Linkman (by Outertech) is a bookmark managing software. Many people probably think they don’t need anything beyond what comes standard with Internet Explorer or Firefox in the form of “Favorites” or the autocomplete address bar (Firefox’s “Smartbar”). If that is the case, well, you are all missing out on the conveniences of using a great bookmark manager like Linkman.
Linkman is a very powerful program. I use it in a basic, simple, yet particular way. At the most, I use it to about 30% of its capability. So in this review I’m going to show how I use the program, but keep in mind that there can be much, much more that can be done with it such as advanced organization features that I don’t take advantage of. I think that there is a lot to gain from my method because it shows that you don’t have to be a hardcore user to appreciate the benefits of Linkman. What happens with powerful software like this is that most casual users assume it is something for the very geeky powerusers. The beauty of Linkman is that it accommodates both extremes; like good software should. If you are interested, there is a fantastic review in the DonationCoder forums about Linkman where the author discusses some of the more powerful features of the program than I’ll cover here:
Linkman Review at DonationCoder Forums
Incidentally, I first discovered Linkman through that review, so thank you, KenR!
Linkman: The New Powermarks
Linkman has now officially become the perfect Powermarks replacement.
Many years ago, I stumbled across a program called Powermarks. Powermarks changed the way I navigate the internet forever. What was so brilliant about it was the speed with which you can find any bookmark; even if you had thousands of them in a huge list. The heart and soul of Powermarks was the “Search-As-You-Type” feature (see my article about this here). You just enter a couple of letters and you will immediately find the bookmark you are searching for. This was such a blessing for me because I hate having to meticulously organize my bookmarks in folders, which is how most bookmarking programs want to do it. This way, all your bookmarks can be dumped into one enormous list and you can find whatever you’re looking for by simply entering a few letters. Very fast, very easy, very simple. I don’t need to turn bookmarking into a PhD class. A screenshot of it can be seen below:
Unfortunately, Powermarks stopped being developed by the author many years ago. For a while, it still worked with Firefox with a couple of custom tweaks. However, eventually that compatibilty stopped. Anticipating the end of the Powermarks era, I put out a call for someone to come up with a Powermarks replacement. (See the forum thread about this here.)
For about 2 years, Outertech diligently updated, modified, and improved Linkman according to these demands, along with many requests from others. Eventually, I was left wanting nothing more.
Soon, Outertech offered to implement the Powermarks features into Linkman. I proceeded to bombard them with several feature requests that I was very picky about. There were a lot of little things about Powermarks that made it brilliant, and I wanted to make sure those features would be implemented correctly. For about 2 years, Outertech diligently updated, modified, and improved Linkman according to these demands, along with many requests from others. Eventually, I was left wanting nothing more. Linkman has now officially become the perfect Powermarks replacement. In fact, it can do much more than Powermarks was ever capable of.
My Favorite Linkman Features
As I stated above, I’m only going to mention a couple of the things that I love about Linkman. The program can do so much more, but I use it in a fairly simple way.
Of course, the Search-As-You-Type is a key feature to the program. When you’re trying to find something in a list as big as your favorited bookmarks, you need the process to be as fast as possible. That’s why this is such an important feature to me. I don’t have to press “Enter” or go through extra clicks every time I want to search. You just start typing and go. If you make a spelling mistake, just backspace and fix it, while the results list updates with each keystroke you make. Any bookmarking program that doesn’t do this is useless as far as I’m concerned.
Also, I want to point out that in Linkman, there is the main program interface, but there is also a special Search Window (shown above). The main interface is where you can do all your organizing and managing of your bookmarks. I rarely use the main interface. I use the Search Window most of the time, and that is the window that pops up when you search for bookmarks through your browser. The Search Window is what Powermarks used to do. I point this out because maybe new users would be wondering why there are two windows for the program. The Search Window is like a streamlined version of the main interface that works better for quickly finding and launching bookmarks. One of the great features of the Search Window is that you can set it to disappear as soon as you launch a bookmark. I don’t need the window hanging around after I’ve selected the bookmark, I just want to go to that website now without having to close the window every time. Below is a screenshot of the main interface. Compare it to the minimal search interface above:
The Firefox integration with Linkman is now complete and excellent. The toolbar buttons were just recently improved so that they can be placed anywhere you want. I like to place mine right next to the address bar:
I place my buttons there because in case I don’t want to type in the address bar, I move the mouse right next door and open the Linkman window. Before this flexible button placement was allowed, the Linkman buttons were only available in the bottom right of the window, and I found out that because it was so far away, I’d just deal with the Firefox address bar. Of course, you can also set hotkeys to open the Linkman search window for you keyboard fanatics:
As you can see, I’m using three buttons. The first opens up the Search Window. The other two are two ways of adding new bookmarks to your list. Powermarks users will surely remember these as the “Add and Edit” and “Silently Add” options. If you “Add and Edit” a little window will pop up where you can review the details of the bookmark being added, and add keywords and fix stuff up if you want to:
The “Silently Add” button will add the bookmark with no additional confirmation or dialogs popping up. You just click on it and the bookmark is now in your list. These two options should cover all of your bookmark adding needs.
Another feature that I worked closely with the developer to make sure it was implemented properly is how the launched bookmarks would open in Firefox. I prefer the bookmarks to open in the current tab because otherwise, every time I open a bookmark, a new tab or window would open. Soon, your window is cluttered with a lot of tabs and/or windows. However, others like that. Fortunately, all of the options are accommodated and they work very well.
There is so much more to Linkman that I haven’t covered here. Hopefully, this sparks enough interest for new users to look into the program and discover how it can make their internet navigation a little easier. Linkman supports pretty much all web browsers, not just IE and Firefox. The developers are very open to suggestions. Also, there is both a free version and a Pro version, which is nice of them to offer.
DonationCoder members: Keep your eyes out for some free Linkman Pro licenses in next month’s giveaway. Thank you, Outertech! Those of you that aren’t donationcoder.com members, I suggest you join the website so you can be eligible for the giveaway also.