How to Sort Through All of Your Bookmarks

November 18 2017, 8:24am

If you're like me, you have bookmarks dating back from when you first started using the Internet. Maybe some of them have proven useful over the years. Many more have probably languished in folders named all kinds of variations of the same thing.

Sorting Bookmarks

What's the best way to get a handle on all of your bookmarks and be able to find what you need easily?

Like any major cleaning process, having a plan can mean the difference between success and having an even larger mess. Here's the process I've found helpful to slay the bookmark behemoth.

Sync Em Up

If you work across multiple computers, including your smart phone, there are probably different links bookmarked in different places. Start by using a service like Xmarks or browser specific ones like Chrome Sync to sync your bookmarks across various browsers. You'll want to use these services to have all of your bookmarks on a central browser. Figure out which browser this is. For me, I used Google Chrome.

Once you've finished choosing your main browser, you'll want to sign into your browser to allow it to sync with the different computers/smartphones you use. Eventually, all of your bookmarks across devices will be in one place. For now, feel free to take a break and maybe grab yourself a smoothie. When you're ready for the next step, just come back here.

Remove Dead Ends

Over the years, sites come and go. Undoubtedly, there are a few links that won't resolve because the sites are no longer operational. Let's scrub these from your bookmark list.

Using a service like Bookmark Checker, you can easily figure out what links are dead and should be removed.

Take Note

Next you'll want to gain a better understanding of what your new organizational structure will look like. In a text document or note pad, take note of the different folders you have.

Are there some folder names that are similar?

Consider consolidating folder names in favor of one really robust one. If you find smaller topics related to larger ones, you'll also want to make note of this so that you can group them appropriately.

Build Anew

Using the notes you just made, create new empty folders, taking care to keep these folders separate from any old ones. Don't forget to add subfolders based on any of the above groupings you made.

Purge Time

After creating your brand new bookmark structure, you'll want to get every link to its proper folder. To do this, first begin by removing all links from their more specific folders. After all of the links are removed from folders, follow this up by removing the newly emptied older folders.

Putting Things in Place

Go folder by folder and place links in their correct place starting with subfolders. Searching by keyword can be a great way to easily sort and file away. For instance, if you have a folder called "3D Printing" searching for this keyword can quickly reveal all links with the term "3D printing" in the title. In the process, you may discover overlap between folders for specific links. If this happens, take note of the links. Once you've finished going through all of the folders, you can check out the link and based on the content decide where it should rightfully be placed.

Clean Up Phase

Speaking of finishing, with all of the links you have left, you'll want to check them out and see where they should go. Many of these links will be sites that have very minimal or unique meta titles. After completing this process, you'll have a few more links that are orphaned. Figure out what folders can best be created for them, add these folders to your existing organization, and move these links accordingly to their new rightful home.

The goal, in this process should be not to duplicate similar folder categorization, but to instead create folders that are new because the links can't adequately be places elsewhere.

With some determination and a little bit of creativity, you will have a nice set of neatly organized bookmarks. Continue using syncing capabilities and placing new bookmarks in the right folder to make sure that you make the most of your efforts.

Something else to consider—while sorting through your bookmarks, you may notice there are some that you will want to share with others. Consider using a social bookmarking service like StumbleUpon to post your awesome links.

What are some great, lesser-known sites that you have bookmarked?