Mythology with Erin

Adventures in storytelling

Tech Tip: Getting Started with Diigo

As a writer, I’m always doing tons of research, and it’s useful to be able to bookmark pages to come back to later. However, sometimes having all of those bookmarks on my browser makes it a little cluttered. Even when I have my writing research sorted to a different bookmark folder in Safari, it can be hard to find exactly what page I’m looking for.

I just got started with Diigo, an online bookmarking application. So far it’s making my little Type A heart happy. I love adding new bookmarks and typing up the tags to make it easier to find later.

I started by bookmarking several video game walkthroughs and guides that I keep on hand for when I’m playing. I felt that importing all of my current browser bookmarks would just make a huge mess. Additionally, I don’t feel that Diigo is going to become my primary homepage; it’s just too easy to open a new tab and click the giant red Netflix button when I want to watch a movie. However, maybe for writing research, Diigo will be a nice place to keep everything separate from my casual bookmarks.

I do have a lot of caveats and questions about the application, though. I don’t think the interface is very attractive or user-friendly. Part of that may come from the fact that I have a free account. The bookmarks don’t have thumbnails, so it’s difficult to tell websites apart. I’m also disappointed that there isn’t a more intuitive way to create folders. I love folders. There are a billion folders and subfolders on my computer; it’s how my brain works. In Diigo, everything just seems to be thrown together in a list. I suppose I could be a bit more picky with the tags, but if I have multiple projects with many different kinds of research, plus some of my personal bookmarks, I feel like even organizing by tags will get to be too messy.

I tried to combat the folder problem by making an Outliner, which seems to be a way to make project outlines within the Diigo application. I created a “Video Games” outline and inserted the primary walkthrough home pages for the three games I had bookmarks for. Then I inserted some of the smaller guides for each game underneath those walkthroughs as sub-levels. Technically, it worked. I have something that looks like a main folder with three subfolders and their contents. However, it was a bit clunky to have to manually insert everything into that document. I would much prefer to be able to drag everything into its own folder. Is there a better way to accomplish this kind of organization and sorting?

I would like to continue playing around with Diigo since it seems like such a useful application. Maybe I’ll find a way to make it work for my own purpose, or maybe it’s just not the bookmarking application for me. In the end, though, I do feel like I’ve learned a little bit more about web applications and bookmarking!

Image 1: Backlit keyboard. Source – Pixabay

Image 2: Diigo logo. Source – Wikipedia

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Erin! I am so glad you decided to give Diigo a try. To do the thumbnails, I use the browser plug-in; that lets me right-mouse click on an image on one of my bookmarked pages; then I can add that as the thumbnail to the bookmark.
    About folders: tags ARE folders. So when you search on a tag (use the hashtag #MyTagName) you get all the results, and you can do Boolean searches too. #MyTagName AND #MyOtherTagName, or #MyTagName NOT #MyOtherTagName, and so on. I don’t know if you use Gmail, but it’s like labels in Gmail: you don’t have folders in Gmail; you just use labels, and then you can search on those labels.
    When you look at the reading options for Weeks 3 and onward, you’ll see I used Diigo to sort the different readings by region, by type, etc. 🙂
    Anyway, Diigo is not pretty, that’s for sure. But it really is super-powerful! 🙂

  2. P.S. The box down at the bottom of this page is Diigo links, based on multiple tag searches.
    http://mythfolklore.blogspot.com/p/weeks-3-4.html

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