What's The Best Bookmark Manager? - gHacks Tech News

What's The Best Bookmark Manager?

Every web browser comes with bookmarking capabilities, and while bookmarking is not as popular as it was ten years ago, it is fair to assume that the majority of computer users make use of bookmarks. What is a bookmark? Standard bookmarks are nothing more than links that point to a web address. Bookmarks are like an address book, only for web properties and not people or businesses.

Advanced bookmarks, so called bookmarklets are another form. They are a mixture of bookmarks and small applets. They usually do not contain any link information but are stored in the bookmarks folder or toolbar of the computer.

So what is the best bookmark manager? Not an easy question as it may seem to be. The answer depends highly on the individual user. A computer user who only works on one computer and with one web browser may need nothing more than the built-in bookmark manager. Users with multiple web browsers on the same computer, multiple computers with the same or different browser, mobile devices, or computer access at locations without rights to install or synchronize bookmarks may all need different products.

Sometimes it may not be possible to sync bookmarks between different devices, and sometimes it may require the use of two programs or a workflow that requires manual steps.

Lets take a look at the built-in syncing capabilities of the five web browsers Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Safari:

Native Bookmark Syncing

All solutions have in common that an account is needed.

Firefox: Firefox users can make use of Firefox Sync to synchronize bookmarks and other data between the same and different Firefox profiles on the same or different computer systems. Firefox Sync is a built-in feature of Firefox 4, and available as an add-on for Firefox 3. Data is stored on a Mozilla server or optionally on a custom server.

firefox sync

Google Chrome: The Chrome browser comes with built-in synchronization of user data. Chrome users need to click on Tools > Options > Personal Stuff > Set up sync to setup the feature. A Google account is required and the data is stored online and synced whenever the user opens the Chrome browser and is signed into the Google account.

google chrome sync

Opera: Opera Link is the name of Opera's synchronization service. Opera users enable it in the browser by clicking on Menu > Synchronize Opera. An account needs to be created during the setup, the bookmarks and other information are saved online on Opera servers.

opera synchronize bookmarks

Internet Explorer: Microsoft's Internet Explorer does not offer a built-in sync feature. Microsoft however has added synchronization to the Windows Live Toolbar. A Windows Live account is required to setup synchronization. IE users need to download the Windows Live Toolbar first and click the share button after the installation to setup bookmark synchronization. The data is synced with Windows Live Skydrive.

Safari: There does not seem to be a built-in way to synchronize Safari bookmarks (correct me if I'm wrong). Options are the paid Mobile Me service by Apple, or a third party workaround solution like making use of Dropbox.

Third party tools to sync bookmarks

Xmarks: One of the most popular bookmark managers thanks to its support for four out of the five browsers listed above. Only Opera is not supported by Xmarks. Users who do not use Opera, but multiple other browsers from the list above may want to use Xmarks to synchronize their bookmarks. The service is free and reliable.

xmarks

Up until now we have not really looked at ways to synchronize web browser bookmarks with mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad or Android phones. There is unfortunately no standard for this yet. The best solutions are to either install a mobile web browser, for instance Opera Mobile or Firefox Mobile to sync bookmarks with a specific Internet browser, or to install an app like Chromemarks Lite, My Bookmarks App or Firefox Home to synchronize the bookmarks.

The best solution depends largely on the browsers used on the desktop computer and the mobile devices. There is no service that synchronizes all bookmarks.

Two-step syncing: It is sometimes necessary to configure two-step syncing which basically means to synchronize the bookmarks from one computer or device to another application that can then synchronize the data with the target device. Say you want to sync your Internet Explorer favorites or Safari bookmarks with your iPad or iPhone. You cannot do that directly unless you find an app that supports it. You could however configure iTunes to act as a middle-man.

itunes sync bookmarks

Another option are applications, that are usually only available for a specific operating system. Transmute for Windows PCs can for instance comes as a free version that can convert bookmarks between web browsers and even mobile devices. The paid version adds synchronization so that it is possible to automatically synchronize bookmarks between web browsers and Android devices.

Verdict

There is no one application fits it all solution. I have created a small Excel table with links and information about the synchronization options between browsers and devices.

bookmark management

The spreadsheet has a lot of blanks and I'm asking for your help to fill them with information. You can download the latest version directly from Ghacks: bookmark manager synchronization.





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    Comments

    1. aftermath said on March 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm
      Reply

      I don’t want to use a browser or website to manage my collection of favorites. Can anybody recommend a FOSS stand-alone desktop that’s up to the task?

      Currently, I use a Zim notebook because it gives me the “killer app” of data management: hierarchical keywords. Unfortunately, it’s a very manual way of doing things, but I only add new URLs infrequently. It’s a nice system for me because I also store my Address Book in the same notebook as well as information about businesses that I’ve encountered and products that I want. Zim makes it easy for me to link all of this information together so that I can associated a favorite URL with a people, products, businesses, and my “to do” lists, but it would be so much nicer to have a purpose built utility that does for URLs what RSS Owl does for rss feeds: automatic titling, drag and drop organization, status of service checking. I would also welcome any such offline tool to collect statistics on how often I use my very URLs, which might inform me on how to better organize them.

      Any ideas? Anybody?

      1. Martin said on March 8, 2011 at 12:27 am
        Reply

        I’d be interested in that as well. Maybe it is time for someone to code the universal bookmark synchronization tool.

      2. BobTate said on May 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm
        Reply

        Maybe you can try Bookmark Flash + SugarSync .

        I think Bookmark Flash is the best native bookmark tool I had used . It supports FireFox,Chrome,Safari,Opera and IE , but it won’t add any plug-ins to browsers . I sync the data with SugarSync .

    2. Yoav said on March 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm
      Reply

      Native bookmarking in FF is very uncomfortable but I haven’t found any better solution. I’m definitely open to suggestions.

    3. anonymous said on March 8, 2011 at 3:19 am
      Reply

      Online storage of bookmarks ? spying and profiling practices come to mind

    4. Ben said on March 8, 2011 at 5:07 am
      Reply

      I use Google sync/ to keep my settings and extensions synced between browsers. I then use Xmarks to manage my bookmarks (I really like the sync profiles feature) and LastPass to manage passwords.

    5. farnsworth said on March 8, 2011 at 9:57 am
      Reply

      Give pinboard a whirl.

    6. Dwight Stegall said on March 8, 2011 at 10:04 am
      Reply

      I have approximately 2000 bookmarks. What’s in there is for my eyes only. I export them to a Flash Drive for safe keeping. Those sync options are not secure and many hackers would love a chance to prove it to you.

    7. zisworg said on March 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm
      Reply

      Martin, you should take a look on miTaggedMarks. I think it’ll help you to complete/fill your blanks :)

    8. Linkpager said on March 11, 2011 at 8:46 am
      Reply

      We may be biased, but Linkpager is hands down the best way to save and share your bookmarks.
      Save your favorite places from the clouds in the clouds and access your bookmarks from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

      Forget the hassles of syncing and use Linkpager to organize your favorites into customized lists or Linkpages to be accessed whenever you need them, or shared out with your friends or the world.

      Linkpager is bringing the social back to social bookmarking with a development roadmap in place to quickly roll out new features and make saving and trading your best sites easy and enjoyable.

      http://www.linkpager.com

      Free to Try, Free to Keep, Free @ Last!

    9. jack said on May 19, 2011 at 11:54 am
      Reply

      btw the headline is about bookmark manager, but the article is about bookmark synchronizers and web browsers – nice black hat seo dude :D

      1. PhilD said on September 6, 2011 at 6:53 am
        Reply

        Yeah, very much Black Hat seo.
        And still at number 1 position with keyword search terms *bookmark organizer 2011*

        I need to organize my bookmarks not sync them.

        1. vivi said on September 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm
          Reply

          for organizing bookmarks, try http://www.pinabc.com

    10. Martin Brinkmann said on September 6, 2011 at 9:09 am
      Reply

      You guys have no idea what Black Hat SEO means..

    11. الصور said on October 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm
      Reply

      really v good
      good work
      see you

    12. karem said on February 17, 2012 at 12:22 am
      Reply

      I use

      OnlineBookmark
      http://www.frech.ch/online-bookmarks/

      and

      Getboo on my local server.
      Both are local installations and you can access them anywhere in the world as long as you set them up correctly.

    13. Johan said on March 21, 2012 at 3:42 pm
      Reply

      I like favicon support and tag cloud organization, that’s why I use http://www.twiggybox.com

      Keeps hundreds of links nicely manageable, very easy to find old links back.

    14. Alex Kjellberg said on May 12, 2012 at 11:05 am
      Reply

      5 years and no one have been able to answer this question:
      Regardless what browser I use, when I open my bookmarks from menu or when I choose to save a bookmark I have a BIG problem.

      All folders from A-Z where I have cataloged and include different bookmarks in each folder, are in a open mode, meaning you can see all the folders from A-Z in a open view. This is o irratating since I have over 1000 folders. The list is then very long and you get lost when scrolling down to choose the folder you want to save a bookmark in.

      Is there anyone who know if and how you can open your bookmark list and that all folders are in mode closed so you only see folder A-Z (like for example in Windows explorer where you see a “+” sign nest to the closed folder.

      Please and best regards // [email protected]

    15. Krista said on June 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm
      Reply

      Right now, I’m using the native bookmark in Chrome and testing Pearltrees. My only beef is that Pearltrees is a bit slow but the idea behind this app is awesome.

    16. H said on July 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm
      Reply

      I have tried some solution, such as delicisous, digoo, and other things like this. The best is the native synchronisation we can find in firefox. I have onyl bookmarks in the personal bar, which is shared between my computers, and very handy to use.
      Cheers,
      H

    17. Betty said on August 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm
      Reply

      Good post

    18. Roger said on August 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm
      Reply

      I’ve been using http://www.theyremine.com for my online bookmarks and it’s the best tool i’ve found. It’s a must.

    19. EricE said on September 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm
      Reply

      If your on a Mac, Bookmacster is awesome at slicing and dicing bookmarks. My only fall out of the Mobile.Me to iCloud transition was my bookmarks got dupclicated literally hundreds and hundreds of times. I had tens of thousands of duplicate bookmarks, and it would delay the look up in the address bar of Safari on my iOS devices! With Bookmacster I was able to finally clean up all the duplicates bookmarks AND duplicate folders – automatically! It took a couple of passees, but it still was far less time than manually combing through everything would have taken. They key is to turn off bookmark syncing on ALL your computers as well as ALL your iOS devices that are on the same iCloud account. On the iOS devices, be sure to delete the bookmarks when you do this. Basically, I ensured all my devices were in sync, made a manual backup on my primary Mac of all my bookmarks in Safari, then turned iCloud bookmark syncing off on everything. On my second Mac I manually deleted all the bookmarks out of Safari. On my primary Mac I left the bookmarks – because that’s the machine I did my clean up on. I then used Bookmacsters excellent duplication tools to clean everything up, and then went ahead and cleand up some stuff that had been bugging me, but not enough to use Safari’s bookmark “manager”. I then consolidated everything between Firefox and Safari as well. I love it! It has an agent that you can leave running on your Mac to keep your browsers in sync – I much prefer this over pushing my bookmarks up to someone elses server. iCloud syncs everything between my Mac’s, PC’s and iOS devices.

    20. Ben Ngong said on November 11, 2012 at 10:13 am
      Reply

      I just started using http://onBookmark.com and I highly recommend it! Its very user friendly too..

    21. Ilya said on November 22, 2012 at 8:55 am
      Reply

      I use Bookmark Navigator (http://www.bookmarknavigator.com) as a replacement of native bookmark managers.

      Online bookmarkers has its strength, but I do not want to share :) May be i’m just a paranoid :))

    22. Anonymous said on December 16, 2012 at 8:50 am
      Reply

      xmark was crashed a lot of time in my chorm using history .may be i wasn’t close browser right.

    23. Fahmy Corporation (FREE Software) said on February 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm
      Reply

      Try “Link Manager” for “Offline Bookmark Manager” :
      http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Other-Internet-Related/Fahmy-Link-Manager.shtml

      1. Chris said on April 18, 2014 at 5:44 am
        Reply

        This app is ruined by the awful interface. It needs a revamp. If the author cares so little for the Chrome of an application, how can they have good code underneath? There’s pragmatic and then there is crap.

    24. Oleg said on April 16, 2013 at 5:01 am
      Reply

      My favorite – LinkCollector from
      http://www.portablebookmarkmanager.com/

    25. Viktor said on October 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm
      Reply

      For online bookmarks, no download necessary, you should try:

      http://www.bokemarks.com

      Instead of just saving an icon and a title , Bokemarks saves the most important content from the page you are bookmarking: the video, the photo, the song, the playlist, the article, the map or the weather. And you can access your bookmarks from any device, search through your bookmarks and add notes and tags to your bookmarks.

    26. Bernd said on March 3, 2014 at 4:28 am
      Reply

      Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this
      board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
      I hope to give something back and aid others like
      you aided me.

    27. Mighty Mike said on April 26, 2014 at 7:54 am
      Reply

      Try symbaloo or favnav
      http://www.symbaloo.com
      https://www.favnav.com/bookmarks
      I use them both but i’m a bookmark fetishist :)

      1. Myra Taub said on October 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm
        Reply

        I can vouch for http://www.symbaloo.com/ because I was using that for awhile. The one bookmarking manager I’ve been using is https://www.papaly.com/ which is similar but a lot of other features I prefer.

    28. Katie said on May 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm
      Reply

      I used to love Delicious but then they got sold or whatever and I moved to Listango.com. It’s very plain jane but that’s all I need. I also like lists better than tags but I understand not everyone feels that way.

    29. dtouch said on September 10, 2014 at 4:34 am
      Reply

      Xmarks is in my opinion the best bookmarks sync tool there. Among offline bookmark managers I have two names to mention “Linkstash” ( http://www.xrayz.co.uk/linkstash ) and Linkman ( http://www.outertech.com/en/bookmark-manager ) . While linkman seems to have more features, I prefer Linkstash as it is much more user friendly and UI is simpler. Linkman has a learning curve.
      Linkman provides inbuild backup options with Google drive, Dropbox etc. Linkstash has a deadlink and duplicate checking tool which are very useful. Both has portable versions which can be carried on a stick. Try the trials and choose which is best for you. I choose Linkstash.

      @dt0uch

    30. Julie said on March 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm
      Reply

      As for me the best is Atavi bookmark manager (http://atavi.com/). It syncs across all my device and has fine design, and I need to install nothing.

    31. Saam said on October 31, 2015 at 6:39 am
      Reply

      I tried several services but found Basket ( https://www.basketapp.net ) at it’s best. I use it’s Android app for read later. You can find it at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.basket.basketapp . for iOS users hope they will release soon.

    32. Hoang said on June 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for this article :)

      Currently I am using a new bookmarking manager tool (2.0) which is called HUGit.
      Its a digital assistant which helps you to find all your bookmarks much faster and easier by giving TAGS. Similar to pinterest.

      https://www.hugit.com/

      Let me know what do you think of it
      Thanks
      Hoang

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