Take the 2-minute tour ×
Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am not too sure whether this problem can ever have a solution, but here I go.

As some (maybe more than some) have experienced more than 100 tabs open on your browsers. I have a habit of opening a link in new tab and don't check it out for ages.

Question How do I manage tabs?

Mozilla did introduce Firefox Panaroma to address this issue, but I don't use firefox much because of not it's fault, but chrome is just too good!

Another thing is I hate flash totally. Many sites load up with flash content and bring my mbp to a grinding halt. I did disable the shockwave flash plugin, but found it hard to re-enable for some sites that support only flash. Can't wait for HTML5 to spread farther.

Also I face the problem of bookmarking sites. The bookmarking option in chrome looks like it's not changed for centuries, though I love the sync feature that's available for both bookmarks and tabs that are open across all devices.

I hope there are some nifty ways to improve the productivity of what to do when you have to check out the page in the link, or maybe I have to change myself to be efficient with the existing technologies.

share|improve this question
    
For selectively enabling Flash, you may want to give NoScript a try. It takes a while to set up with rules for the sites that you visit regularly, but once that is out of the way, it works really well. –  Michael Kjörling Jul 6 '12 at 20:43
1  
I can't imagine having that many tabs open unless a good majority of them are to pages or articles you want to read later, in which case you should check out a time-shifting reading service like Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, or the reader feature in Safari. –  Adam Wuerl Jul 7 '12 at 6:08
    
@AdamWuerl I do use them on mobile, where it makes immense sense. Wasn't using them much but with Flipboard, it's now a breeze to send to Pocket. On desktop though it didn't click. Maybe I've to forcefully use them till it becomes intuitive. –  adifire Jul 7 '12 at 13:40
    
@MichaelKjörling Chrome has the option to selectively enable the flash. But it becomes frustrating where I can't enable the flash in some sites. So I increased my RAM to counter that but to no avail.... :( –  adifire Jul 7 '12 at 13:46

9 Answers 9

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Apologies for posting two answers, but after spending some time researching this I've found something that looks extremely promising and seems to be working for me so far. It's a Chrome extension called Tabs Outliner. Similarly to Firefox's Tree Style Tab add-on, it displays all your tabs in a collapsible tree view, making it easy to drag them between windows, categorise them, etc.

But the really killer feature is that there's a way to close tabs while keeping them in the tree view. So the tree essentially becomes an easily-organised collection of bookmarks, and you can turn a whole group of them back into a window full of open tags with just a double-click. I now have just GMail and this site open, but the 100+ other tabs I had open are easily accessible and, most importantly, visible. I have nearly 2Gb of free RAM for the first time in forever.

It's clear that the developer has a deep understanding of the hundreds-of-tabs problem, being a sufferer himself. There are a couple of little negative points though: the GUI has some idiosyncrasies, so there's more of a learning curve than there really needs to be; and the documentation urges you to regularly back up your Chrome profile because the tabs tree is saved in a fairly fragile way that can get corrupted. The guy seems to be trying to make a full-time job of developing it, and while I worry a little about how long that will last, it does give me some hope that these things will be fixed. Even as it is it seems to be an incredibly useful solution.

share|improve this answer
    
It took sometime getting used to, but tabs outliner certainly is what I was looking for! That killer feature is really awesome! Wish the google folks take this project seriously and merge it with the bookmarking system, probably with keyboard shortcuts! –  adifire Dec 10 '12 at 6:42

Managing tabs is sometimes a difficult issue but Firefox has made it easy for you. Trust me, when it comes to be productivity and efficency, I believe Firefox is the way to go. You may have to scarifice some speed but I think it's worth the time you save trying to find your tabs. Though chrome provides an extension for managing tabs, GO FIREFOX! :)

The first thing you can do is to organize your tabs into Tab Groups. Tab groups can be accessed by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + E. Once you have accessed Tab groups you can then start organizing your tabs by priority or type or anything else for that matter. Here is a link to the Firefox page which goes more in-depth. Click here To save you some time, let me summarize what they say in the video.

Creating a Tab group

When you access Tab groups you can drag out tabs and create new tabs groups, you can also name them.

Switching between Tab Groups

If you want to switch between these tab groups then you can press CTRL + Grave Accent to go forward and CTRL + SHIFT + Grave Accent to go backwards. ` < Grave accent

Tab group organization

You can organize your tab group by simply resizing or relcating it to make it easier for you to access.

App tabs

The second thing you can do is to create App tabs. App tabs are extremely helpful because you can't "close" them and they won't be shifted by other tabs. So you can "pin" your most frequently used websites. More information is available at the link I have provided.

Good luck!

share|improve this answer

You say you have problems bookmarking sites — have you ever checked out Pinboard? I set up a keyboard shortcut to quickly save links/sites that I want to read rather than just keeping them open in tabs in your browser.

share|improve this answer

As for bookmarking I can recommend http://www.diigo.com, which makes it simple to bookmark and tag interesting webpages you come across. You can also download some convenient Chrome extensions and there are also som other nice features such as text highlighting directly in the webpage you're visiting.

Personally I frequently come across pages I'd like to have a closer look at, but don't have the time to do so immediately. Opening new tabs works okay for a few pages, and provided that I know for sure I will visit the page shortly, but doing so scales horribly and I dislike ending up with the browser bloated with tabs because I find it distracting. Bookmarks in Chrome aren't that great for organization either, so earlier I had the problem that I would often bookmark pages that I just never returned to. However, after I started using diigo I just bookmark a page, tag it as "Read later" and rest assure that I will return to it when I have some time to review my "Read later"-bookmarks. There is also the benefit of having access to your bookmark library from anywhere and several different devices.

Now I know this doesn't answer your question on how to manage tabs (which I can't say much about because I don't do it myself), but I hope it is a useful answer anyway.

share|improve this answer

My approach is to close tabs as I don't need them. I keep a long browser history and usually find stuff again if I happen to need one of the tabs again.

You already heard some of the suggestion for a "read it later" solution. My implementation of this is called "pocket", which formerly was "read it later" (this is why a lot of applications are still called this way). I use the Forefox extension and can also save articles directly on Google Reader (my RSS reader). For bookmarks there are 3 different scenarios: 1. "useful tool, might use it sometime": I save it in Firefox (but dont sort it into folders). I add some tags which will help me in finding it again when I start typing in the address bar. 2. "webpage I visit every day": goes into the bookmark bar. I shorten the names so the buttons will be more compact. 3. "nice article with a lot of text, this should be in my reference folder": I save the content of the page offline, so I can search in the whole text for keywords. I used to use evernote for this but replaced it with nvALT because it is free software has a better performance. Also: I'm in love with plain text, the file format of the future.

share|improve this answer

Managing Tabs

Lately I’ve been experiencing with the “Two-tabs rule”, being allowed to have only two tabs opened at a time, two supposedly being the number of tabs that you brain can handle without context-switching penalty. This works pretty well!

There is some minor cases when being limited with two tabs is annoying but setting the limit higher is just a few clicks away if you really need it. Well worth the effort for all the productivity that I otherwise gain with this limitation. And I’ve come to the realization that I’ll probably never find any other tab organization system that is closest to productivity perfection than this one.

For more information check the Lifehacker article about this. The extension that they are giving for Chrome doesn’t exist anymore, so I’m using Controlled multi-tab browsing instead.

Managing Bookmarks

I put all my bookmarks in two folders: inbox and archives (plud an additional Dev folder for ressources that I use for my job as a web developer)

  1. inbox

    The content that I want to consume later: articles to read, videos to watch, etc. With two subfolders: videos for videos, and blogs for websites with autogenerating content (mostly blogs).

  2. archives

    For every article that I’ve found interesting and might want to reread when needed. When a lot of links in that folder are about a similar subject I group them into a subfolder.

    If you need your bookmarks to have multiple categories (thus you are “unable” to put them into a single subfolder), you could instead include #tags at the end, or the beginning, of the name while bookmarking them. Then just type in the #tags inside Chrome’s address bar when you need to retrieve the link that falls into these categories.

This system is inspired from a method of organizing files I’ve read on zenhabits (using four folders: inbox, working, to read, archives). If someone see what I’m talking about please post a comment with the link, I can’t manage to find it on Google at the moment.

share|improve this answer
    
Reg your second point, adding #tags to links while bookmarking, is that part of chrome plugin or inherent to chrome itself? I couldn't get that to work. –  adifire Jul 21 '12 at 4:06
    
Inherent to Chrome, I am talking about this field. –  Alex Dieulot Jul 21 '12 at 10:11
    
Oh cool! Actually I tried it once and saw some irrelevant links being shown, so I thought it wasn't working. Now I figure the number of links suggested after I type in the address bar is too few for my linking. Any way to increase those link suggestions? –  adifire Jul 22 '12 at 4:36
    
Yes, if you don’t get to the link you wish, try within Chrome’s favorites manager, accessible via Ctrl + Shift + O. –  Alex Dieulot Jul 24 '12 at 16:12

I, too, would like a great tool for managing tabs, but in the absence of such a tool, here are a couple of hacks that can free up some of your computer's ram, and prevent Flash from turning your computer into a hotplate. Unfortunately they're not very elegant solutions and you'll have to keep doing them every now and then.

  1. Quit your browser, unplug your network cable and turn off WiFi, then open your browser again and restore your session. All your tabs will now be there, but the content won't be loaded, so they'll be taking up a lot less resources, and in particular there won't be any Flash scripts running at all. When you need any given tab, you can just refresh the page (after you've re-enabled your internet connection).

  2. For some reason, even a "this page couldn't be loaded" message takes up quite a bit of RAM after a while in Chrome (there must be a memory leak somewhere). However, you can free some of this up in the following way: open the OS X "Activity Monitor" app and sort the list by "real mem". You should see quite a few processes called "Google Chrome Renderer" near the top. You can just quit some of these with no ill effects, except that the content of some of your tabs will disappear, but again you can get it back by re-loading. If you use Chrome's own task manager (Window->Task Manager) instead of Activity Monitor, you can even use shift to select multiple renderers at once and kill them all. This is very useful if your computer is running slow due to memory use reaching 100%.

Of course it would be better not to have to resort to these measures. I'd love nothing more than to close the 117 tabs I have open right now, but I don't know of a tool that will let store them in such a way that I won't just forget about them.

share|improve this answer

if you ever decide to use Firefox, try Tree Style Tab (one of my favorite extensions)

it provides tree-style tab bar, like a folder tree of Windows Explorer. New tabs opened from links (or etc.) are automatically attached to the current tab. If you often use many many tabs, it will help your web browsing because you can understand relations of tabs.

Features:

  • You can collapse/expand sub trees. It is convenient for too many tabs.
  • When you close a tab which has collapsed sub tree, all of tabs in the sub tree will be closed only one action.
  • The tree of tabs can be showin at rightside.
  • Vertical tab bar cab be shown/hidden automatically.
  • You can open new tab between existing tabs, dropping link or URL string there.
  • You can save/restore the tree of tabs over sessions, by Session Manager or other session-management addons.
  • Drag and drop is available to modify relations of tabs and to rearrange. The behavior seems to be like "layer tree " of Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop.
  • Tab bar can be moved to leftside, rightside, top, or bottom. Horizontal tree is also available.
share|improve this answer

I totally sympathize with this problem. It's not uncommon for me to have 120 or more tabs open at a time. I mostly run Safari, and before Apple messed it up with the redesign, I had gotten it to run even a bit over 200 tabs fairly well (I have an iMac with 12GB RAM, btw).

But whatever browser you run, the big problem comes when everything starts to slow down. Then it gets very difficult switching between windows and tabs, and so at the very point when you need to be closing tabs, you can't. So I recommend, first of all, paying attention to Chrome's behavior so you can tell when you've about reached its limits. Then you'll have to restart (and let Chrome restore all your tabs from the previous session).

With Safari, one tell-tale sign is text entry in browser fields starts to slow down. Also, Facebook will really start to drag.

Another thing you can do is develop the habit of spending a couple minutes every hour closing unneeded tabs. Expose on the Mac is helpful, especially in revealing pop-under windows that may be hogging resources. I try to keep each browser window to about 10 tabs, so I can see everything. I really wish we had better browser window management, but in Safari you're pretty much on your own.

Finally, if you're not running Click 2 Flash, you really have to try that. It's a plugin for Safari, but apparently there's another way to run it in Chrome. I just found this on Google, maybe it will help -

http://zackeryfretty.com/click-to-flash-google-chrome/

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.