Getting rid of the cobwebs

Over the span of four years, my bookmarks have become VERY cluttered. Like that picture on the left, my bookmarks were all haphazardly stuffed into one bulging folder. Luckily, I had the URLs and website names of my favorite websites memorized, but when time came to make use of a site that I had cached away in my bookmarks, it was nearly impossible to do so. Even with the search features of Firefox, the sheer amount of bookmarks hurt my eyes.

I took it upon myself to organize my bookmarks into folders, and the clutter was reduced remarkably. Instead of having 200+ bookmarks in one folder, each folder contained about ten or so bookmarks. I had a lot of folders, but categorizing and later tagging the bookmarks made finding them much easier.

However, as time accumulated, so did the number of bookmarks. Soon, folders became disproportionate, with one folder having 2 bookmarks and another one having about 50. And then, there was the horrendous “Unsorted Bookmarks” folder, with no less than 100 bookmarks from random picture websites to a teen chat decoder.

Where folders fell short, deletion filled in the gaps. Although each bookmark was a gem, I had to throw away the ones that I never used or only used once. I deleted a bookmark if:

  • It had a very narrow purpose
  • It had no practical purpose or application
  • It had a purpose that was already covered by another website
  • It was no longer active, or
  • It had not proved useful in the past year or so.

Thus came the exodus. In less than ten minutes, I purged out about 75 bookmarks, maybe more. I went back to browsing feeling much lighter, knowing that I didn’t have so many cobwebs in the bookmarks.

Those of you who argue “you should have kept those bookmarks; after all, you  never know when you need them” should consider this. Imagine a desk like one of the above, managed by a person who claims that “every piece of paper on this desk is important. What if I need this?” Truth is, he probably doesn’t need 85% of the papers on his desk. But I don’t blame him; it’s human nature to look ahead and perceive that something totally useless might be of use in the future. However, all that clutter probably hampers his productivity, to the point where he gets little done.

My advice to those of you who are suffering from boookmark-itis: get rid of those unused bookmarks, and stop worrying about their usefulness in the future. As an additional tip, steer clear from the “Unsorted” folder; it will make less of an organizational nightmare.