Is your email constantly open in a new tab? What about your Facebook? And other online tools you work with? What do you do when someone sends you an article to read or you find something interesting on Facebook? If you’re like me, you probably leave your readings open in a new Chrome or Firefox tab for when you have time for them.
If you don’t put some order, however, you can very quickly end up with something like this:
Yep, that’s what my browser usually looked like. And before you eyeballs fall, I should just mention that for some people even that is a small number of tabs. I’ve personally seen a browser with about 100 open tabs, and I’ve heard legends for more …
Fortunately, recently I found a few tricks to manage my tabs and organize them and I can’t wait to share those tricks with you.
Why is it bad to leave a lot of tabs open in a browser all day?
1. The many open tabs make your browser and sometimes your entire computer slower and more unstable.
2. More importantly, the many open tabs have the same effect on you – and disturb your brain and your concentration. When you see them constantly, they create a feeling of mess (and thus contribute to your stress) and they distract you because your brain often flinches to think about the things behind each tab title.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Even more than one. So here we go:
• TooManyTabs – for Chrome and Firefox – allows you to manage and sort multiple tabs.
• OneTab – for Chrome and for Firefox – turns your huge collection of tabs into a list that you can review when you have the time instead of keeping them constantly open.
• Workona (Chrome only) turns your browser into multiple tabs, called workspaces, and lets you group all tabs on a particular theme or work project in a common space. Quite a little more organized than a pile of tabs, including your current draft, several reading articles ” for later” and the cooking recipes for tonight.
• Max Tabs (Firefox only) limits the number of tabs that you can keep open at the same time in the same window. Just do not cheat with a couple of open windows!
• Tabagotchi (Chrome only) does something similar in a fun way: The more tabs you open, the harder it is for your Tabagotchi to live happily.
• If you are using Firefox and nothing is helping to discipline you to organize your tabs, maybe a bit of spacecraft shooting will do the job. Tab-invaders is a game in which each shot alien closes a tab in your browser.
Collect interesting readings in Pocket
Pocket is a tool in everybody’s productivity list and is a much better solution for storing things you want to look at later than to keep them in tabs. This app lets you save pages to review later by displaying them in its own interface, freed from ads, sidebars, and pop-ups. It can also be installed on all your devices, so your collection is with you both on your phone, on your home computer, and on your tablet.
Create your browser Tab system
Apart from using apps and extensions, it’s a good idea to create some clear rules on how to work with your tabs in your browser so you don’t have to think about what to do and how to do it each time you open or close a tab. If you don’t know where to start and need some inspiration, here’s how my browser system works:
• I always keep a minimum number of tabs open.
• I have a Trello (another great tool for productive people) card with current goals and priorities for the month and one for the tasks of the day. They are always open so I can review them when I need it.
• I know how long it takes me to do a task as I track the working time with Toggl and that’s why it’s always open for me. I periodically review the reports it gives me and look for ways to optimize the time for different types of tasks. For example, by reviewing processes and removing unnecessary subtasks or by moving certain tasks at other times or doing them from different places – it turns out that all this affects the overall productivity.
• The rest is the minimum number of tabs in which I’m doing the current task.
You can choose whichever you want from the strategies offered above to deal with the dozen open tabs in your browser or make combinations of them until you find your method. Good luck and don’t let the open browser tabs take over you – manage them!
For more productivity tools, check out the Resources & Tools section.