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September, 2009:

Bookmarks Selective History

Some folks don’t keep bookmarks in their browsers anymore since you can always use a search engine to find things when you need them. Problem is, often the thing that interests me is not one of the top items in a search result set (even when I can remember the right search terms to use). If I’m looking for a specific thing I saw before I’m probably not going to be satisfied with search results showing me similar things but not that specific thing. I still use bookmarks.

I used to try to put bookmarks into folders based on category. That’s labor intensive always sorting out a categorization every time I create a bookmark. What I’ve been doing lately is this: When I first open Firefox (doesn’t have to be Firefox but that’s my main browser) I create a folder in the Bookmarks Toolbar named for the date such as 20090901. That folder is where I’ll drop any bookmarks collected during the day. I will also review the previous day’s folder for any items that I want to move to a category folder I already have (usually don’t move any). I then move the previous day’s folder to a folder named SelectiveHistory that is one level down from the Bookmarks Toolbar under a folder named Bill.

selectivehistoryexample3

This has been working well. I have found that when I want to go back to a web page it is more likely to be a recent one so I don’t usually have to browse back too far in my SelectiveHistory. Firefox makes it easy to browse the bookmarks tree by simply hovering the pointer. I can also choose Tools – Organize Bookmarks to open the bookmarks Library and do a search when looking for something not so recent.

I do some maintenance on the SelectiveHistory folder by moving the daily folders into a previous month folder and monthly folders into a previous year folder. Doing so takes little time and not a lot of thought (easy enough to do before the coffee kicks in). I should also mention that I use Xmarks to synchronize my massive bookmarks collection across the computers I use Firefox on frequently. I really should mention that, because I don’t think my method of collecting bookmarks described above would work nearly as well without synchronization.