Overthinking Bookmarks

Posted on 12/06/2023 in misc

Some users have been having issues with Pinboard, the online bookmarking service that I have used for years. I haven't had any issues, but I also have read that the creator has lost interest in the project and it's kind of running on auto pilot these days. Then layer on my general loss of enthusiasm for anything in the "cloud" and it seemed like a good time to rethink bookmarks.

In scrolling through my Pinboard account to get a general sense of what was there, it struck me that I generally never go back to the things I bookmark. As I poked around the bookmarks a bit and clicked on some that were interesting, I realized that 90% of the pages I had bookmarked were not bookmarked for any sort of long term issue. They were bookmarked because I needed (or thought I needed) to refer back to them for a specific project over a short period of time. In most cases, I was done with the link within a couple of weeks.

I came up with several non Pinboard options.

  1. Dropbox. I have Dropbox for general backup purposes already, and it has a cloud bookmarks function. I tried it. It sucks.

  2. Another cloud service. I don't want another cloud service.

  3. Browser bookmarking. It's a fine option, but I have to deal with sync issues between work and personal PC, plus mobile. I use separate Mozilla profiles on my work and personal computers, so they will not automatically sync. Also, that's not a particularly elegant solution given that most of my bookmarks are temporary and don't need to clog up my bookmarks file.

  4. Email. What?

Email is the solution I've implemented and it works great. I created a filter that takes any incoming email with a specific hashtag in the subject and files it in a folder. I simply email links to myself, then I can deal with them when I'm on my primary PC. Things I need temporarily can just sit in the bookmarks email folder until I'm done with them, and others I'm bookmarking for a later day get added to my browser bookmarks. I still need to finalize a taxonomy for bookmark folders. I think I'm going to create maybe a dozen at the most - named for broad interest areas that I'll likely need regularly (camping, birds, web etc.)

I'm not paying for yet another service, and I'm using basic open standards based tools (email and a web browser) to do everything. I'd call that a win.

Click to comment, reply, or complain via email

I like hearing from readers, all three of you! Nobody comments on blogs anymore, and I'd rather not use Facebook or Twitter as a comment system so it's back to the email.