Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently, I realized I should really reduce my bookmark count. As in the 80/20 rule, I probably use less than 20% of my browsers bookmarks. This might be highlighted by the fact that currently I have 1021 bookmarks and 21 folders according to Chrome. Many folders are way too large.

Yet two important assumptions that I want to consider: 1). I usually bookmark websites with diigo for archival / reference, but the fact that I put them in my "bookmarks bar" means they are slightly more important or actionable than others. 2). While I will sure find outdated bookmarks (I hope that I'll find many such), I am sure that it will be hard to reduce the count, because I have no system for it yet.

Thus my questions:

1). Maybe I should categorize my bookmarks in categories of importance or value, like class A, B, C?

2). Where (and how) would you archive these links, assuming I want to try to keep them for quick reference, but outside my bookmark bar? Make a simple list in Evernote with a short link title?

3). How can I make this whole process most efficient? Reviewing 1000+ bookmarks will take a while.

share|improve this question

I've already answered some of your questions. Not only use thematic tags, also temporal (2012, 2011,...), hierachical (interesting, important, timeless, frequently needed). Delicious can be nicely integrated in Firefox sidebar. The lack of a sidebar in Chrome detained me from using it. My system looks like this:

  • 30-40 weekly used links are shown in the browser bar
  • everything else tagged in delicious
  • Firefox bookmark folder is only used for groups/browser sessions of tabs concerning a current topic (e.g. finding a flat in a city)

Remember that the point of services like delicious and diigo is also to find good links rated and tagged by other users. You can also import link collections. So you should really only save links locally that have a very personal context and importance. Otherwise you might build up redundance. Next time when you are tagging, rating, and saving a link you should ask yourself, could I find in the same time via google or delicious that link using their search engines?

share|improve this answer
+1 I like the idea of the different kinds of tags. One thing I'd be a little concerned about, though, is outsourcing too much to 3rd-party services without redundancy. Delicious can go away tomorrow if it wants to. – John Sep 27 '12 at 18:03
John, I use "diigo", they are around since 2006, at least. I converted to them around that time, and since delicious has shut down. @Hauser: delicious is up and running? Wow! – grunwald2.0 Sep 28 '12 at 7:39
Hauser, thank you for this great answer! Just to clarify: My actual question was intended to be very practical: I DEFINITELY want to and will process my existing 1.000 bookmarks. I just wondered how I can make that bookmark processing (in GTD terms) phase most economic,i.e. time efficient? – grunwald2.0 Sep 28 '12 at 7:54
@grunwald2.0 For the processing: At least firefox has many addons to extend bookmarks manager filter and search options. Many of your links will probably receive similar tags when containing blog or .com. Also creation date of link should help you you to find group of links. In Firefox there exists most visited category. This should help you to make it more efficient imo – Hauser Sep 28 '12 at 11:57
@Hauser: Oh I didn't know that, sounds great! Unfortunately, I mostly use Google Chrome, thus the "most visited" stats on Firefox will be highly skewed. :/ – grunwald2.0 Sep 28 '12 at 13:56

I have long struggled and meditated on this problem. What I ultimately decided is that a repository of bookmarks, or of any kind of knowledge, is useless as a static collection and quickly degenerates into a backlog never to be accessed again. I abandoned my humongous Delicious account and have since been developing a little something that offers a different take on the subject.

And that is action-oriented browsing. I think that anything you clip or save or note down must have an intended action, now or in the future. Maybe you are saving a bookmark because you want to refer to it when you tackle some personal project you want to do someday/maybe. It must then be triggered by that project when you finally get to it. If you never get to it, the bookmark will die with the project, which is just as well.

As you said, most bookmarks will never be accessed again, but you don't know which ones yet. It's the long tail principle. We don't have time to do everything we want, but in the spirit of GTD, ideally we'd like to map out all that we could want to do, so we can always (say, weekly) review our priorities and be ready to pivot into new directions if situations, or our minds, change.

Even if you are only saving a cute picture of a cat, it is still actionable. Why are you saving it? That's the key question. It may be because you want to show it to some people, so it should be triggered in your next interaction with each of those people, and then you're done with that bookmark and you can let go of it.

Articles that you want to read or reread should by triggered by a reading list, or by study plans for particular subjects, or even by a blog post you want to write on the ideas you read on several of these articles.

It's all about what should trigger that bookmark to come into your attention again. You shouldn't need to remember to check it back on your own, or you may well never do.

share|improve this answer
Great!! But, Vic, this means what is needed is not "action-oriented browsing" but action-oriented "bookmarking" / link-organization, or is it?! But I guess a "how to" for this question basically points back to general "GTD" organization (principles). Lastly: My actual question was intended to be very practical: I DEFINITELY want to and will process my existing 1.000 bookmarks, I just wonder how to make that process most economic (time efficient)? – grunwald2.0 Sep 28 '12 at 7:51
Yeah, I'm really sorry this isn't very practical, I don't currently have a hard fast solution for myself either. I'd say action-oriented bookmarking is half of it, and more towards what you're looking for right now. But considering you had processed your 1000 bookmarks in such a way, changing your browsing mindset in the future (for instance, being mindful of what project those bunch of tabs you just opened belong to) would prevent such backlogs from building up in the first place. In any case hope someone has a process you can use right now. – Vic Goldfeld Sep 28 '12 at 9:11
Dear Vic, you are definitely right, building up such a backlog should be avoided in the future! I guess I'll just wait a few days until I feel the energy to tackle it this one time for 2012. – grunwald2.0 Sep 28 '12 at 13:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.