What I’ve come to realize as I looked at various ways to manage my bookmarks across multiple systems is twofold:
- There is no application right now that would match my ideal deployment/runtime scenario
- I don’t need to overcomplicate things, given my usage patterns
Let’s backtrack for a minute, so you can appreciate the evolution (or regression in this case) of my bookmark management approach:
- I was using .Mac which provided bookmark syncronization through iSync when I decided to cancel it in order to run my own domain name and apps
- I then find out about del.icio.us and figure it can help me share bookmarks between my work Thinkpad and my Mac at home
- On the IBM intranet, a bookmark sharing service appears, similar to del.icio.us, which I begin to use
- I decide not to use local bookmarks anymore and try to rely exclusively on my hosted bookmarks – BIG mistake. Response time is too slow for my type of work – I answer live support calls, and need information quick.
- I re-install a minimal amount of bookmarks in Firefox (work) and Safari (home) and try to find a replacement that would merge my intranet and internet bookmarks. Here come’s Scuttle.
- I export all my bookmarks from IBM and del.icio.us and import into Scuttle. I find that the response time isn’t better and that Scuttle is really in Alpha/Beta shape as a project.
- I install Sitebar, and think I’ve found the holy grail: hosted bookmarks on my own domain, and synchronization/integration to all my browsers. Problem is Sitebar is complex, slow to load in the Firefox sidebar and the integration is somewhat incomplete, in my view.
- I delete Sitebar on the spot, decide to create folders containing multiple bookmarks on my browsers’ bookmark toolbar, using the 80/20 rule – what are the 20% of bookmarks I need 80% of the time – let’s keep those local. The rest can live on Scuttle.
That the best solution isn’t always 100% software. Sometimes, combining software with innovative yet simple methods can yield much better results.