I’m writing this on a desktop computer. I also use a laptop – when I’m away from home or working from the patio. In addition, there are two mobile devices in my messenger bag that can access the Internet. Oh, and I used to work for an employer who provided yet another desktop computer.
That means five different Web browsers with different sets of bookmarks. So if I save a site to my bookmarks at work, how do I remember it when I’m at home or working from my favorite coffee shop?
Thankfully. there are plenty of ways to sync bookmarks. Basically they store your URLs on their servers and sync them with your computer – or allow access via the Web. I prefer the tools that integrate smoothly with my Firefox browsers and keep bookmarks private.
- Xmarks: This is my preferred choice for the Firefox browser. It’s seamless, fast and easy. It also will save passwords if you like.
- Google Chrome Sync: This is built into Chrome so you don’t have to download or install anything.
- Sync2It: This offers a toolbar and mobile access with your device/phone browser.
- Evernote: A lot of people love Evernote’s features for taking notes and clipping web pages. It can serve as a bookmark storage if you use someone else’s computer or one with community access. Note this isn’t as easy as using the previous tools.
- Gmail: Lifehacker explains how to create a bookmarklet that saves links to your Gmail account. It’s a hack and takes some work. But it may serve your needs.
If you don’t have anything to hide when you’re surfing and saving URLs, maybe a social bookmarking service is for you. There several that let you easily share and categorize the pages you think are worth saving. Plus these sites have privacy features that let you keep URLs hidden.
The beauty of social bookmarking sites is that they are great places to look for other sites you may be interested in seeing.
- Delicious.com: One of the earliest services that’s easy to use.
- Stumble Upon: Again, easy to use. Many bloggers and Internet marketers credit the service with increasing traffic.
- Google Reader: If you use this RSS reader, you also can create a bookmarklet that saves URLs and clips text to a central page. Privacy and keyword categorization are available.
- Bit.ly: Yes this primarly a URL shortener. But it does keep track of the URLs you shorten, which could end up being a handy bookmark storage system.
These services and tools also serve as backup for my bookmarks. If something goes wrong, I don’t lose the important addresses I need.
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