Bookmarks are good! Bookmarks are great! You should have thousands of bookmarks of all kinds of information resources immediately accessible on the Personal Toolbar of your browser. You should carry them around on a CDROM or on a USB memory device.
- Because you have found useful sources of information, whether they are on the Web or links to commercial databases and libraries.
- Because you know that Medline or MD Consult are one-stop sources of medical information.
- Because you want to jump immediately to WorldCat or OCLC Connexion or the Library of Congress without typing in the URL.
- Because you don't want to type in the URL for Google's Advanced Search.
- Because you want to return frequently to this site or page or that site or page, and the URL is complex or you have to work your way through several layers of the Web site.
Why? Because bookmarks save you time and effort by making it unnecessary to:
- Have to locate useful and/or important Web sites and pages each time.
- Have to type the URL in each time.
An aside on alternatives: You can store your bookmarks on your own Web site, and there are Web sites that enable you to store your bookmarks online.
The Personal Toolbar
You can configure the "Personal" toolbar of almost any browser in a variety of ways. Because of the range of uses that I make of the Internet, I have created and loaded 21 folders of bookmarks just on that toolbar alone. (Note: I have about three (yes, 3) megabytes of bookmarks in total).
A personal recommendation for Firefox (available at mozilla.org). It does not have email or newsgroup components, but it is faster, more reliable, and more secure than either Netscape, Internet Explorer, or the other browsers based on those two (such as Earthlink's or AOL's browsers). And it's free. Oh, and just like Netscape and IE, you can import bookmarks from other browsers.
The Search Engine Bookmark Folder
I use this pulldown folder of search engine bookmarks all of the time. It has my favorite search tools, but it also changes relatively frequently. Some new tools, such as Gigablast, just made it into my "Major Search Engines" subfolder. Other ones I have eliminated. Now that AlltheWeb and AltaVista are using the Yahoo/Inktomi database, I am not sure what I am going to do with those two. Especially since Ujiko's Web site (http://www.ujiko.com) reports that the Yahoo/Inktomi database, which Ujiko also uses, has upwards of 20-billion records.
Of course, this is only one of my folders of information sources. As noted in the image above, I also have folders of Internet indexes (IIs), links to databases (DBs), and libraries (Libs) on my Personal Toolbar. Find out the tools that work best for you and load them as bookmarks into folders on your Personal Toolbars.