Raindrop.io – Bookmark Manager

In my ongoing exercise to decentralize my workflow, I needed a better Bookmark Management system. Hence Raindrop..

I have spent years working with the Bookmark Managers provided by Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and all the Internet Explorer variants going way back into time. I’m sure you have too. With the soaring use of smartphones and tablets, we needed a way to centralize all the Bookmarks we had saved on our desktops and laptops, and integrate them somehow into the IOS and Android environments.

Coupled with these separate operating systems, not everyone was using a common web browser platform. There are dozens of them out there now. Apple/Mac users are geared toward Safari, while Android users can take their pick. Synchronizing Bookmarks has proved to be a pain in the neck for those of you who like tinkering around with different browsers. But you don’t really want to be hacking around with the export and import of bookmarks.html files between browsers right?

This frustration led me to search for a cloud based solution. There are a few out there, but none quite so good as Raindrop (from the website raindrop.io). Built by Russian developer Rustem Mussabekov, this is quite a beautiful environment to work in, and once all your bookmarks are loaded up, you can make your Raindrops user account page, your default web page. No mucking around with importing/exporting, you can use whatever browser you want, in whatever operating system you want – all your bookmarks are there waiting for you.

This is straight forward. Set up an account from the Raindrop.io website, once you have obtained your credential details, log on to the site.

Once in, you can start setting up your Raindrop environment. My suggestion would be to first create the categories of Bookmarks you require (in Raindrop, these are called Nested Collections). Create as many as you need. You can even create Sub-Collections too. In the end, you will have a hierarchy of bookmark categories that are similar to how they are set up in Firefox, Chrome etc. From there, you can start allocating your saved bookmarks into the Nested Collections.

From here, you can start creating bookmarks manually, saving them into your Nested Collections. You could also import a set of bookmarks from another web browser (it would be in the form of an exported bookmarks.html file), or you can add a Web Extension to your browser (see below).

Manual Adding
This is pretty straight forward. Click on any Nested Collection, then click on the plus symbol (+), when the dialog box opens, enter the URL of the website into the field called ‘Link’, then press the [enter] button to lock it in.

Raindrop will accept exported Bookmark data from many other environments, including: Diigo, Delicious, Instapaper, Pocket, and of course bookmark.html files from web browsers.

Go to the Settings option (located in left bottom of the screen), and then click on Import to select your bookmark file. The imported data will come into Raindrop using whatever hierarchy is found on the import file. Once in, it is up to you to reallocate those bookmarks into your existing series of Nested Collections.

Using the Web Extensions for Chrome and other Browsers
As a Pro user of Raindrop, you have access to the Web Extension function, which so far is applicable to Chrome/Chromium (and other variants such as Vivaldi), Firefox, Safari and Opera. This will cover a fair chunk of web users around the globe. I’m certain that the extension will also work with derivatives of those four major web browsers.

To use it, find a website of your choice, right click on the website’s page, and you will see a link to ‘save page to Raindrop.io’. When you click it, the page reference will be saved back to your Raindrop.io account – to the Nested Collection/Folder you are currently in. Once in the Raindrop environment, you can easily move it around to any Collections you’ve already created. Super.

General Usage
Once you have Raindrop set up according to your wishes, I would suggest adding it to your Bookmark Bar, or making it your Start/Home Page, so that you have immediate access to it.

Let us know how you get on with it. Feedback or comments welcome.

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