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You probably come across information or resources online every day that could help you with projects and clients. But without the right tools and the right strategy, it can be difficult to capture those links in a way that will make them easy to use later.
Enter Social Favorites: Free online services that let you save links to a personal library, organize them in folders or lists, tag them, take notes about them, search for them, and to share them selectively with others.
Social bookmarking can offer significant benefits in terms of productivity. Most notably, your social bookmarks can become your “back-up brain” for projects, allowing you to easily access relevant online information as you need, no matter when and how you found it. The trick is to do it in a way that associates links with your projects or clients.
Although social bookmarking is nothing new – one of the most popular services, Delicious.com, started in 2003 – it can be particularly useful for organizing an endless stream of potentially valuable information. Now owned by Yahoo, Delicious offers improved search and usability, and offers a simple browser bookmark – a quick way to access interactive features through a URL that you can save in your web browser’s toolbar for easy access. easy access from any page. There is also an iPhone / iPad application, and Droidlicious is a full Android app for Delicious.
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But Delicious is not your only option. Other social bookmarking tools include:
- Diigo: Its bookmarklet integrates with all popular web browsers to allow link saving, categorization, annotation, sharing and offline playlists without having to visit the Diigo website. You can also highlight or add sticky notes to web pages that become visible when you activate the bookmarklet.
Diigo’s own mobile apps primarily allow you to access links that you’ve already added to your favorites, but some third-party apps, such as Powernote for Android, allow you to add links to Diigo from your mobile device. a iPad app also supports mobile bookmarks.
- Clipboard: This visually appealing social bookmarking service allows you to save screenshots and multimedia with sophisticated navigation, search and features. Clipboard Also offers web browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, a browser bookmarklet, and tools for visitors to easily cut and share content on your site. There are IPhone / iPad applications, but so far no compatible Android app is available.
- Evernote: While touted as a personal productivity and organization tool, you can also save, categorize, tag, share, and find links through Evernote – in particular by the Web mower browser extension and bookmarklet. iPhone, iPad and Android applications are available.
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When using social bookmarking for business, here are some tips:
Organize primarily by project or client, not by topic. Setting a work-related context forces you to think up front about how you might use each interesting link. If your top level of organization (folder, notebook or list, depending on the department) reflects your major projects or clients, it’s also easier to view and use all the links relevant to a specific assignment.
For example, an architect might be tempted to create thematic link folders titled “Code Compliance”, “Craftsman Style”, or “Lighting”. But if he’s working on long-term projects, it may make more sense to tag files like “Henson Homes” or “Denver Housing Authority,” which refer to clients.
Use tags to designate topics or subprojects. Social bookmarking services allow you to tag individual links with tags, which offers a different way to sort or search saved links and can be a better way to indicate topics. With a tag, the architect could always easily find all saved “Craftsman” links, no matter what project he was working on when the bookmark was saved.
Tags can also designate sub-projects. For example, the architect could design houses for multiple neighborhoods in Denver and could make each neighborhood name a label, providing secondary navigation for easy sorting.
Make your links private. If your social bookmarking service makes your links public by default, any other user of the service or the web could see potentially confidential information. So, whenever you create a folder of work-related links, take a moment to make it private. (Most services offer this option and instructions on how to do it.) Likewise, share links or folders selectively, especially if you have clients or confidential notes.
Integration with your mobile device. Nowadays, entrepreneurs are likely to come across potentially useful information online on a smartphone or tablet. When choosing a social bookmarking service, make sure that it offers tools to easily save and categorize links from your mobile device.
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