First things first, real quick like. At it’s core, del.icio.us is a place where you can store your bookmarks and get to them from anywhere you can find an internet connection. Accounts are free, get yours today.
Though there aren’t many reasons not to set up an account, the biggest reason recently went away: Yahoo! acquired del.icio.us, thereby assuring at least the medium-term longevity of the site. That said, many of the best parts of del.icio.us don’t require you to get an account. So if you doubt you’ll sign up, continue reading–there’s probably something here for you.
Habit One: Make many marks
Bookmark everything you find interesting. You can’t really overdo it, so there’s no reason not to do it. Bookmarking a lot makes it easy to find your stuff again, plus you’re adding to the network effect and helping others out. There are several bookmarklets available that make it much easier to collect stuff with del.icio.us. If you’re a Firefox user (and why wouldn’t you be?), check out the new Firefox bookmarklet that del.icio.us provides.
Habit Two: Sir Tag-A-Lot
Tag it. Tag it good. Be liberal in your use of tags, but clean it up once in a while. No need to have ‘blog’ and ‘blogs’ in there. Choose one and stick with it. The way you clean up your tags is to go to the ‘Settings’ section of your account (top right corner). You’ll see a box in the right corner of your screen with two sections: ‘settings’ and ‘experimental.’ Under the ‘settings’ section, click the ‘tags’ link. This will take you to a page where you can delete tags, or change one tag into another. So if you’ve got several dozen links tagged with ‘sleeping’ and you want them all to be ‘sleep’, this is where you can make that adjustment.
Habit Three: Use the inbox
The inbox is a mystery for many folks, but it’s a powerful tool. Your del.icio.us inbox allows you to track what’s been added to particular tags and to track what particular users have bookmarked. There are a couple of ways to begin using your inbox. You can click the ‘inbox’ link at the top of any page when you’re logged in and then click the ‘edit inbox’ link on the right side. Or you can just click the ‘settings’ link (top right corner) and then click the ‘inbox labels’ link under the ‘experimental’ section. Either way will get you to the same page where you’ll see a couple of text entry boxes. One is for adding
USERNAMES and the other is for adding tags. If you know the del.icio.us
USERNAME of someone you want to track, enter it in the ‘user’ field and hit the subscribe button. If you have a particular tag you want to keep tabs on, enter it in the ‘tag’ field and hit subscribe. Once you get the hang of this, you’ll fill up your inbox in no time. Here are a couple to get you started…for tags, try ‘productivity‘, ‘business‘ and ‘gtd‘. For users try ‘bren‘ (that’s me!) or ‘steverubel‘ (he’s prolific!)