Bookmarks have been a standard feature of web browsers pretty much since they were invented. Does anybody use still use them? I just depend on my browser history to find sites I’ve visited recently. I start typing the site name and the URL auto-populates. One click bookmarking in the browser or on the web has never really worked for me either. If it is too easy to save a bookmark I end up saving too many bookmarks, most of which I’ll never care about again. I do use Google Bookmarks, but I use it as a “read later” list, later usually being defined as in a day or two. I don’t delete anything from Google Bookmarks, but I rarely go back into the archives either. It’s short term storage for long form articles that I don’t have time to read when I find them.
For long term bookmarking, such as gift ideas for Michelle or my list of books I might want to read, I use a wiki. I find that the extra effort of logging into the wiki and cutting pasting the content acts as a built-in quality control mechanism. If I’m not willing to do that, the link or idea wasn’t really worth capturing in the first place. The result is that the lists I do save are clutter free and much more useful when I go back to them. I’ve experimented with various desktop tools like Tomboy, but syncing between multiple desktops and a phone always seems to go bad somewhere along the way. Currently I’m using QwikiWiki, which hasn’t been supported since about 2009. However, it’s lightweight, it works, and it stores everything in simple text files, meaning it’s easy for me to switch systems later. This is also an example of the power of open source software. Even though the developer has apparently abandoned the project, I can safely use it because I have access to the source code and can update it myself if I need or want to.
So how do you keep track of your digital stuff?