What You Said: How You Sync and Organize Your Bookmarks

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By Jason Fitzpatrick on November 11th, 2011


Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite techniques for synchronizing and organizing your browser bookmarks. Now we’re back to highlight the most popular techniques, tricks, and services.

By far and away, Xmarks was the most frequently mentioned service. For the unfamiliar, Xmarks is a bookmark syncing service that is packed with features. Not only does Xmarks sync bookmarks between browsers and/or computers it also supports iOS, Android, and BlackBerry (mobile integration requires an upgrade to the premium account). In addition to syncing the bookmarks it also integrates with your search results so you can see how other Xmarks users have ranked sites within your search results. Steve-O-Rama highlights one of the many benefits of Xmarks:

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.

Delicious bookmarks, another veteran of the bookmark syncing services, had a fair number of supporters among the HTG readership.

Evan highlights how you can use multiple services together for a comprehensive organization and backup plan:

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.)

Many readers skipped using dedicated bookmark syncing services and either stuck with basic organization in the browser or combined that with the built-in syncing offered by browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome.


Aaron highlights his Favicon-only approach to organizing simple bookmarks:

In Firefox Aurora, I drag the pages I view regularly (CNN, email, Endadget, Google, various forums, Weather Underground, etc.) [to the bookmark toolbar]. 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. There is also a Firefox add-on that does it for you!

Vale was one of the many readers who were quite happy using the built-in browser sync features:

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)  […]

Works extremely well for me.

Have a tip, trick, or bookmarking service to share? It’s not to late to join the conversation; hit up the original Ask the Readers post to check out more reader comments and add your own input.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/11/11
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