Turn @Pinboard into your Personal Web Gem Archive

In the first twenty-five posts here on Sssimpli, I’ve focused mainly on web apps that, by performing one function very well, or combining features normally reserved for numerous apps into one service, simplify your daily web routine in some way. These can be very useful tools, but the problem facing most is facing the never-ending labyrinth of sites that is the web. The secret of those who make the most of the web is making the web come to you, not having to actively seek out each piece of content that you may find interesting. It is in that spirit that I’d like to introduce a new weekly series on Sssimpli: Automating Your Web. Eventually, we may get into some more advanced tips and tricks. For now, though, we’ll start with the basics. First up: using Pinboard.in as a bucket for all the interesting things you find on the web. Let’s get started.
Now, that’s a brief explanation of what Pinboard does. I should also mention that it’s ad-free, insanely fast, simple, and has a fantastic support staff (especially considering the entire site is run by one guy). Moving on, here is how to turn it into your personal internet archive:

Pinboard is a social bookmarking site for introverts- but what exactly does that mean? Social bookmarking services, by and large, do two things: they allow you to save links to web pages on their servers, so you can access them from anywhere, provided you have internet access. Delicous, Diigo, and the like all provide this service, and they also allow you to follow other users whose saved links you may find interesting- hence the “social” in “social bookmarking.”  Pinboard focuses on curating your data/ links into a sort of personal web archive, with less adherence to the social aspect. In doing so, Pinboard can pay more attention to features that make organizing your data simple, such as searching your links. It costs a bit to sign up ($9.69 at the time of this article), and it’s well worth the ten bucks. There’s also an option to archive all your links, meaning Pinboard will copy the entire web page of every link into its servers, so if a site no longer exists, you can still access it via your Pinboard page.

Now, that’s a brief explanation of what Pinboard does. I should also mention that it’s ad-free, insanely fast, simple, and has a fantastic support staff (especially considering the entire site is run by one guy). Moving on, here is how to turn it into your personal internet archive:



First, you’ll want to add your Twitter account from the >settings>twitter menu. Once you do, any tweet you favorite will be added to your Pinboard with the label twitter_favs.

Next, we need to sign up for a service called ifttt (if this then that). For now, think of ifttt as duct tape for the internet. It’s arguably the most useful service on the web for our purposes, so we’ll be coming back to ifttt somewhat regularly. Once you sign up, we need to connect three services: Tumblr, Google Reader, and Pinboard. If you’re not familiar with these services, Lifehack has a nice intro to Google Reader, and Infinite42 lays down the basics of Tumblr. Both are quite critical to making the web work for you.



Next, we need to create two tasks: to do this, just click >create a task>this>Google Reader>New Starred Item>Complete Trigger. For the result, click >that. Then, choose how you’d like to save your items: either as a public or private bookmark, or an item to “read later.” When you’re finished, create another identical task, replacing Google Reader starred items with Tumblr “likes.” Of course, you’re not limited to dumping just these services into your Pinboard- you can connect a multitude of other accounts, too, but I find that limiting yourself to the accounts I’ve laid out keeps your Pinboard slim and manageable.

And that’s it. From now on, most every item of interest you mark as interesting will be deposited into your Pinboard account, creating a virtual smorgasbord of web gems, ready and waiting whenever you’re in the mood for some web magic. Of course, you may also want to add Pinboard’s bookmarklet to save any other interesting items you come across.

As always, if you’ve any related tips to share, please do so in the comments. Happy browsing!


Pinboard | @pinboard