Synchronizing Bookmarks

You have bookmarks in Safari on one of your computers, others in Firefox on another machine and recently bookmarked some interesting sites in your iPhone┬┤s browser. That is confusing. Here is how I consolidate this.

If those web sites would just contain some well defined static information, you could store these as PDF or web archives in Evernote for example. From an iOS device, you could upload these pages to Instapaper or the likes.

At least I am in the situation, that my bookmarks collection is rapidly growing.

What complicates the situation is, that we all most likely do not use just one browser and just one computer. In my case, I have two desktop iMac`s, MacBook Pro and of course iPhone and iPad.

If your browsers were all Safari, you could just use MobileMe to keep everything in sync. If others like for example Firefox joins your set of browsers, you need something more special.

Since quite some time, I use XMarks for syncing bookmarks and it makes this task really trivial and simple.
Another point, why I personally like this tool is, that it comes for free (I have been asked for a donation when I installed it, but this seems fair to me).

If you use Firefox and Safari concurrently, you have two flavors of XMarks on your machine:

A Firefox plugin

Status 3

as well as a preference pane in your System Preferences, that takes care of Safari:

Xmarks for Safari  32 bit

You have to register with XMarks to use the cloud based service. Then you upload/sync your bookmarks into your account. This is a real “OTA Over The Air” sync service. After that, all your bookmarks on all OSX computers, regardless whether in Firefox or Safari are merged into one database. You have also options to replace a certain set of bookmarks per browser and machine.

In fact, XMarks offers a lot of additional services as well. Just to mention encryption (which I use), different profiles, syncing open tabs between machines and a lot more.

For me personally, the plain syncing feature is sufficient.

So far, everything is in sync as OSX devices are concerned. XMarks also offers options (NOT free in this case) for iPhone and iPad.

If you have a MobileMe account, you do not even need this. Just configure ONE of your OSX boxes for MobileMe bookmark sync and you are perfectly done for all your devices.

Happy bookmarking

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