Today, there’s never a lack of new things to see and read online. In fact, the biggest problem is keeping up with the stuff you really want to remember. It’s so easy to read an article or discover a new webapp you like, only to forget it and never find it again. Fonts and icon packs seem to be the easiest for me to forget; I’ll find ones I love, and then somehow never be able to find them again later.
There’s no reason you have to lose stuff you find online, though. Even in our fast paced society with new tweets and notifications coming in all the time, you can still keep up with the stuff you like online. With little effort, you’ll have a curated set of all your favorite things you’ve found online. We’ve scoured the net for 24 of the best webapps that can help you keep up with things you find online no matter where you are. Chances are you already use some of them, but keep reading to find some new ones that might be the perfect solution for you.
Bookmark Your Favorite Sites
Most of us have lost bookmarks when switching to a new computer or browser. That’s where online bookmarking solutions come in: they’re always the same, no matter what device or browser you’re using. Here’s some of our favorite online bookmarking tools today.
Pinboard is an increasingly popular new bookmarking service that is blazingly fast and easy to use. Similar to the original Delicious service, Pinboard lets you bookmark sites quickly with a bookmarklet, add notes and tags to them, set bookmarks as private or public, then find anything you’ve saved quickly later. Pinboard integrates with Twitter, Instapaper, and Read it Later, so you can automatically import any links you’ve added to these services as Pinboard bookmarks, too.
Unlike many online bookmarking apps, Pinboard charges a small signup fee to prevent spam and support the service. Additionally, if you’d like to have a full archive of the sites you’ve bookmarked, you can upgrade to an archival account for $25/year. This way, even if the site goes offline you’ll never lose your info!
Plain text bookmarks can be rather dull, so Zootool reinvented bookmarking. This beautifully designed app makes it easy to clip the creative images, videos, and more you discover online into an online scrapbook of inspiration. You might forget what the title of that beautiful image you found was, but with Zootool, you can browse through your library and rediscover it easily.
Historious is a unique bookmarking service designed to help you build your own personal search engine. As you bookmark sites, historious will archive their contents so you can quickly search the full text of all bookmarked sites. You can even make your bookmarks public so your friends can search for sites from your bookmarks if you want. It’s a unique take on bookmarking that makes sure you’ll never lose anything you find online.
Historious does have a free account, but you can only use it to bookmark up to 300 sites. After that, you’ll need a pro account for $2.95/month of $19.95/year, which gives you unlimited site archival and more.
Delicious is the grandfather of online bookmarking apps, and is still a quite popular social bookmarking service today. Their original domain, de.licio.us, was one of the first domain hacks on a popular site. Although there are rumors that Delicious may be shut down, Yahoo has promised to continue maintaining the site and is considering selling it. Want to buy a popular webapp?
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.delicious.com/
Although most of us use Google services daily, few have even heard of Google Bookmarks. This free online bookmarking service is a barebones bookmarking option that works similar to Delicious. You can actually import your Delicious bookmarks into it, and can even search your Google history for sites you visit frequently to add to your bookmarks. Then, organize bookmarks into lists to make them easy to find.
Oddly enough, Chrome Sync doesn’t add your browser bookmarks to Google Bookmarks; they’re two fully separate services.
- Price: Free
- Website: https://www.google.com/bookmarks/
Rescued from an untimely death by LastPass, Xmarks is a popular service to keep your bookmarks backed up online and synced between your browsers. You can then access your bookmarks online anytime, or search through others public bookmarks to find great new sites. Xmarks is free for its basic version; for mobile access, advanced archival, and open browser tab sync, you’ll need to upgrade to their $12/year premium version.
- Price: Free; $12/yr
- Website: http://www.xmarks.com/
Ember is a creative way to show off your own designs or those you discover online. When you come across a beautiful site, icon, photo, or anything else you’d love to share and remember, Ember is a great place to add your clips to rediscover later. It’s your online scrapbook of digital creativity!
- Price: Free
- Website: http://emberapp.com/
When bookmarks on their own aren’t enough, Diigo may be the solution you need. You can use it to collect anything you find online: documents, images, links, and more. Add notes to your clips, then quickly search Diigo for them later when you need them again.
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.diigo.com/
While StumbleUpon is primarily a way to recommend sites to others and find new sites you might find interesting, it can also work as a bookmarking solution of sorts. Every time you recommend a site, it’s saved to your StumbleUpon account. You can then look back over your recommended links or search to find old sites you’d liked in the past. And all you have to do is click the thumbs-up button; simple and easy!
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.stumbleupon.com/
Store Notes Online
When you want to save more than just a bookmark, there are many online notebook tools today you can use to store your thoughts, links, and more. Here are some of the best ways to keep notes online about anything you discover online … or offline!
Simplenote is one of the simplest ways to take plain text notes online. Whether you want to copy a story or quote you found online, or keep a list of your favorite webapps, Simplenote is an easy and elegant way to do it. Best of all, Simplenote can search through all your notes almost instantly to find what you’re looking for.
Simplenote’s webapp and mobile apps are free, though you can upgrade to a premium version that removes ads and syncs your notes to Dropbox if you wish.
Evernote is one of the most popular notebook apps ever. You can clip anything you find online and add it quickly to your notebooks, and can even attach photos and PDF files to notes. The newly redesigned webapp makes it almost as easy to use Evernote from your browser as from their native Windows, Mac, and mobile apps. If you’re looking for a rich notetaking solution that integrates with your online life, Evernote is the app to beat.
Springpad combines the best of a bookmarking system with a beautifully designed online notebook, then adds intelligence so your notes will stay organized without you having to organize them. Clip anything online with the browser addons, or add any notes you want, and they’ll automatically be categorized and organized. Springpad puts your information to work for you, bringing the classic moleskin notebook into the 21st century the right way.
Zoho makes one of the most comprehensive set of webapps online today, many of which are relatively unknown. Zoho Notebook isn’t mentioned much online, but it is a great option for building your own personal online notebook. Add all types of data you come across online, from text to files, then keep your notes private or share them with the world.
- Price: Free
- Website: https://notebook.zoho.com/
Microsoft’s new online version of Office includes a nearly full-featured version of OneNote remade as a webapp. Even if you’ve never used the Windows version of OneNote, this webapp can still be a great way to create a detailed online notebook and collaborate with others on notes. With 25Gb of free storage, you’re not going to fill it up anytime soon, either.
- Price: Free
- Website: http://office.live.com/
Yes, we know, WordPress is a blog CMS, not a notebook app. But, using the Post This clipper, email and mobile posting, and the simple web interface, you could make a private “blog” that’s actually your own personal notebook. It’d be easy to search, and can be exported anytime you want. WordPress even includes a bookmarks tool to keep track of your favorite sites. Perhaps WordPress is actually an Evernote competitor disguised as a blog engine…
Keep a Copy
Sometimes it’s best to keep the web close by. For those articles you know you need to keep, you can always print them out or save them as PDFs with these tools.
PrimoPDF is one of the best PDF conversion apps, as it leaves the text in the PDFs selectable so you can copy or edit it on your computer. The only problem is, it takes a few moments to convert webpages to PDFs, so you’ll need to enter your link and then PrimoPDF will email you a copy of the site as a PDF. Now you can easily take it on your mobile device to read on the go, or just archive it in your Dropbox so you’ll never lose the info.
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.primopdf.com/online.aspx
PDFmyURL is incredibly simple to use. Just paste in your URL, and seconds later a PDF will download to your computer with a copy of the site. If you’d like more features, a pro account will let you tweak the PDF page size, add watermarks, create a table of contents from the sites you’re saving as PDF, and more. There’s no reason to leave the web behind when you’re offline any more!
Would you rather have a paper copy of the site you’re reading? Usually you could just click Print in your browser, but it’s not quite that easy on mobile devices. Google Cloud Print aims to fix that problem by letting you sent print jobs online to your home computer’s printer. Currently it only works on Gmail mobile, but Google’s released an API for Cloud Print so we could potentially see more websites Cloud Print-enabled in the near future. All of technology’s progress still can’t get us away from paper!
- Price: Free
- Website: http://www.google.com/cloudprint/
Perhaps you don’t want to save a link forever, but you would like to save it for now so you can read it later. Here’s some great services that make it easy to read articles you discover when you want, or archive them for later.
The original service for reading articles on your own time, Instapaper lets you add anything you’re reading online to your reading list so you can finish your reading whenever you want. Articles are reformatted to be clean and easy to read, and can be recommended to others through the app. With its iOS apps, it’s an especially good choice if you want to read on your iPhone or iPad later.
Read it Later is another popular tool to help you push articles you want to read out until you have time to read them. It integrates with a wide variety of browsers and mobile devices, so your articles are ready when you want them. And, if you want to find more, the Digest can suggest article you might like based on the ones you’ve added to Read it Later.
- Price: Free
- Website: http://readitlaterlist.com/
Readability started off as a bookmarklet to clean up webpages and make them easier to read. It’s now turned into a webapp that lets you save articles to read later, and donate to the authors of the article at the same time. Best of all, their mobile webapp lets you read on the go even when you’re offline.
With all of these apps, there’s no reason you need to lose anything you’ve discovered online. You can bookmark it, save notes about it, save it to read later, and more. Best of all, most of these apps take little effort to use, so you’ll keep up with your favorite sites and apps without having to waste time organizing info. I personally use Pinboard, Instapaper, Simplenote, WordPress, and Evernote all the time, and now find it much easier to keep up with than my old system of sticky notes and random browser bookmarks!
How do you keep up with info you find online? Do you use any of these tools, or do you have other favorites? Let us know in the comments below!