As a coach, I often talk to clients who have the same problem. In fact, I haven’t met anyone who isn’t suffering from tabitis – the terrible condition of having too many tabs open at once, often around 100 of them! These poor victims of too many tabs are frequently getting distracted by tabs unrelated to what they are doing and slowed down because they can’t find what they are looking for in their overwhelming collection of forgotten and abandoned open tabs.
If I described you, I used to be like that, so I know your pain! But now I’ve got all my browser tabs totally under control! And you can too, in just five easy steps. Get ready to take back your life from those awful tabs!
(I’m on a Mac, but most of this will work on Windows as well, or at least similarly.)
1) Multiple user personas
Setting this up was the last thing I did, many years after the following steps. The rest made tab management easy, but I was still bogged down in tabs until I created personas. It only took about 10 minutes to make each user persona, including moving over my open browser windows from the original user I started with. I regret not doing this first! Sectioning off my work like this really gives me a lot of peace of mind and makes it easy to have a LOT more focus.
2) Session Buddy Chrome Plugin (Free)
This just sits in the background on Chrome, keeping a record of what windows and tabs are open. If there is a catastrophic crash, it has my back. This would be at the end of the list, but I also used it when I created my user personas. It exported the list of 78 tabs I had open at the time. Then I imported the list into Session Buddy in each persona, clicked on the windows or tabs that I wanted open in that persona, and they simply appeared. Easy peasy.
3) Tab Manager Chrome Plugin (Free)
This shows a filterable list of all my open windows and tabs as a dropdown menu in Chrome. I use this frequently to quickly find tabs and switch to them, and sometimes to reorganize them, just by dragging and dropping tab titles between the lists.
Make sure to use this link as there may be a second copy out there that is doing bad things:
4) Papaly Chrome Plugin (Free)
This is my start page for each tab, so I use it constantly to organize all my bookmarks into lists in projects. The cool thing is that you can open a new tab in a window with a bunch of related tabs, click one button, and it will close all the tabs and put them into a list in the current project in Papaly. Then you can open the entire list again with a click, or individually open the tabs.
Note: I’ve been using this for six years, and I still rely on it. But, there may be better alternatives by now. I don’t know. Three years ago they had an outage and I looked into https://about.start.me, which is $20/year. It looked like it might be comparable. But Papaly started working again, so I never bothered switching.
I made a video of Papaly and Tab Manager six years ago when I started using Papaly. It’s on my old business YouTube channel:
5) Contexts Mac App ($10)
On Mac, switching between windows isn’t as nice as I remember on Windows. When you press Command+Tab, MacOS shows you each app, where Windows task switching showed every window for every app. Contexts fixes that, so you can quickly use keyboard shortcuts to switch between every window you have open, not just every app you have open. When I have 20 Chrome windows open, this is really helpful!
6) Bonus: Spectacle Mac App (Free)
While I’m at it, I also really liked how on Windows I could press a keyboard shortcut to pin a window to the left or right side of the screen. This app is no longer being maintained, but it still works great, and has a bunch of other keyboard shortcut options. Another similar program is Moom App for $10.