Your browser bookmarks might be stacked with articles you’ll never get around to reading, and sites you’ve long forgotten about, but there are ways to use bookmarks more productively – save these 10 handy URLs saved in your browser, and you’ll be able to get more done and more quickly while you’re online.
1) Create new documents in Google Docs
Google very helpfully provides web links to create new Google Docs (docs.new), Sheets (sheets.new), and Slides (slides.new), saving you the trouble of loading up Drive and creating new files each time. Most recently, Google pushed out a new shortcut for Google Keep, too—add notes.new to your browser bookmarks to instantly create a new note.
2) Build your own private Twitter
Twitter lists are one of the platform’s best features: If you create a list of specific Twitter accounts (go here, then click the new list button, top right), you can bookmark that list to see a stream of tweets from just that select group of accounts.
3) Jump to your active Slack threads
If you work for a large-ish company, there’s a good chance you use Slack. Slack has a very capable web app (alongside desktop and mobile apps). Many different parts of Slack on the web can be bookmarked (though the URL will be personal to you) — try clicking All unread in the navigation pane on the left, for example, and bookmark that page.
4) Save advanced searches
Building up a detailed search — whether it’s on Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, or somewhere else — can take up precious minutes in your day, so if it’s a search that you use a lot, save it as a bookmark so you can get to it quickly again. You could even have a bookmarks folder full of searches, from large photos of the Switch to mentions of the Switch on Twitter.
5) Compose blog posts more quickly
If part of your productivity push involves blogging (HI!), then you can bookmark various parts of the blogging process — not least the screen where you can create a new blog — on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or whatever CMS you happen to be posting through (these links will be unique to your particular setup, but they should be relatively easy to find).
6) Jump around YouTube
If you make a lot of use of YouTube in your day-to-day web life, bookmarks can save you a huge amount of time. You can save URLs that point straight to YouTube searches, for example, or to your channels subscriptions. You can also link to specific timestamps inside YouTube videos, if you need to refer back to one section of a clip repeatedly.
7) Find out what’s new
Your bookmarks can give you a quick shortcut to whatever is new in your world. It might be new Android apps, or recently edited Dropbox files, or new Chrome extensions, or the latest music on Spotify. Whenever you’re looking at what’s new, think about adding a bookmark to save yourself a couple of clicks the next time you need to check in.
8) Jump around Wikipedia
You’ve got plenty of URLs you can bookmark to make navigating Wikipedia a faster process, from individual articles to Wikipedia searches. You can, for example, find recently featured content here and jump to a random Wikipedia article here. It’s also possible to bookmark a link to events from this day in history and the newest pages on Wikipedia.
9) Check your unread messages in Gmail
If you dare to confront the sprawling mess that is the unread messages in your Gmail inbox, then this bookmark will do the trick for you (assuming you’re already signed in). You can bookmark any search in Gmail to get back to it quickly—you could bookmark unread emails older than a year, or starred emails, or messages in your drafts folder.
This article has been updated since its original publication.