Musings of an anonymous geek

June 15, 2006

Stop Bookmarking Stuff You Hate

Filed under: Technology — m0j0 @ 7:26 am

I’m a part-time college student. As a result, I have to do research. I’m currently in a public speaking course where, for example, I have to give a persuasive speech. I have no idea what to write my speech on, but my wife did – drink more grape juice!

Some number of years ago I made a comment half in jest that I think purple grape juice is the answer to more health issues than most give it credit for. I say “half in jest” because I had no clue at the time about all of the research to that effect. The comment got some heavy laughs for one reason or another, and I stuck to my guns, which, to me, just made it funnier. This all started because, well, I just like grape juice.

So anyway, I have to do research on this now, and so I went to Google Scholar, searched for “purple grape juice”, and started clicking on stuff. Now I have choices:

I can bookmark every single one of these research papers about grape juice and how it stops brain rot and whatnot. Bookmarking, though, means going and making a folder for these bookmarks, bookmarking all of these things, and then when I have some downtime or a lunch break at work, I can’t look at any of this stuff because I’m doing the research on my workstation at home and I loathe synchronizing *anything* between home and work.

Another option is to use to bookmark them, and that’s great because I also use Flock, which uses as my bookmark organizer. Problem there, though, is that now people who go and see my collection see my weird obsession with grape juice, and 2 years from now I’m gonna think “why the hell do I have all of these grape juice links?”

There’s also the larger problem of bookmarking in general, which is that you have no real context to work with when you bookmark – you just have a bookmark. A link to a page. Great. What if the “page” is one of those really long ones with links off to other stuff and enormous amounts of text, like, say, a research study page? Well, you’ll have to sift through all of that every time to remember what tidbit you went there for.

There is, I think, a “perfect tool for the job” in my case, and it’s Google Notebook.

Google Notebook is a firefox extension and gmail component that puts a little notebook icon in the bottom right corner of my firefox window. I can manually click the icon to add a note, create a new notebook for another subject, or whatever, but what I normally do is use the highlight feature. I can highlight just the interesting paragraph from a research site, right-click on the highlighted portion, and choose “Note this”. Now, my Google Notebook will have the paragraph text, along with a link back to the page I got it from. Perfect!

Now, I can just do crazy-mad-guerrilla browsing for facts about my topic, add them to my Google Notebook, and when I go to organize my speech, I just open my “Juice” notebook, jot down the quote, and the link I need to reference the source is right there for me as well.

What’s more, because Notebook is integrated with my gmail account, I can view my notebook from any machine without syncing anything. And, when I’m done with my research, I can easily go and just completely delete my “Juice” notebook without disturbing my other notes. Pretty cool!

Blogged with Flock


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