Easier bookmark adding and discovery

For most users, the main purpose of start.me is to store bookmarks. That’s why we find it important to make adding and managing bookmarks as easy as possible. We already offer a browser extension to add bookmarks directly from your browser. Today’s update enhances bookmark adding from within start.me and helps you discover interesting new sites.

The bookmark-adder

BGB

You have probably used the big green button (BGB) in start.me’s header bar. It is the quickest way to add a bookmark. Until today, this only allowed you to add multiple URLs at once. Even though that is often quite handy, this approach would not let you enter a custom title or description.

That’s why we added a ‘Single URL’ mode, that allows you to add a new bookmark, directly specifying its title and description. Adding multiple bookmarks at once is still possible. We added a button that allows you to switch between single and multiple URL modes.

It’s so simple, you may wonder what took us so long to invent it. Well, there is a good reason for that, actually…

Browsing suggested sites

On the above screenshot you may have noticed the second tab in the Bookmark adder: “Suggestions”. This new tab houses a really exciting new feature that allows you to quickly add well known sites and… discover some more!

Our team or content curators has silently worked on building a huge collection of sites, cataloging and indexing them. This collection is instantly available to you through the suggestions tab.

You can choose to browse the list of suggestions, filtering based on your interests or the country you are interested in. Or you can actively search the database by entering one of more keywords, like ‘sport’ or ‘cloud’. The filters help you narrow down the results.

Adding sites you like is simple: just select them and click Add. The sites will appear as new bookmarks in the widget you selected.

Did you know?

To quickly add bookmarks to a specific widget, you can just use its widget menu and select ‘Add bookmark’. Also, the bookmark adder will remember to which widget you last added a bookmark and automatically suggest that widget next time.

More layout options for Bookmarks widget

Two weeks ago we introduced a new ‘Detailed list’ mode in the Bookmarks widget. This mode supports adding descriptions to your bookmarks. We got a lot of positive feedback. Today we are adding some more cool formatting options: larger icons and Markdown support!

Larger icons

The Bookmarks supports a new setting: Icon size. This setting is available in both ‘Icon’ and ‘Detailed list’ modes and gives you the freedom to select from 4 different icon sizes:

  • Small – This is the default size (32 pixels)
  • Medium – A larger icon size, previously known as ‘Large icons’ mode (64 pixels)
  • Large – A larger icon size, not previously available (96 pixels)
  • Extra large – A really large icon size (128 pixels)

These two new icon sizes are particularly useful in combination with custom icons, both our built-in collection of vector icons and icons you upload yourself. With these larger icon sizes, some really nice new options come into view, such as:

  • Small photo collections
  • Book reviews with book covers
  • Start pages for children, with extra large buttons

Some examples can be seen here.

Markdown support

To give you some options to add markup to the descriptions of your bookmarks, we added Markdown support. With simple means, this allows you to emphasize some parts of the description, create bulletlists and even embed hyperlinks. Markdown support is still somewhat experimental, so we are very much looking forward to your feedback.

Bonus: more right-clicking!

Some time ago we already introduced context menus in the Bookmarks widget. By right clicking a bookmark, it can quickly be edited or removed. We received a lot of feedback from users. Quite some of them pointed out that not having the browser’s context menu anymore caused them problems. So, we added a fix for that. If you would like to open the browser context menu, just hold down the shift or control (Apple: command) key when right-clicking.

Furthermore, we added some more context menus: you can now right-click on widgets to get their context menus as well. Nice to quickly edit their settings. And the active page now has a context menu as well: just click somewhere on the canvas to change the background or add a widget!

Add descriptions to your bookmarks (and other improvements)

Here at start.me HQ we are working on some really cool things. Those features will still need some love and work. In the mean time, we did some work on the Bookmarks widget and added some really nice features and improvements.

Context menu

A lot of time is spent editing, organizing and deleting bookmarks. To make that as easy as possible, we added a nice context menu to bookmarks. How does it work? Simple: just right click on a bookmark and you will be presented with a menu that allows you to directly edit or delete it. A great productivity hack. In the future, we plan to offer broader context menu support.

Hint: On Android tablets and smartphones, the context menu can be opened by ‘tapping and holding’ a bookmark: put your finger on the bookmark and hold for about 1 second. iPhone and iPad support will follow later.

Adding descriptions

We got a lot of requests of people who wanted to be able to add a description to their bookmarks. Descriptions can both be useful as a reminder of what a site is about, but can also help to explain to visitors of your public page what a specific site is about and why it may be valuable to them.

So we added support for descriptions. When you edit a bookmark, you will now be able to enter a description as well. Our backend system tries to automatically find a fitting description for your links, so you will often find a description already specified.

The description for each bookmark can be seen by hovering over the bookmark. A tooltip will show with the full description of the bookmark. Alterantively, you could use our…

New detailed list view

In addition to the three view modes (list, icons, large icons) already supported by the Bookmark widget we added a fourth one: detailed list. In this mode, every bookmark will show both its title and description. You are able to choose whether you just want the first line of the description or the full text.

3 list modes: regular, detailed and detailed with full description

We are very excited about this new view, as it opens up a lot of new use cases, for example:

  1. Creating a list of interesting books, specifying a short summary as a description to help you quickly find the book you need;
  2. Adding reviews of sites, advising visitors of your public page on sites to visit;
  3. Specifying when you last visited a particular site (perhaps of a competitor), helping you decide what sites you want to visit soon;
  4. Writing tutorials for students, showing them step-by-step how to perform a specific task.

Four cool use cases for the new detailed list view of the Bookmarks widget

You can probably add some more exciting ideas to this list. Please let us know what you came up with!