How do you organize your favorite sites?

I’ve got hundreds of websites on my list of “favorites” (bookmarks, whatever). What do you do so you can easily find them? Basically, I’m just scrolling through dozens of randomly organized websites–not very efficient.

I have an unusual organizing system for my hard drive, and I’d like to find something analogous: I have my hard drive’s “Documents” divided four ways: Professional (writing related), where I store anything related to writing I have to do for my professional life; Professional (non-writing related), where I store anything related to teaching or administrative stuff I do on my job; Personal (writing related), where I keep my own creative writing work; and finally Personal (non-writing related), where I keep pretty much anything that doesn’t fit into the other three categories. This system helps me make educated guesses where I might have stored something (and I have folders within these four main folders to give me further clues).

But this doesnt really apply to my favorites list–what do you do to organize your favorite websites so you can find them again easily?

I’m lucky to have an up to date knowledge of HTML. Up to date to about 1997, that is. So, it’s clunky, but my homepage on my browser is a basic HTLM document that lives on my hard drive. It has a series of hard-coded links to most of my favourite sites. I only use the bookmarks for “second tier” sites. It’s rough and ready, but it does the job.

My folders are:
*Destinations and local * (museums and suchlike I want to visit, plus the sites for the local indie movie theater, public transit, etc.)
Media and Culture (movie review sites, TV listings, a good art and artist website, etc.)
Personal (my netflix queue, photobucket, etc.)
Research sites (subfolders of “puzzle stuff” [various sites for constructing word puzzles], “words” [specialty dictionaries, thesauri], plus misc. reference sites for birds, baby names, history timelines, etc.)
*SDMB Links * (any damn thing that I either associate with here or originally found through here)
Shopping (subfolders for Books, Clothes, Crafts, E-cards, Music, Tchotchkes, plus the links to Amazon,, and eBay)

Plus, not kept in folders, the ones I go to more than once a week:

Fantasy Teevee
Yahoo (my secondary email acct.)
Onelook Dictionary

I keep my bookmarks in folders so that I can find them again, basic stuff like “Money” (banks and companies that I pay online), reference sites (dictionaries, language sites, etc), “Entertaining Sites”, “SDMB threads,” etc.

I also have a Protopage that I use as the default page in my browser. I’m slowly moving stuff from my bookmarks over there because it’s easier to use. I have several bookmark windows with separate labels. You can have as many pages as you like (AFAIK). I also have a back-up document with the bookmarks I actually care about in case everything crashes or protopage goes away…


I make “main category” folders in my links bar, then add bookmarks into them as appropriate. Clicking on a folder gets you a drop-down list of what’s inside.

I could probably get about 30 links under each catefory before the list starts scrolling. Keep the folder names short so you can get as many as possible on the links bar.

Pictured Here.

I organize mine into categories and sub-categories (and sometimes sub-sub-categories) that are meaningful to me.

Top level categories (folders) are things like:

  • Art & Museums
  • Business & Banking
  • Entertainment
  • Magazines
  • News Sites
  • Reference
  • Search Engines
  • Shopping
  • Software
  • Travel
  • Work

Then under, for example, “Reference” I have subject headings such as:

  • Books
  • Cooking
  • Economics
  • Encyclopedias
  • Games
  • General
  • Geography
  • Government
  • Guitar
  • History
  • Language
  • Libraries
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Technical

And for “Science”, I have further breakdowns by subject, and so on. The category or subject headings are meaningful to me and fit the way I think of things. When I go looking for a site, I can usually find it in a couple of seconds. I currently have over 1600 sites bookmarked, and without a hierarchical organization like this, I’d never find anything.

I also keep eight or ten quick links on the Links bar in IE, for things I use most often (Weather, Google, stuff like that).

I don’t use bookmarks any more. Instead, I use Also gone are the category folders; categorizes everything using tags. Also, since Firefox (and presumably other browsers) allow you to treat RSS feeds as bookmark “folders”, and since will feed any view of your bookmarks as RSS feeds, I have my bookmarks readily available via the bookmark menu. They provide a bookmarklet to allow for 1-click bookmarking via their server. It’s all very convenient; I’ve been doing this for about 1.5 years now, and haven’t looked back.

I’d link you to my account for an example, but then that’d give away my secret identity (not that’s it’s that hard to figure out! :))

My biggest tags (i.e. the ones that have the most links) include categories like:
And since each link can have multiple tags, there’s a lot of cross-referenced items.

Category and sub-category, with new unfiled or frequently used (but not toolbar worthy) on the first level.

Under “Interests”, for instance, I have
Ancient Research
Celts and Cults

Under “Guns” I have
Gunsmiths and Parts
Holsters and Grips
Research and Info
Stores and Sales

I have one for Accounts. Everything I have a password for. This includes banks and catalog sites, but also sites for crossword puzzles that for some reason require passwords.
Then I edit the link name to include my userid and a the password hint, so I never have to look those up.

I use Internet explorer and I have the Links tool bar as a row to itself. I pull the Address bar up to share the menu bar.
On the links bar I have a series of folders and these folders have some sub-folders. I also have very often used links directly on the bar. I rename them to save room.

SD = Straight Dope Message Board
W = Wikipedia
wthr = weather
Map = Google Map


I used to organize my bookmarks with folders and sub-folders, but now stuff that’s already on my computer takes care of much of it for me. Macintosh OS X is capable of treating a URL like a file. I rip the address bar off my browser and drop it in a file on my desktop named, appropriately enough, Links. If the title page wasn’t descriptive enough, I edit the name of the newly-created link. If I need to tag the file for keywords I can do that too in the Comment box on the Item Info window, but I usually don’t bother. If I want to find a link, I open that folder, type a search term into the box at the top right and it will find the file. The new search engine introduced in the Tiger version of OS X, Spotlight, is fast enough that it takes only a second or so to find matches.

I’ve become a bit of a pack rat since I know it’s hard to find a specific page again in a web search. Between stuff I find on my own and things I get from the SDMB, I’ve got about . . . 1500 links in that folder. About half of them are things that I’ll probably never read again, but surprisingly often I’ll want to refer someone else to a page that talks about something we might have discussed here months ago and it’s nice to have a few links to pages that I’ve already read and am familiar with handy.