Tuesday 8 June 2010

Organize Your Bookmarks

bookmark I browse web on everyday rate, it’s a part of my professional education and I really praise the Web for opportunities it gives me. I surf through pages here and there and sometimes I find something really interesting I just have no time to read now or something that should be saved for later. That’s the case where bookmarks save the game.

Bookmark is a simple tool that allows you to save a link in your browser and access it later. This tool may seem so easy and obvious that people just stop paying attention to bookmark organization and they end up with UI mess. So what to do? I suggest using principles borrowed from people who work with papers every day. They have several folders on their desktop that contain different items. Let’s think how to apply it to bookmarks management.

First, we need some folder to contain all input not processed bookmarks. Let’s call it New folder. Any new bookmark you want to add but don’t know where exactly it belongs should be placed here. You should process this folder at least once a week to avoid cluttering. ‘Processing’ this folder means moving items from it to trash can or to other folders.

Second, we need some place to store links that we’ve read and want to save for future. Let’s name it Info folder and use it for these bookmarks. The problem is that usually we have a plenty of links of such type so we need inner categorization. As for me, I have folders ‘Windows Phone 7’, ‘Presentation’ and ‘Neural Networks’. When I place some bookmark to Info folder I decide whether it belongs to folder root or needs categorization. When there are too many items of same type in Info root I create an appropriate subfolder and move them there.

Third, there are links that require some action, like buying, downloading, blogging, etc. The Todo folder is a nice place for such items. My Todo folder contains such subfolders as ‘To buy’ (with yet another subfolder Books), ‘To download’ and ‘To blog’.

The only thing that remains uncovered is a bunch of links that we access every day, such as issue management dashboard, mail, RSS reader, etc. I have two main items: JIRA dashboard and AgileZen dashboard – so it’s rather logical for my folder to be named Dashboards. You may name it as you with.

So, we ended with the following categories:

  1. New – for new items
  2. Info – for items that need to be remembered
  3. Todo – for ‘call to action’ items
  4. Dashboards – for links that we access every day

Almost all modern browsers have out-of-box or extension-based bookmarks sync tools. I use Google Chrome and it’s really awesome to access my bookmarks at any PC I use (actually, three of them).

And just one more thing to remember: clean your bookmarks once a month. They may become outdated or not interesting to you. Don’t show mercy – eliminate them in the name of Order and Productivity.


snood said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I've been trying to figure out a foundation of bookmarks that will fit in my bookmarks bar, and this is it. I can finally stop procrastinating now!! You rule!

Ivan Suhinin said...

You are welcome!