Dewey Bookmarks : The bookmarks manager for Chrome you have been waiting for

Few days back I wrote about how you can easily search your bookmarks from Chrome omnibox. But this approach is still limited by Chrome’s Bookmark Manager. In my quest to look for an even better solution, I found Dewey. Apart from clean and elegant interface, it provides some powerful search capabilities. This could be really useful when you deal with large number of bookmarks.

Dewey. Better Bookmarks for Google Chrome.

Dewey
Launching Dewey

Before we dig deeper into Dewey, I need to state that it’s a Chrome App and NOT an Extension. The reason I stated this is that after installing the app, I kept wondering how to launch it. I didn’t see any launch button in the toolbar which is very common with Chrome extensions. Chrome no more shows Apps in the New Tab Page. Therefore, it was a bit puzzling to start with but there are a number of ways to launch it.

Once you launch it, it will load a neat and pleasant interface with a big search box and a page full of bookmark tiles. As you scroll, it will keep loading remaining bookmarks smoothly. You can sort your bookmarks by Date, Title and URL. I wish they add sort by usage frequency and make it default so that it can easily replace my New Tab Page.

Custom Tagging
Dewey - Bookmark Tile
Dewey – Bookmark Tile

The above picture shows the single tile for a bookmark as displayed by Dewey. As you can see, along with an icon and title, it displays folders under which the bookmark is stored. By default it converts all the folders into tags (the ones highlighted in yellow) for a bookmark. You also get an option to exclude/hide top-level folders (Bookmarks bar, Other bookmarks, etc.) as they do not make sense in most cases. You may also add custom tags if you want. All the tags will be stored and synced, so once created it will be available on all your machines if you’re signed into to Chrome.

Edit Bookmark

The edit icon which appears on mouse over, will allow you to edit bookmark title, url, add/remove tags or delete the bookmark altogether. Currently it does not allow you to modify the folder structure through this dialog.

Dewey - Edit Bookmark
Dewey – Edit Bookmark
Powerful Search

Coming back to search, you can start with a simple free text search. But if you need to dig, you have 3 options. You can search by tag, title or url. So if you chose to search by tag, e.g. tag:color, it will look for “color” only in tags and exclude all others. The same is true for search by title and url. Take a look at the demo below and you will understand exactly what I mean.

Dewey - Exclusion Search
Dewey – Exclusion Search
Open Source

It is an open source project and source code is available on GitHub if you want to take a look. You may also submit issues and feature requests there.

Conclusion

Great interface supported by keyboard navigation, ability to add custom tags which also sync across and exclusion search are the three important aspects which make this a great app. Highly recommended!

Reduce memory consumption easily with chrome extension managers

We all know that Chrome is a great browser. This is exactly why many a times we expect more out of it. If the browser itself does not fulfill the need, we try to find extensions. It’s very easy to overload your Chrome with all these useful extensions. But eventually this takes a toll on your computer memory and things slow down. This is why we need to manage these extensions carefully.

The need for the extension manager is especially critical on Chromebooks, as one does not have loads of memory to play with.

webstruck

Thankfully, this is very easy. If you are ready to spend next 15 minutes (5 minutes for reading this post + 10 minutes for a one-time setup), you would never have to worry about it again. Read on…

Adding another extension to manage extensions may sound counter productive, but it is not. Extensions Manager (aka Switcher) and SimpleExtManager are two little gems which really make this easy. Extensions Manager is my favorite of the two simply because I find it more usable (more on that later). But SimpleExtManager is definitely not far behind and you should definitely try both and see which one suits you the best.

Extensions Manager - Chrome
Extensions Manager – Chrome
One Click – Enable/Disable/Uninstall

Both these extensions offer basic essential capabilities very well. Both add an icon to Chrome toolbar which, when clicked, will display a list of all extensions, applications and themes you are using. Extensions Manager nicely categorizes these by different views or tabs like All, Extensions, Applications, Themes, Enabled, Disabled and Recent. SimpleExtManager shows a single vertical list with categories like Extensions, Applications and Themes as separators. You can enable, disable and uninstall individual extensions right from here just by one click. You can also go to the options page of a given extension if there is one.

Search/Filter

Both Extensions Manager and SimpleExtManager also provide search/filter capabilities that is useful in case you deal with large number of extensions like me. Just type first few characters and it will start filtering the list immediately.

UNDO

UNDO capability is provided only by Extensions Manager and it could be very useful if you unintentionally or accidentally click on something.

Grouping

Another important feature which both these offer and where Extensions Manager scores for me is grouping. Simply start dragging individual extensions from the list and drop it on the flashing New Group tab on the top / title bar. Once your drop is complete, just double click on the tab to rename it. Groupings not only keep your extensions organized, but also allow you to turn ON or turn OFF entire group of extensions together. I organize my extension broadly as follows. I have one’s which I use all the time, so I call those Alltime. Another group is called Web Design which contains handy utilities like Eye Dropper, WhatFont, Resolution Test etc. that I use only when I’m working on my site. Similarly, I have groups called Blogging, Social and Utilities. I turn ON only the individual groups when I’m doing a particular task.

In order to toggle a group ON or OFF, just select the group you want to work with and select Switch ON or Switch Off button.

Additionally, it also shows a thin red line below group heading which is called Group Statistics Meter indicating the amount of active extensions in that group. It also shows the stats in a tool-tip for completeness.

If you want to remove the extension from the group or remove entire group, just drag and drop it outside the window. This will not remove the extension or all the extension in a group from the Chrome as expected. This is simple group manipulation.

For SimpleExtManager, you need to go to options pages in order to create, edit or delete groups.

SimpleExtManager - Chrome
SimpleExtManager – Chrome
Sync Configuration

Developer behind the Extensions Manager is said to be working on feature which will allow automatic syncing of configurations across devices. Currently it offers a way to export and import configurations to keep your Chrome on different devices in sync. SimpleExtManager does not offer any way to do this at this point of time.

Updates

SimpleExtManager seems to more actively developed (last updated in Dec 2013) as compared to Extensions Manager which was last updated 8 months back. According to this discussion in Oct 2013, as per the developer the maintenance will be restored soon.

Conlcusion

The reason I prefer Extensions Manager over SimpleExtManager is due to the fact that it saves me number of clicks and scrolling. The UI/UX is much more powerful. SimpleExtManager is on the other hand may appeal to those who are looking for cleaner and simpler layout and don’t mind extra clicks and scrolling to get to the same functionality.

Extensity and One-Click Extensions Manager are the other options you may want to try out.

If you’re already using any of these or something else or planning to use soon, do drop me a line on which one you prefer and why.

Reduce tab clutter and memory consumption in Chrome with OneTab

As I read & research a lot on the Internet, I always look to improve upon my research workflow. Sometimes while doing my research around various topics, I end up opening a large number of tabs on Chrome. As we all know, Chrome is a real memory hog and it really slows down your computer as the number of open tabs grow. There are a bunch of TAB manager extensions available for Chrome which could help. But OneTab really stands out for me for a number of reasons. It is really simple to use and does what it says in really un-complicated manner. It is FREE as the developers have created it out of their own need and not to make money.

Save up to 95% memory and reduce tab clutter in Google Chrome.

OneTab
OneTab toolbar button

For me, OneTab solves two problems in one go. It helps me keep my browsing organized and reduce memory consumption very quickly. You can install OneTab from Chrome Web Store. Once installed, it will add a OneTab button to Chrome toolbar. Now whenever you are browsing, if you feel that your machine is slowing down due to too many open tabs, just click the OneTab button. All your tabs will be closed and a clean, elegant looking OneTab page will be loaded with links for all your tabs which were open before. Open Chrome Task manager (press Shift+Esc) and you will see that memory consumption is highly reduced. All the links (tabs) added to OneTab will be persisted even if you close the browser or shut down your machine.

Quick Tip

If you want to access your one tab page all the time and especially once you open the browser, you can simply pin this OneTab page (right click on the OneTab page tab and select Pin tab from the context menu). The OneTab page will now stay with you all the time like your other pinned tabs.
OneTab in action
OneTab in action
OneTab Page

Coming to OneTab page, here it has a number of things to offer. Restore all will restore all the tabs. Well, it does not hold your tabs in memory but simply preserves the URLs. So Restore all will open all those URLs in separate tabs. By default all the restored tabs will be deleted from OneTab page. But you can still keep those by using Options page. As for me, I won’t delete a tab unless I’m completely done with it. So I changed my option to Keep them in your OneTab list. Alternatively you may Lock the tab group which will prevent the tabs from getting deleted as you restore them. As the name suggests, Delete all will simply delete all the links/tabs from OneTab. Click on More… button and you have useful options to Name, Lock and Star the tab group created by OneTab. To stay organized, I always name my tab groups appropriately mostly based on my research topic. You can also name a tab group by clicking on the label that indicates the number of tabs. I also Star the important tab groups so that they always stay on top. One can also Lock the tab group to prevent it from accidental modification. Really well thought out and precise options. None of your tabs or browsing activity is transmitted to cloud unless you use Share as web page option. This actually takes all your tabs and creates a web page for you to share quickly with others. This option is available for individual tabs groups or all the tab groups at once.

Once you start opening a new set of tabs or start a new browsing session and click on OneTab button again, a new tab group will be created for you. You can easily drag and drop links/tabs from one tab group to another and this will be really useful to keep those organized all the time. You may also open a single tab by clicking on individual links. Similarly you may also delete a single tab by using a X button next to each link.

Next we will talk about OneTab context menu, syncing tabs across multiple devices & OneTab options.