Making bookmarks useful with Evernote

Making bookmarks useful with Evernote

I’ve been saving bookmarks using the Delicious bookmark service (now owned by Yahoo) for about 6 years now. If you’re not familiar with it, Delicious (which was originally at the unusual URL of, it is a web site that saves your bookmarks, which you can tag and comment on. One of the benefits of the site is that all users’ bookmarks are aggregated and you can find some good content there using various tags. Another benefit is that it makes the bookmarks universally available so that you can find them even when you’re at another computer other than your own.

The downside is the same as many online services: After you’ve laboriously entered your data you have to remember to go back and find it there later. How many times have I saved a link only to forget about it, Google it again later, and then try to save it to Delicious, only to be told that I’ve already saved it.

Another downside to Delicious is that it’s only a bookmark. Unlike Evernote, it does not save any portion of the page’s content, except what test you may put in the comments field. Evernote, on the other hand, will save a portion or the entirety of a webpage if you wish and it indexes all the words from the webpages, including any word in any image that’s also captured.

Even better, if you use the Chrome web browser and the Evernote extension for the browser, when you do a search in Google, it can also search your Evernote database for the same search terms and let you know if there are matching notes. This feature handily answers that downside I mentioned above about remembering to look in your database for what you’ve saved.

Google search with Evernote links

The final downside to Delicious is that various Internet sites have been reporting that Yahoo is either going to shutdown or sell Delicious, which means that 6 years worth of bookmarks could disappear at any time.

So now, I don’t save web pages to Delicious, but instead save them to Evernote. But what about all those old Delicious bookmarks, of which I have about 800 now? Delicious does provide a mechanism for exporting your bookmarks (Click on “Settings” and then “Export/Download Your Delicious Bookmarks”), which creates an HTML (i.e. web) page that it saves to your computer. Still, it’s not the most convenient format.

But what if you could import those bookmarks into Evernote, saving all your tags and the dates you created then and then adding images of the pages, taking advantage of Evernote’s capabilities. I got the following tip from the excellent online video series Screencasts Online in their Evernote episode. The tutorial about importing Delicious bookmarks into Evernote is in the members-only version of the show, but they do provide a free link to the Applescript used for importing at There are several options and ways to do this, but the simplest is to click the link at Veritrope to open the script in Script Editor on your Mac—this is a Mac-only tip, unfortunately for Windows users—and then click on “Run”. The script will ask you to locate the Delicious export file and then it will create a new notebook in Evernote called Delicious imports. For any site that it can’t load—because the site is down or the page doesn’t exist any more—it will add the link to an Evernote note called “List of URLS Returning Errors”. (I found that I could manually open some of those links later, but many of the older links were dead. This is the reason it’s better to save the pages in Evernote.)

If you have a lot of Delicious bookmarks, like I did, this process could take some time. It also requires some manual intervention at times, clicking buttons in dialog boxes. And Evernote spontaneously quit once or twice, but it re-opened on its own as the script moved on to the next bookmark.

So now, my bookmarks are saved, they’ve been pruned of defunct links, they’ve had the webpages added to the link, and now when I do a Google search, I’ll also be searching all my saved webpages in Evernote. Excellent.