Stop printing webpages and start using del.icio.us

In January, when we wrote the post Share your links with Unclutterer, we made the incorrect assumption that everyone knew about del.icio.us and how to use it. Since that time, we have received numerous e-mails asking us to explain what del.icio.us is and how to use it.

Del.icio.us is a website that allows you to:

Keep links to your favorite articles, blogs, music, reviews, recipes, and more, and access them from any computer on the web. Share favorites with friends, family, coworkers, and the del.icio.us community. [And] Discover new things. Everything on del.icio.us is someone’s favorite — they’ve already done the work of finding it. So del.icio.us is full of bookmarks about technology, entertainment, useful information, and more.

Most importantly, del.icio.us takes away the need to print out websites you’re afraid you’ll never find again. Instead of printing and then filing the paper, just save the URL to your del.icio.us folder and tag it so that you’ll easily find the website again.

To set up a del.icio.us account, go to the How to get started with del.icio.us page and follow the instructions. Then, if you come across a site that you think would be great for an Unclutterer post or Unitasker Wednesday column, mark it “for:unclutterer” (without the quotes). We’ll receive a copy of the link and your description to view.

46 Comments for “Stop printing webpages and start using del.icio.us”

  1. posted by kim on

    thanks! i’m shocked that i didn’t know about it. i’m wondering, what do you think of del.icio.us versus google notebook?

  2. posted by jeremy on

    I use the Google Toolbar. It lets me access my Bookmarks from any computer as well, plus it has some other cool features.

  3. posted by Amy on

    “Most importantly, del.icio.us takes away the need to print out websites you’re afraid you’ll never find again. Instead of printing and then filing the paper, just save the URL to your del.icio.us folder and tag it so that you’ll easily find the website again.”

    Web browsers have been doing this for over a decade, you know. It’s called “Bookmarks” or “Favorites.”

    The only differences are the mobility between computers and the social aspect.

  4. posted by Balu on

    This method has one really big disadvantage. Websites live, pages get lost or moved somewhere else.

    You will not find your important info anymore if you simply bookmark it.

  5. posted by Avlor on

    @Balu

    This is what programs like OneNote are for. Instead of printing a page, I’ll bookmark it and if I need it for notes I’ll put the info into OneNote.

  6. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Amy — Bookmarks and favorites are limited to a specific computer and a specific browser on that computer. If you move between browsers or computers throughout the day, then you don’t have that access. Most people use one computer at work and one computer at home, which would mean two sets of bookmarks. If you use del.icio.us, then you only have to save in one location.

    @kim and jeremy — I haven’t used the Google products. Can you share links with others using them? What’s nice for me on del.icio.us is that I can post links for other people on my team at work. The “social” aspect saves me a lot of time. If the Google products can do it, then they seem like great options, too.

  7. posted by Martin on

    Other thing I worry about is that if the site goes away, your links are useless. 95% of the time I use delicious, but the other 5% are for things that I want to have that I worry about going away–new articles and the like. Those get PDF’ed and stored locally. 🙂

  8. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Avlor and Martin — Your solutions for “life important” sites are awesome. I do the same thing as Martin (PDF) and save locally.

  9. posted by linden on

    I have used del.icio.us for several years now, but I recently found Diigo.com, which I switched to immediately after reading about its interactivity.

    Diigo allows users to highlight and sitcky note web pages, plus once you’ve highlighted a passage, you can make public and private notes about it. Then, you can email friends or colleagues a link to the page, along with the section you’ve highlighted. There are many more features that I have yet to fully discover (like auto-searching the web with your highlighted text)

    I think that Diigo is the next generation of social bookmarking because it really embodies the “social” aspect of social bookmarking. Give it a try!

    P.S. You can import all your del.icio.us entries!

  10. posted by victor on

    Better than OneNote, bookmarks, del.icio.us, etc is Firefox’s ScrapBook extension. It’s like an improved version of the “Save page as…” that every browser has.

    With one click you can save the page on your hard-disk and there are even option to edit out adverts, banners and so on if you really want to print the pages out later.

    The only advantage of del.icio.us is that you can get to the bookmarks you’ve saved there from anywhere … as long as you’re online of course.

  11. posted by victor on

    … and here’s a link to ScrapBook https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/427

    I forgot to mention, the saved pages are also accessible via bookmarks in the ScrapBook menu.

    It’s one of the best browser-based anti-clutter tools.

  12. posted by Shannon on

    Is there anyone out there that actually prints out web pages that they’re afraid they’ll never find again? I can see the use for printing a web page if you want to read it somewhere that you won’t have computer access, but otherwise it seems ridiculous to suggest that your readers are printing out web pages as a means of saving them.

    If someone is web savvy enough to find and read this site, they likely know how to use the “bookmarks” feature of their browser.

    Good suggestion about using delicious or a similar program if you move between computers, but I shudder to think that you imagine most of us are incompetent cretins printing out web pages and filing them in folders.

  13. posted by William Mize on

    You’re preaching to the choir here when it comes to delicious.
    It’s a great way to bookmark things for later perusal (I tag them as TEMP) and also keep your bookmarks sync’d between my work PC and my home mac.
    For added privacy you can mark certain pages as DO NOT SHARE.
    The Firefox bookmark (Yes, you ALL should be using firefox) makes it easy as cake.
    Or pie, if you’re a pie person.

  14. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Shannon — I imagine that most of our readers don’t print web pages. However, I get enough e-mails from people requesting “printer friendly” options for our site, that I know people do. I usually get one e-mail a week requesting the printer friendly function.

  15. posted by Eric Hanneken on

    Furl is like del.icio.us, but every time you bookmark a page, it saves a private copy to your account. That way, you don’t lose information when links break.

  16. posted by twosandalz on

    @Shannon – Printing to read is alive and kicking. I work in public health with professionals who are web savvy enough to research online, follow blogs, and dizzying lists of bookmarks. But many still print everything. I think its partly due to habit… filing cabinets that used to be filled with photocopied information are now filled with printed information.

  17. posted by Bethany on

    @Amy – another advantage of using del.icio.us as opposed to bookmarks is tagging. I can find what I’m looking for in my del.icio.us account much faster than if I were to bookmark everything. Plus, the mobility is great.

  18. posted by Dee on

    @Erin Doland. Foxmarks (for Firefox) Boxmark Syncronizer syncs your book marks across mulitple computers.

    here is the link:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2410

  19. posted by Craig on

    I admit I had no idea what del.icio.us is and how to use it. It is sometimes very hard to keep up with the flow of information out here. But I will give it a try and see how it goes.

    If I really want to save something, I normally copy the page to Word and save it to my hard drive. If the web site goes away, I still have the info I want, sitting right where I want it.

  20. posted by Nils on

    I had no clue how to use del.icio.us or subscribe to rss feeds for that matter until I found this site http://www.commoncraft.com/

    In this instance, this page will be of interest http://www.commoncraft.com/boo.....in-english

  21. posted by M on

    I’ve never used del.icio.us, but when I’m at work and find useful links I usually just e-mail them to myself. I might also copy the content of the article into the e-mail if I’m concerned the webpage will get changed or taken down later. I have a Gmail account with lots of storage, and I just organize my e-mails using Labels (the equivalent of folders in other e-mail providers). When I get home, I usually also bookmark the site in my browser, but I keep a copy in my e-mail.

  22. posted by ficbot on

    I used to have a webpage I maintained about Creative Commons and public domain books and music. It got too tedious because every time I wanted to add something, I had to save the link, open my web editor, put the link on the page, save the page and upload it. I use del.icio.us now. If I find a song or an ebook, I just tag and save it. People can access my bookmarks and use the filters to see just the songs, just the music, or any combo. It’s so handy! And I can see at a glance how many of each kind of link I have. http://del.icio.us/ficbot if you want to see…

  23. posted by Cecily T on

    I’m with Victor…I like Scrapbook, but it was dead in the water for a while. For whatever reason, it’s suddenly started being supported again. I’m in the process of deciding among Furl, EverNote, and Scrapbook. I liked Scrapbook, but the lack of support (and tagging, which I think has been added in just recently) and it used to not print well made me move to Evernote. EverNote however, isn’t as good at capturing a webpage as an exactly snapshot and sometimes makes a mess of the formatting, but it prints (printed?) better than Scrapbook.

    We are really talking about the right tool for the job. Social bookmarking is better for sharing and sort of transient “need to read / must not forget” type of items. However, I generally use these things for saving recipes, decorating ideas, and articles related to my profession. Del.icio.us doesn’t help if the webpage disappears from the source, so if I don’t print a recipe for two years, I hate finding it in my bookmarks and then finding that the source URL is gone, so for me, Scrapbook and Evernote are better choices.

  24. posted by Avlor on

    @Martin

    I have PDF creator and it never occured to me to use it like that. Fabulous for things I might not put in OneNote. Thanks!

  25. posted by Roxy on

    This is a great post. Now you just need one for uncluttering del.icio.us!

  26. posted by helix on

    delicious also doubles as a great search engine for very obscure topics which are often overwhelmed by superficially related stuff on google.

  27. posted by Aria on

    I must say however, that rather than printing out webpages – there is also often reason to use a print to pdf or some other way to save them. I like print to pdf so I have the information about when I accessed the page – but if its very important information, I don’t like having only a link saved in delicious – because I have often gone back to my links only to find that a certain great webpage is no longer there (and has only enough of its pages archived at archive.org to make me THINK I’m going to be able to get at the information. This is especially true for students who may need to be able to prove to professors that a certain source really was there on the date the citation says… So use delicious – but use some kind of way to save it on your computer as well (at least its better than a big paper mess =)

  28. posted by Martin on

    @ Avlor. Happy to have provided a new insight. Cheers!

  29. posted by Vik on

    I’d seen the logo a lot of places. I figured it’d be a place like digg.com… I didn’t realize it was something USEFUL! Excellent! 🙂

  30. posted by Shannon on

    Fair enough. I did not realize that so many people were printing. (Think of the forests, folks!). 🙂 I stand corrected.

  31. posted by Jonathan Thomas on

    If anyone here uses a Mac you have PDF creation built into the OS. Just go to File -> Print -> Save as PDF. I have a huge but nicely organized archive of valuable PDF’s.

  32. posted by Bill P. on

    You can also use Diigo (http://www.diigo.com) to store online bookmarks. However, as some have mentioned previously, what happens if that site changes or disappears? Diigo creates a cache copy of the site for you, plus you can share your bookmarks, highlight and annotate Web pages with sticky notes and even save Web clips of videos.

    There’s a great introductory video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlqfJsmjcOs

  33. posted by Dee on

    @Jonathan – WHAT?!?!? I have been a mac user well gosh – longer than I care to disclose and never knew there was that option?!??! I just bolted to my home computer (since I was reading this on my work PC) and gave it a whirl – bolted back and finished this post – lol. Cannot believe that was there and I never knew it!!! Its like I just had a V8 moment if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for the info!

    Dee

  34. posted by Mardi on

    I use Google Browser Sync, which allows me to sync any or all of cookies, history, bookmarks, open pages and tabs, and saved passwords (using my google account and with an encryption option) between Firefox on as many computers as I like. I used to use it on my work PC and my home Mac (I’m not working outside the home right now but I still use it between my Macs). It doesn’t have the social thing but I’ve never needed that.

    Safari’s bookmark syncing is bloody awful I have to say but I tend to favour Safari over Firefox. I think I’ll have a look at delicious and some of the other things mentioned here!

    BTW – this is my first comment – great blog!

  35. posted by Anne on

    Have a look at Google Notebook – a bit like Scrapbook but accessible from any computer anywhere, and it also allows you to save highlighted text rather than the full page if you prefer.

    I use it for clipping research information for a couple of projects I’m working on, so that I can get to them from anywhere. Notebook permits organization as well, so that you can group notes/pages together to make them easier to find again.

  36. posted by Zach on

    I agree with Anne, Google Notebook is a fantastic way to grab snippets that you need from any webpage . . . and best of all it works on all OS’s. If Google Products are used properly, you can have an incredible amount of organization – Syncing my iCal, Thunderbird on PC, online and on my iPhone with Google Calendar, then using IMAP for Gmail to keep all my inboxes sync, and Google Bookmarks to store all my bookmarks on any platform . . . talk about nice features to having an uncluttered life!

  37. posted by Roger97 on

    Another site I use to keep and track sites on the go is PhoneFavs: http://phonefavs.com

    It’s just like delicious, however its built to be used with your mobile phone as well, so you can access your bookmarks on any device.

  38. posted by Jesse on

    I just started using delicious a few days ago and I’m loving it. Now if only someone could tell me how to organize/declutter my links in delicious – its quickly growing out of control! 😉

  39. posted by loriborealis on

    I’m with linden & Bill P. — I use Diigo.com (BTW, been reading this blog for a while now, first time commenting!)

    As they mentioned, Diigo has a ‘cache’ feature that saves the page you’ve bookmarked, so you can still view it even if it goes down. I just went back and looked at an old article I saved two years ago – the article itself is 3 years old. The page isn’t available at the link anymore, but it’s still there, ‘cached’ at Diigo.

    Beyond that, you can also highlight whatever you need. The highlights stay forever AND they have a feature where you can extract highlights and print them (or save as HTML document). IMO, Diigo’s invaluable if you do research. You can highlight many paragraphs of long articles or papers, then go back to your Diigo page, click “expand” and all the info is there. Sometimes you don’t even need to go back to the original page to see the info you need.

    And like Delicious, tagging is encouraged – and you can post notes right on the page with the Diigo tools and share those notes with colleagues, friends, etc. You would all go to the page and all the notes & highlights would be there.

    Besides Diigo I also now use Google Bookmarks, with the GMarks extension for Firefox, when I want to just quickly save something; that way it’s in my browser and online at my Google account (Google bookmarks are private, though). (I also still have a delicious account, but haven’t used it in ages).

  40. posted by jeremyb on

    If I find a website that has extremely valuable information that I think might go away. I ctrl-A, then ctrl C and then ctrl V into a Word doc. Instead of printing.

  41. posted by Andrea on

    I thought this was a great post. Maybe I am in the minority but I don’t like to have a lot of bookmarks; I use my bookmarks only for sites that I visit frequently. I have just started using delicious and think it is great!

    I frequently pull out magazine articles and file them, but now I have gone through all my paper articles and found their digital counterparts online. I saved the digital copies online at delicious and tossed the paper copies. I plan to do the same with all the medical journal articles I have been saving at work. With the tagging functoin, it will be easy for me to search through all my articles and sites to find the ones I want.

    I think you guys have an awesome website!

  42. posted by amy on

    I love del but… I can NEVER spell the thing! Ever!

    Useful though

    I assume ye all know about the firefox exstentions you can use so you can post straight from where you are to the site?

    Amy

  43. posted by Melanie on

    Diigo is my favorite social bookmarking (and annotation) site. In answer to fears of “losing” info if the site goes down, Diigo (and probably others as well) allows you to bookmark simultaneously to multiple services. For example, while I use Diigo as my primary bookmarking system, each bookmark is simultaneously placed in my del.icio.us account as a back-up. Hope this helps.

  44. posted by tay on

    I’ve been using the heck out of this site since the post. I like it. However, reading through these posts has me a little paranoid about the sight no longer being available. I like the idea of having the links on my pc as a back-up..I see a lot of posts for mac users, on how to do this. I believe someone did post for microsoft users…if so apologize for this question in advance.
    Any EASY, ORGANIZED solution for saving the links on my pc (microsoft user)

  45. posted by Sarah on

    Great suggestion. Another good tool like del.icio.us is http://ma.gnolia.com/. I really like the aesthetics of this site, and the social networking and link sharing aspects work very well. I highly recommend it.

  46. posted by Annie on

    Jesse: Check out my bookmarks at http://del.icio.us/Brekkie . Hopefully that will help you with organizing them. You obviously don’t have to adopt my tagging system (it’s overkill if you ask most) but you get the drift. I once found someone using a similar tagging system and for me it worked best.

    As for being afraid of pages disappearing, I second/third/tenth Google Notebook or Scrapbook. I tend to open 847958374 tabs in Firefox to read later or to blog about but now I just created a notebook to fill with things to blog and then I keep my Firefox uncluttered and running much more efficiently than before.

    Thanks, Unclutterer, for your great articles!

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