How to manage your Web-Browser bookmarks

I’m a serial bookmarker. That is to say anytime I see any web-site vaguely of interest, I bookmark it within Mozilla Firefox (or add it to favourites for you Internet Explorer folk) in a very organised folder structure, and file it away for future reference.

I also regularly work in many different locations using many different devices. I’ve a PDA/Mobile Phone, Laptop, Desktop PC, Server and yet another Desktop PC solely for playing games on and doing other non-work stuff. Whilst sat at any of these machines, it’s useful to be able to open up one of those thousands of bookmarks I’ve made before.

This always caused a problem, because if I was at the server and I wanted to look up a bookmark I’d made on the Desktop PC the day before – it wasn’t available. Likewise, if I found a site I wanted to bookmark, it’d be scribbled down on a peice of paper, or jotted into the mobile phone notes section, and hopefully make it’s way back to the bookmarks on my Desktop PC when I was next there and remembered to do so.

I’d also tried synchronising Firefox’s bookmark file itself between various PC’s. But I regularly ended up losing entries when I’d made new bookmarks at two different machines without syncing them first.

The closest I’d come to a solution was with the excellent del.icio.us web-site. Del.icio.us allows you to store and tag bookmarks and share them with others. It can integrate with your existing bookmarks within Firefox – but I wasn’t sold on this aspect of the site.

So when I came across Foxmarks – an extension for Firefox that said it made bookmark synchronising easy, I was intrigued.

In a nutshell – once installed Foxmarks sync’s your bookmarks to a central server, uploading any new entries you’ve made, and downloading any new entries it finds (that you could have made on another PC). It does this at startup and shutdown without any noticeable overheads, and at scheduled times in between. No new windows to navigate, no special methods – just continue to bookmark web-sites at whichever PC you are at, and they get sync’d to all the other machines on their next use without any intervention at all.

Foxmarks is freely available for Firefox 1.5 and above, for Windows, Linux and Mac. I highly recommend it!

Comments

  • Tim2007-03-08 15:08:37

    I use Groove 2007 to keep my favourites synchronized accross multiple computers. However, I use only Internet Explorer and I don't browse on a mobile device; in my scenario Groove works well. Groove asks if you want your favourites synchronised the first time you run it and sets everything up for you using a folder synchronisation workspace. Other browsers could be supported in exactly yhe same way, but you'd have to set it up manually which would involve just telling Groove which folder the favourites are stored in.

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