It feels like browser bookmarks haven’t moved on since, well, since bookmarks became a thing in browsers. A big part of the reason why people have so many browser tabs open is because bookmarks are such an inefficient way to store things we want to go back to on the internet.
Then the other day I came across something that gave bookmarks the performance and usability boost that I’d been waiting for all these years.
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BrainTool is a Google Chrome plugin that combines bookmarking with note taking and adds a sprinkling of tags to give you a fresh take on storing web links for future reference.
At the core of the tool is a side panel that is essentially a nested list of tags, under each are the links that you’ve chosen to save, along with some text. The side panel allows you to move, edit, open and delete the entries, and it lets you to quickly build a repository of places you visit — and want to revisit — on the web.
All the data is stored on your Google Drive (a Google account is needed), and the data isn’t sent anywhere else.
It’s all between you and your Google Drive.
The file, which is stored in plain text on your Google Drive, can be independently edited, backed-up or shared if you want. This is a nice touch. In an era where everything relies on third-party servers, it’s nice that this project chose to keep everything as part of your Google account.
I have to be honest, for a project that seems new (the extension has a version number of 0.5.1), this is very nice indeed. As with anything, it takes some getting used to (partly because we’re used to just opening tons of tabs and wondering why everything feels slow), but it’s a very nice, very fresh, take on bookmarks. There are also videos that guide you through BrainTool, and I recommend that you watch them because it’s quicker to learn that way than to muddle through (like I did).
I really like BrainTool. The rather simple interface might not be for everyone, but behind that simplicity is a lot of power.