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I built a thing! PinBuddy!

The internet is full of useful things that are worth revisiting in the future. Bookmarking them all in a browser built-in feature is an option but it quickly becomes unmanageable after a while. A myriad of bookmarking services have been born to solve this issue and my favourite amongst them is Pinboard built by Maciej Cegłowski. Maybe it isn’t the prettiest website around neither is the API the cleanest and most intuitive but it definitely comes with one big advantage — it works.

There is absolutely nothing interesting about the Pinboard architecture or implementation; I consider that a feature!

After a few years of working with Pinboard, my collection has grown a lot, getting bigger day by day while I visit resources I don’t want to lose. Adding new and browsing existing internet resources is what bookmarking services should do effectively — unfortunately, I identified some Pinboard issues regarding user interface usability. There are few browser plugins that make your life easier but they all seemed to steer away from solving these issues.

I had a few technologies I wanted to play with and I knew a little bit of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript too — which is all you need to build a browser extension. So I built…

PinBuddy — Browse your Pinboard bookmarks and add new ones with ease

PinBuddy is a simple Google Chrome toolbar extension that helps me to browse, filter and add new URLs to the service in no time. It is fully keyboard accessible, configurable and comes with a plain design well-known from Pinboard website. Let me go through a few aspects of this tool in more details.

API token to authenticate

PinBuddy never asks you for your personal authentication credentials — it uses a dedicated API token to authenticate that you are you. You can find your personal token on the setting page under the password tab. This short identifier can be invalidated and regenerated on user request at any time.

PinBuddy uses API token to authenticate

Configurable

Options page allows you to log out and configure a few very useful settings that may boost your productivity. Decide whether the “browsing” or “adding a new bookmark” should be your main screen, whether “private” or “read later” should be checked by default when you add a new resource or toggle system notifications for successfully saved or deleted links.

PinBuddy options page

Keyboard accessible

I am a keyboard shortcut geek and I use them all the time. Luckily PinBoard allows you to browse and add new URLs without ever leaving your keyboard.

PinBuddy is keyboard accessible

Browsing bookmarks

Search for a keyword in title, filter private, public, untagged or unread. Delete or open in a background via single clicks — you can do it.

Browse Pinboard bookmarks with PinBuddy

Adding bookmarks

Adding a page could not be easier. The title is prefilled based on the website’s <title/> tag which normally works for me but feel free to edit it — it is just a helpful feature of PinBuddy. The long description is optional and can be fetched based on user cursor selection. Handy, isn’t it? Tags are probably the field you will edit the most. Hit the “add bookmark” button or simply ⌘ + Enter / Ctrl + Enter when you are ready to add it to your collection.

Add Pinboard bookmark with PinBuddy

Highlight already bookmarked URLs

In a maze of resources on the internet, it is easy to add something that is already in your collection. PinBuddy helps you with that by highlighting an icon and prefilling form inputs with details that you previously used to identify this URL

PinBuddy helps to identify already saved bookmarks

Help me to improve PinBuddy, please

PinBuddy is an ongoing project and I am planning to add new features based on users requests. I already received a support of multiple people that I would love to thank you for so much.

If your native language isn’t supported — your merge request will be appreciated. All user suggestions, bug reports, and feature requests are more than welcome. Hit me up on Twitter or open an issue on PinBuddy GitHub repository.

Download PinBuddy from Chrome Web Store today and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

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