One of the mundane tasks I don’t really like when dealing with websites is creating “temporary” bookmarks. These can be necessary for many reasons. Maybe I’m busy looking at a number of websites, and find myself called away from the computer. Or maybe I have a research project going on, and will need a few websites available, but only for a short time. I don’t necessarily want to add those to my regular bookmarks, but dragging shortcuts to the desktop can be messy as well. Finally, it’s happened before that I find a long list of links I want to send someone, but copying and pasting link after link into a blank email can be time consuming. Now, this isn’t something that happens often, but thanks to a Google Chrome extension called Swimming Session Express, it won’t have to happen ever again.
Swimming Session Express is fantastic. The idea behind it is that I can take a list of my currently open tabs, and create a simple link that when clicked gives me one-click access to all of them. This is a bit like saving my current session, only Swimming Session Express doesn’t save any information between sessions. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say I have a number of different websites open. I’m currently working on a project dealing with Benedict Arnold, so let’s say all of those websites are about him. At the end of the day, I’m not quite done with the websites, but I don’t want to add them all to my bookmarks, I don’t want to copy them into a plain text document, and I don’t want to leave my browser open all night. It’s time to use Swimming Session Express.
Just click the Swimming Session Express icon in the toolbar, and a little pop-up menu appears. From here you have a few options. You can create a list of links for each of your open tabs, or for any links you have selected on a page. After selecting which type you want to share, just choose exactly which of your open tabs or links are included. This is nice if all your open tabs deal with a particular topic, and the other is your Gmail inbox. You probably don’t want to link to that, so uncheck it, and Swimming Session Express pretends it isn’t open. Once you have your list of links dealt with, give it a name (other than “My Session”), and choose what to do with it.
The “it” I’m talking about it a URL to a web page Swimming Session Express creates for you. On this web page is the list of all those open tabs. To access any of them, simply click on it. The actual URL is long, but Swimming Session Express realizes this is fairly unwieldy, and creates a shortened URL using the goo.gl service. Now the URL is only a few characters long.
You can do a few things with the URL. You can copy it to your clipboard or add it to your bookmarks. The first option is nice if you’re sharing this list with someone else, while the option to save the link list in your bookmarks can be a time and space saver. I don’t want to add twelve or thirteen different websites to my bookmarks, but a single link that lets me access the dozen or so open tabs? Sure, why not!
You can also share your link list on a wide variety of sites with just a couple clicks. You can share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious Bookmarks, StumbleUpon or Digg, or send an email to yourself or someone else. All those options could come in handy if you use a particular service (I could see myself sharing a list on Twitter or Facebook, and the email capability would definitely come in handy).
Once you’re done, you’re really done. I found Swimming Session Express while looking for a good session manager for Google Chrome, and while this isn’t a real session manager, it is a nice utility that will come in handy when creating a saved session isn’t necessary. Just get your tabs selected, give the list a name, and choose what to do with the goo.gl URL automatically created for you. You can also visit the link page before sharing it, to make sure it’s just the way you want it.
Swimming Session Express is an interesting idea. It’s something I would have never thought to want, and yet now that I’ve used it a little bit, I think the idea is great, and even better… I find that it’s just what I’ve been wanting, even if I didn’t know it before now! It’s really simple to use (just a couple clicks), and it makes sharing websites (or saving a group of them for later access), really simple. In short, it’s definitely worth looking at.