del.icio.us bookmarksI currently use two computers, each with very similar setups – OSX, Firefox and thousands of bookmarks. Those bookmarks are different on each machine.

At least they were.

The cleanup fell into two distinct phases:

  • getting rid of the excess and putting them online (where they’re easy to share)
  • syncing the online bookmarks with the local machines

For now – today at least – I decided to tackle the first part. That would at least leave me with nothing to manage locally.

The process was broken down into the following :

Remove duplicates

For Firefox users, the simplest way to do this is with the BookmarksDD add-on. This is available from mozdev.org and it’s use is fairly self-explanatory.

Unfortunately it only deletes one duplicate at a time, so it may take a while; I’d suggest moving everything into just a handful of folders for now (and setting it to automatic).

NB : Don’t forget to take a backup of your bookmarks before you start deleting things. Just in case.

Manually delete unwanted bookmarks

Once the add-on has cleaned things up a little, you’ll probably see a number of bookmarks that really shouldn’t be there at all (especially if you use the ‘bookmark all tabs’ feature occasionally). Go through and delete any you find.

Sort into folders

Now’s the time to put everything back into folders. No need to get too carried away here; it will, however, help del.icio.us tag things (the folder names you choose will become the starting tags for the import).

Export bookmarks

Open your bookmarks (Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks) and export them to a file somewhere (File -> Export). The simplest place is your desktop.

Login to del.icio.us and import bookmarks

Head over to del.icio.us and either open an account (free) or sign in to an existing one. Once you’re in, under Settings you’ll find an Import/Upload option. Follow the instructions and import the file you saved above.

Tidy them up and share them

By default the newly uploaded bookmarks aren’t public. Go through them and share them as desired. This is also a good time to perform any minor editing of their saved names.

Delete the local bookmarks

Once you’ve made sure that everything looks fine online – and ensuring you have a local backup, in case of disaster – delete your local bookmarks. Most of them, anyway (it’s always handy to have a few for regular things such as your webmail account).

Next (hopefully tomorrow) comes the interesting part; syncing the online bookmarks with each computer. Should be fun.

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