Using Zotero as a bookmarking and read-later service

Using Zotero as a bookmarking and read-later service

I’m almost certainly using Zotero wrong.

Instead of for citations and research, I’m using Zotero as a bookmarking tool and read-later service, and it’s working really well. Is no one else doing this?

I’ve used many tools meant for saving links for later, from del.icio.us to Pinboard to Instapaper to Pocket to Raindrop. All of them are fine. Some focus on social bookmarking, some on archiving, some are meant as “read later” services. And all of them are prettier than Zotero. And yet…

I installed Zotero while tinkering with an Org mode note-taking workflow. Soon after, I installed the “Save to Zotero” Safari extension and started using that instead of my usual “Save to Pinboard” bookmarklet, just for something different. I was surprised to find that this has become my default.

For free, I get smart metadata parsing and tagging along with old-school hierarchical organization. I get full-page offline snapshots and sync. I get PDF annotation and storage. Oh, and I get citation management I can use if I ever want to sound smarter than I am.

It’s only been a month or two, but it feels like I have a good start on building a nicely-organized reference library as a byproduct of bookmarking things to read later.