Saturday, April 5, 2008

A New Twist On

By Matt:, the social bookmarking manager, has been around for a while now helping us share all our favorite online destinations. However, I've recently been using in a way that doesn't so much emphasize it's social nature, but instead takes advantage of it's ability to help me more efficiently get things done online.

Here's a quick look at how I use to write blog posts, pay my bills, and buy birthday presents for my wife:

First, a couple notes that are important to maximize the usability of Firefox and are the perfect pair, primarily because of these two features only available via the Firefox extension:
  • Sidebar: When you click on the icon in Firefox it brings up a handy sidebar panel that allows you to quickly search through your bookmarks, and browse your existing tag categories... 10 times easier than going to the actual website and wandering through your links.
  • Do Not Share Function: When clicking on the tag icon in Firefox, the pop-up offers a 'Do Not Share' option which effectively hides the listing on your public profile. You will still be able to see the saved private links when logged into your account, but others will not.
Getting Things Done With is a powerful tool for the productivity-minded. Here are just a few of the ways I put the power of to use...
  • Writing Blog Posts: As I'm browsing across the internet, often I'll stumble across articles, posts, or websites that inspire an idea for a post. When I do, I save the page using my browser button, being sure to add a few quick thoughts in the Notes box about my post idea, and then tagging it using a unique tag name. Later on, when I'm trying to think of topics to write about I simply review the pages I have tagged for post ideas.
  • Paying My Bills: I have multiple financial accounts online, from bank accounts to student loan accounts, and so on... all with a different website and their own unique username and password. I don't claim to have the best memory in the world, so I've tagged all of these sites and I have included important log-in information in the Notes section. To protect my identity I always select 'Do Not Share' so that the information is not made public. Furthermore, you may want to make your notes somewhat "cryptic", so that only you can understand them, as I can't vouch for the security of' servers.
  • Shopping For My Wife: Bad memory coupled with the difficulty of finding something new and unique to give your spouse at each holiday is a difficult conundrum, but makes it a little easier. If my wife mentions something that she would like, or if I stumble across something I think would suit her well, I save it with a "Gift Ideas" tag. And to make sure she doesn't stumble across the things plan to buy for her, I select 'Do Not Share' on these as well.
If you haven't experimented with yet, now is a good time to get started. Take a quick tour of the capabilities here, and then be sure to download the new Firefox extension. Do you have any tips and tricks on the way you use social bookmarking? We would love to hear your thoughts!


ManiacD said...

One thing which usually gets overlooked is the "your network".

By adding other users with similar interests into your network it a great way of finding links and the best part is that it has it's own RSS feed so you can subscribe to it and any new bookmarks are delivered straight to your RSS reader.

Michael Henreckson said...

Doesn't it scare you to put your financial information and passwords in the same place? I tend to keep my login information on my computer, that way the only thing I have to worry about is my computer being stolen or getting hacked. :)

Matt @ Corporate Hack said...

@ maniacd: Yup, the network is a great feature, and good way to discover new sites. Thanks!

@ michael henreckson: Yeah, I would never want to put extremely sensitive information in my saved notes. What I will generally do is list a personal memory-jogger about the appropriate username/password combination... something that will remind me of how to access the account, but doesn't reveal too much in the event that something goes awry with the 'Do Not Share' feature. The point though is that I don't always pay my bills from the same computer, so I like having my bookmarks for my accounts all available online. Good thoughts though, and thanks for the comments!

Florian Hollender said...

In addition to what maniacd mentioned, you can use to collaborate with your colleagues (which is kind of an active spin on maniacd's tip), for example when you are researching a common topic. Instead of writing an extra email or IM, you can simply add them when you are bookmarking a site of interest for both of you as "for:NameOfColleague".

BrianCase said...

This is something similar I do using Google Bookmarks. Google's solution is the same as except without the social part. You do not share the bookmarks with anyone but yourself. If you use Google's stuff (Gmail, Blogger, etc.) or have the Google Toolbar (which has a quick link built in that lets you "Star" your bookmarks or a drop down menu to view them) you have the prefect solution already!