Chrome's bookmark manager gets the job done. You can quickly bookmark any page or site either by pressing the star icon or hitting the CTRL+D keyboard shortcut. When you compare it with other bookmark managers, you will realize one thing is missing — Notes.
There is no way to add notes to bookmarks in Chrome. It is also a much-needed feature because after using Chrome for a few years, you will find yourself dealing with hundreds of bookmarks. And you won't even remember why you have most of them there.
I no longer remember half the sites that I bookmarked a few years ago. A simple note with each of them would've helped.
Let’s see what can be done.
1. Use Title for Notes
Chrome’s bookmark manager allows you to edit the title of the page at the time of bookmarking. You can use this space to add notes along with the title. Not the best way to go about things but still can be a potential solution.
Open the page you want to bookmark and either click the ‘star’ icon or press CTRL+D on your keyboard. Most titles carry a long string of text that you really don’t need. You can edit it to include something more specific to help you remember the site/page.
You can also edit your old bookmarks the same way. To do so, open bookmark manager in a new tab by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+O keyboard shortcut. This will show all your bookmark folders on the left and the corresponding bookmarks on the right. Right-click on one and select Edit to change the title. Don’t forget to save before you exit.
I tested this method by adding up to 250+ words in the title. Nothing was broken, and all the links were working fine.
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2. Bookmark Manager Extension
You might be surprised to learn that Google developed the Bookmark Manager extension for Chrome. It allows users to save images and add notes to individual bookmarks to provide a better experience. I don’t know why these features were not included in the Chrome’s bookmark manager.
All your folders and bookmarks are presented in a colorful card-style layout.
After installing the extension, simply click on the menu button and select Edit for the bookmark you want to edit. A sidebar on the right will pop up where you can change the title and also add a note. Other options include folder management and opening (View button) the page in a new tab.
You can also select bookmarks in bulk and move them between folders to better manage your links.
Unfortunately, Google decided to deprecate the extension, and while it is still available in the Chrome store, you can’t install it. But you can grab it from GitHub.
Click on the link below to visit the download page on GitHub. Download the zip file for the extension to your hard drive and extract the files somewhere you can access them easily.
Note: The original extension has been modified slightly but works just the same.
Open Chrome and enter chrome://extensions/ in the URL to open the extensions page. You need to enable the developer mode here. You will find the toggle button for that in the top-right corner of the extensions page.
Your work is not done yet. In the same screen, on the top-left side, you have to click Load Unpacked option and select the bookmark extension folder you just downloaded from GitHub.
The extension takes only a few seconds to install and then it is ready for you to use.
3. Bookmark Manager Speed Dial
Instead of cards, Bookmark Manager Speed Dial extension will present all your bookmarks in columns. The UI is beautiful and intuitive. By showing all the bookmarks in columns, the extension uses the same amount of space to display more bookmarks.
You can also add notes to individual bookmarks, but there is 100 character limit to it. Other features include the ability to share your bookmark boards with others, access social media updates, and disable new tab feature. I am still not sure why anyone would want to disable opening a bookmark in a new tab.
To edit a bookmark and add a note, just click on the pencil-shaped icon next to the bookmarked page. The pencil icon will be visible when you hover your mouse pointer over the bookmark entry.
Another feature that I found really useful was the ability to sort all my bookmarks alphabetically and by most clicked. The latter will let you know which bookmarked sites you visit the most.
Don't forget to create a free account. This will keep all your bookmarks in sync across the devices.
While the default bookmark manager gets the job done, there are better ways to manage bookmarks. All of them are free to use and offer a different way to organize bookmarks.
Google decided to deprecate its bookmark extension only to leave a lot of users in the wind. Maybe, in the future, the same features will make it to the Chrome's default bookmark manager. Until then, we have other options to explore. Some of them are better than the original.
Next up: Do you use both Firefox and Chrome to surf the web? Not sure how to sync all the bookmarks across the two browsers? Learn how to import and export bookmarks in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.