The Best Bookmarking Tools

Save, collect, and organize web content to read later

Laptop and book
Nicholas Rigg/Getty Images

Consider the following scenario: You come across an enticing article you really want to read, but at the moment you have pressing tasks that need to be done before you can sit down and read it. What can you do?

You could leave it open in your browser, but it only takes a few open browser tabs before your browser starts looking clogged, and you might forget and close it by accident. You could email the link to yourself, but if you're like most people, you could do without more emails in your inbox — that you also might lose track of among the many others you receive. 

Here's a better option: Use a bookmarking tool to keep track of that article you want to read. We're not talking about a bookmark in your browser (you probably have lots of those already). These tools let you mark, download, or otherwise set that page or article aside in a different, more convenient and easy-to-read way. This is sometimes referred to as social bookmarking, though your bookmarks don't have to be shared with others.

Here's a list of some of the best bookmarking tools available. 

Instapaper

Screenshot of the Instapaper website

What We Like

  • Text-to-speech feature is great for the visually or reading impaired.

  • The web version is ad free.

What We Don't Like

  • Limited multimedia support.

  • No desktop version for Mac.

Instapaper is one of the most popular bookmarking tools on the web today. It saves an article, and even formats it to be more readable, eliminating the clutter that often accompanies web page articles.

One of the great things about it is that it can be device ubiquitous — install it on your other devices, including your computer, your Kindle, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and everything you save can be called up later on any of these devices that link to your Instapaper account.

Install the extension in your browser and simply press the Instapaper button to have the article saved. Then, come back later to read web pages when you have more time.

Pocket

Screenshot of the Pocket app for saving web links

What We Like

  • Comprehensive multimedia support.

  • Has its own social network for sharing articles.

What We Don't Like

  • No text highlighting.

  • No support for comments.

Formerly known as Read It Later, Pocket allows you to grab almost anything directly from your browser, and even from other web apps like Twitter, email, Flipboard, and Pulse, and save it for later. You can also give them tags in Pocket to help you organize, sort, and find content you've saved.

Pocket is easy to use even for beginners that have never bookmarked a single page in their lives. You don’t need an internet connection to read stuff stored in Pocket, and things you've saved can be viewed from a range of devices including tablets and smartphones.​

Pinterest

Screenshot of Pinterest showing others' pinned websites

What We Like

  • Powerful search features.

  • Easy to share things you pin on other social media platforms.

What We Don't Like

  • Pinning articles takes a few more steps than it should.

  • It's easy to get distracted and lose hours browsing the website.

If you're more into collecting visual content and sharing it in a social media kind of medium, you need to be on Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to create as many organized pinboards composed of images and content you "pin." 

Download the Pinterest toolbar button so you can pin anything you stumble across while web browsing. Just hit Pin It and the tool pulls all the images from the webpage so you can start pinning.

Evernote Web Clipper

A Screenshot of Evernote on the web showing the Web Clipper extension for Chrome

What We Like

  • Nice selection of annotation tools.

  • Very lightweight and user friendly.

What We Don't Like

  • Sometimes has compatibility issues with browser updates.

  • No Gmail integration.

If you have not yet discovered the amazing organizational possibilities of the cloud-based tool Evernote, you're in for a revelation.

While you can use Evernote for so much more than bookmarking, its Web Clipper tool is just what you need for easily saving any page into a notebook within your Evernote account and tagging it accordingly.

You can also use it to simply save the contents of a web page in full or in selected portions.

Trello

Screenshot of a Trello Board

What We Like

  • Has many uses beyond bookmarking.

  • Terrific mobile support with an outstanding visual layout.

What We Don't Like

  • Might have more features than you need if you just want a bookmarking tool.

  • There are more robust tools for professional collaboration.

Trello is a personal or team-based collaboration tool for sharing information and performing tasks, functioning sort of like a mix between Pinterest and Evernote. You use it to build lists of other lists containing cards of information.

Trello also has a convenient browser add-on that you can drag to your bookmarks bar and then use whenever you're visiting a web page that you'd like to save as a card.

Bitly

Screenshot of Bilty showing Bitlinks for a blog

What We Like

  • Highly useful for social media marketing.

  • "Bundles" feature streamlines organizing links to share.

What We Don't Like

  • Everything is shared publicly by default.

  • All of the features on the UI can be overwhelming.

Bitly is mainly known as a link shortener and marketing tool, but anyone can use it as a bookmarking tool as well. You can install the Bitly extension to Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, as well as Android and iOS devices, to easily save any web page as a bitlink to your account. All of your links will be viewable under Your Bitlinks. You can also add tags to them to keep them organized and use the search function to find the ones you want at a later time.

Flipboard

Screenshot of the Lifewire Flipboard account

What We Like

  • Offers good deals on magazine subscriptions through partnerships with major publishers.

  • Attractive interface for reading offline.

What We Don't Like

  • The web version lacks some features found in the mobile app.

  • Trending content is often repetitive.

Flipboard is a personal magazine app that you'll really appreciate if you love the layout of a classic magazine.

While you don't necessarily need to save your own links to it to start using it, as it will show you articles and posts based on what's being shared by people throughout your social networks, you also have the opportunity to curate your own magazines with links that you collect. The easiest way to do this is to install the bookmarklet or extension.