AnnotateIt Adds Simple Annotation to any Web Page

Ever needed to add some simple annotations to a web page? There are plenty of apps which throw the kitchen sink at the problem. Sometimes, though, simplicity is king.

AnnotateIt is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation. It's a simple service that allows you to highlight sections of a web page and add your own comments, using a bookmarklet to do so.

To use the service, sign up, then drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar. When you load a page you want to mark up, just click the bookmarklet to launch the service. A popup bar will tell you when the annotator is ready to go (and, if you're not logged in, it'll tell you that, too).

To use the annotator, just highlight some text and you'll see a popup:

Click that popup and you'll see a text entry field where you can input your comments and add some tags for future reference:

What else can you do with the annotator? Well, almost nothing, and that's the beauty. The tool lets you annotate a page, then it gets out of your way. If you want to review your annotations later, you can, simply by signing into the service, where all your notes are archived. Wanna see it in action? Check out the live demo.

Granted, AnnotateIt could be more useful if it could interact with other entities; if you could send your annotations to, say, Evernote or Google Drive. And it doesn't. as far as I can tell, show you previous annotations once you reload or go back to a page you've marked up. Still, the service is small, simple, and extremely useful for research, or just to jot down your own thoughts as you read.

If you're a site owner, you can also build AnnotateIt into your own site. The project is completely open source, so it's easy for developers to add more features, and it's developed entirely in Javascript. That kind of transparent development makes it easy to get behind a project like this.

All in all, AnnotateIt is a simple, useful addition to your toolbelt.