Despite the proliferation of bowsers, social bookmarking sites, and Instapaper-type services, or perhaps because of it, bookmarking websites is sometimes a rather complex, fragmented process. I frequently get emails from people wanting a good ‘bookmarks manager’, and if that describes you and you are looking for such a program then check out Fav-Links, a free, visual bookmark manager.
Fav-Links comes in two guises; a free application that can be installed locally on a PC, as well as a web application. This post will focus on the former, as the latter was not available at the time of this writing.
How to use: a floating dropzone icon will appear on your desktop once the program is launched. To add a bookmark, drag the URL from the address bar to the dropzone icon, then add a category if you like.
PROS: what I like about Fav-Links
- Browser independent: which is how it ought to be.
- User-created thumbnails: zoom in and out and center the website, all manually, to create the perfect thumbnail.
- Semi-transparent screen overlay: looks really good.
- Category view: which you can get if you simply hover your mouse over the top of your screen.
- URL Search: is supported, but only in category view.
Wish list: or how this program can be even better
- The ability to add a link to multiple categories: i.e. more of a tagging system than categories.
- The ability to edit links’ categories in batch: via drag and drop for example, also the ability to simply rename a category, which is strangely missing.
- The ability to optionally add a NAME to the bookmark: especially useful for those long URLS that don’t tell us what the topic is.
- Live filtering: i.e. something which would work instantly as you type in each key, rather than a search box, would be great. Also to add this to the ALL pages and not just the ‘categories’ view.
- A way to add URLs without the use of a dropzone: such as a hotkey combination for example, would be nice.
- A bookmarks importing component: obviously, so as not to be manually adding in all those bookmarks you already stored in your browser.
More on the web app: although I was unable to register to access the web app as of this writing, a live sample is available to test it out.
Here’s a list of what I hope will be implemented once the web app is launched:
- The ability to sync your bookmarks to the cloud: and share across computers and devices (this is indeed promised).
- The ability to share individual URLs or category pages with other users as we do a lot of list sharing over here at Freewaregenius.
The verdict: a really nice app that a lot of users will embrace I am sure. It has some really attractive features, but in other ways it feels unfinished. It is good but I hope that it continues to get better. It is still in the early stages but I am really hoping that it gets pushed further, and that some of the wish list items above will be addressed.
The fact that it has a web app component is also very promising.
[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this software].
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7; Requires MS .NET Framework 4.0.
Go to the program home page to download (~1.11 megs).