Using favourites as bookmarks

I’m putting this topic in general for now instead of feature requests because I’m curious what other alternatives people may use.

I personally use the Favourites feature as a utility—as a feature I can use to bookmark noteworthy observations worth returning to (whether I’m stumped, need an example of a taxon to memorise the name of, have asked for the specimen of that observation, am curious about further investigation, etc.). However, as I accumulate more saved observations I’m finding it to become more and more cluttered and it’s becoming rather impractical to use this method—I’m starting to gravitate towards the use of spreadsheets, even if it takes more time.

What are the community’s thoughts on revamping favourites to have an albums feature (think Instagram’s albums for saved posts) or some tree-like way to organise faved observations so that they are easy to return to instead of having to scroll through pages (albums within albums/collections). Or even just a search function? And are there better alternatives already built into the site that I’m missing?

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I think everyone at some point uses favourites in that way. What I found is that you get to a point where you are favouriting for many different reasons, and you end up with so many favourites that it becomes unwieldy to work through them looking for things.

I gravitated to using bookmarks, as I could have a seperate folder for all my iNat stuff, and then have sub-folders to categorise them all by type… eg a sub-folder for observations I would look up in literature to identify, ones that had good diagnostic characters visible that I could check back on when comparing to others, just plain cool obs… right down to observations that had dialogue that was particularly informative.

The reason it became a feature request is that for many browsers you have to be on the same computer to access them, and a means to have that same functionality was desired that would “follow you” to other computers. I use chrome and through my google account I have bookmarks that follow me, so it no longer is an issue for me.

Another option is to make a comment on observations, so that you can search on that text. If a spider observation has a particularly good ventral view, and I know the literature doesn’t give one, I will often make a comment on the observation about it having a good ventral view… then in future I can find it by searching the taxa and looking for “ventral” in the comments. What would be nice is if an explore search on a taxa could also search on the comments as well as description/tags…

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There was a related feature request here: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/separate-like-and-bookmark-buttons/418 (staff are not moving forward with it)

There’s also an open feature request related to searching faved observations that staff have not responded to yet: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-search-feature-in-favorites/2502/11

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thanks for pointing those out!

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hah I’m glad I made this post—I didn’t consider making a bookmark library within my browser for some reason. I guess I’ll stick to this for now, thanks!

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I do use Favorites to acknowledge observations I particularly like; but I am becoming pretty parsimonious about it. Sometimes, the notifications feel a bit unwieldy. I imagine there is a way in settings to filter that, which I have not discovered.

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I’m largely using favourites now to mark an observation as a standout… notable trees (per recent post), interesting behaviours, excellent views of identification characters, particularly stunning photography, etc. If enough people mark it as a favourite for what ever reason, then the favourites sort order can have them float to the top, which I think is still worth doing even though I manage my own interest via the bookmarks.

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