Organize your Bookmarks • Cat Morley

It's spring and I'm getting organized! It's an annual tradition and with each year, I get a little closer to perfecting my system and organized bliss. Over the coming weeks, I'm going to share my tips and tricks with you, as I handle getting on top of my own unorganized chaos and clutter.

Let's start by organizing our bookmarks - and not the paper ones that live in dusty old books but the get dusty inside our browser's bookmark bars. I use Safari on the Mac but these tips should hopefully work cross-browser.

1. Start fresh

If you're like me, you'll no doubt have hundreds of bookmarks already clogging up your browser, with everything from instructions for making doilies to animations of dancing cats. It would suck up all your energy to go through this now and no doubt the dancing cats would distract you off course, so let's start fresh.

Make a new folder on your desktop and drag all of these odd bookmarks and bookmark folders in to it. You can deal with these old link later, when you have your fresh new system in place.

2. Create folders

To keep everything tidy on-going, you'll want to keep like with like, so it's time to create folders for everything you think you might need. Don't make too many, because you can create new ones as you need them.

3. Rename links

Now you can go through your folder of old bookmarks. Think twice before re-adding any. If it's a site you check regularly then add it's feed to your RSS. If it's just an image you like then add it to your scrapbook (digital or physical). If it's someone you want to contact then add their details to your address book. Sometimes there are more useful options for a link than just adding it to your bookmarks.

Another handy tip is to give links a concise and memorable name when you add them. The default links tend to have long winded names like "Can you name the London Underground Tube Stations (Zone 1)? | Online Games & Trivia by Sporcle" but you can rename this to simple, "Tube Name Quiz".

4. Declutter the bookmark bar

One of the handiest things you can do is utilise your Bookmark Bar which most browsers have. As it's going to be a permanent fixture, you'll should only fill it with essential pages you need everyday. I recommend only having 4 to 8 pages that you visit daily.

5. Add handy buttons

Now, to the handiest tip of all. Add helpful buttons for the sites and programs you use most often to your bookmark a bar.

Here are some that I use:

  • Read Later - sends articles / pages I want to read to Instapaper. This lets me read articles on my iPad in bed or my phone while travelling.
  • Pin It - sends inspiring photos to my Pinterest account.
  • To-Do - sends tasks and links to my OminFocus to-do list.
  • Contact - sends me to my address book to note down contact info.
  • Someday - adds places I want to visit to my someday list on fBlog .

That's it, you're bookmarks are organized and you can now browse and bookmark with confidence. Make sure to declutter your bookmark folders regularly - I suggest giving them a once over every month, so that you don't end up in the same position next year.

P.S. if you were hoping for a real bookmark, here's my print-out for to-do list bookmarks.

What are some of your favourite bookmarks and have you found any helpful buttons for your bookmark bar that I haven't mentioned?