I’ve reached bookmark bankruptcy. Too many apps, too many bookmarks, I can’t find articles I’ve saved and what’s most galling is it’s all my fault. So how did it get this bad when there are so many excellent services out there for bookmarking?
Mostly it’s my constant searching for something better mixed in with some FOMO. There’s always a better service, a new way to automate from iOS or Mac, a brand new read-it-later app that get people super excited…and so I need to give it a go. Enough!
A bit of backstory. For years I was a happy Instapaper customer but Pocket came along and for me become my goto read-it-later service. At the same time I used del.icio.us for bookmarks as I bounced between browsers and operating systems. It made far more sense to save to a web service than tie back to an app locked on a platform. And then I fell for Pinboard ran by Maciej Cegłowski. It was paid for, private, stable and I loved the popular bookmarks. So my read later process was basically internet/rss/twitter -> pocket as a temp/read later holding area -> pinboard for a permanent bookmark that is tagged and searchable. Perfect…so where did I go wrong?
Goodlinks came out in 2020 and looked to be an iOS and Mac alternative to Pinboard. Pinboard was also seeing some reliability issues and didn’t have a great iOS client. So I imported all the Pinboard bookmarks into Goodlinks and started using it….but not exclusively…and there was the mistake. I no longer had one source for all my bookmarks. I also stopped doing the catching up after throwing content into Pocket. Not so much read-it-later but dump-it-and-forget. I also was still putting links directly into Pinboard that I wanted to keep and I fell into a really bad habit of open tabs in all my browsers. So Safari would have around 100 open tabs but that was on the Mac. On the iPad it would range 40-60 and iPhone around the same…and they were all for different sites. Madness!
Roll forward to an extended break through the end of 2022 and I played with the new hot read-it-later services, Matter and Readwise. Both are excellent tools and offer many advantages over current tools I use but these are paid for services at around $8 a month so I need to make sure I’m getting value out of them…and meanwhile I’ve still got my broken process in play that is costing me time and effort. I’ve even started dumping links into Notes – more madness.
The plan is to clean up and remove all the bookmarking app’s I have installed or access via the web and get everything into Pinboard. I’ve already cleared out around 100 links from Goodlinks and then wiped all it’s bookmarks. Next I’m going through Pocket – this is taking quite a while as there are hundreds of links stuck in that tool. Once I’ve got Pocket cleaned I’ll be removing the app and service from Mac and iOS and deleting my account. Next will be cleaning up anything in Matter and Readwise and again shutting down my accounts. Finally – clean the browsers of the tat that’s build up there. That will give me a clean and up to date set of bookmarks in one source – Pinboard.
At that point it’s decision time. I’m tempted to switch to using Goodlinks only but Pinboard has a lot of integrations via Ifttt and also shortcuts thanks to the Pins app. Much will depend on Pinboards stability which seems to have improved again and what I want to automate out of my reading and bookmarking. But thats for another day – at least I’ll have one true source for all my bookmarks that is accessible and portable…until there’s another new service launched.