Ah, the bookmarks bar. That thing that was invented back in … um.
It’s, like, always been there, hasn’t it? Right?
Let’s just say that as soon as it appeared, we all immediately treated it as though it had been there forever, and it’s now an indispensable part of most browser setups. I know mine is. As soon as I pop online for work in the morning, I click four buttons: Pandora, Thesaurus.com, GCal and Gmail … in that order.
Boom. Bookmark win.
But slowly, over the course of weeks and months, I began to notice that the systematization stopped there. The rest of my bookmarks bar – which has room for 46 more, according to my laborious hand count just now – was basically wasted real estate.
I used to use my bookmarks bar for things like Amazon or Paypal, because I wanted to have a cute lil’ box to click whenever I wanted to buy a new set of fairy lights or transfer money to my bank account.
But one day I realized … that’s silly. It takes me like .3 seconds to type A-M-A-Z-O-N-DOT-C-O-M, barely longer than navigating to and clicking the favicon.
So why waste valuable real estate keeping track of them in that handy bar? I know where to find them when I need them, after all. (Looking at you, Netflix. Making people useless since 1997.*)
There was really no reason to have these burned-into-my-brain URLs stashed up there, when I couldn’t remember other sites. You know, ones I actually used all the time for work. Instead of that clickable square, I was using the extreeeeeeeemly unreliable method of Googling hopefully for phrases I half remembered and getting nowhere.
Why? All because I was a bookmarks bar IDIOT, that’s why.
It was time to get real.
I’m a mom of two, and I built my biz while watching two kids from home. It was a trying time, to say the least, and while I definitely worked hard, I wasn’t the most organized. And in my line of work, where I write for like 80 clients and am accessing hundreds of different websites a day, that’s just not good.
I finally managed to send them to school a few years ago, and since then have been able to take my business much more seriously. That’s when I turned my attention to creating more intentional systems: for clients, for email, for social, even for cleaning the house. But for the longest time, I didn’t understand the power of that bookmarks bar real estate.
Slowly, though, I noticed a few new uses to which I wanted to put my bookmarks bar:
When I have an easy way to access all the sites I use, engage with my apps and profiles, and switch out one resource for another, I clicked along much more easily. Plus, I like the reminder that a little icon gives me. It’s like a cute box telling me: Post your Instagram story! Go download the new worksheet from your lady boss subscription site! Isn’t it time you finished that ebook for Client XYZ??
… to which I might answer: Fine, fine and I don’t wanna.
It was such a better system, and it’s now a daily part of my business checklist – which you can grab in that box below, by the way, along with a dozen other badass copywriting resources. Just sayin’.
Now I have a daily bookmarks bar practice that helps me keep way better track of all my resources. Here’s my basic system:
Pro tip: As said above, when bookmarking any site you have to sign into, always bookmark the page you want to land on, usually the dashboard. Occasionally you’ll still have to sign in, but depending on your browser settings, you typically won’t. This saves you from the multi-click journey from their homepage to your dashboard. Win!
These tasks keep my bar fresh, engaging and a pleasure to use. Every time I look at it, I see bookmarks I actually make use of, and the process makes my life easier, faster and all around awesomer. Especially when I’m outlining or conducting research for my business, it really helps.
Additional pro tip: If you want to switch users or get a new device, make sure to back up your bookmarks so you can reinstall them later (Note: This tutorial is for Chrome but you can do this in all browsers). And here’s a great guide to exporting and importing bookmarks in Chrome, in case you switch devices or get a new computer but don’t use Chrome. Easy peasy.
So what do you think? Could your bookmark bar use stand a little freshening up? Let us know how you manage yours in the comments! And if you want a checklist of other amazing tasks to streamline your business and rock your work, go ahead and grab those by signing up below.
* Not actually their trademark but totes should be.
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