BookIt, by Everyday Software
Posted: 10-May-2007

5 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Everyday Software Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Mike Lloyd Class: UTILITY
     
$12   Download

Overview
How many web browsers do you use? If you use more than one, then you have likely experienced the pains of bookmark juggling. To help relieve this suffering, Everyday Software brings us BookIt, a utility that can make managing multiple bookmark libraries a breeze. BookIt is an internet browser bookmark manager that helps you synchronize bookmark libraries among multiple browsers. By helping you generate and maintain a master bookmark list and then allowing you to distribute it to your browsers of choice, you can gain control of your bookmarks libraries and provide a consistent bookmark organization among the browsers that you use. BookIt also provides easy access to your bookmarks by providing a Menu Item and Dockling that directly accesses pages referenced by your bookmarks.

Requirements

  • Mac OS 10.3.9 or higher


Installation
Download the 1.3 Mbyte disk image from the website, open it and drag the application to Applications folder. A Dockling and a Menu Item are also available. Since there were multiple components associated with the application, I created a BookIt sub-folder in the Application folder and dragged the BookIt components to the folder.

In Use
When the application is first launched, you are presented with the main BookIt window (see figure below). This window allows you to Manage your bookmarks, Migrate bookmarks from one browser to another, or Restore bookmarks for a browser.

For managing you bookmarks, you click on the Manage toolbar button (on by default). Here you can also select the master browser bookmark file to use as the point of comparison when you start organizing your bookmarks. You are also presented with a checklist that allows you to select the browsers to include when the bookmark comparison is done. Once these selections are made, you are now ready to start the organization process.


BookIt Main Window

Click on the "Organize..." button to start the bookmark consolidation process (see figure below). BookIt compares the master file with other browser bookmark files. It displays the master bookmarks (from the source browser) in the main Bookmarks window, and displays the bookmarks not in the Master in the Missing bookmark sidebar. Using the side bar as a source, you can move bookmarks to the master using drag and drop (or the "Move to" item in the contextual menu). Each of the missing bookmarks show the name, URL, and which browser the bookmark came from.


BookIt Bookmark Consolidation Process

The "Move to" command presents a full hierarchical list of the master bookmark folders making it easy to organize the bookmarks. The side bar also contains a section that present a full set of information on the selected bookmark. Additional information can be obtained using the "View Site" button, which navigates to the referenced web site and the "Info"command, which displays additional detail about the bookmark (see figure below). BookIt also offers the standard editing tools for your bookmark file, such as add a new bookmark , create a folder and add a separator.


Bookmark Info Window


Once you have completed your editing, you can "Sync" your bookmark file with the browsers on your system. When the "Sync" button is pressed, the user is prompted for the bookmark files to update (see figure below). It provides a checklist of the browsers that are defined to BookIt. There are also options at the bottom for saving a BookIt bookmarks file, as well as updating the files used by the BookIt menu item and Dockling.


Choosing Bookmark Files to Update


Once the synchronization is done, and it's pretty quick, all of your checked browsers will now have the exact bookmark structure. This is a very quick and painless way to get your bookmarks synchronized, with the added touch of being able to perform edits before choosing to sync. The speed and ease at which this occurs is worth the price of admission alone.

BookIt offers the option to filter duplicate bookmarks from the master list. When I chose this option, bookmarks that I used quite a bit disappeared from master list, because they were buried elsewhere in the hierarchy and where they were encountered first. The user can also select the comparison criteria, the bookmark name or address. Additional browsers can be added if the location of the bookmark file is known. Using this feature with file sharing, the user can synchronize their bookmarks between two computers. Using a variation of this technique with Samba file sharing, I was able synchronize Firefox bookmarks on my wife's Windows laptop. BookIt also supports synchronization of bookmarks on your .Mac account.

As an experiment, I attempted to create a set of bookmarks on my wife's Windows laptop. I wanted to investigate whether BookIt would be useful in a virtualized environment running both Windows and Mac OS X. I found that the bookmarks that are produced for Firefox on a PC are compatible. Unfortunately, BookIt does not produce bookmarks compatible with the Windows version of Internet Explorer. The developers might consider including this in a future release.

The second main function of the BookIt main window is the Migrate button. This is a very simple function that provides a from and to popup lists. You select the browser you want to copy from, the browser you want to copy to, and then click on Migrate. BookIt then copies the bookmarks from one browser to the other (completely replacing the destination browser's bookmarks as opposed to adding to them). This is a simple and quick way to get one browser updated.

The last button on the main window is the "Restore" button. Say, for example, when you synchronized all of your browsers, that one browser had a special URL that was not in the master list. By choosing Restore, and selecting the browser that had the special link, that browser's bookmarks are magically restored to it's original bookmarks prior to the sync. This is a handy feature.

The BookIt package also contains a menu item and Dockling that allow you to directly access your bookmarks form either the menu or Dock. The menu item is a badge that displays a pop down menu when clicked. The Dockling displays the same menu when selected from the Dock. These are applications that can be launched at startup or at any during your session or not at all, your choice. I found the menu item particularly convenient to access my bookmarks directly without launching the browser and waiting for the home page to load before going to location that I needed.

The BookIt application is intuitive and very easy to use. I was able to quickly reorganize my Safari and Firefox bookmarks into a single file and then deploy the common file to both browsers. The ability to synchronize between Windows and Mac OS X could be of benefit in a multi-OS environment. An additional feature that I would like to see is the ability to identify duplicates in the master file with a pointer to the other occurrences of the bookmark, so that they can consolidated if desired.

Summary
Everyday Software's BookIt is a handy utility for managing multiple bookmark libraries. It takes the pain out of shuffling different bookmark files among different browsers, giving you back control of your bookmarks. The organize feature makes it very easy to consolidate all of your bookmark files with little effort. The "sync" feature simplifies the deployment of this newly minted bookmark file to all of the browsers that you use, and can even deploy bookmarks to other systems as well. This tool can also be used to maintain organization over hundreds of bookmarks that you worked hard to collect over many years. BookIt is a must-have utility for anyone who uses multiple web browsers and wants to regain control of their bookmarks.

Bookit vs URL Manager Pro, by Bud Simrin
I had URL Manager Pro for a couple of years before I switched to BookIt. Both are excellent programs, so you cannot lose with either one.

As I recall, BookIt first does what URL Manager Pro does: it provides an optional universal bookmark menu in Finder's menubar. Secondly, both allow sorting and managing of bookmarks, but I found it easier to do so in BookIt. The big difference in the programs is that with URL Manager Pro, this universal bookmark menu shows up in each browser in addition to the browser's own bookmark menu. I didn't like having a second bookmark menu in my browsers. In BookIt, the universal bookmark menu is synchronized with the built-in bookmark menu of all browsers. BookIt does this synchronization in one fell swoop, in a matter of seconds, handling all browsers at once. In the process, it lets you compare all the browsers so you can identify any bookmarks you may have made in, say Camino, that you didn't make in, say, Safari. I found that comparison ability to be a desirable feature.

BookIt does require an extra step to synchronize now and then, but the synchronization is simplicity itself, and it buys you identical bookmark menus no matter what browser you decide to use.

Pros
  • Powerful tool that helps you organize your bookmarks
  • Can be used to synchronize bookmarks across multiple systems
  • Provides easy access to your bookmarks from the operating system

Cons

  • Cannot sync with Windows Internet Explorer
  • Removing duplicates does not make it clear where the non-removed duplicate may be


Overall Rating

5 out of 5 Mice