Browser Bookmarks or How do you discover and organize stuff that interests you?

I have been using Google Chrome for quite some time now. I really like it. I also have Edge and Firefox as well as Opera on some of my machines. I used to use Internet Explorer, but found Chrome to be better in a lot of ways. The bookmarking (favorites) was not as simple and flexible. Maybe that’s why Microsoft is creating Edge.

Some of the following works good with other browsers too.

I like that it syncs Browser Bookmarks to all my devices. I enjoy Google’s reading suggestions on my phone. If I open the suggested site in Chrome, I can add to the Browser Bookmarks from my Android phone. I wish open in Chrome was the default behavior. I’m not sure why it is not.

I really like Chrome’s Bookmark Manager functionality. When I encounter a new concept, I can just click on the star at the end of the address bar and select or create a place to store the URL of the web page that I’m looking at. It’s then available on all my devices.

I have the bookmarks bar turned on in all my browsers. When I was working, I had all the web accessible locations that I needed to do my job, on the bookmarks bar. It was very handy.

Now, I have a few folders on the bookmarks bar. The first one is named Daily. In there, I have a list of places that I like to visit on a regular basis.

I like the way the Bookmarks Manager works. It is a simple treeview, but even with thousands of entries, it is still responsive and items can be copied or edited or dragged and dropped or sorted very quickly. Simple and effective. I recall when they decided to change to a more visual presentation for a few months. I’m glad they reversed that idea.

I have another bookmarks folder that I named Research. Inside this folder, I make folders for each topic. I add folders and contents to the bottom of the Research folder. This is where they go when I click the add folder button. I briefly considered trying to organize things with multiple levels of folders, but I quickly changed my mind. I don’t recall what made me change my mind about multiple levels, but I think it had to do with being able to deal with duplication and organizing things.

I like that if a URL is already bookmarked, the star shows that it is an existing entry by changing color from while internal to blue. I wish there was an easy way to locate the existing folder. I keep the folders sorted pretty frequently, so it is possible to scroll through the list, but scrolling thousands of entries to locate the existing folder, is a little painful. Quick navigation by typing the first letter or something similar would be a welcome improvement.

This is fine as far as it goes (as I said, the best I’ve found, so far). I’d like a mechanism to quickly determine if I have seen the URL, and if so, to be able to quickly zoom into the existing folder to see how much I know about the subject.

If it is a new subject, I’d like a quicker way to add the new folder and capture the URL. The existing mechanism is not too bad, but I feel like it might be possible to decrease the number of clicks that are required.

This and all other Browsers that I’ve tried do a good job of creating a pile of links. Unfortunately, I’ve not figured out how to turn this stash into something very useful. Another, further, level of processing is needed.

Chrome, as well as most browsers, will export the links to an HTML file. There are a multitude of browsers and bookmark tools/services which will import this file. I’ve subscribed to several web based services. Some will do dead link detection, duplicate removal, or marking - others allow various levels of manipulation in their interface.

Several years ago, I found and purchased a shareware program called LinkRipper. It extracted the links from the HTML file and built an XML file with fields for a couple of tags and it kept track of when the URL was accessed (if you launched it from LinkRipper) and how many times you visited the site. Unfortunately, the developer has vanished, at least as far as I know. It was becoming a nice tool, but was not as fully polished as I would have liked, and does not seem to be a viable option now.

I know there are a bunch of Chrome extensions, but none, that I’ve tried, do everything I’d like them to do.

I guess this leads me to the next topic. I’m looking for a nice tool where I could organize my thoughts. Once the Bookmarks are gathered, I would like to be able to organize and embellish what I know about the subject. A place to compare and contrast and gather and organize information about every topic that I might find interesting.

I think it’s time for another Topic, so I’ll wrap this up here.

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This is one reason that I have been holding on to world brain’s memex . It is a web annotation and website archiving tool. It works as a chrome extension and the minute you make a highlight on a website or add your own comment , it archives the page for you and lets you search through it from inside its dashboard .
You can tag pages , even specific highlights and notes and also organise pages into folders , although I dont think you can do multiple levels of folders just yet.

The feature that might interest you here is , when you do a google search it tells you how many of the sites in the current results you have already visited and what they are. Also when you access them , you will be able to continue where you left as you can annotate on the web pages.

So, to conclude Memex is not the most polished tool out there but its being actively developed and shows promise . It lets you annotate and sync all your highlights to Readwise and keeps track of all the websites that you have annotated or liked using their handy tool bar .

If its organisation of bookmarks is what you are looking for, Raindrop.io would be a brilliant option . Its really well polished and has tons of features . You should definitely try it out !

Thanks for the reply.

I’m running world brain’s memex. I’ve yet to figure it out. Last time I paid attention to it, it seemed like it was pretty early. Maybe I should invest some time with it again.

Raindrop.io is one of the many services that I’ve looked at. I recall that I had a favorable reaction. Again, maybe it deserves another look.

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Seems to me like you have tested out a lot of options in this niche . Would be grateful is you could briefly put up a list and your opinions regarding the respective tools .
It would serve as a great resource for others to follow !

I agree, I’d love to find or create such a resource. I’d like to know what I thought of them as well, since I did not take notes, I just know that I did not find what I was looking for yet.

I’m pretty sure that I did make a bookmark for all the tools that I did look at, and a bunch I did not. I just need to find a way to process all those bookmarks in a meaningful way.

I’m also wondering what is the right place to have such a resource. I’ve thought about setting up a GitHub repository or a bunch (family) of them. I’ve also considered hosting such a thing on my personal website. I don’t really think that is a very good long term solution.

I know there are awesome lists for various kinds of things. Should this be one or some of those?

Wikipedia also came to mind.

I’m interested to hear any thoughts

I use Diigo for everything. Very powerful and still underrated tool.

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Well we could achieve a Wikipedia like experience at the forum itself . In fact this was the intended point of building this forum up , to be able to collaborate with like minded gentlemen ,like yourself , and make sense of the ocean of tools available at our disposal.

Maybe we could use the forum to initiate a social compiling process and then based on needs we could create a database and link it here ?

So, that brings to mind my question about why two different tools (Discord and Discourse)?

I’m guessing that Discord was first?

Are they mutually exclusive? Is there some way to link them together? Do they basically target the same audience?

Just curious.

Oh, and should I re-post my questions to Discord to gain a larger audience, and potentially more responses? Or is that not a good idea for some reason?

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I’ve added Brave browser to my collection. Lex Fridman recommends it on his AI podcast. Have not used it too much yet, but it looks interesting.

In the last couple of days, I figured out that there is a setting to have the reading suggestions open in Chrome. Now I just tap the three dots menu (snowman?), and tap the star to add a bookmark. I no longer have to tap the Open in Chrome menu option. Fewer taps, same results. I like it.

I’m still trying to find ways to process bookmarks. I’ve been watching some YouTube videos on Emacs. It looks like it has a lot of potential, and unfortunately, a very steep learning curve.

In recent months, I found (again?) a tool called Pandocs. It seems to provide the ability to transform between various formats of documents. I also found a tool called PanWriter. It is a Markdown editor which uses Pandocs to do some of the work it does.

Chrome bookmarks can be exported to HTML. PanWriter will import HTML and convert it to Markdown. I think this is progress, since I think many of the recent tools to organize thoughts, work on Markdown.

Thank you for your post, it was very interresting to follow your journey regarding finding the perfect bookmark organisation (12.xxx bookmarks!)

It’s funny, but although I am also an info-junky, I never put too much thoughts into bookmark management. Too often burned by link-rot, I started not collecting links, but the interesting web articles themselves- first in the great Firefox addon Scrapbook X, and after the geniuses at mozilla changed the browser architecture amd made scrapbook abandoned, I changed to the chrome extension SingleFile.

Now I faced the problem how to organize the ever growing number of single html files. After much searching, i settled with Zotero (file indexing, tags, folder organization - petfect!)

For your situation - have you considered Dynalist as a bookmark manager? It seems counterintuitive at first sight, but look at what you would get:

  • collapsable topics could be the folder structure of the bookmark collection
  • you can enter the link as a subtopic, and in the notes-view you could add tags , your comments, what brought you to the link etc.
  • with tagging, you could circumvent the problem that a link could fit into multiple categories
  • search is magnificent in Dynalist, so finding your link shouldn’t be too hard
  • cross platform: besides the web app, you have mobile apps for android and ios.

Downsides: no automatic check if you have already bookmarked the link, and if a link is clicked, the default browser is started.

Hope this can be helpful in your quest

Thanks for the ideas. Dynalist is on the very long list of tools to investigate.