Searching through your browser history for that one article you read that one time is a painful, often fruitless exercise. With Chrome extension cottonTracks, your browser history is organized by subject, making it easier to drill down to a particular article you read in the past.
After installing, cottonTracks places a small "C" button to the right of Chrome's URL bar and immediately gets to analyzing your browsing history. You do not need to create an account or log-in, and the developers state that the extension is 100-percent private -- everything stays on your machine.
Click on the "C" button and the extension blurs out the current page you are viewing and shows you related stories from your browser history. The extension uses algorithms to analyze how you interact with a Web page to determine its import, looking at your scrolling and reading speed, to surface only the most relevant content.
CottonTracks displays your history graphical squares, or what it calls blocks. The top block shows you the open page you were just viewing, while underneath it are blocks of Related Stories. You can also click to view Stories from open tabs and All Stories. Each block shows you how many cards -- Web pages -- it contains.
Click on a block and you'll see all of the cards in an array. Mousing over a block here brings up three menu options: Expand, Remove, and Open. The last two are self-explanatory, while Expand shows you a short summary of the article. CottonTracks can also be used as a Web clipper. Highlight or copy-paste a sentence, and the extension remembers it. The card with that article will show you that it contains a quote, which you can view when you expand the card.
In the lower-left corner are links to view stories that contain certain elements: images, videos, and maps. The extension is a work in progress. For example, you have to trust its algorithm will surface the related articles that are important to you, which I found was hit-and-miss during my admittedly short time using the extension. Also, it kept missing the fact that a page contained a video. Lastly, it also made quick work of analyzing my Chrome history, though it seems it searched back only a few months -- to mid-April of this year. Perhaps that was the last time I updated Chrome.
At any rate, you might find cottonTracks a useful tool for large research projects, where you are studying a variety of topics and would like an automated way to aggregate your Internet wanderings. Be sure to try it out first to make sure it fits you needs before blindly jumping in with it for an important project.