If you’re a blogger, researcher, writer or simply enjoy browsing a web and finding useful information you might find Diigo.com one of the most useful online tools for data gathering.
What is it?
Diigo is a cross between social bookmarking, research and collaboration tool. It provides wide array if features to help you organise, synthetize and share information on the internet.
Here is list of key features.
- bookmarking – pages are booked marked and organized using tags, list and quick description synopsis.
- annotating – comments and notes can be added to selected elements of the page and shared with other users.
- highlighting – interesting sections, quotes can be highlighted using different colours.
- read it later – save pages to read later, with iPhone client you can read offline on the go.
- collaboration – find friends and people with similar interests, add them you your network and share links, comments, ideas.
- sharing – links, notes and highlights can be easily shared via email, twitter or reports summarising captured content.
- public or private – links can be shared with Diigo community or made private for your view only.
How I use it?
I was never a user of any social bookmarking services. I dabbled with Delicious for a while but it didn’t go anywhere. However with Diigo.com it’s a very different story. Although at first glace it looks like just another variation of Delicious, it really more than. Here is how I use it:
Research & data gathering
When I’m researching a topic on the web I use highlighter to mark interesting quotes and sentences.Then I book mark the page in my library adding tags and list name. Let say I’m doing a research about Diigo, best practices and use scenarios etc. In order to keep everything in one place I create an ad hoc list and save everything there. Once I’m happy with collected material I go back to my library select relevant list and allpages and highlighted sections are clearly displayed there. For more permanent backup and storage I send the full content of the list to my Evernote account. This way I have a record of my research, interesting sections including links to pages titles etc.
Blog post writing
Having couple dozen of RSS feeds in my Google reader means that I have plenty of sources of interesting productivity articles about different tools, methods, tips & tricks. Diigo allows me to connect with my blog and quickly use annotations highlight and help me to write. This is particularly useful for my weekly links post. All I have to do is simply tick articles that I want to include in the post and click send to blog.
Information sharing bookmarking service
Sharing information using Diigo is super easy. First of all I can decide if the bookmark is public or private. Secondly as I’m adding tags and saving it I can sent a link to people I have connected with on Diigo, tweet it or simply type the email address and they will get a link to that site. If some piece of information is important I can bookmark and annotate with Diigo and then send to Evernote for permanent storage.
Why it’s great
First of all it’s very easy to use. After initial setup I was able to brows through the features, configure my profile and settings. What’s more important is the breath of features provided and ability to use them straight away. As the developers provide toolbars for every major browser I was able to start bookmarking, highlighting and annotating in no time.
Diigo being a simply bookmarking service would be good but where it truly shines is the whole area of annotating the web. Adding notes, highlights, building lists, summarizing the important are great features that put this service way ahead of others.
As this is online service it’s accessible anywhere you have access to internet. Also each mobile platform (Androind, iOS) has it’s own client and I must say using Diigo on a device like an iPad must be fantastic.
Lastly I’m always wary of being locked in a proprietary format with no way if exporting information. This was one of the main reasons why I didn’t use any online bookmarking service. Having all links in my browser was the safest option. Fortunately Diiggo is not locking me in. There are multiple options of exporting data your have created. Everything starting from bookmarks to annotations and highlights can be exported in text friendly format.
[Note: All opinions are my own, I’m not affiliated with Diigo in anyway nor received any compensation for this post. I’m very happy user of the service and wanted to share my experiences.]