Friday, 29 June 2012

Messy bookmarks

I'm a compulsive book-marker (in the internet sense). If I like something I bookmark it.

I'm also compulsive "I'd love to be organised so lets pretend I am", so I like to think my bookmarks are organised. For a while I keep on top of them, organising them as I bookmark. But then I find I need a new bookmark folder and the whole thing goes to pot. Then I realised that I had to keep scrolling down and down and down to find things in my bookmark list. When I started writing this post I had 800+ uncategorised bookmarks! Eeek! Now I have none!

So if you are like me and you have a truck load of uncategorised bookmarks so that you can't even find the things you want anymore, take 30 minutes to sort it out. OK, if you have a really big problem it might take longer than that!

The challenge:
1. Sort out all bookmarks that are not catalogued. Create new folders/categories as appropriate.
2. Once a week tackle all new bookmarks.
3. Periodically review your bookmarks and delete any that you feel are no longer useful.

Easy right? Well if you are like me, its a bit daunting. Here is how I actually tackled the problem:

  1. Start with your RSS feeds (I have loads of them). Creating categories for these is normally quite simple as feeds for websites tend to have a specific theme. This means you have a good folder structure for the individual bookmarks.
  2. Have a cup of tea. Go on, reward yourself with a biscuit.
  3. Split uncatalogued bookmarks into groups of 50. Tackle 50 at a time, creating new folders when appropriate. Have lots of tea in between (and yes a biscuit or 20 is fine... this is a tough business). If you really struggle you can keep one or two items in the top level with no folder around them, but no more.
  4. Once all the bookmarks are in catagories/folders go through the folders and see if you think the order should be rearranged. Group like-things together such as 'Cakes' and 'Recipes'.
  5. Now that the folders are group think about rationalising them. Should 'Cakes' and 'Recipes' actually be one folder, or should 'Cakes' be a subset of 'Recipes'. 
  6. Have a cup of tea and admire your handywork!
  7. Periodically pick one folder and open all links. Delete any links from the bookmark list which no longer interest you and any broken links.
Not too bad hey? Well, OK its all relative. If you have a really bad situation you could either split the tasks up over a few days, or delete all those bookmarks and start again! Just make sure you keep on top of it once you have started otherwise you'll never finish (well if you are me anyway).

The only challenge left is to keep doing this regularly (I've chosen weekly so that I can do it at the same time I am trying to purge my email inbox), and periodically discard unwanted bookmarks or broken links.

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