Saturday, March 13, 2010

Conversational Productivity Improvement

While sitting with a colleague at work, I was complaining that my favorite bookmark management tool (GMarks) was no longer working reliably with Firefox 3.6. He had an improvement suggestion, that I might try the same bookmark sync method he is using. I've learned that when my colleagues have found a better way to do things, I will usually benefit by trying the same technique. This was one of those cases

A Bit of History

I started managing and synchronizing my bookmarks with the Google toolbar a while ago, then migrated to using a Google notebook during the short life of that tool, and from there had moved to using GMarks because it could read and write the bookmark definitions I had on Google notebook. My bookmarks have had a long and varied life as they traveled from place to place...

He suggested that I might try "Xmarks", since that was the bookmark sync solution he'd been using and preferred for a while. I'm a "slow study", but decided I'd try it as an experiment.

XMarks installed easily into Firefox and accepted my manually entered bookmark just fine. I didn't see any obvious options to sync my GMarks bookmarks, but was willing to experiment without that feature initially. It seemed to work smoothly and well.

Chrome and Internet Explorer

I prefer to switch between browsers frequently in hopes that will lead me to discover bugs in our software more quickly. I move between IE, Firefox, and Chrome frequently. I installed the XMarks add-on to Chrome and it offered to sync my Chrome bookmarks to XMarks. That was a great offer, since Chrome had pulled all my bookmarks from the Google bookmark location where I had stored them. I now had all my bookmarks in XMarks, without entering them myself. Thanks Chrome!

The Internet Explorer XMarks add-on was just as simple to install, and just as well behaved. Now my bookmarks are the same on any browser I use, or at least any browser I use where I can control the browser add-ons installed.

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