organization

Fluco Toolbox: Managing the Chrome Bookmarks Bar

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based on your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever added a lot of bookmarks to the bookmarks bar in your Chrome browser, and later couldn’t find what you needed? Do you just have a lot of bookmarks in general, and need a way to get them organized?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Managing the Chrome Bookmarks Bar

First, the basics:

Name: Managing the Chrome Bookmarks Bar
URL: N/A
Cost: N/A
Problem this tool solves: Create folders and an organization system for the Chrome bookmarks bar and bookmarks in general.

Over time, we tend to amass a lot of bookmarks. Even with monitoring and deleting unnecessary bookmarks, a lot can still accumulate. Scrolling through a long list can become tedious, and it can be hard to find that one particular bookmark. It becomes even more frazzling when you only want important links to appear in the bookmarks bar, but have more links than visual retail space.

We’ve all been there before, but there’s a way to organize bookmarks with folders so that links are grouped into folders and sub-folders on the bookmarks bar. Here’s an example using my own bookmarks:

 

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As you can see, my bookmarks bar shows folders of different topics. I then use a folder tree system to organize further. Here we see I have a folder for Minecraft items, and then within that folder, I have folders for things such as Tutorials, Reference Materials, and Mods/Texture Packs. If I hover over those sub-folders, then I can find my links. Sub-folders aren’t necessary; I could have left all of my Minecraft links in the Minecraft folder and called it a day. No matter the system used, I have made it so that my bookmarks bar shows all of my important topics. I have increased the amount of visual retail space!

Let’s get started. First, access the bookmarks manager by clicking the three vertical dots in the upper right area of your Chrome browser. Then go to Bookmarks, and Bookmark manager. This can also be accessed with the following shortcut: CTRL+Shift+O

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You’ll now see something similar to the following:

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Instead of it being organized, you’ll simply see all bookmarks that you have saved. Let’s take a look at creating new folders. Look at the content you have already saved, and see if similar topics have been saved. As a teacher, you might find subject-specific links. You might decide to make a folder for your subject, to begin with.

Go ahead and click the 3 vertical dots in the upper right area of the Bookmarks screen. Click the option to add a new folder. Give the folder a name. Drag the folder to appear under the Bookmarks bar folder on the left side of the screen. This folder will now appear in your Bookmarks bar.

Continue to use the navigation pane on the left. Drag any bookmarks into the appropriate folder. Create more folders for other topics as you see fit. If you feel that you need folders within folders, you can do that as well! Follow the same steps used to create a folder above, and then drag the folder to the folder it should appear inside.

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A completed folder system for bookmarks for Minecraft.

If you’re a Fluvanna staff member (or a staff member of any district), chances are you have a lot of important links for the district. Instead of just adding each individual link to the bookmarks bar, why not create a folder for these links? That way when you click on the folder in the bookmarks bar, all of the important school links will appear.

The next time you bookmark a website, make sure you select the proper folder. Click the star in the omnibox and in the window that pops up, make sure to select the appropriate folder in the drop-down menu. If the folder doesn’t appear there, then select “Choose another folder” and select from all of your created folders.

 

Creating a bookmarks system requires that every now and then you do check and make sure you have usable links and make new folders as needed. However, this system will allow you to easily access more of your bookmarks more quickly, thus saving time and frustration!

Resources

Fluco Toolbox: Note Board App

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based around your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research.

Have you ever had a great idea and scrambled to write it down on a post-it note? Later on, you couldn’t find that same note in your work space. What about a great idea on a trip? How can one manage everything together?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Note Board App

First, the basics:

Name: Note Board App
URL: https://www.noteboardapp.com/
Cost: Free (ads) OR $1.99 (ad-free)
Problem this tool solves: Use this tool to save ideas and notes on corkboard screens, no matter what device you’re using. There is a website, Android, and iOS version available. Create multiple boards, public boards, save web page info, and more

While there are many apps and websites out there that can do the same thing, Note Board App is one of my favorite note apps, mostly for its ability to sync across devices so that whether I’m out and about or at home, on my iPad or my Chromebook, I always have access to all of my notes. But… what else can this app do?

Create a board for your notes. You might have one for lesson plan ideas, one for inspirational quotes, and another for links to saved webpages of articles you want to read later. These boards are large, and the notes can be resized and dragged about. When a new note is created, you’ll have access to the Rich Text Editor, allowing you to customize the look of the note.

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Here is a board I have created to store ideas on revamping a workshop that I run for middle school students.

Organizing and taking notes is great. However, let’s take it to the next level. Create a board and share it with your colleagues in read-only access. They can view all of the information, but not change any of the data. Want them to be able to make changes? Give them permission. Want the whole world to see your board? Make it public! Your board will be viewable by anyone, but they will be unable to make any changes to it.

Create boards for more than just notes. Use the boards to save links to webpages, or embed YouTube videos. Use the Chrome or Firefox extension for Note Board to save and create notes on a webpage. This includes images, links to the page, and highlighting snippets of text.

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Here’s a board created about Icon for Hire. Videos have been embedded, as well as links to different websites/articles.

Your students can use this exact same tool for note taking. Instead of creating links in one location, videos in another, and notes still in another, use Note Board to have them create a board for their topic, and pin all information in the one space instead. They can refer back to their board on any device, meaning they aren’t limited to just their Chromebooks.

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A note created from text that I highlighted on Wikipedia. I only had to add the URL to my note.

Give Note Board App a try and see what you can create!

Resources

Here are some examples of boards that have been created for public viewing:

Music Board
Gift Ideas Board
Fan Board of a Band

Try the Demo Board and test out different ways to create notes before creating an account.