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If your email isn’t restricted to a client, and if your documents aren’t restricted to your hard drive, then why should your bookmarks be any different? Meet Raindrop.io, a new service that takes your bookmarks into the cloud and makes them beautiful as well as easy to search.

Raindrop isn’t the first service of its kind, of course. Apps like XMarks are a great way to sync bookmarks across browsers 4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones 4 Great Ways To Sync Your Bookmarks & Favorites Across Computers & Phones Gone are the days when we used a single browser on our only computer. Today, many of us constantly switch between desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets, all of which are outfitted with various... Read More . But they do require syncing, which means the browser needs a plugin or some other installation. On the other hand, Raindrop.io can be accessed like any web service, which means you just go to the website and find your bookmarks there.

What’s Raindrop All About?

In a nutshell, Raindrop is a bookmarking service that stores your bookmarks online instead of in your browser. It’s as plain and simple as that. What this means is that you never have to sync your bookmarks across browsers, you just go to the webapp and find them there, regardless of which device you are using.

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To bookmark pages with Raindrop, you still need an account and an extension for Google Chrome. Sorry Firefox users, for now, you will have to look elsewhere to manage your bookmarks Everything You Need to Know About Managing Your Firefox Bookmarks Everything You Need to Know About Managing Your Firefox Bookmarks I don’t know about you, but I still use browser bookmarks on a daily basis. There are people out there who claim that browser bookmarks have become obsolete with the advent of online bookmarking, social... Read More . You can use one of your social accounts to sign in. I recommend sticking with Facebook or Twitter because the Google sign-in you see on the web version isn’t available on the iPhone version.

All the bookmarks come with a headline, a short blurb, and a photo—the look can be customized how you like it. It all comes together to look strikingly good and makes for a pleasurable browsing experience. Who would have thought bookmarks would be eye candy?

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Importing Your Existing Bookmarks

The best part about Raindrop is that it doesn’t make you start a new bookmark collection. Once you are ready, you can import your current bookmarks from any browser. Plus, Raindrop also supports Pocket, which in a way is the ultimate digital bookmarking service Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service As Bakari previously reported, the well loved Read It Later - which enabled users to save articles to read later from a bookmarklet or various apps it was integrated with - was discontinued and replaced... Read More .

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Once you get all your existing bookmarks, Raindrop auto-tags them with the name of the source and creates a collection. Collections are one of the important aspects of this service and you can create your own too. Plus, you can share them publicly, which lets others “subscribe” to your collection and you can discover some useful collections too.

Tagging, Searching & Filtering

Each bookmark has some auto-tags generated based on what it links to. There are four broad type-based tags: ‘photos’ for images, ‘content’ for videos, ‘articles’ for articles from known publications, and ‘links’ for everything else. You can quickly find anything you need by searching for these type-based tags. When you are bookmarking any new page, you can choose to add these tags or any more of your own choosing.

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Raindrop really shines when it’s time to find a bookmark. Because of its extensive tagging system, it becomes much easier to find any bookmark. First, you can choose to search just the title or the link. And you can further search under certain tags or type-based tags too. All of these search parameters can be used in tandem, which means you not only get great search, but search with filters! It’s an element which no other bookmark tool does as well as Raindrop. It could be just what you need to manage many years of bookmarks How To Manage 17 Years Of Bookmarks How To Manage 17 Years Of Bookmarks Bookmarks seem to accumulate over time, growing into collections of hundreds or thousands over the years. If you only have a handful of bookmarks, this article isn’t for you – this is for the people... Read More .

Why I Switched Despite Limited Platforms

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Right now, the only thing going against Raindrop as your go-to bookmarking service is the fact that it is available only as a Google Chrome extension. And to access your bookmarks, you need to go to the webapp or use the iPhone app, the latter of which is not yet available in English.

For these reasons, many of you might want to stick with Pocket or some other bookmarking service for now. However, I have switched to Raindrop. Why? I have gathered bookmarks over many, many years now and the ability to search and tag them, and also form collections, is invaluable to me. It’s better than any extension to speed-search bookmarks Use These 3 Chrome Extensions To Speed Search Your Bookmarks With A Keystroke Use These 3 Chrome Extensions To Speed Search Your Bookmarks With A Keystroke Bookmarks aren’t dead yet. Give me the convenience of setting one up with a single click any day over logging into an online bookmarking service. But yes, the same convenience leads to a lifetime of... Read More . More importantly, I have seen how much more I am interacting with my bookmarks now that they have been beautified by Raindrop. It’s no longer a little blue headline with a clickable link, it’s more than that now—and that difference alone makes me want to explore those bookmarks more often and even sort them into collections.

Download: Raindrop for Chrome (and bookmark Raindrop.io)

Let’s have a mini competition, shall we? How many years worth of bookmarks have you collected and what does your total bookmark number stand at right now? I’ll go first. Combining Pocket and my browser bookmarks, they go back to 2003. So that’s 11 years and a total of 4637 bookmarks. What’s your number?

Image Credit: Gayatri Krishnamoorthy

  1. loop.fortytwo
    July 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Browser bookmarks going back to mid-1990s. Imported just over 5000 bookmarks into del.icio.us in 2003. Gave up on bookmarking after del.icio.us became undependable.

    Have been using a combination of Evernote for web clipping, and browser extensions such as OneTab, and text files to manually store URLs.

    Tend to only save critical links now, that I will not find easily by searching.

  2. Jose
    November 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Hi for all.

    I use Raindrop and it deleted my bookmarks.

    I need to archive my bookmarks on categories because I'm using a GTD method and anything give me that functionality. I wrote an email to Raindrop developers and they ignored me simply.

    Diigo is not good alternative because it only has lists.

    Do you know any service better?

  3. Mark Star
    June 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Hey Now Jamie,
    I gave Webkia a quick review and couldn't find anything but a browser extension for Chrome. (No Bookmarklet options)
    Anyway, after skipping over a few canned favorite sites and a few canned favorite topics I found myself in the midst of a brick wall bookmark importer. The sucker was pumped and eager to pull out everything from my bank, insurance companies, personal research, and more. No thanks - I think curating content is one thing but sharing your personal bookmarks by a mass import reminds me of the good old days of Spokeo. No offense Spokeo - you guys did do it first with emails and it was pretty smart. Bet you had lots of interest in that email graph.

    Doesn't anyone care when a site says we'll be able to:
    Access your data
    Read and modify your bookmarks
    Access your tabs and browsing activity

    Nah - why worry about that what could possibly go wrong.

    • Ude F
      February 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      This is what makes me nervous when it comes to cloud dependent tools. At least there is a possibilty to export the bookmarks saved with raindrop.io. This is unfortunately not possible with pocket.
      I couldn't find any information about developers and what business model they follow. This makes raindrop.io not very trustworthy. Btw there is already an alternative that offers almost the same service for tagging bookmarks. It's called tagpackers.com and you can find much infromation about the creators and there business model. I highly recommend tagpackers and i would love to see an article about it here on makeuseof.com

  4. Jamie
    June 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Been using Wibki (http://Wibki.com) recently. It doesn't do search but is very visual, using screenshot thumbnails.

    There's a quick add Chrome extension plus bookmarklets. Desktop and mobile web app versions.

    Worth a look, well I like it!

  5. Eli
    June 7, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I miss here a comparison with Diigo

  6. Jeff Schallenberg
    June 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Pocket is great for "disposable" bookmarks - ones that you will consult once or twice and then archive or delete.

    For sites that you come back to often for research or special interests, Only2Clicks can't be beat. Your favourites are saved as thumbnails or icons/logos, and an unlimited number of icons can be stored on each of an unlimited number of tabs.

    And to think that I started with del.icio.us...

  7. Mark Star
    June 6, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I love Pocket which appears to do just about the same thing as Raindrop.io. Without going into all the details, I think browser extensions were a short term experiment or at best a temporary patch until the market created a better solution. Fortunately most users will come out of the experiment without too much damage. Although, there are still nefarious extensions causing all kinds of trouble and they represent a significant threat to both users and potentially to the sites they visit. I'm sure more information will eventually come out and they'll be a group of people who can't believe how foolish they were and another group who won't even bother paying attention to the news.

    Pocket hasn't mastered the art of searching across cached bookmarks, semantic extraction, or ontology based tagging but importing bookmarks is trivial. In case you haven't noticed Google Stars is rolling out and since they already index the web, know how you found and searched for the document you bookmarked, and.... well.... it's just the beginning. Star things you own, you wish you had, businesses you like, and decide who you want to share your stars with. I think the ego gamification will be a tipping point where you start to star more and share more.

    Good luck Raindrop and hopefully you have a pivot plan.

    Hopefully, Pocket quickly makes their premium product free. Meanwhile - I'd rather use a bookmarklet than extention. Maybe others should think about why that is.

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