.

  4. Thalles

    Xmakrs

  5. Meena Bassem

    well, i use both chrome and Firefox and use almost the same method of managing bookmarks. On the bookmarks bar, there are the most frequently used ones. almost those for daily use. Only favicons visible in it.
    http://i.imgur.com/R7g0x.jpg
    the rest are in folders with categories in bookmarks menu

  6. Mike_NJ

    Sync-wise: I use XMarks to sync my Firefox bookmarks between my home desktop and laptop, and a separate account for my work desktop and work laptop.
    If I need one of the bookmarks from one account on the other, I just drop it into a special text file in my Dropbox.

    Organization wise, I’m more organized at home than at work.
    I use more than two dozen folders with semi-generic titles such as:
    Daily, Comics, Video Game Blogs (VGBlog), Other Game Blogs (OGBlog), Daily Deals (Deals), PC Aggregate News Sites/Blogs (PC Stuff), Daily Forums I visit (Misc), Food, Ideas/Locations for dates with my fiancee (Dates), Unsorted Random Stuff (To Be Sorted)
    The more specific subjects are pretty obvious.
    Railroads, Minecraft, Terraria, Geocaching, Apartment Search

    When the list of extra bookmarks that’s not sorted is more than a full screen’s worth on my 1680×1050 display, I sort, delete, or move them as needed.

    For a while, I played with the idea of using a wiki to store things, but there was just too much overhead for a simple bookmark.

    Lastly, some pages I simply print to PDF.

  7. Rusty

    I use Live Mesh to do this so that it goes across all my pc’s and then there is an option in iCloud to sync with this for my phone.
    I use folders to organize larger groups of bookmarks like news, shopping, art, etc…
    This works well for me.
    All in all I only visit a few sites, but if I am bored I can explore with my folders depending on my mood.

  8. john

    I use FireFox sync for book marks. while its not the best, I don’t need another program to do something thats already in the program I use all day.

  9. Alex M

    For my important bookmarks I want to share I clip the pages on Springpad but for the rest I just use the chrome bookmarks.

  10. Neil T

    I use XMarks to sync my bookmarks between browsers.

    I then use Apple’s iCloud to sync those bookmarks from Safari to iCloud so they show up on my iPhone in the browser.

    For things to bookmarks to read later I just star them in Google Reader when I notice them and then read them later.

  11. Bill C

    I store all bookmarks in Delicious and rely on their Firefox add-on for integration.

  12. Hazel

    I use google bookmarks, which helps me when I’m on the go..

  13. 67GTA

    Chrome sync with Google bookmarks. I can access them from anywhere with Chrome.

  14. Jason Cartwright

    I don’t. After spending hours organising and managing favourites across a variety of machines, I found I never went back to them. Even when I tried, they weren’t searchable, so it was next to useless.

    Once you learn how to search, or use twitter, finding content you read months ago actually becomes quite easy.

  15. Lori

    I use Diigo and love it. Social bookmarking rocks. I follow others who have similar interests and professional goals and it is amazing.

  16. anybodysguess

    chrome bookmarks just icon on bar then folders. also deleting any bookmarks I havent used in 6 months

  17. Vonnie

    The only reasonable way to organize your bookmarks is in the cloud and using social bookmarking to enhance the experience. This means you can add tags (essential and easy to do) and search – yours and others – and share with others with similar interests. It is possible to keep some bookmarks private if needed. I use Delicious and another useful service is Diigo. Social bookmarking is a must for your own professional learning, especially for educators.

  18. Mark

    Xmarks. Having it on home and office systems makes it easy.

  19. Rob

    Bookmark Buddy – it imports/exports to all browsers

  20. Asgaro

    Xmarks!

  21. Roger Gardner

    i use MY HQ it is easy to use and i use it as my home page

  22. bleeprz

    Folders in Firefox… I’m not really all that managed. I have my Web comics in one folder and all the other bookmarks are off to the side. Arranged haphazardly.

  23. Evan

    About 85% of my bookmarks go into Pinboard. The other 15% are things I frequently use and are organised into folders for quick access. I wrote a little program that will merge the JSON export from Firefox, and the XML export from Pinboard (or Delicious) into a new JSON file I can import back into FF, which I run every now and again to pull all my Pinboard books back local. (One year when I have copious amounts of spare time I’ll write an extension to do this easily.)

    I use Xmarks to painlessly synchronisation between Firefox and Chrome on my various machines and operating systems. (And the app to make them available on my phone.)

  24. hclarkjr

    i use extension in firefox called sort places and also use folders for places like amazon and newegg where i have multiple links

  25. septentriones

    Xmarks. I use lots of genre specific folders and sub-folders. So in my Game folder I’ll have Quake, Minecraft, etc and then within Quake I’ll have a video folder. Pretty much everything is organized manually though. I wish there were a way to make Chrome automatically sort bookmarks alphabetically instead of manually having to hit the sort button. Anyway many of my bookmarks are in large generic folders waiting to be sorted. I have over 3000 the last time I checked though so I need to do a major pruning of them. ;)

  26. Vale

    I only use Chrome, so the built-in sync works perfectly for me. All my bookmarks are on the bookmarks bar, divided in exactly 15 folders:

    – Vale (forums/blogs/sites I visit every day)
    – Mail (including gmail but also gcalendar, gdocs etc)
    – Fic(fan fiction sites)
    – News(news sites)
    – School(specific course sites/resources, dependent on courses i’m taking any given quarter)
    – University(general university sites/resources)
    – VCB(dictionaries/translation services/wikipedia)
    – Blog(friends’ personal blogs)
    – OLT(online tools, such as youtube, online conversion, netflix, wallpapers sites)
    – Tools (“RL” tools, such as bank sites, ebay, library site, phone company site)
    – Computer (torrents and free program sites), Inane (postsecret and comics)
    – Temp (every temporary bookmark i need. I go through it often to delete stuff)
    – Ph B (photobucket and picasa albums)
    – Shows(sites of all the shows i’m currently watching, since i watch them online and never on tv)

    Works extremely well for me.

  27. CJP

    poorly

  28. Praveen

    I use google bookmarks. Continuously from last 5 years. It has great compatibility with any of the browser + you don’t have to open any new account elsewhere.

  29. Richard

    XMarks is the ticket. It doesn’t matter what machine I’m on, my bookmarks, etc., are all there.
    Perfect!

  30. Aaron

    In Firefox Aurora, I drag the pages I view regularly (CNN, email, Endadget, Google, various forums, Weather Underground, etc.). I remove the text title so I’m left with just the Favicon. This makes way for a bunch of links that I can immediately recognize.

    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/9067/capturerkp.png

  31. Youngbud

    Xmark for the win, cros platforms..

  32. Aaron

    EDIT:

    There is also an add-on that does this for ya!

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-autohider/

  33. BobbyPhoenix

    Xmarks.

  34. NIckfost

    i dont… i simply dont keep bookmarks its the easiest way

  35. MangaFalzy

    I just group my bookmarks into folders, then I let Chrome do all the work.

  36. kelly

    diigo is the way to go! not only do i manage my own 2500 bookmarks there, but i am connected to other teachers from around the world and can easily search theirs. no more remaking the wheel, and they are accessible anywhere on any device. i also like diigo’s ability to sort bookmarks with sublists.

  37. Stephen

    Xmarks to sync the browser bookmarks I use most frequently. Diigo for searchable long term bookmarks.

  38. Steve-O-Rama

    Xmarks seems to do the job for me. I’ve got a handful of machines, each with three or four browsers; over the years, I’ve accumulated thousands of bookmarks, stretching across many areas of interest. Trying to keep them all straight had been quite a struggle until Xmarks came along. I freaked out when the company was acquired by LastPass, but was subsequently relieved when they continued the free service. Xmarks has a very nice web interface to access, export, search, organize, and do many other things with your bookmarks. In this way, even if I’m on the go, I can access every bookmark I’ve made. Even so, I still make occasional local backups, directly from the browsers to a network folder.

  39. bdm

    I use Xmarks to sync home, work and borrowed computers.
    Other than that, my Bookmarks Toolbar has a Start folder (email, RSS, Facebook, etc), a Tools folder (bookmarklets and other frequently used sites), and a large empty space for things I want to go back to before filing them or noting down what I need (usually done at the end of the week).
    The rest of the bookmarks are sorted by interest such as “Travel > Continent > Country”, “Web Design > CSS” or “Gear”.

  40. code Zero

    X MARKS … best bookmark management

  41. emar1000

    I use folders to organize them and I remeber my important ones so I dont have to sync anything. If its too many at the time I put them on a flash drive. No need for a 3rd party to have access to my things. This syncing and storing book marks (google) isd out of hand. Protect your privacy as much as possible. Thats just how I am

  42. Karttikeya

    I make folders and organize them as per what they are about. For example, I have different folders for technology sites, social media, blogs/your online accounts, shopping, utilities, productivity and many more. Organizing them in folders is the best way of managing your bookmarks, and whenever you find a site to bookmark.? Just add them in the appropriate folder right when you’re bookmarking it.

  43. cowgod

    I am still holding out for Delicious to stop sucking wind. It was a phenomenal service, then AVOS swooped in and turned the whole service on its head. It’s severely broken now, but I have faith that they’ll bring it back to greatness again.

    I use one tag per bookmark and then bundle the tags up into a larger category. For example, I’ll tag one thing as lord-of-the-rings-online and another as left-4-dead and then have both of those in a bundle called pc-gaming.

  44. James Borg

    Delicious with plugins for IE and Chrome (now my primary browser). I can also access them from my smart phone.

  45. Hamid

    FEBE add-ons in firefox

  46. hellerdude

    Google bookmarks and diigo

  47. arpad

    Chrome sync with Google bookmarks and Xmarks

  48. Alekib

    I use Opera as my primary browser on all my device: desk computers (win and linux), android tablet and iphone.
    My bookmarks and note are sync at same time in all device.
    Very good Opera!!!

  49. Daniel

    I use Google Bookmarks and Chrome (with sync enabled) with YAGBE extension for quick management and access.

  50. Ankur

    Use Chrome Sync to manage my bookmarks

  51. Jean-Francois Messier

    I use Xmarks, as it works accross different browsers, whether this be Firefox, Chrome or IE. As I have multiple installations and share bookmarks between them, this is important. I need to be able to add a bookmark from my portable, and later use if on my desktop. As well, since I often reinstall some of my OS, like when a new Ubuntu comes out, I need an easy way to restore all my bookmarks.

  52. x3geek

    firefox bookmark tags for managing. that is one thing if chrome gets, I’ll migrate to it. xmarks for synching

  53. Neil

    If you have bookmarks in Chrome there is a cool extension which allows you to search your bookmarks.

    Very useful and it gives you instant live results as you type.

  54. me

    Firefox Sync

  55. J0022

    If I have more than 3 bookmarks over the same subject I make it into it’s own folder. I work in IT and my work computer is only for IT related bookmarks and resources and personal bookmarks are kept on my personal computer. I never mix the two if I can help it. If I come across a site I would like to use personally but is not work related I will save it in a draft in my gmail to get to from home and add the bookmark there. I’m not saying I never do anything personal on my work laptop, but I don’t leave trails if I do.

  56. Andrew

    I now use Evernote as a bookmark manager

    Create a notebook called “bookmarks”

    Then either use tags to find them or within the “Bookmarks” notebook create subnotebooks of each topic area.

  57. Jess Anderson

    I’m running WIN 7, Linux and Mac machines, Firefox on all of them. Xmarks handles syncing of bookmarks across platforms, but I’ve yet to find an easy way to manage/organize/reorganize my very large bookmarks file itself.

  58. Wayne

    I do most of my personal browsing on the the iPad these days. To sync new bookmarks to my desktop, I use iCloud (previously MobileMe) to send those to Internet Explorer on my Desktop. However since I don’t use Internet Explorer on a day to day basis, I needed a way to get those bookmarks to my FireFox and Chrome installations on both my desktop and laptop. For this, I chose XMarks. For the most part it is seamless but I have to run the control panel to get get bookmarks out of IE occasionally. I would use iCloud to sync to Safari but there isn’t a Safari XMarks plugin for Safari on Windows.

  59. Keith

    I don’t bother sorting bookmarks. I send most of them to a Gmail account, where they get Archived. Because it’s Google, search is straightforward. Moreover, it works.

  60. Saif Kazakzeh

    I was using firefox for a couple years but after the launching of the google chrome i started using it until this time.. now the issue that i was very happy with the firefox bookmarks “LABELS” which is not a feature in chrome and that is really really bad.. now with chrome i am organizing my bookmarks into folders (which are not supported by google bookmarks; what a miss) but with firefox i was adding a main label (i defined some main labels for me) associated with a other labels to be much easier when search for a bookmark….

  61. Walter

    Linkman by Outertech

  62. Saptashwa

    I use lots of folders (comics, news, utilities et al) to organize everything. Then I use Xmarks to sync everything. Keeps everything sorted.

  63. Chris Raisin

    I think that Maxthon is the best browser out, and their Version 1 (would you believe) has the greatest way of collecting bookmarks I have seen (called “Groups”) Absolutely fantastic.

    Unfortunately their Version 2 and 3 issues of the Browser saw them drop “Groups” , but I was so impressed stayed with their first version of the Browser (used by millions in Asia). It is 200% faster than Chrome.
    http://www.maxthon.com (or visit http://www.dl.maxthon.com for earlier versions)

    I’ve tried all browsers, but as I say, the “Groups” way of handling bookmarks keeps me with Maxthon Version 1. Fantastic!

  64. Huisie

    Firefox Portable via Liberkey
    Liberkey installed to HDD, not USB
    Liberkey folder synced with Live Mesh

    Bookmarks to keep are in folders, no more than 3 levels (folder >> subfolder >> link) and tagged
    Misc bookmarks cleaned every so often to keep them under control
    Use Firefox Sync (prefs, bookmarks, history), just in case

    The thing I like about folders is you can right-click and select “Open All in Tabs”
    Also, tagged bookmarks show up when doing searches in “Awesome Bar” if relevant

  65. Huisie

    P.S. Two add-ons I use for bookmarks are:
    – SortPlaces (automatically sorts alphabetically)
    – Add Bookmarks Here² (makes bookmarks windows and dialogs easier to use)

  66. mikeparkie

    xmarks, and I use folders on the bookmarks bar so when i click them there drop down, all my most common bookmarks in one folder so i can open them by right clicking and choosing to open all at once.

  67. Usman

    I tweet them !

  68. Johan

    The best comment I can give is: change over to Wonderpage. Wonderpage is an online bookmark facility that I use as starting page. Wonderpage is wonderful, because all your bookmarks are online. If you are not online, Wonderpage is useless and so are all your other bookmarks. So, being online is essential to whatever bookmark system you may use. Meanwhile I recommand Wonderpage. Wonderpage is in my opinion a bookmark killer!

  69. cam2644

    Firefox sync on the main browser – xmarks when occasionally using Chrome

  70. Two Replies

    Xmarks. No contest.
    None of the others even compare.

    Syncing & encrypting them across Chrome, Firefox, IE
    on Windows7, Ubuntu, Fedora and my iPhone.
    AND the single account is setup with a “default” profile (for home/personal use), and a “work” profile for at…well work (so any NSFW links/folders don’t appear on my work laptop).
    (And if xmark’s servers fail, I’ve got my account mirrored on my personal server so all I need to is flip a switch in the xmarks plugin and I’ll be pointed at my mirror.)

  71. Two Replies

    Xmarks also has a duplicate scanner available to find any duplicate bookmarks you may have in your collection.
    I still have yet to find another service with the tools xmarks makes available.

  72. Shawn Collins

    I don’t sync, but I’ve been trying. I’d like a solution that doesn’t use an external cloud service. I’ve tried having Chrome (and Thunderbird, for that matter) use my VPN and changed the laptop’s directories to mapped drives. I also found a registry entry (in the case of Thunderbird, at least) that I had to change. This has not worked. I’m all for social bookmarking and cloud services, but from a learning standpoint, I don’t understand why simply changing the Chrome directories on my laptop to mapped drives on my home PC doesn’t work. I’m not looking for a daily sync; there’s plenty of sync programs out there for that. I’m looking for Chrome on my laptop to have real-time access to my home PC’s bookmarks. Any suggestions?

    Shawn

  73. warbuff

    xmarks

  74. Aaron

    Pinboard.in

  75. MKersten

    I synch IE, Chrome and Firefox with XMarks.
    Once in a while I sync with Opera manually in order to sync with my Android mobile (Opera Mini browser) and HP Touchpad (Opera’s bookmarks application)

  76. Oldmartian

    I believe the subject was how to order the bookmarks, not how to sync them between computers…

  77. Amit thakkar

    Diigo is the best ever i have used till now.

    Its got lists and categories for sorting and organizing.

    and a neat toolbar that makes bookmarking and managing a breeze.

    you can also share bookmarks with other people outside diigo , with different privacy settings.

    no need for syncing as its always online.

  78. theowest

    Like this: about:blank

  79. theowest

    Like this: http://puu.sh/8rE7

  80. steve

    Xmarks has been great.
    I have over 1500 bookmarks with nested folders to help in organizing.
    Such as Auto\Parts and Technical\Brakes (or Suspension, etc.)
    I can pretty much find and old bookmark in less than a minute due to my folder organization.

  81. steve

    Xmarks has been flawless keeping 6 computers synched !

  82. Andy Langford

    organise???

  83. Linda Strawn

    I have over 900 bookmarks in maybe 30+ folders but then i converted to Delicious. and used the IE and Firefox extensions. then Firefox would upgrade and not be compatible with Delicious so i used a workaround i found by searching. then Delicious got sold and half my stuff didn’t transition until weeks later. in the meantime, i found pinboard.in which is api based like Delicious but less social. i like how they give the pros and cons of their service and compare it with others, and provide links to their competition. its not free and i don’t mind paying someone 10 bucks for their labor. a great deal. i currently use Chrome and have no bookmarks in the browser, only on pinboard. i bought a new computer and tried to import some old favorites my husband used in IE and it only imported from the M to Z. so weird. havent’ figured that one out yet.

  84. LeslieNice

    Zootool rocks! You can organize your bookmarks, images&videos found on the web at one place.

  85. esam

    xmarks

  86. Nohaybanda

    Xmarks

  87. Mushaf

    Xmarks.

  88. wayne

    Chrome sync with Google bookmarks

  89. Thomas

    XMarks combined with LastPass

  90. Tracie

    I use FF as my default browser but IE Favorites is much better for organizing bookmarks than anything else….and I have & use literally well over 2000 bookmarks or more. So my answer was to install a FF add-on called “Plain Old Favorites” which imports & real time syncs IE Favorites in FF and vice-versa. So anything I add in FF “Plain Old Favorites” is added in exactly the same spot in IE, and vice versa. Of course I have FF sync for all of my machines, and for added accessibility from a phone or over at a friend’s (or for a friend to quickly access a folder full of pertinent links & info), I have X-marks attached to the IE Favorites.

    I found this set up to be the most simple and universal way to keep everything under control, totally sync’ed, and always accessible everywhere, while taking into account the way in which I use my machines all day, every day.

    Additionally, I use FF SmartBookmarks Bar for instant access to things I use multiple times a day.

    My IE Favorites are organized in three parts: 1st section is stand alone links that are used most often (grouped by purpose), 2nd section is carefully labeled category folders and sub-folders and sub-sub-folders (alphabetical), and the 3rd section is infequently used stand alone links (alphabetical). And this is, of course, exactly how everything shows up in FF “Plain Old Favorites”.

    This seems to be the most simple and logical way to keep everything under control & immediately accessible, because if you can’t find something right now, you may as well not have bothered to save it at all.

  91. udinho

    del.icio.us, tag my favs and use an extension for chrome.

  92. NedW

    Xmarks

  93. FalconDot

    Social bookmarking is based on someones’ ideas, gives too much of irrelevant results and still not flexible enough in delivery of particular information of personal interest in seconds. Use SIMS, Secondary Information Management System, concept developed under PBWorks where not only links, tags but also results of analysis, notes, etc. are prepared for mass collaboration and shared under permanent link. See the example of analysis of your answers for this review prepared for further development and open for anyone to edit:
    http://confocal-manawatu.pbworks.com/w/page/47947408/BookMarks%20Managers
    Cheers,
    Dmitry
    MIAWiki for Mass Collaboration

  94. knightspawn5

    I use Chrome, I have different folders for differnt topics.

  95. diemop

    opera link

  96. Helmer Aslaksen

    Any suggestions for dual pane bookmark manager for FF? I used to use IE, where I could just use Total Commander to sort the favorites as files. I found Link Commander, but I felt it was more suited for IE than FF.

    Thanks!

  97. Mohsen Arjmandi

    google bookmark
    read it later

  98. Steve Pease

    I created a simple website on Google sites that is private to me. Each topic has a page on the site with the names in text boxes that are sub catagories of the main topics. I can get to them from any computer in the world with internet access. I can also add and delete links from anywhere. I have button on the bookmark toolbar to the site. It works great and nothing has to sync because it’s not on my computers. I can also access the same bookmarks from any browser.

  99. Furry Canary

    Outertech Linkman Lite – unobtrusive, flexible, intuitive and free. Yet to try anything else that comes close.

  100. Gary

    Interesting comments. Had never heard of XMarks. But I have to say i store in FF bookmarks ang Gbookmarks and I really should go with one. Appreciate all comments

  101. Ben from Orange

    I use live mesh for sync my ie bookmarks to sync between computers and sync my android contacts with my google account through chrome.

  102. Xeogin

    I have to use AM-DeadLink: http://www.aignes.com/deadlink.htm, I’m a bookmark hoarder so to speak, if I synced them, I’d be screwed! I gotta couple k…

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