Bookmarks are a great way to organize your online life, whether you use them for work, play or just for interesting things you find on the web. Do not know what a bookmark is? It's basically a link to a specific website or page that you save either on your browser or through online services. Once you've saved a bookmark, you can then easily and quickly find that website again – you do not need to try and remember the url or trawl through your browser's history. 'Favorites' is another popular term for bookmarks.
There are loads of uses for bookmarks; one of them is to keep track of all your favorite sites. By bookmarking your favorite websites, you'll save time by having all your favorites readily available to you. You will not have to search for Facebook or eBay – just click the bookmark and it'll take you straight to that page.
However there are other uses for bookmarks. You can bookmark things you want to buy – gift ideas for birthdays. We all know how time consuming trying to find the perfect gift is and how annoying it is to forget the name and price of a present you want to buy. What I normally do is search through different online stores, bookmarking about 10 choices. I then have a lot more time to think about what it is exactly that I want to buy, weighing up pros and cons. I do not have to worry about forgetting any of the items or not remembering where I saw them because with a bookmark, you can always easily navigate back to those pages. Bookmarking like this is a smart way to maximise your time and increase your productivity – it works great for cars, properties, holidays and so on.
Another great tip for favorites and bookmarks is using them for research. The internet is normally the first place everyone starts their research but with billions of webpages on the web, finding what you want and keeping track of it can become a difficult task. So, bookmark as you go along. Spend 30 minutes or an hour doing internet searches. Do not spend time looking at specific webpages. It's easy to get distracted and then you're focused on something else. Instead, find a webpage or an online news article, briefly read it to make sure it's relevant, then simply bookmark it and carry on searching. After an hour you should have a lot of articles to look at. Now you can go through each one in more depth and because you've bookmarked them as favorites, you can spend more time reading each one or come back to them the next day. This method of gathering information also works great for inspiration for craft projects, decorating and DIY, recipe ideas and vacation plans.
Next time you're trying to find a lasagna recipe for example, spend 15 minutes finding 5 different recipes – bookmarking each one. Then you can quickly compare each one for the best recipe and even combine information from multiple examples. If you are not using bookmarks or favorites, you're missing out on a very effective tool for organizing the information overload we're subjected to daily on the internet.
However, this brings up the very important point of organizing your bookmarks. If you do not organize your bookmarks you might find it really hard to find the webpages you've saved previously. Imagine having 500 favorites bookmarked but how can you find that website you're after? Traditionally, bookmarks and favorites are organized by folders. This is what your web browser does. So, if you're bookmarking websites for a project on ancient Greek history, it's best to save them all in one folder called 'Ancient Greek History'. If you're saving ideas for a holiday, bookmark your favorites into a folder called 'Spain Holiday 2010' and you'll have a much easier job finding the pages you need.
However, there's a new way to organize your favorites currently unsupported by browsers and that's tagging. Some online services allow you to tag your bookmarks which is a different way of organizing them and one that is really fun and interesting to use. Instead of saving a bookmark into a folder, you 'tag' a bookmark with a category or label. For example, you're on the eBay website and you favorite it – you can tag it 'shopping', 'online store', 'online auction', 'Susan's Birthday Gift Idea' and so on. Tagging is a great way to organize your bookmarks and it'll be interesting to see if browsers eventually adopt the tagging method of organization that many internet services are now utilizing.