Save & Secure Bookmarks With Pinboard

Would you like to have secure, guaranteed access to all of your bookmarks anytime? With Del.icio.us closing soon (or not?), Ma.gnolia losing all of its members bookmarks last year, and more of us using multiple browsers and devices, we need a better way to keep track of bookmarks wherever you are.

Pinboard is a newer bookmarking site that’s received a lot of attention lately. Co-operated by one of De.licio.us’ founders, it’s fast, simple, and includes many of the same things fans loved about Del.icio.us. You can import all of your bookmarks, including tags and notes exported from Del.icio.us, then quickly add new bookmarks with the bookmarklet, share your bookmarks with friends or keep them private, and find them easily on your desktop or mobile device.

Let’s look at how you can consolidate all of your bookmarks with Pinboard and keep your favorite websites easily accessible.

Getting Started With Pinboard

Pinboard uses a very unique signup process. Unlike many web services, Pinboard costs a one-time fee. Currently it costs around $8 to signup, but the price goes up $0.001 for every signup. The good thing is it’s a one-time fee, not a subscription, so it’s similar to the price of an iOS app. This helps support the service and keep it from getting killed like other bookmarking services. It also helps keep spammers out and makes sure the shared bookmarks are higher quality.

Once you’re ready to give it a try, it’s quick to signup. Just enter your info as normal, then choose to pay with Google Checkout or Paypal—your choice. If you don’t end up liking Pinboard, you can request a full refund within 3 days of signup, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Signing up is quick and easy

Signing up is quick and easy

As soon as your payment is processed, you’ll receive an email with an activation link. Sign in and you’ll be ready to start keeping all of your bookmarks safe in Pinboard. To help you get started, Pinboard will give you some quick tips about using the service. Most helpful is the How-to page, which includes information on importing and exporting bookmarks, along with helpful bookmarklets to help you quickly save and find bookmarks in Pinboard.

Pinboard makes it simple to get started

Pinboard makes it simple to get started

Bring All of Your Old Bookmarks

The worst part about switching to a new browser or bookmarking service is the hundreds or thousands of bookmarks you’ve accumulated in different places over the years. Let’s see how you can get each of these pulled into Pinboard for a seamless bookmark experience.

Export Your Delicious Bookmarks

If you’ve been using Delicious to save bookmarks, you’ll want to get all of your bookmarks moved ASAP with the service being shut down soon. Thankfully, it’s easy to get your bookmarks saved and moved. Just head over to the Delicious Bookmark export page, select to include your notes and tags, and click Export. Pinboard can import everything you’ve saved in Delicious, tags and notes included, so no reason to leave anything behind. Save your export file in a safe place; we’ll need it in a few moments.

Export all your bookmarks from Delicious

Export all your bookmarks from Delicious

Export Your Browser Bookmarks

Exporting bookmarks in Chrome

Exporting bookmarks in Chrome

Have you been saving your bookmarks locally in your browser instead? It’s usually pretty easy to export your browser bookmarks. Here’s how to do it in the most popular browsers:

  • Chrome: Open the Bookmarks Manager, click Organize, then select Export Bookmarks.
  • Firefox: Open the Bookmarks Library, click Import and Backup, then select Export HTML.
  • Safari: Open the File menu, then select Export Bookmarks. Leave it to Apple to make it the easiest!
  • Opera: Open the Bookmarks manager, click the File button, then select Export Opera Bookmarks.
  • Internet Explorer: Open the Bookmarks menu, click the arrow beside the Add to Favorites button, and select Import and Export. Select the Export to a file bullet, then check the Favorites box, select all your bookmarks, and finally save to a file.

Import Everything Into Pinboard

Now that you’ve got all of your bookmarks ready to be imported, head over to the Pinboard import page. Click Choose File, then select one of your bookmark export files and click Upload. Repeat this for all of your bookmark export files you’ve saved. Now you’ll need to wait a bit as Pinboard imports your favorites. Usually this takes a few moments, but it may take a couple hours right now as they’re experiencing a large number of new signups this weekend.

Import each of your bookmark export files individually

Import each of your bookmark export files individually

Using Pinboard

Once everything’s all imported, you’ll be ready to use Pinboard as your default bookmarking solution. Let’s look at all the features and see how you can put it to use the best for your needs.

Adding New Bookmarks

The main reason most of us just save bookmarks locally in our browsers is because it’s fast and easy. Online bookmarking doesn’t have to be difficult and Pinboard makes it just about as easy as pressing the Bookmark button in your browser. The easiest way to bookmark is using the Pinboard bookmarklets. Go to the Pinboard How-to page, and drag the bookmarklets you want into your browser’s bookmarks bar.

No bookmarks, just Pinboard bookmarklets!

No bookmarks, just Pinboard bookmarklets!

There’s several different ones available: the popup ones open a new small window that let you save a bookmark without leaving the page you’re on, while the same page bookmarklet opens the Pinboard bookmarking page in your current tab. Either which you choose, you’ll be able to add notes and tags to your bookmark and save it in seconds.

Add notes and tags to your bookmark and save it in seconds.

Add notes and tags to your bookmark and save it in seconds.

Often you interact with links you’d like to remember but aren’t currently visiting, such as links in Google Reader or articles you’ve saved in Instapaper. From your Pinboard settings page, you can add your account info for a variety of services so your links added there will automatically be saved in your Pinboard account. You can also activate bookmarking by email, which is a great way to save links from your smartphone.

Integrate Pinboard with Instapaper, Google Reader, email, and more.

Integrate Pinboard with Instapaper, Google Reader, email, and more.

Finding Info When You Need It

Pinboard has a very clean and simple interface, and is very easy to use. You can quickly view and edit notes and tags you’ve saved, or just click a link directly to visit the site. Any editing you need to do can be done right there on the same page without reloading any pages.

Edit and organize bookmarks without reloading the page

Edit and organize bookmarks without reloading the page

Need to find a bookmark you’ve saved, or want to explore bookmarks others have saved publicly in Pinboard? The search box provides speedy access to all the bookmarks in Pinboard, so you can find the info you need and add new bookmarks directly from the public collection.

Expand your research with public bookmarks

Expand your research with public bookmarks

No matter where you go, you can always find your bookmarks with the Pinboard mobile site. Some newer alternate browsers such as the Cyberspace iOS browser include native support for Pinboard bookmarking. Plus, if you enabled email posting, you can save bookmarks from your smartphone as well.

Pinboard includes a nice mobile interface as well

Pinboard includes a nice mobile interface as well

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a great alternative to Delicious, or just want to keep your bookmarks in a safer place accessible anywhere, Pinboard is a great option. With integrated support for tons of services and a fast web interface, bookmarks are no longer a hassle to deal with. Pinboard is getting a lot of new signups right now so imports are taking quite a while. If you try it out today, be patient, and it’ll be back to it’s spiffy self soon. It’s one of the closest alternatives to Delicious.


Summary

Pinboard describes itself as a "bookmarking site for people in a hurry." With a clean interface and simple bookmarking with tags and notes, your favorite sites will always be accessible no matter where you are.

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  • http://www.abhimanyughoshal.com Abhimanyu Ghoshal

    Great article! However, I think the app looks terrible though – I understand it’s meant to be light but I also know it could look nice and still remain lean (min.us for example). Also, I’d prefer an app that just took care of itself or at least offered the option. Imagine it automatically syncing your browser bookmarks (like Xmarks), finding relevant tags and adding them and also finding other links you might be interested in based on your browsing history. That’d be more ideal than an expensive delicious clone.

  • http://www.newoceansmultimedia.com Marc

    Clean interface? Hmm, it looks awful to me…

    I’ll stick with http://www.zootool.com

    Very, very nice interface, fast and excellent user experience! Saves screenshots of the sites too, so that you can see within a second which bookmarks you’re looking at.

  • Jim

    This seems silly to me. Delicious shutting down – the biggest of the big boy bookmark sites – and you recommend a site that nobody’s heard of that has even a bigger chance of going away any time to backup bookmarks?

    I realize you’re just introducing readers to the service – and there’s nothing wrong with that, but wouldn’t it be more prudent given the Delicious situation to advise users to use Google Bookmarks (which has no chance of going anywhere), or better yet just making backups of their browser bookmark files?

    Pinboard is certainly an option, but it shouldn’t be the sole backup – because it WILL go away some day. The only real backup is a hard copy backed up to an external drive and DVD.

    • Matt

      “Google Bookmarks (which has no chance of going anywhere)”

      Do you mean “not going anywhere” as in, it’ll always be around or do you mean “not going anywhere” as in how the following Google products are “not going anywhere”: Google Notebook, Wave, Google Answers, GOOG-411, Google Shared Stuff, Google Catalogs… because they’ve been discontinued?

      I can’t predict the future and don’t know if pinboard will be around for the long haul, but I have to give it props because it is a slimmed down version of delicious that is just as powerful (if not more). the learning curve is pretty low so you don’t have to invest much effort, and they it uses a pretty standard format so if they do go the way of the Dodo, you can export and move on to the next big (or small) thing.

      • Tim

        I would say “not going anywhere” as in they are never going to do anything else with it. You can tell because if they were doing anything with it you would already be able to hook your Chrome bookmarks right into Google bookmarks. They would be one in the same and you could access them anywhere. Google Bookmarks is abandoned.

  • http://www.twitter.com/evilmeteor Jaime

    You people need to actually use this instead of going by the screenshots. The IU is very lightweight and clean. The app itself is blazing fast and usable. It blows del.icio.us out of the water. Really this is a tool for the power user with thousands of bookmarks, not the right tool if what you want is a place to save a few bookmarks that has artistic flair. Besides, it being a paid service, I’d feel it’s not going away any time soon.

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      I totally agree :)

  • Tim

    This costs money. If you want a great bookmarking app that will import your delicious bookmarks, just sign up for springpadit.com
    And the interface is better than pinboard.

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  • spstudebaker

    While this article is a bit dated, in the sense that it predicts something that has been borne out in the intervening time (i.e., that Pinboard is excellent and has outdone Delicious), the article is still valid. The comments by those who still need Delicios are silly. These are the same people who liked AOL and MS Word, bloatware, etc. Let them stay with something with cute graphics and slow response time.

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  • Kevin

    I’m new to Pinboard and absolutely love it. It’s simple clean UI and ease of use. I’ll use it every day!

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