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The Joy Of Bookmarklets : Shortcuts That Save Time

24 September 2012 BY

I’m a huge, HUGE advocate of anything that saves me time as an SEO and, I’ll be honest, anything that’s a little techy and whizzy makes me happy too. Bookmarklets fit the bill on both counts and have saved me so much time over the years that I wanted to pull as many resources about them as I could together in one place. For anyone unfamiliar with them, bookmarklets are small pieces of javascript code that provide extra functionality to a web page.

They act as a mini browser addon, but without adding the extra strain on your browser that sometime occurs from having to many extensions – win! I think it’s important to note that I don’t come from a development background and don’t really code as part of my day to day marketing activities (but that’s a topic for another day….) so this post won’t be full of how to’s from me, but plenty from other people who know the subject in far greater depth than I ever could.

How To Create Bookmarklets

Bookmarklets are pretty easy to create – either from scratch or by using a generator. They are created in JavaScript and are essentially small instructions to your browser that can be stored in a hypertext link and saved as a bookmark. They can add extra features to a page or intergrate with other sites to bring in their functionality.

I could run through a tutorial here…..but there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. Here’s a good tutorial – with lots of sexy coding stuff, for those that like that kind of thing:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_A3Y3eqnzE&version=3&hl=en_GB&rel=0]

There are thousands of bookmarklets already in use so it’s worth doing a search to see if anyone has come up with a shortcut that you’re looking for. If they haven’t, well you are in luck as there are tools to help you create your own:

Creating Bookmarklets for Fun and Profit

Create Bookmarklets – The Right Way

Bookmarklet Crunchinator

jQuery Bookmarklet Generator

Once created, just click and drag it to your bookmarks bar to save.

How To Use Them Efficiently

Once created (or discovered), you simply “drag” the bookmarklet up to your bookmarks bar and it’s ready for use. I have mine in folders (Dev, Social, SEO, Audits, Design, Video etc) so I don’t waste time trawling through to find the one I need – after all, it’s all about saving time, right? If you have a lot of them, it may be worth creating a txt. document that breaks down their functions so you have a cheat sheet for the ones you don’t use on a regualr basis. Keep this doc handy on your desktop/on Dropbox/whatever you use and it’s a quick reminder of the extra tools you have at your disposal.

Many sites offer bookmarklets as a matter of course (and make it easier than ever to find them – a nice touch) so look out for them and use them if you think you are going to find them handy. I use the Pinterest one a lot – both for images and for videos. It makes it easy for me to pin, and so I pin more – that’s got to be good for both me as a user and for the site itself, yes?

 

 

Facebook do a handy one too…….

 

 

Oh, and it isn’t just desktop browsers that support bookmarklets – they are excellent for mobile browsers too. This is especially handy as they don’t support extensions. This excellent video from Amit Agarwal explains more in detail – backed up with some great suggestions.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG9TXlJ5pts&version=3&hl=en_GB&rel=0]

So, we know that Bookmarklets are super efficient and easy to create/discover. For these looking for more infomation, the following are hard to beat. Please let us know in the comments of any bookmarklets that you use on a regualr basis that you couldn’t live without, and of course, any that you have personally created that you want to show off to the world ;-)

Further Bookmarklet Tutorials and Resources

100+ Useful Bookmarklets For Better Productivity

Bookmarklets for SEO

Some Nifty SEO Bookmarklets To Make You More Efficient

Awesome Bookmarklets + Tutorials and Resources

32 Incredible Bookmarklets

 

Featured image source cc

AUTHORED BY:
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Carla Marshall is Director of SEO at ReelSEO.com.

Nice job, you found it!

Now, go try out the 12th one:

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