This is a practical post on how to properly bookmark web content, based on the tools I use.
Over the years I´ve found 3 different types of circumstances under which you would like something like favoriting or bookmarking a web page.
a) Sites you visit frequently (i.e. your favorite sites).
These are your favorite news pages, twitter, facebook, gmail, amazon, ... Those 10 pages you regularly visit almost on a daily basis. Probably the best place to hold these is right up there in your brain. Habit has carved those names in your IL cortex, so you don't need anything else. Should you really ask for a digital storage of favorites, this is probably the only case in which the bookmark/favorites feature of your browser is useful. Granted, it comes in handy on mobile devices, when typing is more inconvenient, and all you want is tap twice to get there.
b) Articles you want to read later
So you are going through your twitter timeline, or reading your news site, and stumble upon something that captures your attention. Great, but...
a) you don't have time right now to read it (or watch that 8min video) b) you are just not in the mood for focused reading, you just want to glance through stuff right now, but still you would like to save it for later.
This is the problem those read later apps want to solve. A read later app will let you click a button and send that page to your personal reading queue. In the process, the app will get rid of all the shit that surrounds the article like adds, banners, related news, etc (even consolidate articles that span over several pages) and present them in a clean interface, just as if you were reading a book. The moment you are in the mood for good longform reading, you open the app and there you are, all your saved articles waiting to be read in a distraction-less environment. If you are not using one of this, go and get one right now.
Most popular choices:
- Instapaper. The one that started it all. Not free. No videos. But carefully designed, works very well and, please excuse my romanticism, you gotta reward innovation.
- Pocket. A follower that has gone all in with this. Free. Videos. Recommendations. Will send you a weekly newsletter with stuff that you may be interested about (and you will).
c) Research related links
Say you are planning a vacation and are frantically going through different options in tripadvisor, airbnb and the likes. Say you are also going through some interesting local information of your destination. You want a true site warehousing powerhouse. You want categories, you want notes, you want searchable bookmarks, you want it to work on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS.
Basically you want pinboard. A service built by an independent developer that truly saves the day when it comes to handling massive amounts of bookmarks when you need to: write blogs, develop apps, and things like that some people do. Go check it out. Not free (but almost).
I hope it helps. Go favorite some awesome stuff on the web this weekend and I'll see you next week. Cheers.