Tools for Bookmarking and Organizing Research

University of Idaho

One of the fundamental skills students learn throughout their schooling is the ability to utilize the internet to research. Many times, however, keeping track of the results can be unwieldy and it becomes a challenge to sift through saved results. The following six tools, all offering different features, are tools that can make researching and organizing that research a bit easier. 

:: Diigo :: 
Diigo is a bookmarking website which allows users to bookmark and tag web-pages. Users can also highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to highlights or whole pages. You can also add comments/descriptions to bookmarks. Annotations are private but can be shared with a group or forwarded using a link. Diigo has a browser plug-in that allows users to easily bookmark any page while at the page by simply clicking on the Diigo button. Bookmarks can be added to specific lists making them easy to organize and look through. 

:: Pinterest ::
Pinterest is typically known as a social media website. However, some of its features make it a fantastic researching tool. Pinterest, built off of the metaphor of a bulletin board, allows users to create and share collections (“boards”), which allow users to add visual bookmarks (“pins”). Pins are typically made of an image with supplemental text listed below; that image typically links to an outside source. Pins are easily shared and “repinned” by others and people may comment on pins. Users can have private boards, which are hidden from all but the individual user. Although most users have personal/individual boards, boards can also be contributed to by multiple users.

:: Storify ::
Storify is a social network service that allows users to create stories that incorporate numerous outside sources. Storify has a built-in search tool that allows for users to search different websites such as Google, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc. When a user finds an appropriate result, the user can drag the individual element into the story. The individual elements will show a preview of the item and link original source page. Users can also add text between the individual items.

:: Netvibes :: 
Netvibes is a personal dashboard that is composed of widgets. Such widgets are linked to outside feeds so all recent postings from that feed are automatically shown; users can then save those to their own feed. Users can also add their own bookmarks from outside sources to the site and those will be saved for access at a later time.

:: Instapaper :: 
Instapaper is a tool that allows users to save webpages to read later on an Android or iOS device, computer, ereader, or smartphone. Instapaper allows users to add a bookmark to their bookmarks toolbar and when one clicks on that bookmark, Instapaper grabs all of the main content from the page, strips away the rest, and saves the text to the user’s account. All saved pages are then synced across devices and can be read at a later time.

:: Thinkbinder :: 
Thinkbinder is an online study group tool. Registering is as easy as providing an email and password and creating a group is as easy as giving it a name. Once a group is created, it can be shared with multiple collaborators. Those collaborators then have the ability add text, links, and files, all of which get added to the “feed,” which is sorted chronologically. There is also a calendar and a whiteboard tool. Additionally, there is a chat box that allows for group members to send instant messages to the group.

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