I know it seems silly, but it wasn’t that long ago that you had to hopelessly fumble through your browser’s page history to find an image to show a friend (hoping the cache hadn’t been erased yet). Then came bookmarking. Bookmarking is great, but that long lists of links can get out of hand really quickly. So it makes you wonder, is there a tool out there that will allow us to save not only our links but actual image, audio and all other media files as well? If there weren’t, this wouldn’t be much of an article. There are actually a lot of under-publicized tools out there that let you do exactly that. In addition to great media organization, many let you access it all immediately from multiple devices such as your phone and basically anywhere with an internet connection. Zootool is the pioneer in this space (and perhaps still the industry leader), but there are other outstanding tools out there as well. Below are 15 of the very best tools on the web that will help you collect, capture, organize and brainstorm your bookmarks, images, notes and thoughts.
Zootool is about collecting, organizing and sharing your favorite images, videos, documents and links from all over the internet. They are a small, bootstrapped startup, located in Mannheim, Germany. Driven by a passion for design, web, code and all kind of nerdery, they are working hard to built the most awesome tool for geeks like us.
Get the Lasso
Add the Lasso button to your browser to save your favorite images, videos, documents and webpages in Zootool.
Build your own little library of interesting things you find on the web. Use the Lasso in your bookmark bar to store new images, videos, documents and webpages in seconds.
With its intuitive interface your Zoo is simply the best place to keep your stuff organized. Beautiful thumbnails make it super easy to browse your entries and with our tag and pack system you can be sure that your Zoo stays tidy forever.
Sharing web content has never been easier. Setup your Twitter, Friendfeed, Delicous or Tumblr account and share all the stuff in your Zoo with your friends out there.
Besides lasso Zootool also offers other types of tools like ultra-fast page saving and an even more comfortable way to share images on Twitter. There’s also a mobile version of the site and a WordPress plugin to include your recent Zootool entries in your blog’s sidebar.
Evernote’s goal is to give everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find. From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime.
Chances are, if you can see it or think of it, Evernote can help you remember it. Type a text note. Clip a web page. Snap a photo. Grab a screenshot. Evernote will keep it all safe.
Everything you capture is automatically processed, indexed, and made searchable. If you like, you can add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.
Find Anything Fast
Search for notes by keywords, titles, and tags. Evernote magically makes printed and handwritten text inside your images searchable, too.
The Evernote Web Clipper let you save interesting stuff you see on the web. No more bookmarks, tabs, or open windows. See something you like, clip it and you’ll have it forever.
Trunk.ly keeps track of the things you like. By connecting with your social networks, Trunk.ly monitors and collects the links that you find interesting across the social web. More importantly, it indexes the web pages these links point to and builds a personal search engine, so you never have to tag or describe a link again, you just search and Trunk.ly will find it again for you.
Trunk.ly has connected to my Twitter account and imported all my shared links. It works like a library where I can return if I want to find something I’ve shared in the past. You can also add tags and notes. Trunk.ly has it’s own bookmarklet, sharing button and a blog widget.
A light simple tool to save web pages for reading later. We discover web content throughout the day, and sometimes, we don’t have time to read long articles right when we find them. Instapaper allows you to easily save them for later, when you do have time, so you don’t just forget about them or skim through them.
Instapaper has it’s own iPhone app so you can read your unread articles while you’re on the train, bus or just standing in a row.
280daily is quite possibly the future of consistent journaling and the easiest way to create a searchable archive of your life. It’s like a private Twitter where you have to sum up your daily activities in 280 characters or less. You can use it to write a journal, makes business notes or simply keep track of what you’ve been doing. Some features:
Thoughtboxes is a simple tool that helps to organize your thoughts so you can make things happen. Thoughtboxes has a very simple system to keep everything organized. You have a train of thought, which is a main topic, and then you have a bunch of boxes, which are your lists of thoughts within that topic.
Keep track of To-do’s
See everything you need to do, all on one screen. Check things off as you complete them, or delete them from the list all together.
Sometimes you need to organize complicated things like going on a trip. Thoughtboxes gives you the flexibility to separate different thoughts and keep everything neat and tidy. You can minimize boxes that you aren’t currently working on to tidy up your page.
Brainstorm a new idea
Thoughtboxes is great for laying out all of your ideas in one place. You can also put links in your boxes for quick references. When you have many streams of thought, you can hide them on the top of the screen to clean up your page.
Shelfster is an app that helps bloggers and journalists to collect and organize notes. It aims to match journalism organizations with passionate contributors, creating collaborative environments for targeted content. With Shelfster you can:
The Shelfster Desktop Tool is a research and writing tool that allows you to quickly gather your ideas and information from the web or from documents on your computer and write articles. All information can be organized using specific tags and is stored in your online account. Shelfster also has an iPhone application and bookmarklet.
Historious saves you time by helping you find webpages you saw before. Bookmark sites with a single click, then find them again by searching for any word in the content of the page. Some features:
Diigo is a cloud-based personal information management system. Diigo provides you a tools on all major web browsers, Android, iPad and iPhone to help you to access a variety of information. Diigo is research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other.
BlinkList is a powerful productivity tool that makes is much easier for anyone to share and save their links for later. They give you a browser button to save web pages you like in one click.
Never lose a page again
With BlinkList you can save a local copy of any web page on your computer. That way, even if the web page disappears, you will always have a local copy that you can get back to later.
Once you start saving more web pages, BlinkList will automatically start recommend you web pages that you are likely interested in but have not yet discovered on your own.
Find links instantly
BlinkList has a lightening fast search engine that will help you find the links that you are looking for in the fraction of a second. You can search through your links faster than you can search through Google.
Read articles offline
With BlinkList, you can save your favorite articles and web pages and get back to them later even while you are offline
Licorize is a minimalistic and fast to-do manager that you can feed with your bookmarks and web updates. Licorize begins as a bookmarking tool, providing a non-intrusive “add bookmark with one click” functionality. It is integrated in browsers, with plugins, extensions and bookmarklets, provides readability features, multi-tagging, site thumbnails and more as evolution of bookmarking.
Transform and curate
Beyond bookmarks, Licorize provides built-in types to classify information, which have specific behavior and are hence more refined than simple tags.
Your web life timeline
Licorize can also be a complete timeline of your web worker lifestream: it synchs with Twitter, Evernote, DropBox, RSS, LinkedIn, Instapaper, ReadItLater, E-mail… And you can access it all from your mobile.
Collaborate and share
Anybody can join your projects – it’s easy. The limits of “just tagging” bookmarks become clear once you want to share work and ideas on the “bookmark” collection: you need to define to-do’s, distribute things to be done, discuss ideas.
Manage real work
Licorize goes beyond simple tagging in a variety of ways. Licorize supports sharing certain collection with certain users, supports to-do lists, priorities, Kanban boards, weekly reviews, weekly work view, even recording work and monitoring costs.
Skloog is a tool where you can easily create shortcuts to all of your favorite sites, bookmark pages that you’d like to refer back to at a later time and organize and arrange all of this information so that you can access it instantaneously.
Favilous provides you with two bookmarklets which you add to your browser favourites bar to save webpages or mark them for reading later. You can then navigate to all your favourite web pages through Favilous using a number of different views, like the one on the left. All your bookmarks are in the cloud, backed up and available anywhere. Forget about synchronising across multiple browsers.
Springpad gives you a place to quickly and easily save anything you want to remember. Take a note, create a task, scan a product barcode and look up the book your friend mentioned. The best part is that no matter where you are, Springpad is there with you to make sure you don’t forget something worth remembering. Just think it and Spring it, and it’ll be there for you when you need it.
Smarter way to save
Not only is everything you save automatically synced across your mobile devices and any browser, but Springpad also automatically uses the power of the internet to add useful information and relevant offers. From reviews and price drops to showtimes and reservations, Springpad keeps on working for you even when you’re not thinking about it. Isn’t that how it should work?
Springpad automatically categorizes everything you save and gives you powerful organizational features. Tag anything. Create notebooks to separate your home life from your work life or plan trips and special projects. Use the board to visually plan your next steps. It’s as flexible as you’d like it to be.
Place in the cloud
Think of Springpad as your own place in the cloud – a high-powered internet-connected personal database of everything that’s of interest to you, even if you’re not ready to do something about it right away. Everything is automatically synced between your mobile devices and the web for instant and universal access.
Netvibes is a free web site that lets you personalize your web experience. Take everything that matters to you while online — newspapers, blogs, weather, email, search, videos, photos, social networks, podcasts, widgets, games and funny applications — then bring them together in one single page, your personalized Dashboard. Make this Dashboard automatically update every time you open it. That’s what netvibes does. And it does so much more.
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