Up to a year ago I never kept any bookmarks. For a start I had multiple computers, and I also knew any collection I started using existing browser systems would be unmanageable within 6 months - so I avoided the problem by not bothering, and just spent a bit more time using Google and speculatively typing into the address box than was ideal.

Then (a year or so late to the party as usual) I found del.icio.us, and, with the help of a Firefox extension, I've not looked back. Here's a top 5 things I've done to make it work best for me:

  1. I've used a matrix of tags, crossing function, or action, of link (like "download" or "reference") with category (like "cars" or "CSS"). This gives a large number of tagging options, without generating a large number of tags: After a year I have half a dozen functions and 20 or so categories.
  2. Del.icio.us now has "Bundles" - this allows you to define a name for a group of tags, which fits in nicely with the action vs category idea above.
  3. One of my tags is "inbox". This is for stuff I don't want to store permanently (and so don't want to lose in amongst everything else) but don't want to deal with right now. It therefore also serves as a good place to visit when I find myself with a bit of spare surfing time.
  4. I've considered putting my work bookmarks in too - intranets, dev servers and the like. They're no use to anyone else of course, but for hotdesking and for the bi-annual data loss from "uh-oh, there goes the hard disk" vs. "hmm, that application doesn't seem to be part of my roaming profile" it can be handy. I chose against it for security & work policy reasons in the end, but it may work for you.
  5. The Firefox extension "Foxylicious" is the crowning glory of all this. This widget gets my links off del.icio.us and copies them into a folder in my browser's bookmarks. It can be set to nest tag combinations two levels deep (suiting the matrix I use too), using tags as the folder names. You can also use your bundles as folders too, which you may prefer.

You can see all this at del.icio.us/mathampson/.


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