Pocket

Pocket logo

It feels like the end of a years-long quest. Finally, after trying dozens of tools (LiveBinders, sqworl, Symbaloo, Delicious, Diigo, Scoop.It… the list goes on and on!), I have finally found The One. A tool that organizes my many (MANY) bookmarks, gets them off my bookmarks toolbar and into the Cloud, that comes with an iPhone app to put all my bookmarks in my pocket.

Pocket.

Pocket has everything I was looking for:

  • Interface. For me, a beautiful, simple interface is crucial, because so many bookmarking sites are filled with clutter that overwhelm me.
  • Browser extension. Pocket has a lovely little extension for your browser (I use Chrome) that makes adding a new bookmark as easy as clicking on a tiny pocket button. While many competitors have this same feature, I found that they asked for additional information (title of site, etc) and ran really slowly. With Pocket, clicking the button is all you have to do, and it works in the blink of an eye.
  • Tags. Before, my bookmarks were organized into folders. There are two problems with this system: 1) You can’t search for bookmarks in folders, and 2) Unless you want repeats, a bookmark only lives in one folder at a time. With tags, you can tag a single page with many words, putting it in lots of categories at once. Tags are also searchable, and you use Pocket to pull up all pages that have a particular tag.
  • Accessibility across platforms. Because I use two computers (home and work) plus an iPhone, I need my bookmarks to travel with me. By installing the Pocket app on my phone, I can access it from everywhere.

My Pocket homepage, with tags listed down the right side.

Technically, Pocket is a reader app. Originally called “Read It Later,” it was designed to clip articles, videos, and photos so that you can read them later, when you have time. Once read, you can archive them, or mark them as a favorite. The app is still useful in this way, and if you find yourself frequently coming across articles online, and want to hold onto them for a while, Pocket works beautifully. However, it has the power and flexibility to be used as long-term storage for your favorite recipes, blog posts, kitty videos, lesson plans, educational videos, and much more.

Pocket seems to have a pretty good following, and gets lots of love from tech blogs, so I’m hoping it will stick around for a while. Just in case, I still have a hidden folder with all my bookmarks. For now, though, the search is over!

Sqworl

You’re staring a new project with your class, and you have a whole list of websites that you want them to visit for research or activities. How do you make these websites easily available to students in a way that doesn’t require them to type in long, complicated URLs? This is where Sqworl comes in.

Sqworl is a bookmarks manager that allows you to create your very own resources page. Simply add all the sites you’d like, and Sqworl creates a page of thumbnails. You can add in titles and directions, too. Once you’ve created your Sqworl page, you give your students one¬†URL that serves as a gateway to all of the resources you’ve put together.

The uses of Sqworl extend beyond class projects, though; you can create a page of all the links you visit most, and set it as your home page. That way, whenever you open your browser, all of your favorite sites are right there, ready for you to click.

Sqworl is free, though it does require registration, and relies on ads to make money.