Ask HN: Do you still use browser bookmarks? 39 points by unobatbayar 3 months ago If not, how do you store important URLs, websites and links?
Yes, I have around 100 bookmarks on my personal browser and more than 1000 on my browser at work. Bookmarks serve two functions for me, particularly at work. First, the very act of making and filing the bookmark is an aid to memory. Second, typing in the Firefox URL bar is way more valuable than using either web search or (worse) the internal search at my job, which is barely usable. People are always shocked at how quickly I can pull up relevant resources.
The most annoying thing about using browser bookmarks is that every site puts tons of crap in the title (or worse doesn't have a meaningful title). I wrote a greasemonkey script to strip the crap so my bookmarks can have clean titles.
Every day, all day! After years and years of trying a lot of clever ways of gathering bookmarks using sophisticated tools (TUIs, browser extensions, apps etc), I decided to do the simplest thing possible: ctrl + D -> add a few keywords -> Enter. Thats it!
No folders, no hierachy, just a bunch of lightly tagged bookmarks!
The best part is that it makes it insanely easy and low-resistance to find a site that I vaguely remember exists, an interesting article about a topic or a GitHub project that I can't remember the name of.
In Firefox, starting with a star (*) in the address field limits the search to bookmarks only, and I always find what I'm looking for within a few seconds. Syncing with my phone and having all this available at my fingertips is a really nice bonus.
The simplest solution is, in this case, the best!
Tell HN: You can make polls (if you have at least 200 karma)
OP, you could have a Yes or No responses and be able to see the number of votes they get, and like a regular Ask HN, people can explain their answers in the comments.
This would have been so much better...
Firefox's GUI bookmarks 'manager' was always too clumsy for me ... So I made my own with HTML. Rather than use 'folders' I group them by topic; rather than use the page's title for a link-label, I label each descriptively. The page loads instantly; each line has a 4-letter topic code, a full URL, a linked label (click to open) and comments/search clues.
Much easier to organize, add to, and search in the browser.
No because modern browsers discourage local bookmarks by making the interface more and more clumsy. It's a bit of a pain, but I keep important URLs in local HTML files.
* Favorites / Recent / Frequent
* Links of the Day
Firefox makes them pretty easy to use. One key stroke (Ctrl/Cmd-B) displays/hides the bookmarks sidebar where you can search your bookmarks. You can drag the current url to the bookmarks bar to add a new bookmark.
From the comments, I gather the preference to use the keyboard and to search for bookmarks. I tend to use the mouse more and browse my "important" and not so ethereal links.
The sliding sidebar hierarchy of bookmarks in folders doesn't work for me. There is no sidebar using Firefox Nightly on Android — bookmarks in Safari are easier given the extremely constrained screen space. I'd much prefer a floating window web page. Sidebars consume and waste much of the space within each browser window. I'd like to be able to drag new links to be added to my local web page(s) and be able to use Command+B/Ctrl+B to make text Bold. Editing web pages within the web browser was abandoned long ago.
I mainly use Vivaldi browser, and for me it makes using bookmarks quite pleasant and convenient.
Yes. Typing in the search bar seems to be an effective way of calling up a bookmark if and when I need them.
I use a lot in Firefox
Ctrl-D bookmark URL, with a tag
Ctrl-Shift-D bookmark all open tabs in a folder
With the extension Bookmark Highlighter
But I would definitely want something better to organize links
Full text search
That allows easy import export
Memex looks interesting but I wasn't able to test it properly
I use https://pinboard.in/
Yes, where else would I store the sites I'll never go back to?
For the most part I simply... don't. Either I remember the address, because I type it in all the time, or I go search for it when I need it.
I have not used browser bookmarks in any serious way since the '90s. They kept getting lost, moving from one machine or browser to the next, and I lost interest.
Sometimes I do keep a file of notes as I work on a project, and I'll paste URLs in there if they link to relevant documents or services. For one project I collected so many of these links that I eventually posted them in the repo:
Same! I've found myself switching between so many computers and often wanting to share a bookmark with someone I eventually put them all on a Github Repo: https://github.com/seljabali/notes_to_self
Honestly, my browser autocompletes any URL that I visit regularly. Usually after two or three letters. It's so much easier than searching through a list of bookmarks.
I also use bookmark keywords - a kind of alias - which has the same effect.
And search keywords are the ultimate timesaver.
I've never made extensive use of bookmarks, keeping only one or two dozen, but in the past couple of years my workflow on my personal machine has become exactly as you describe, just typing "n" to get "news.ycombinator.com," not using bookmarks at all.
In Firefox, if you combine the Vimium extension and bookmarks, it acts like a quick launcher of sorts in the browser to quickly open specific websites. Firefox also can sync bookmarks across devices, so this functionality propagates to all devices.
I do use bookmarks (comes to several MBs when I save backups).
However, I've recently been maintaing text files based on topics I use frequently. I have shortcuts in my editor to open links under the cursor.
Yes, I use browser bookmarks on chrome.
I am not completely happy with them though. There is no tagging support so I have a haphazard tagging system via #tags in the bookmark name.
Chrome also doesn't have any non-google sync options, which is a pain. I am using floccus to sync currently but it only syncs bookmarks and not other Browser settings or history which is a pain. And it also doesn't work on Android chrome since there is no web extension support Android chrome.
definitely still use bookmarks in all browsers on all platforms. I'm horrified every time i see my colleaguers "search" for stuff on the intranet, confluence, web at large, things they are often referring to but never bookmarked... Even with automcomplete, bookmarks are faster. (counterpoint: recent migration from some internal app to confluence....)
For websites I visit a lot I like adding a custom search engine to Chrome. If you go settings -> search engines -> manage, you can add a new keyword to open a certain webpage.
For example if I type "pr" it takes me to a Github Pull Requests page that I visit daily. If I type in "dd" it takes me to Datadog.
Do you still use browser bookmarks?
Yes. The shell function to start my browser backs up my bookmarks, runs bleachbit, then runs a vacuum on my bookmarks, purges last visit_date from anything older than a month then spawns Firefox inside Firejail. I depend on bookmarks enough to back them up every time I start the browser.
No. I use an extension that sleeps tabs e.g for a week.
It’s kind of cancer because you then end up with 200 tabs suddenly opening but it’s effective to make sure you actually look at it again.
I then dump anything non-urgent into an instance of yacy. That way I can search “pacific clams” and get back all the sites in my index that are relevant.
Not much at home anymore but I use them extensively at work. They are the only way to maintain sanity while using SharePoint. I even export them and share them with colleagues because I got frustrated with how often meetings got stalled while everyone tries to find the document we need to continue.
I agree, not just for the SharePoint but for things across our wider intranet that are completely undiscoverable except by word-of-mouth.
Yes. A lot. In Firefox is very useful. Using "*" + keyword in the address bar is something magical.
No, I've switched most of my knowledge keeping to Obsidian (including plain old copying and pasting links into a list). I sacrifice some fidelity to gain centralization, and it's all version controlled on GitHub, so I can edit it from any browser.
Yes, but mostly for sites I go back to a lot so that Firefox auto completes the address for me. I do have a few pages that looked interesting at the time but that I never go back to. For long-form textual content I have started using Wallabag to save it down for offline use.
I would like to, but my browser (firefox) seems to actively combat this by hiding them behind several clicks of buttons that are too small to accurately hit with a mouse.
I usually resort to making link lists and publishing them online where I can escape from mozilla's overt user-hostility.
I recently imported my bookmarks into a linkding instance, and use the firefox extension to add new ones to it.
It's slightly better than the browser bookmark manager.
I put bookmarks on the bookmark bar. Then I delete the title and it only shows the icon.
Chrome bookmark export has a bug, so watch out in case you're using it. It doesn't export unnamed links.
Yes, for sites I visit often or semi-regularly they are fine.
For recording sites/articles/blog posts I've read and will likely not read again, but want to keep a record of just in case, I used pinboard, or make a note in a notepad app.
Yes, using Safari. I don’t categorize them. When I bookmark I add keywords to the title and use search to find bookmarks. Safari also E2E encrypts bookmarks with iCloud, so my bookmarks are synced across devices without worrying about privacy.
Yes, browser bookmarks collaborate well with Vimium extension. I open a bookmark simply by typing part of its title or url in Vimium search bar (press "B"), without touching my mouse at all.
I barely bookmark anything. I mostly remember domains and search for stuff and use autocomplete from history. Sometimes if I search the same thing over and over I'll bookmark it.
Yes, with Firefox sync to my home, office and mobile. Very handy.
I use Pocket ( https://getpocket.com/ ):
- bookmarks shared for browsers on all my devices
- I use Tags a lot: Recipes, Tech, etc
Why "still"? hehe I only started fairly recently. Typing * in the Firefox search bar searches bookmarks—what's not to like.
URLs I use frequently I add to my start page.
Autocomplete domains, mostly, and I use a few bookmarks when I need those really deep links. What's so amazing about really deep links? I never shut up.
For stuff I visit regularly or want to check out later, bookmarks. For everything else, save as .mhtml in an organized archive.
All the time. Especially on Firefox, with tags. Ctrl D tab tab enter some comma-separated tags.
Later I type the tag(s) and it just autocompletes.
Yes! and one of the best feature is when it autocompletes a website I had bookmarked as I type elements of the title of the page (Safari).
Latest HTML backup export of my bookmarks is just under a megabyte (925K). It's tree-structured, just like my directories.
I use bookmarks in lynx and emacs-w3m - 26 different bookmark files grouped by subject. This works well for me.
Yes, especially the bar for my bookmarklets.
Yes. I've bound S-F1 to go to a local help page in EWW. From there, the 'b' key opens bookmarks.
I host wallabag and have a browser extension to add/tag sites and a phone app to access it.
Yes, with Firefox. All articles will be tagged with all the important topic specific keywords.
I don't use bookmarks. I rely on browser history which is probably a bad idea.
write yes read no
Yes, but the UI is terrible. And don't tell me i need another extension.
I use an app called raindrop.io; it’s amazing and I bookmark things a lot.
Do shortcuts count? Meaning, the grid that Firefox shows on a new tab?
Of course! Edge's bookmark management is pretty great.
the one thing I still use on a regular basis is the scriptlet that logs me into my university account to access papers
Yes! But only so I can open them with Alfred.app
Yes I do and I also use Pocket
yes. i regularly delete my browsing history.