Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I have thousands and thousands of bookmarks - I don't know exactly how many, but they take up 9 MB on my computer. (If you're using Internet Explorer, my bookmarks are the equivalent of your favorites.) I come across many web sites that seem useful for either for work - including this blog - or for my own personal reasons.
But I've just spent a few hours decluttering and organizing them - and wow, does that feel good. I'm only about half done, but its already much easier to find what I'm looking for.
The types of activities I needed to do for this project are very similar to those needed in other organizing projects: deciding what to keep, grouping like with like and deciding where to keep those groupings, and labeling.
1. Delete (the declutter part)
In some cases, I got rid of large collections of bookmarks. Example: Since I've been a self-employed organizer for over five and a half years now, I figured I'm really not going back into the corporate world, working in an Information Technology department. So I really had no need for all those bookmarks having to do with software engineering. I'd gotten rid of the books on such topics years ago, but had somehow neglected to clear out the computer files.
I also got rid of bookmarks if I could readily find the same information again in a single Google search. Why do I need to bookmark Car Talk, for example - no matter how much I enjoy that radio show?
And then there was the outdated information. I had bookmarked information about specific cars I was considering from a few years ago, when I was buying my Prius (after my prior car - my wonderful Toyota MR2 - finally needed to be replaced, at 280,000 miles). But I won't need car reviews again for many years - and certainly not the ones I had!
2. Delete or re-label
Sometimes I would glance a bookmark and really not know whether I wanted to keep it or not - it wasn't clear what the article I had marked was about. So I'd click the link, and sometimes find out the article (or the web site itself) no longer existed - or I'd find the article was no longer interesting to me - and I'd hit Delete. Other times, I just needed to rename the bookmark, to make it meaningful to me.
This sometimes meant subdividing a bookmarks folder. I did this with my ADHD bookmarks - I had a long list, and it was hard to even remember what I had! Now it's easy to see what I've got.
And sometimes it meant combining files. I'd sometimes find - just as we often do with a large collection of paper files - that I had two folders with similar information. Now everything is in one place.