I don’t use website bookmarks any more

ChromeI use Chrome as my internet browser. Chrome was built by Google to be faster and more efficient, and I think it is. Also it doesn’t close all Chrome windows just because one has a problem, which I really appreciate.

One of the things I like best about Chrome is the address bar at the top. As well as typing an address into it, you can type a word or phrase into it as though it was a Google search and it will find what you’re looking for. It will guess, based on what you use most often. Only if it can’t guess or you reject what it comes up with will it give you a normal list of search results like a normal Google search. I really appreciate the time this saves.

I used to have a long list of favourites/bookmarks, organised into folders. I’ve carried and added to this list over the years, copying it from one computer to another and one browser to another. I started a new list in iGoogle, the Google homepage that you can customise yourself.

Now that Chrome and I have got to know each other better I don’t need bookmarks. I type the first letter or two of the website I want in the address bar and Chrome figures it out for me. Instead of clicking on my bookmarks, opening a succession of folders, and then finding the website I want (yes, it had got to that level of complexity), I only need one or two keystrokes.

When I type in a p, for example, it looks like this:

Chrome search P

The symbol next to each choice reflects where Chrome got the result from, I assume. A star is one of my favourites. If it was Google+ that I wanted (and it usually is) I just need to hit Enter and it loads automatically. Easy!

Here’s a list of my most commonly-used websites and what I type into Chrome to get them:

A = ANZ anz.com.au or Ancestry depending on whichever I have used most recently (ANZ is a bank)

ANC = Ancestry www.ancestry.com/, I use a world subscription so it goes to the American site

B = Birth and death index search for the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births

C = Carole’s Canvas caroleriley.id.au which is my own personal website. My family tree is here, so I can check people in it without having to open my family tree software. I can also select http://www.cityrail.info/ a bit further down the list to check train timetables.

D = Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/. I rely on Dropbox for sharing files instantly between computers and to other people.

E = Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia, the English version.  W takes me to wikipedia.org, which makes me select a language.

F = Facebook https://facebook.com/ or FamilySearch www.familysearch.org or FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

FI = Fiji Genealogy http://fijigenealogy.com/.

FIN = FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

G = Google, Gould Genealogy  or Yahoo Groups groups.yahoo.com/mygroups, where I approve new members to the TMG Sydney User Group. Google usually opens at the Australian site for me, but may not for you.

H = Heritage Genealogyheritagegenealogy.com.au, my business website, to which this blog belongs.

I = Internet Movie Database imdb.com or PIXEL http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au (NSW Lands Department maps) or http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/Search.aspx State Records NSW Archives Investigator, the catalogue search, depending on what I’ve used most recently.

J =Jetstar jetstar.com.au, but only because I’ve been flying a lot lately. There are not many sites with J in them.

KKu-Ring-Gai Orchid Society http://kuringaiorchidsociety.org.au/ which I help look after on behalf of the society.

L = LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/home/caroleriley or LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ or LPMA http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/ which doesn’t work any more because the NSW Lands Department has changed their name again.

M = Google Maps http://maps.google.com.au/ or Mashable http://mashable.com/, depending on which one I’ve used most recently.

N = National Archives of Australia http://www.naa.gov.au/ or NSW Genealogy http://nswgenealogy.com.au/, which is the alternate address for my business website.

O = Optus http://optusnet.com.au/ my internet service provider.

P = Google+ https://plus.google.com/ or it may give me PayPal https://www.paypal.com or the Public Record Office of Victoria at http://prov.vic.gov.au/ .

Q = Qantas http://www.qantas.com.au/, again because I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately. Not many sites with Q in them.

RState Records NSW online indexes http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online.

S = Society of Australian Genealogists http://sag.org.au/.

SL = State Library of NSW http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/.

TTwitter https://twitter.com/.

TR = Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ is the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of just about everything, including digitised newspapers.

UUnlock The Past http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/.

V = Vodafone http://vodafone.com.au my mobile phone company.

WE = Westpac http://www.westpac.com.au/ my bank.

WI = Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia. I then have to pick a language.

X = I never use, but when I type it it guesses http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online State Records NSW online indexes.

Y = YouTube http://www.youtube.com/.

Z = it guesses ANZ (my bank) unless I’m not quick enough to accept, in which case it guesses Zara, which I’ve never heard of.

You can perhaps see from this list that the letter I type is not necessarily the first initial of the name of the website. It’s more likely to be the first letter of the address after the http:// as in R gives me  http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online. If I want to be more specific I have to type more, as in FAM to distinguish between Facebook and FamilySearch.

If I’ve already made that site a ‘favourite’ it will be higher on the list, and if I’ve used it a lot recently it will select it automatically. The only confusion is where there are multiple sites for the same letter, as in F for Facebook or FindMyPast.

If you use Chrome already, give this a try for yourself. If you don’t, download it for yourself and see if you think it is faster.


  1. Although I switched from Firefox to Chrome weeks ago, and I knew about the easy searches, I hadn’t really noticed just how powerful it is and how it virtually eliminates the need for bookmarks. (Does that only work if you do not clear your browser’s history? I must test it!) — Chrome’s Bookmarks Bar seems much better than the one in other browsers. It is handy if you want to refer back to several pages within a particular site. For example, I have been using it to make a short list of borrowers for Kiva loans. It’s easy to add a link to a particular person’s page, check it again later, and delete it when I no longer need it.

  2. I’m repeating here what I said on Google+ as I fear that a lot of your readers may not have joined that service yet.

    Chrome does a great job of finding those sites I visit regularly.

    My 1300 genealogy bookmarks stored in Delicious are very precious to me. I’ve been collecting and tagging them for much longer than I have been using Chrome so Chrome won’t remember them for me and my poor old brain can’t remember them either. When I need to find one to help a fellow genealogist or for personal use I can easily retrieve them from my Delicious account. I do backup regularly in case Delicious goes belly up.

    I have just upgraded to the Chrome Delicious Bookmarks Extension (Beta) – Version: 1.0 https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mnaelnkmidnndgikjbiifihgklnocljd
    that one needs to use now that Delicious is owned by AVOS Systems.

  3. Thanks for this Carole, I’m going to give it a go and see if I like it too.

  4. Thanks Carole for the encouragement. I have downloaded Chrome and started using it. I need to get a bit more proficient.

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