My Favorite Bookmarking Sites

I use quite a few tools to save or bookmark links to websites that I find useful. So I thought I’d run down my favorite ones.

Why I Bookmark

Every day, I probably save at least 8-10 links for future reference. My vast libraries of links have served me well. There’s a direct benefit between taking a few seconds to properly save and tag a link, and later saving time quickly relocating it vs. starting from scratch on Google.

I realize a lot of people don’t share my enthusiasm for bookmarking. However, I think there are some compelling reasons to get into this habit:

  • You often can’t recreate a search you did on Google. Think about the meandering nature of a typical web search. You might go through 5-10 sites initially trying to find exactly what you need. By saving the best link or two along the way, you’ll avoid having to repeat the process for this query.
  • You often won’t be able to remember exactly what you looked at or found online. However, if you take some time to add good keywords (tags) when saving a link, you can more easily jog your memory later. Google’s browser history doesn’t completely fit the bill.
  • You can share your bookmarks and see what others bookmarked. This latter ability is the secret sauce behind getting human-filtered search results instead of just what Google spits back.

With those points in mind, here’s what I use most frequently. By the way, I favor saving bookmarks in the cloud vs. on my laptop. I want to be able to access these anywhere I can get online.

Delicious

Delicious

This is one of the original and best bookmarking services. Now owned by Yahoo, Delicious remains one of the easiest to use. I especially recommend installing one of the browser bookmarklets. When you’re on a page, just click the button, add some keywords and an optional description and save it. You can choose to make bookmarks public or private. I do both, depending on what I’m working on.

Delicious

Anytime you want to search your bookmarks, just log in to the website. You can also search everyone else’s public bookmarks by keywords. This is a great place to go if you ever want to “curate” information fast.

I also installed Delicious on my iPhone, making it easier to bookmark sites there, too.

Cost: Free

Pinboard

Pinboard

I found Pinboard when there was a nasty rumor a couple years ago that Delicious was shutting down. Fortunately, it didn’t.

Pinboard is essentially the same thing as Delicious, but with a paid business model. There is just a small one-time fee to use it. It’s cheap, and unlike Delicious you can count on getting tech support. (Although I have contacted Delicious a few times and they’ve been very responsive.)

Like Delicious, Pinboard has browser bookmarklets and other tools to store your bookmarks. It goes a step further by letting you automatically add links you bookmark using Delicious, InstapaperReadability and Pocket (formerly Read It Later). If you tweet, you can also add links in tweets, save Twitter favorites as bookmarks and add hashtags as tags (pardon the redundancy).

Another neat feature is the ability to have tag “bundles” or related groups of links.

Cost: $10.08 (one-time fee)

Xmarks

Xmarks

As I mentioned, I don’t really save links from the browser on my local computer. However, if you like to do this, Xmarks is great. I set it up along time ago and it’s still a backup for old stuff I saved.

Xmarks is the No. 1 bookmarking add-on. It synchronizes your local bookmarks across multiple computers, and across web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

After you install the add-on, click on the Xmarks icon to start backing up and synchronizing your bookmarks.

Xmarks also synchronizes your open tabs across computers and browsers.

Cost: Free

Diigo

Diigo

I have tried Diigo sporadically, and it is a very good service. It might become my No. 1 all-in-one bookmarking tool.

Diijo is more like Evernote-Meets-Delicious, allowing you to do more stuff like add highlights to pages along with notes. Other excellent features include a quick “read later” button and the ability to take a screenshot in Chrome,  Firefox and Safari.

Cost: Free; $20 or $40/year for premium accounts

For “Temporary” Bookmarking: Pocket And Instapaper

I typically look at a lot of sites on a daily basis, but I don’t have time to read everything right away. So I frequently will use one of several services to temporarily save the page or article. The two I like the most are Pocket and Instapaper. I use both intermittently and lately have gravitated more to Pocket. They work very similarly.

When I use Pocket, my goal is to review these “temporary” placeholders regularly (like once a week). At that point, I can decide if I really want to save the link forever. If something is truly outstanding, I will also use Evernote Clearly to grab the full text.

Cost: Free

A Couple Others To Check Out

There are some very interesting “2.0” type bookmarking services (such as Bo.lt and Keeeb). I recently started using Bo.lt and am liking it for saving whole web pages intact. See my earlier review of Bo.lt.

Cost: Free

So there you have it. I’m a confessed Bookmarkoholic.

How To Remember The People You Meet

Evernote Hello

Click the image to watch the video

Do you meet a lot of people in person? Do you ever have trouble remembering their names and faces, and where you last met them? If so, Evernote Hello might the app for you.

Andy Cordia of Nuance Labs recently reminded me about Evernote Hello. Now, I love Evernote (the flagship product), but I admit I just haven’t been smitten with Evernote Hello. However, it has some neat features—so I keep hoping the app (for iPhone and Android) will improve to the point where I think about using it regularly.

Essentially, it is a way to add information about people you meet, and later review when you met and what you were doing. You can do this by connecting someone (in the app) via your social networks or by entering their information manually. I personally would do this myself, although I would feel weird saying, “Hey, let me enter your contact info…just hang on a minute…” Even weirder is the suggestion to “pass your phone” to the person and ask them to enter their info. No way, Jose!

There is a potentially promising feature in the app called Hello Connect, in which several people launch it at the same time and instantly beam each others’ information to the group. That sounds like a great idea in theory…but I doubt many people have this app. Perhaps if you promoted it ahead of time for a big event, it would be worth reminding people to use it at regular intervals.

Finally, you can use it to scan someone’s business card later—though personally I find CardMunch much better for this—and that app (free for iPhone only) can more easily add the information to your phone’s address book.

Cost: Free

Base: Big CRM Features For Less

Base CRM

Base is slick, easy to use and affordable CRM platform. Use it to capture leads and track your sales pipeline, then qualify those leads and convert them to contacts and deals.Link to other sites like Facebook and Mailchimp in order to share data, as well as import contacts from Google Apps, Highrise, Excel and other places.

Base CRM

Several key features include:

  • A simple lead capture form that you can embed in your site
  • A “Client Space” where you can communicate back-and-forth with a prospect as you work to close their business
  • A Contacts database
  • Over 20 reports including total incoming deals, forecasted sales, deal source performance and more
  • A free companion app called QuoteBase that helps you create basic yet reasonably attractive online quotes to send to prospects
You can also send and receive phone calls directly within Base CRM on your computer, mobile phone and tablet. Track all calls related to Leads, Contacts and Deals. Listen to recorded calls and use advanced analytics and reporting to improve your team’s sales performance.Cost: Free (up to 50 accounts), then $15-$125 per user/month depending on the features

Easily Track Mileage & Expenses With Taxbot

Taxbot
It’s tax time (ugh!). If you log a lot of billable miles for work, you will surely appreciate Taxbot at this time of year. The app (for iPhone, Android and web) let’s you track your business mileage using your phone’s GPS. To do so, you must launch the app first and type in your destination. Then Taxbot will magically track and record the mileage. It also lets you snap photos of receipts and store them in the cloud. At tax time, you can print reports of all your business expenses to deduct them on your tax return.

Here’s the rub—it’s not cheap. However, as part of the monthly fee, you also get access to a bunch of tax-saving video lessons from financial expert Sandy Botkin. He advises businesses on things like how to deduct 100% of your medical expenses and reduce your risk of an IRS audit. In addition, you can link your bank account or credit cards, and Taxbot will look for deductions you might have missed and allow you to import them.

Cost: Free 2-week trial using the link above , then $19.99/month