Bookmark Management

by JL Beeken on 11-10-2012

What I’ve been doing lately is trying to make something useful of my bookmarks. It’s not another bookmark manager that’s needed; it’s bookmark management.

This is the next step after having pretty much scoured to the bottom of my 9,000+ folders. Anything that is half-finished, an idea, or something not yet read, listened to or watched is back in my Inbox and/or on my To-Do list. Right now it’s over 53GB. Just for a little perspective, that’s almost half of everything in My Documents.

Some people are quite comfortable with their houses stuffed to the rafters and stirred with a stick. I’ve always liked those kind of houses because they seem to be inhabited by relaxed people. Not always, I suppose, but it does take a certain mental abandon I imagine.

I remember a house I visited as a kid where I was allowed to jump up and down on my friend’s bed. Her Mom thought it was OK. My mother put a stop to it because she was afraid I’d come home with a communicable disease. And she’d only seen the property from the outside.

But ever since then I’ve equated FUN, however erroneously, with houses that have (besides beds to jump on) dishes littered unwashed on every surface. And although I do love them, I’d have to be constantly injected with tranquilizers to live in one. (Thanks, Mom, for making me so neurotic.) And since my computer is another form of a house I live in, I have to be able to find things.

(If you’ve been following this series about my to-do list, I warned you last week this was going to get boring.)

I’m a self-professed process junkie and, in particular, I love making processes simpler.

Who doesn’t have too many bookmarks?

Raise your hand. And then leave a comment below about how you do it.

When I started my cleanup I don’t know how many I had. By the time I started counting I was down to about 1,300. If I’m not doing anything with the information (or even looking at it, and who’s got the time?) it’s just more unwashed dishes.

There are some bookmarks that I use regularly including news, weather, TV shows and a dictionary. But, really, what’s going on with the rest of them?

Nothing, really.

Browsers should have a a pop-up when you hit some limit like, say, 500 that says, ‘Are you SURE you want to add another bookmark?’

I assume I bookmarked all the other pages because they were interesting to me and I thought I’d get back to them someday.

Well, someday finally arrived.

My Bookmark Management System

There’s a couple of things I realized that can be done to manage my bookmarks.

1. It’s possible to select 5 or 10 or 20 at a time from my Library in Firefox (just click Bookmarks/Show All Bookmarks) and open them at once. This is easier than opening them one at a time.

Firefox Bookmarks Library

And then I can zip through the tabs and decide what’s a keeper and what’s not.

Firefox Bookmark Tabs

2. If I’m going to do something with one of these web pages … and that would be the point … I drag and drop the URL from the address bar into a new item on my To-Do list.

Bookmark Management in ActionOutline To-Do List

Or, if it’s information I want to keep for reference, I drag it into the related section of Reference material and add whatever notes I want to it.

ActionOutline Tabs

Then I close the tab and delete the bookmark from the Firefox Bookmarks Library.

It’s pretty straightforward.

  • Some place I visit every day, like CBC television, I leave that in my bookmarks.
  • Bookmarks related to a project in my To-Do list, put them with the project. Duh.
  • Bookmarks about filing my tax return, I put that in ActionOutline with my reference notes about filing tax returns. After New Year’s the whole sheebang will get moved to the To-Do list until it’s done. And then it will go back to Reference.
  • A page I bookmarked ten years ago about computer security and haven’t been back to since, that’s probably a Delete.

Right now my To-Do list scrolls 3 times the height of my 1024 pixel monitor but that’s OK. The point is I can see it all in one place outside of me and I don’t take it to bed.

The less to-do’s are swirling around in my brain the better I work and the better I sleep. I’ve stopped spending 2-3 hours a day aimlessly wandering around or rooting through my folders looking for things to do, none of which I actually feel like doing because I know there’s a thousand other things I should be doing but they’re whirling around in my mind unfocused making me too tired to do anything.

Do I expect to get it all done? Of course not, but that’s the other point. Reality check. You can’t prioritize what’s lurking in the shadows. You might even be surprised to find information bookmarked that fits in with something else you’re working on but you don’t know it because your notes are scattered all over the map. I know I have.

I’m down to 500 bookmarks now and by the time I’m finished there will be 100-200 max and I’m not going to re-create this mess. Ever. Honest. Mom.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig Prichard 11-14-2012 at 11:43 AM

It’s like you crawled in my ear, took a picture of my brain, then wrote a blog post about what you saw. Except I haven’t started the house-cleaning process yet. You’re my new hero! Keep posting about your successes. They inspire me to think about maybe considering the possibility of approach my house keeping chores with a thought to … oh look, a birdy.

Craig

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Taneya 11-18-2012 at 11:34 PM

Nice strategy! I too have been in cleanup mode with my online endeavors. I haven’t done bookmarks yet as I really don’t have a lot. I have been using Google Bookmarks but am now switching to Chrome Bookmarks, so get some filtered that way. It is always nice to read other’s approaches to streamlining so thanks for sharing.

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Magda 1-29-2013 at 6:39 PM

Okay ! Another great organizer for me to work on . There is hope for me after all !

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