Friday, November 20, 2009

Delicious or Evernote?

Update same day as publish (11-20-2009 6:51 PM EST) : The Delicious import was forever on the Web Client's Settings page.  I see now Evernote has redone that page, and now has a separate Import page.  However that page only lists import from Google Notes.  It does not have Delicious anymore.  I'll leave a message on one of the forums asking about it and will update here when I get an answer.

Update 11-22-2009 - Evernote says "The delicious API changed its behavior enough that it failed more often than it worked for our users. We disabled it until we have someone who can sort out whether there's a better solution."  Let's hope it isn't too long.  When I see the import ability is back, I'll create a new post here.  

Some men collect cars, or golf clubs, or coins.  I collect bookmarks.
As I surf the web, I am forever finding things that I either want to be able to find again, or find interesting but do not have the time just then to read.

My early bookmark files became huge data bases in their own right.  I spent a lot of time organizing bookmarks into folders.  I also worried about backing them up, and keeping them synchronized across multiple browsers and PC's.

When first appeared, it was a godsend.  I could bookmark right to it and not worry about the multiple computer and synchronization issues.

Delicious, if you aren't familiar with it, is one of the original bookmark storage sites.  It was created by Joshua Schachter in 2002 and acquired later by Yahoo in 2005.

According to Wikipedia, Delicious has five million uses and over 150 million bookmarks!

When I started really using Evernote back in the Spring of this year, I noted Evernote's ability to import bookmarks from Delicious.  I did it primarily as a test.  Before I got too deep into Evernote, I wanted to see how well Evernote performed with thousands of notes.  Each of my Delicious bookmarks came into Evernote as a single note.  So it one fell swoop I had almost 4000 notes in Evernote.  And performance was fine.

I couldn't see giving up my Delicious bookmarking though and I didn't want to have to synchronize between Delicious and Evernote (especially since there was no way to do it).  Nor did I want to bookmark in two places, so I deleted the bookmarks from Evernote, and for a few weeks captured notes to Evernote, and bookmarks to delicious.

However, I found I couldn't mindlessly bookmark anymore.  Each time I found a site to bookmark, I had to ask myself  "Do I need this bookmark for a project I already have other notes on in Evernote?".  If yes, I'd store to Evernote, if not, then to Delicious.

I was getting bookmarks in two locations.

So I gave up and imported my Delicious bookmarks again into Evernote and now all new bookmarks go to Evernote using one of Evernote's excellent web clippers.

It is nice too to have all my bookmarks in a desktop client.  I can sort on URL and see other pages in the same site I have bookmarked.

This solution works best for me, but it does deny to me the biggest advantage of using Delicious.  Delicious is more then a bookmark storage site, it is a social bookmark site.

What that means, is when I tag a bookmark with say "evernote" I can also find all bookmarks other users have tagged with "evernote".  So I can discover information I had not found myself.  There are over 18,000 Evernote tagged bookmarks on Delicious for example.

Also, I can get the gratifying sense of how many people have found things on this blog worthy of bookmarking.

I can still get that information if I go to Delicious, but the bookmarks I'm capturing are not ending up in Delicious to aid other users (if they are unique) or adding to the popularity count for a given bookmark.  By storing my bookmarks where it is most convenient for me, I am being anti-social.

Also, Delicious warns me when I bookmark a site I've previously bookmarked.  Evernote does not, so I suspect I have duplicate URL's in Evernote.

I really wish in addition to importing my Delicious bookmarks into Evernote, I could synchronize my bookmarks between the two.  

Evernote says many have requested API keys to build their own applications.  I hope this is one application someone is building.  I recently got an API key.  I have two apps I need first, but this is on my list.  I'm not likely to get to it anytime soon (if at all).  So if you are a developer,a nd you want to create a Delicious/Evernote sync app, I think others in the community would appreciate it too.  And could you make it find duplicates too?  


  1. This is probably the most useful article I have read all week. I used to use Delicious, and occasionally still do, but evernote is generally more useful (although the newest release has some annoying features.) I didn't realize I could import Delicious bookmarks into Evernote. Thx.

  2. For some reason, the Delicious Import ability has disappeared from Evernote's Web Client. It was always on the Settings page with Import from Google Notebook. It is gone now and I cannot find any reference in the Forums to its being gone. I have asked questions on Twitter and the Forum. I'll update here when I get an answer.

  3. Check out as both an alternative and complement to Evernote and Delicious. Not only do we make it easy to collect, use and share content from the web, we also have many free apps use your data (including a basic notebook:, Weekly Meal Planner: and Recipe Box:

    (full disclosure - I'm a Springpad co-founder).

  4. Update 11-22-2009 - Evernote says "The delicious API changed its behavior enough that it failed more often than it worked for our users. We disabled it until we have someone who can sort out whether there's a better solution." Let's hope it isn't too long. When I see the import ability is back, I'll create a new post here.

  5. +1 please please on the full sync idea. I want to be able to use Evernote as my "master" location for my bookmarks and meta-information AND be able to "publish" them up to delicious. However delicious is where my bookmarks initially get collected, so auto-tagging the new ones after a sync as "newly imported from delicious" would flag them for further notes, tag cleanup etc. Side benefit - local backup of my delicious stuff in case they ever go down or away or I decide to switch to another service. . .

  6. (if this than that) might be helpfull for you as well.
    It's very easy to configure and adds new delicious links to evernote every time one occures.
    have a look at my post:

  7. @Christoph: Thanks. Interesting. I'll have to look at that.