BrainTool Philosophy

BrainTool is not a tabs manager, it’s a knowledge/notes/links manager that looks like a bookmark manager. Only links that are explicitly put under management show in the tree. Links are organized hierarchically under nested ‘tags’. Links with the same tag are maintained within a single browser window. Its easy to assign a tag to a link you are viewing, at which point it’s added to the tree and its tab moved into the same window as its fellows. Inline-style: Windows and tabs map to parent and leaf nodes

But that’s only a part of the tool. The BT Chrome extension is actually a browser-based view onto a plain text file represented in the text-based emacs orgmode format and stored on your Google Drive. That file can be edited in any text editor, ideally emacs with org-mode.

The idea is to marry together two of the main ways I personally capture information


At its simplest BrainTool is a way of organizing links you want to remember - kind of like a hierarchical bookmark manager. Each node in the tree has editable notes.

From a Chrome session new links can be added to the tree and links from the tree can be opened in dedicated windows. The org file can be edited separately to edit the structure or add notes and other details. The BT tree automatically writes updates to the org file. The Refresh button will re-sync the display with any file changes.


BrainTool is comprised of a Chrome extension and a javascript Google Drive application. The app is entirely a static client-side app served from my github account. On first startup the app asks your permission to create, read and write a file called on your google drive. That file is used to store the window and link tree. So in use the only communicating parties are your browser and the Google Drive server, no information is stored or accessible anywhere else. The app is as secure to use as Google’s infrastructure.

Headlines, Tags and Categories

These are different things in org but in BT they are all the same. Every headline in the tree is a tag. Leaf nodes carry the tags of all of their ancestors.

Links in org mode are represented as [[link url][link title]], when editing a link within the BT tree view this convention is followed.

Known issues, future plans