Organize your bookmarks

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When’s the last time you cleaned out your bookmarks on your computer? Do you have an organized system for bookmarking ideas and articles that you want to revisit at a later time? If you are like many internet users, you have bookmarks scattered all over the place. It’s tempting just to add a link to a favorites list, or throw it into a bookmark browser, but if you put a little thought into organizing a system, you will save yourself a lot of time and hassle down the road. A few years ago, I (Katie) just haphazardly added links to my bookmark bar. Now I’m very organized with how I save bookmarks!

I’m a firm believer in using folders to organize bookmarks. As you can see in the image above, I only have 2 saved links that are not filed in a folder. Everything else is grouped and categorized. Here’s my approach to bookmark organization:

USE YOUR TOOLBAR WISELY

Learn how to create folders in your bookmark bar and find tips for managing bookmarks in your browser of choice.

I keep only the basics bookmarked in my toolbar to keep it clutter-free and useful. I have several folders that help keep me on track. My most helpful folder is the “DAILY” one and I’ve spent time whittling it down to include only the sites that I must visit each and every day. I’ll let you take a peek inside so you can see how I’ve set it up.

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This is the only folder of mine that is not organized alphabetically. Instead, this folder is arranged by an order of how I should prioritize my daily tasks.

  1. I always start my day by reviewing my calendar since that will influence everything else I do that day. I use Google Calendar which you can read about here.
  2. Checking my email is also a top priority. I use gmail. I’m a Google girl! You can read about my email management system here.
  3. Next stop is the Digital Scrapbooking Inspiration Flickr group. Steph and I approve all images before they post to the group to keep out any possible ads and inappropriate content. This means I need to visit this site a few times each day. Here’s more information about Flickr.
  4. K12 is our virtual academy (homeschool) website. I need to log in every weekday.
  5. The Daily Digi is this website. I log in every day to be sure that my post is up if it was my turn, or to read anyone else’s posts. I never miss a day, unless I’m stuck camping in the wilderness. lol!
  6. TDD team is a link to the team forum for The Daily Digi. We are always working behind the scenes on great stuff for YOU! That’s another daily stop on the internet for me.
  7. Scrapbooklady refers to my own blog scrapbookladypages.com – I always double check my posts and follow the comments.
  8. Family refers to a personal blog for my own family members.
  9. Toy stands for Toy to the World which is a blog I share with my kids dedicated to our love of Legos and other fun things.
  10. The Pinterest link is my place for a little “me time” each day. There may be days when I skip this one, but that makes me sad to do so. You can read my Pinterest tutorial here for more information.
  11. Hootsuite is the best site I’ve found for using and managing Twitter. It’s the only way I use Twitter! You can follow The Daily Digi on Twitter right here. We also have a Twitter tutorial here for more information. I’m on twitter almost every day. I do slow down my twitter posts or even take a break on the weekends.
  12. Facebook is the place where I go to interact with many online friends and keep up on digi news. You can connect with The Daily Digi and The Digi Show on facebook.
  13. The Digi Show is the website for the podcast that we do each week. I try to visit this site each day to keep up on comments from listeners. You can get updates about new episodes by signing up here.
  14. Capture Your 365 is Katrina Kennedy’s website for her 365 community. I’m participating in a new project 365 during the school year so I’m trying to visit this site each day. I have fallen behind lately though. You can read about Project 365 and other fun alternatives in this post.
  15. Google Reader is the final stop on my daily bookmarks to visit list. There are many days when I never get to this one, but I like to keep it in my daily file in hopes that I will keep up with my blog reading by doing a little each day. I read A LOT of blogs so I can stay informed about digi happenings. I also just love to read blogs! Here’s some more information about Google Reader.

 

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I’m not going to take you through the rest of my folders, but I have used a similar thought process in putting each of them together. Every folder has links to regular tasks I need to do for that subject. These are used ONLY for frequently visited links. I will discuss the “pin it” and “read it later” later on in this post.

 

SYNC OR BACKUP YOUR BOOKMARK BAR

Your bookmarks are only useful if you have some way to access them from other computers and/or a way to back them up. Part of the reason I never used to put much thought into my bookmarking system is because I had lost several collections over the years when I upgraded computers or had a hardware crash. I also didn’t like that I could only use them on my home computer. Bookmarking technology has greatly improved over the last few years and there is no reason why you can’t keep your favorite links safe and available to use anytime. Google Chrome lets me sync by bookmarks and I can easily access them anytime I sign into my Google account. I know Firefox has similar benefits. There are work-around ways to sync bookmarks/favorites in any browser using third-party apps such as dropbox and xmarks.

 

USE ONLINE BOOKMARKING SITES

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One of the reasons I can keep my browser toolbar so neat and organized is because I make good use of several online bookmarking sites. You could certainly argue that it might make more sense to just keep everything in one place, and there is nothing wrong with taking that approach. I have found that online bookmarking serves a different purpose for me than saving a favorite in my browser. Again, I use my toolbar to bookmark the things I use on a very regular basis. It is the quickest and most practical way for me to access those frequent links. External sites for bookmarking  are helpful to me for other reasons, especially because I save thousands of articles, images, and ideas! There are many great sites such as Evernote (one of Steph’s favorites) and StumbleUpon, but there are 3 sites that I love and use the very most to help me keep track of everything I want to save.

  • Delicious. I’ve posted about Delicious before and I will still sing it’s praises. I’ve used this site for several years. This is where I file about 50% of the links I want to save. Before Pinterest came along, I used Delicious more like 98% of the time. I currently have 2,944 links in my account but that doesn’t overwhelm me because every one of them is tagged and easy to find. I keep all of Delicious bookmarks private since I post a lot of writing and blog ideas there, but you can also choose to share your links with an audience if you would like to. They’ve recently introduced stacks to make the site more visually appealing (and I believe also to compete with Pinterest).  I can access the links I’ve saved from any computer just by logging into my account.
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  • Pinterest. It’s been amazing to see how this site has spread like wildfire through the digital scrapbooking community! I’ve posted about Pinterest before and I’m still just as passionate about it today as I was when I first discovered it. I love that site! I would guess that I’m saving about 45% of all the links I want to bookmark to Pinterest now. I currently have 1,462 pins in my account and I add more every day.  I love that it’s like a visual directory of recipes, project ideas, and inspiration. It’s also fun that I can share my finds with others! The social aspect of Pinterest is very rewarding for me.  You get to “pin” things to your board instead of “bookmarking” them, but it really is the same thing. It’s just bookmarking made fun!
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  • Instapaper. This is a relatively new addition for me.  The reason I like Instapaper is because it syncs across several platforms (computer, iPhone, and iPad for me). It’s like file folder to stick things in that you just can’t read right that minute, but plan to review soon. It’s not meant for keeping track of thousand of links. It’s not a tool to organize and tag large collections of web pages, it’s meant to store links that you would like to read once and then discard. It would become unwieldy to use this as your only bookmarking tool. Instapaper fills a gap that all these other tools have left behind. Delicious fills about 50% of my bookmarking needs. Pinterest fills about 45% of my needs. My toolbar bookmarks are home to about 4% of my other links (albeit, the very most important ones!) so that always left me with some links that didn’t fit anywhere. I didn’t want to go to the effort to add a url to Delicious, Pinterest, or even file it in my folders if I just wanted to review it later. I used to always just bookmark those pages in a folder called “misc.” but I rarely got back to them. Now that I can access these saved links on devices like my iPhone and iPad,  as well as my computer, I’m actually reading the articles I’ve been saving for later. When I see that the list is getting too long, I know I need to spend some time reading the saved items.
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    FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

    Not everyone will need to be saving thousands of links to refer to. Because I create content for a few blogs, a podcast, online classes, tutorials, and more, I need to keep track of a lot of information. I also homeschool 2 teenagers and have many other interests and responsibilities in my everyday life that mean I can use a lot of internet inspiration. If you are a more casual internet user, you might not need as many resources. There is no right or wrong way to create an organized bookmarking method, the key is to find a system that works for you and stick with it! It’s not as difficult as it seems – in fact it took me A LOT longer to write this post than I usually ever spend on keeping my bookmarks organized! Now that I have my own methods established, it is all very automatic. It’s also a very worthwhile task because I have easy access to the many wonderful things I find online!

     

    katie big

    P.S. Theresa was the random winner chosen from the comments left in yesterday’s post. She won $10 in product from Girl Boy Girl Designs!