As a follow-up to my article “Tools to Organize Your Digital Life“, I wanted to share a tip on how to create a reading list to manage all those web items that catch your eye but you can’t read immediately (like maybe this article?).  As we are tweeted and buzzed from our growing social networks, we stumbleupon many articles or links that we think we might digg.  However, we often don’t have the time, nor is it usually productive, to read them at the moment we happen to find them.  So, how can you remember to revisit these links later … without leaving a lot of tabs open that will clutter and slow down your web browser?  You don’t simply want to save them along with your other bookmarks.  You’ll likely just forget about them, and you don’t even know yet if they are items you want to keep.However, the bookmark toolbar at the top of your web browser is a great tool for this purpose.  Perhaps you currently use this bar for handy access to your most used websites or your favorite bookmarklets.  Of course if you just start dropping in all the links you find interesting, the list will get wider than your screen very quickly.  Instead, create a folder on the bookmark bar.  This will give you a button that, when clicked, reveals a drop-down menu of all the links you store in that folder.  So you can have a reading list that is as long as you like but will only take up one spot on the bar.  You can create a folder in Firefox or Chrome by right clicking on the bar and selecting “create folder” (in IE, go to favorites toolbar, select “organize favorites”, then select the favorites bar and click “add folder”).

For instance, I created a folder on my bookmarks bar called “To Read”.  Whenever I come across an article I’d like to review later, I just drag the icon that is next to the URL and drop it on this button (this works the same in Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer).  Then I can find them here and review them when I have the time, then delete them or save them elsewhere.  I could also click “Open All in Tabs” at the bottom of the menu (in Firefox or IE) to open them all at once.  I often print any items that are remaining in this folder on Friday to read over the weekend.   You may want to create additional folders to group some of your regularly used bookmarks, such as your mail services or social networking sites.

Now, what if you use more than one computer?  Say you’ve bookmarked some articles at work that you want to check out when you get home?  No problem.  You can synchronize all of your bookmarks, including the bookmark toolbar, between all of your computers and even across different browsers using Xmarks.  This helpful tool simply installs an add-on to your browser that keeps your bookmarks continuously in sync, as well as allows you to access them directly from their website.

How do you keep your internet stuff organized?

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