If you have dozens of tabs open on your browser that you cannot read any of the tab names, then you might need this relatively new (well, it started in 2013, so not that new) bookmarking tool called Raindrop.io.
Raindrop.io is an elegant web bookmark manager and tool. The free version does most of what you need with unlimited bookmarks and highlights, across unlimited devices. Save images, articles, videos, and, of course, webpages. If you need a tiny bit more of something like a personal librarian on call at your personal library (no AI, sorry), then consider the Pro level at $28 per year. You can search everything you save, including PDFs.
Raindrop works straight on the web (operating as an app, but opens in a tab) and just about every platform or device has a dedicated app: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. For browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge have robust extensions.
Raindrop.io vs Pocket vs Pinboard
Briefly, Pocket is the main competitor to Raindrop and a bit more ubiquitous in terms of brand name recognition. It offers many of the same features, but it’s premium version is $45 per year, so when I got back into trying to sort how to capture and store bookmarks and other reading items, I started using Raindrop.io because of the $28 per year price , but quickly fell in love with the organizing functionality of it.
Pinboard is another bookmarking service I still use a bit and like. It bills itself as social bookmarking for introverts and it has a look and feel that speaks to that. Super simple, streamlined, and does the job. In fact, in my mind, the granddaddy, or grandmammy, of social bookmarking is, or was, Delicious, which was acquired by Pinboard, so hats off to them. It shows they get the community aspect of bookmarking and know how to serve users. It does not have a free level account, but the $22 per year is quite reasonable and if you stop using it you can still access all of your bookmarks for free. You just cannot add new ones.
Core Features of Raindrop.io
In a nutshell, almost any app comes down to individual preference and how it fits into your workflow, how the design and user experience appeals to you, or not, and if it has the tools that make your life easier. Testing new apps is part of my work and I enjoy it. However, I try to work with an app for a period of time to see if it can help me get more work done, think more clearly, and manage the ever-increasing flow of information that hits all of us.
I found the user experience with Raindrop to be just a bit friendlier and faster. I liked the design and especially the ability to toggle to what they call the “Mood Board” and it displays sort of Tumblr-like stories, shows your bookmarks as magazine type covers (screenshot below). I can also just search and pull up a list for times when I have to drill down through thousands of bookmarks. You can see on the far right with a red #1 and orange highlights where I wrote a note to myself. I love that feature.
I really liked that I could create a shareable bookmark board and grant access to a handful of people to show them a brainstorm of sites that helped me with a project.
Annotating highlights is superbly good. Highlighting saves what you highlighted on a webpage so that when you click the link to go back it shows you that same mark, helpful to reorient yourself as to why you saved it in the first place.
The best part for me and what I consider an annotation is to be able to write something about the bookmark — and you can drop into the description area and put info in the bookmark right at the top, in addition to the tagging and sorting options. Marked above in the Mood Board screenshot.
Raindrop.io is worth a try and might fit your needs for keeping track of the many places that you wander on the web. Give it a try and let me know in the comments or on social media what you think of it or other bookmarking or productivity tools. Keep organized out there.