Pocket has long held the crown of being the internet’s best digital bookmarking service. But is it time to scrap it in favor of something else?
Long-time Pocket users are familiar with the problem of an abundance of unread bookmarks. You have to rely on tricks to get through your Pocket queue. And let’s not forget, Pocket started as “Read It Later”, its focus being on reading articles. That’s not what bookmarks on the internet are solely about any more.
A few new apps seek to solve other bookmarking needs. Videos, for instance, or the ability to add notes to your bookmarks. Or turning your entire browser into a perennial bookmark engine.
1. Vookmark (Android, iOS, Chrome, Safari, Apple TV): “Watch It Later” for Videos
Vookmark is, in essence, Pocket for Videos. When you come across a video on the web and want to save it to watch later, just “vookmark” it. You can then see the videos on Apple TV, Android, or iOS devices.
Install the extension in Safari or Chrome (or Chromium-based browsers like Opera). The Vookmark bookmarklet will be neatly embedded in supported sites like YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Reddit. Click the bookmarklet and the video is automatically added to your list.
The only thing I found weird is that Vookmark doesn’t let you view videos later on desktops. It needs you to fire up your iOS or Android gizmo. Tad annoying, that.
2. EmailThis.me (Web): Send Articles to Your Inbox, Cleaned Up for Reading
One of the features people love about Pocket is how it cleans up web pages for an optimum reading experience. EmailThis.Me brings that to your inbox, no apps required.
Sign up for the service, then use it to share any article to your inbox. EmailThis will strip unnecessary elements like ads, comments, and social sharing buttons, and send the article to your inbox using the lightweight bookmarklet. And soon, your inbox becomes your read-it-later service.
The big advantage of this is that the article is saved in your inbox now, so even if the site deletes the original, you still have it with you. It avoids the pain you feel when you add links to Pocket only to find them dead later.
3. Booky.io (Web, Chrome): A Dashboard of Bookmarks
There are some bookmarks you visit more often than others. While I’m personally partial to using the bookmarks bar on my browser, others prefer their bookmarks in the Speed Dials on a new tab.
Booky can be your personal new tab page, and you can use it on any browser in the world. It has a unique interface based around dashboards. For example, you can make Dashboard #1 your “Work Dashboard”. Add categories, and links within those categories, related to your work requirements, such as emails, Slack, the company’s internal pages, and so on. And then Dashboard #2 can be your “Social Dashboard”, with links for social networking sites, messaging apps, your personal email, and so on.
In short, Booky is a neat bookmark system for those who like to keep links organized. Add color coordination as well as a simple bookmarklet, and you have a winner on your hands.
Download — Booky for Chrome (Free)
4. Save To Google (Web, Chrome): Google’s Bookmarking App, With Notes
Did you know Google has its own bookmarking service? I used to love the goo.gl bookmark and link shortener for Android, but that stopped a while ago. The new version, though, is even better.
Adding a link is as simple as clicking the “Save to Google” extension on any web page. But Google goes the extra distance by letting you add notes. Every bookmark automatically grabs the first few lines of the page, but you can edit that to turn it into your own notes. So when you revisit the bookmark days later, you no longer have to remember why you saved that link. Your notes will have it.
To view all your bookmarks, go to Google.com/Save from your desktop or mobile browser. That is, if you can trust Google with more of your data.
Download — Save to Google for Chrome (Free)
5. WorldBrain (Chrome): When History Becomes Bookmarks
You know what I hate about bookmarks? That often, I forget to actually save a link. And yes, my browser history has those links, but finding them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I’ll only remember some words from the link, but not the site I read it or anything else. How do I find it? Enter WorldBrain.
This smart extension is a full-text search for your browser’s history as well as bookmarks. It’s kind of like doing a Google search among the links you have visited, to find exactly the page you are looking for. It’s still in beta, so there are a few bugs, but it works pretty well so far in Chrome. Unlike other extensions though, it didn’t work on Chromium-based browsers like Opera.
In a nutshell, WorldBrain wants to end your habit of adding bookmarks by searching your entire history. Everything you visit is a bookmark in itself. Cool, eh?
Download — WorldBrain for Chrome (Free)
Is Your Pocket Queue Too Big to Handle?
Pocket users, doth thy cup runneth over? Is the queue of bookmarks getting too large to handle? Is there value in switching to something else to rid yourself of the overwhelming backlog?