There are some popular blogs out there under the “Lifehacking” and “GTD” (Getting Things Done) banners. Often, the topics they present border on obsessive compulsive behavior. I feel like following all the advice on those subjects would cost me far more time than it saved me. Just reading about it barely feels like a break-even proposition.
But somewhere this morning, not actually on a blog focused on those subjects, but definitely something they’d be concerned with, I found out about Google Browser Sync, which lets you sync your bookmarks, cookies, passwords, (and history and tab state if you really want, I opted out of those), with your Firefox browsers anywhere. Like, work, home and laptop. Add a bookmark anywhere, it shows up right in your bookmarks menu or toolbar everywhere.
This is something Netscape 4 had built-in, via FTP or LDAP, nearly a decade ago. I ran my own FTP server and used it. It was GREAT. I’ve been waiting for someone to do the same ever since Netscape 4 became basically unviable. Mozilla/Netscape never built it in past v4, nor did any other browser to my knowledge.
There have been other Firefox extensions that sort of accomplish this, but they’ve been based on social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us. I don’t have anything against those sites, but I don’t actually want to share all my bookmarks with everyone in the world just so I can also have all my browsers present me the same bookmarks. Antisocial Bookmarking has its place too. I’d still prefer to store everything on my own server somewhere, but storing it privately, rather than socially, on Google’s servers is almost as good. And it’s probably even better for most people.
I installed it across all the machines I use on a regular basis, and I’m already feeling like web related things have finally gotten back to where I was eight years ago (when Netscape 4 was already getting long in the tooth and people were giving me funny looks for still using it).
I’d still rather not trust Google to save this stuff for me, but if I’m going to trust any corporation, it might as well be Google. Nevertheless, an implementation of this that let me run the repository on my own server rather than someone else’s would be very welcome. But short of that, this finally does everything I ever wanted.