I’m done with browser bookmarks

I originally started writing this post in early 2018, when I came to the realization I have no need for browser bookmarks anymore. It’s 2019 now, and I’m still in the same situation: I don’t use browser bookmarks.

Do I still have bookmarks in my browser? No. I waited for a year, but they didn’t vanish. This weekend I exported all bookmarks from my browsers and stashed the resulting .html file somewhere (should I ever need any of the old links), and then swiftly deleted them from my browser.

Watching Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix gave me the inspiration to clean up things in my life – Facebook is one, browser bookmarks is another. Bookmarks have never sparked any joy in me. They’re like left-over business cards (mine or someone else’s), that I rarely seem to need. Like clutter, sitting in the back of the drawer, collecting dust.

But Jussi, how do you find stuff without bookmarks?” would be an obvious question from someone now.

I rely heavily on my browser’s amazing history and autocomplete capabilities.

Typing a few letters (almost) always sparks the joy in finding what I need. I couldn’t remember when I last went to the Bookmark Manager to actually search for something. It could be that unbeknownst to me my browser is actually searching bookmarks as well. I haven’t experienced any missing data after exporting and deleting my bookmarks – so far, so good.

But why?

Bookmarks felt like excess baggage. I had hundreds of links. Not carefully cultivated in neat folder structures, but more of a “Stuff to check” and “Stuff I’ve checked” approach.

I won’t miss guidance on how to build biodegradable flower pots out of coffee grounds, and I still haven’t built the Twitter Mood Light I’ve promised to build since 2010.

I felt I didn’t have the patience to go searching for sites anymore – I simply search for them through the browser address/search bar.

Did it help?

I feel it did help. I don’t have the nagging feeling in my head that I should check something. I also feel I have to think what I want, rather than mindlessly scroll through a list of hundreds of sites. This in turn makes me less anxious and I seem to spend less time browsing – especially on my mobile devices.

I like these small mental challenges as they are not irreversible, but they force you to understand what’s relevant and what’s not.

Browser bookmarks, it seems, are not that relevant after all.