Simplify with del.icio.us

toolbar

I hate clutter. Although you’d never believe it if you saw my house. I especially despise clutter on my computer. The worst offender is the Bookmarks Toolbar in Firefox. This applies to most browsers but I don’t care to dignify any others with a mention.

However, I came up with a clever hack to create a dynamic bookmark for all the pages I want nearby while I’m browsing. This trick requires a few basic tools:

  1. Firefox web browser
  2. A del.icio.us account
  3. Working knowledge of live bookmarks/RSS

Step one: use Firefox for all of your web browsing pleasure. This sounds like common sense to me. But, I’ve learned that there really is no such thing as common sense. Trust me; download, install and run Firefox.

Step two: learn how to tag pages using del.icio.us. Even if you don’t want the social aspect of this service, del.icio.us provides a great way to access bookmarks from any web-enabled computer. There are several ways to tag pages. Find the one that works best for you.

Step three: navigate to a web page you visit often. For me, that’s Newshutch. If you are an RSS whiz and you’d like a great web-based reader, then Newshutch is for you. It is simple yet powerful. And, best of all, it’s free!

Now, here’s the tricky part.

Step four: tag this page with a memorable tag. I use “toolbar” because I have trouble thinking outside the box. You could use any tag you want; I really don’t think it matters. Just don’t forget what it is. Actually, feel free to forget. Del.icio.us is such a great site you’ll be able to find it in no time.

Step five: find the page that has your newly created tag. Let’s say your new tag is “hoopla.” You’ll find it by going to del.icio.us/yourname/hoopla where “yourname” is your del.icio.us user name.

Final step: subscribe to this page as a live bookmark. This is the key to making the hack work. If you don’t know how to do this, I’m sorry. #3 above, under required tools, is very clear on this point.

You now have a bookmark called “hoopla” on your bookmarks toolbar. When you click it a menu drops down and lists the first page you tagged with “hoopla.” Now, every page you tag “hoopla” will show up in the drop down menu. All that’s left now, is to tag all those pages that are lingering in that dang toolbar and free up the space they’re wasting.

Caution: these tagged pages are public. Anyone can find your account and see what pages you’ve tagged. That is the social nature of del.icio.us. You do have the ability to privately tag pages, but they won’t show up in your live bookmark that way.

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4 responses to “Simplify with del.icio.us

  1. Clever idea, but I have to wonder why don’t you just create a folder inside your Bookmarks Toolbar Folder? It would serve the same purpose as far as consolidating your bookmarks in your toolbar, without relying on any outside service.

    One clear advantage to this, of course, is that you can have the same bookmarks on any computer you set up accordingly, but there are other services (namely Foxmarks) that can syncronize your bookmarks without having to worry about privacy/security issues.

  2. @Tom

    Honestly, I didn’t know I could create a folder like that until I read your comment.

    When I discovered del.icio.us I fell in love and gave up on locally stored bookmarks. I never really liked them, anyway. I like a simpler approach to data storage. One “folder” with tags suits that desire very well. So, this idea was an attempt at being clever with new (to me) technology.

  3. So, if I understand this you end up with a live bookmarks that show all your “hoopla” websites. Is that correct?

  4. That’s right. According to Tom (above), you can accomplish the same thing using a folder in Firefox’s native bookmarks. I haven’t tried that.

    I like the functionality I get with my del.icio.us solution. It’s easy to add items, it’s portable, and it automatically updates itself as I add/remove tags. Plus, I’ve started another tag for sites I’d like to come back to when I have time.