For a long time now, I’ve wanted to be able to synchronise my bookmarks across multiple browsers and also multiple computers. Splitting my time between working on a desktop machine and a laptop, I was constantly frustrated when I’d go to select a bookmark that I’d found the previous day, only to realise that it was bookmarked on a different machine.
Well, no more frustration! I came across a fantastic tool recently called Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks). It has a number of great features, but the one I like the most, is the ability to sync bookmarks between computers and between browser types. They currently support Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari (Max OS).
Xmarks is available as an add-on for Firefox and Safari, and will automatically synchronise itself on browser shutdown. Xmarks for IE runs as an auto-start executable and will simply load itself into memory, complete with a System Tray icon.
Within Firefox, you can access all the Xmarks settings by clicking on the small icon in the bottom right corner of the browser. This allows you to set up your account details, synchronisation types and other features. (click the image for a more detailed view of the configuration screens)
Whenever you add, delete or edit a bookmark, Xmarks will automatically backup the changes on their servers and store them for six months. To view and restore past bookmark collections, simply login to your account via their website or visit http://my.xmarks.com. As well as the added security of knowing that your bookmarks are backed up, it also means that they are available for you to access anywhere, via the web. The site is even optimised for viewing on your iPhone or iPod touch screen.
As a regular firefox user and an iPhone devotee, I found it annoying that iTunes only supported bookmark synchronisation from Safari or Internet Explorer. Now I don’t need to worry as all my Firefox bookmarks will automatically sync across to IE and therefore also keep my iPhone updated as well. Just another added bonus!
Some of the other features provided:
- Xmarks will highlight the three top sites in your Google results based on how many people have bookmarked them.
- You can click on the Xmarks info icon in your location bar to see detailed information about the site you are on.
- It’s possible to create different profiles for different bookmarks. This allows you to keep Home and Work bookmarks sync seperately, for example.
- You can share individual folders or your entire set of bookmarks.
- In Firefox 3, you can securely sync your saved passwords between computers.
Overall, I think its a great tool and after using it for a couple of weeks now, the only thing I’m disappointed about is not finding it sooner!
Have you found any other solutions for syncing your bookmarks? If so, leave a comment, I’d love to hear how others get around this problem.