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This is something I've been eager to have for a long time, and I realize it's not a trivial request.

I propose adding a section to each Stack Exchange site for your own personal bookmarks. This would be useful for quick access to things like:

  • Links to specific answers, comments, or questions from any site in the network

The request to add specific answers to your "favorites" has come up many times. Digging through favorites usually involves several clicks and digging through the list, it's almost easier to just search the site for the post.

  • Links to external sites that you reference frequently

Having quick access to links for documentation, forum posts, or posts on other SE sites (including meta) is always useful. For instance, I'm always looking for the "Something on my web site doesn't work" post so new users understand why it's unacceptable to just post a link to their website.

  • Links to sections of the FAQ or Meta posts

As stated above, it's easier to help new users the right way when links to the proper resources are easily available. The quicker I can access the link, the more likely I am to actually post it.

  • Throwaway links to posts you want to revisit later that day, but don't want to add to "Favorites"

My current system for this is to leave a comment, then go to my comment history to find the original post. These comments are removed from the list if the post is closed or deleted. If I want to go back and check the post to cast a reopen or undelete vote, there's no easy way to find it.


I can't propose exactly how this would be worked into the UI, but I would prefer something as simple as possible. For example I don't think we need a button next to everything that says "add to my bookmarks", it's easy enough to copy the URL manually. Maybe something like this, for starters:

enter image description here

I've heard the argument that one can simply use their browser's bookmarks for this, but it becomes a lot of clutter, is difficult to organize, and it also requires that your bookmarks are synced across every browser you use. I don't even bother with this option, I'd guess that not many other people do either. Another hack would be to use the "About Me" section, but of course that's not what that's for. I do this myself, hiding the URLs and my notes in an HTML comment.

It could very well just be a free form notepad and be very useful, but it could be taken further by being able to tag, give titles to, and organize your "bookmarks". I'd guess that the most common use of this feature would be to post links in comments, questions, and answers. Ideally, the section could be managed and accessed without a new page load.

The goal here is quick, easy access to arbitrary links specifically for your personal use on the SE network. What you use the feature for is up to you. What do you guys say, would you find this feature useful?

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+1 This has been asked for many times, in various forms. Unfortunately, most of the time it gets batted down with "but you have favourites for that". This question might interest you.. –  Benjol Aug 6 '12 at 13:20
    
Unfortunately "Favorites" are limited to only questions, and only ones on that network, and aren't easy to access quickly. To me it is a completely different purpose, primarily for when I want to be nofified of new activity, but from your link it looks like people are using them for a variety of purposes. Maybe a "notepad" style tool would be better, as it would cater to more uses (copy/paste comments for example). –  Wesley Murch Aug 6 '12 at 13:23
    
Or just use delicious? –  AakashM Aug 6 '12 at 13:32
    
@AakashM: Sorry, what is delicious? Remember, the goal is is quick-as-possible access to links, and links specifically for use while using SE sites. If it's an external site it kind of defeats the point. The more effort required, the less likely I will use it at all. –  Wesley Murch Aug 6 '12 at 13:45
    
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Why are browser bookmarks difficult to organise and why do you think SO bookmarks would be easy to organise (favourites currently is just one big list; with browser bookmarks you can do much better). Syncing is available in all browsers nowadays, if you really need that. –  Cat Plus Plus Aug 6 '12 at 13:47
    
@CatPlusPlus: I cannot easily sync my bookmarks to my libraries machine, for example. I must stress, the goal here is quick easy access. "Favorites" are limited to questions on that particular network, so I can't use SO to favorite Meta posts, for example, or to external sites. –  Wesley Murch Aug 6 '12 at 13:48
    
@WesleyMurch I agree with this request whole-heartedly :-) +1 –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Aug 6 '12 at 13:51
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What I'm saying is that current favourite system is not that good, not that you should use it for those bookmarks. But browser bookmarks are pretty much designed for this, implementing it on SO is duplicating features. –  Cat Plus Plus Aug 6 '12 at 13:51
    
@CatPlusPlus: Specifically on SO, I paste links frequently. This is not what I use my browser's bookmarks for, and I expect that not many people do either. My point is, the easier it is to access the links, the more they will be put to good use. I guess I could keep open a tab in Notepad for this, but the goal is to make things easier. Would this not accomplish that goal? Is my point being taken the wrong way? Really this is a "nice to have" feature, not a big deal. –  Wesley Murch Aug 6 '12 at 13:53
    
Keep them on a bookmark bar, and then drag them in and out. If SO implements bookmarks, you'd still have to copy/drag them, so no benefit there. –  Cat Plus Plus Aug 6 '12 at 13:55
    
Delicious is a bookmarks site. It used to be quite well known. It supports tagging, searching, and has browser integration including a sidebar and context menus. It addresses every single one of your bullet points. –  AakashM Aug 6 '12 at 13:55
    
@AakashM: I see. Once again though, I'm suggesting that a built-in tool would be better than an external one. I can say for sure that I won't bother using browser bookmarks, external sites, or local files. I'd prefer the "about me" hack. To me, the best case, easiest to use scenario involves not switching tabs, pages, or applications. I reserve my browser bookmarks for that which I feel is truly important. Once again, not crucial, but nice to have. –  Wesley Murch Aug 6 '12 at 13:57
    
+1. You can't Favorite answers, but sometimes the answers are what you want to find back - both on computers at work and at home. I'd prefer to be able to do so without having to log in to another site (like delicious). –  S.L. Barth Aug 6 '12 at 14:11

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