Orbifx's logarion

Bookmarked web surfing

| | | topics: computing | keywords: bookmarks, browser, surfing, web
id: e52653a4-3e13-40a9-98c2-2bffd0f12092

Our web surfing is a stream we rarely revisit. It is also very chaotic, branching unexpectedly and rapidly.

Browsers have bookmarking capability (to save addresses in directories) but since the arrival of tabs, users have taken to them as their queue system. I reckon they may have even been encouraged to do so but browser developers.

This can quickly get out of control and management of tabs is a bane. It is also wasting computer resources. This is because tabs are inappropriate as a queue system, they are there to facilitate parallel browsing (i.e. looking at two or three pages simultaneously). Bookmarks are about creating personal maps of the web. And they are much lighter than tabs both mentally and computationally.

I have two types of bookmark "stacks", "Other bookmarks" and my "current bookmarks".

Other bookmarks

"Other bookmarks" is the default directory for Firefox, when storing a bookmark. This is my repository I use for long term storage and functions as a search engine. When storing a bookmark here, I make sure the title is descriptive and rich in keywords; if not, I add more keywords to make sure this address comes up if I start typing in my address bar.

Current bookmarks

The in my "current bookmarks" I have a 5-6 directories of current topics of interest. For example I have a directory for all pages I wish to read related to Logarion's development. When done with pages, I delete them, or move them to Other bookmarks. If I lose interest in a topic, I delete the whole folder.

Growth control

This system can also grow unmanagable, but it's much easier to avoid than tabs. You can have thousands of bookmarks without them burdening you every time you start your browser.

Use History

Learn to trust your browser's history more. I have an add-on in mine to auto-clear the history older than a few months. I do my best not to bookmark addresses to begin with, since my history has it already. Only if I catch my self needing to access something frequently, or defer it for another day do I bookmark it.

Manually clearing

Clear bookmarks every few months, years, when you are looking to kill time "productively", i.e. procrastinate. This is really easy, by sorting bookmarks by the date added and visit count. For Firefox go to Bookmarks -> Show all bookmarks. There select your folder you wish to clean and make sure the columns contain "Visit count" and "Added" by right-clicking on the column names and enabling them. You can narrow down the bookmarks you are about to deleting by searching for a keyword you no longer care for.

So of the web-sites will die. In most of the cases there is no point maintaining the bookmarks to them. Use an addon like Bookmarks Organizer to automatically tell you which bookmarks no longer work.

Getting & staying out of the mess

If you have a bazzilion tabs open, right click on any of the tabs and click "Bookmark all tabs". The dialogue will allow you to select a new folder name, which you can then take your time to reduce!

Install a lean tab limiter addon to trigger your bookmarking.

Epilogue

Browsing with fewer tabs will reduce your distractions, let your browser startup faster and use less memory. It might save you from feeling overloaded and make your exploration of information more productive as the initiative comes back to what you are presently wanting to read about.