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How To Organize Your Bookmarks With A Little Elbow Grease

Bookmarking a link is the easiest way to save anything since it’s quick and involves no tool other than your own browser. Unfortunately, bookmarks, because they are so easy to create often end up being misused until all you have left is a big clutter of links. My bookmarks library was no different; it was full of folders nested in folders. The folders were poorly named and usually named to suit the ‘occasion’ I needed a particular link for instead of by topic. I had duplicate bookmarks by the dozens and what was most disappointing is that it was hard to find the right bookmark because I’d organized them so poorly. Commence operation Clean Up.


Getting Started

Before you actually get to organizing your bookmarks, you need to know if you need additional tools (extensions or add-ons) and what the Bookmarks Manager can do. Chrome’s Bookmark Manager will sort bookmarks by title only whereas, Firefox offers many more options for sorting such as by name, date, tags, or location. Technically, if you’re bookmarks are a mess they are not likely to have any tags added to them but the default description of a web page will be helpful. You can cut, copy, and paste bookmarks just like you can files . Several bookmarks can be selected using the Shift or Ctrl keys and they can be dragged & dropped on to a different folder to move them.


Start by brining some sort of order to your bookmarks. Don’t organize from folder to folder; instead start with a holistic view and select the Bookmarks bar folder. All sub folders will show up just as they are so you’ll see them anyway. Sort the bookmarks bar by title. For more sorting options that your browser doesn’t support, try Super Sorter for Chrome and Auto-Sort Bookmarks for Firefox.

Delete Duplicate Bookmarks

Remember to only delete duplicate bookmarks. Do not delete any folders that have the same name, not yet any way. Chrome users can use Super Sorter mentioned in the previous section to delete bookmarks and Firefox users can try Bookmark Duplicate Cleaner. Don’t give too much thought as to which folder a bookmark is saved to. Simply delete the bookmarks because you are essentially losing nothing and then move on.

Duplicate Folders

Assuming you sorted all the folders on the Bookmarks bar by title, you should easily be able to see which duplicate folders exist. Simply drag and drop bookmarks from one folder to the other of the same name. Dealing with duplicate folders is easier because they are, for better or worse, organized by topic. Go through all your duplicate folders and at the end, you will have empty folders that you moved bookmarks out of. Go ahead and delete them.

Merging Folders

There is no merge feature available in either Firefox or Chrome. This is something you’ll be doing manually. Start with folders; you will not have folders with the same name any more at this stage but you will have folders that are similar in nature. For example; You might have a folder dedicated to tutorials for creating vector images, a folder dedicating to tracing images in Illustrator, etc. Consider moving them all into one folder called Illustrator Tutorials, or create a parent folder for them and move them to it. This way, the folders are sorted by topic but remain true to your original sorting as well.

This is where you will deal with most of the clutter on your bookmarks bar. Poorly named folders often have bookmarks that are similar in nature and it makes little sense to save them to separate folders called, ‘Drawing Hands’, ‘Drawing a face, ‘Drawing eyes’ when you can move the bookmarks in them to a folder called ‘Drawing Guides’.

Unorganized Bookmarks

These are going to be the most time consuming of them all to organize. The title description should help you out as you go through them, one-by-one. You’ll move them to existing folders, or create new ones if needed. In the worst of cases, you might have bookmarks that saved with no title and you’ll have to open them. If they’re useful, you can move them to the appropriate folder and if they aren’t useful, you can remove them from the tab they are open in.

Use the search feature to find bookmarks on similar topics, for example, it is highly likely that any recipes you have saved all have the word Food or Recipe in the title. It’s a quick way to filter them out without going through different folders. You can select them en masse and move them to the right folder.

Prevent This From Happening Again

Going through your bookmarks, you’re going to realize just what happened for things to get this cluttered. If you often save links for reading later, create a folder that you can save such links to and review it often. Delete the bookmarks you don’t need and move the useful ones to the correct folder.


This will take time; it won’t take an entire day as I previously thought it would but it will take at least 30 minutes of your day. What you’ll find when you finally get down to it is that moving and organizing bookmarks is made exceptionally easy by the default bookmarks manager and any shortcomings they might have can easily be filed with the right extension or add-on.

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