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gbarry

Productivity in the age of the browser tab

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Folks--I have a quandary that can't be solved directly with Evernote. For the past 5 or so years, I've had this creeping suspicion that as my working life has moved to browser tabs, my productivity has eroded in kind. Most of what I do requires being in multiple tabs at once--around 10 different sites. In the good ole days, a quick alt-tab between applications kept me zooming along. But in the age of web apps, and with recent UI/UX "enhancements" to some of the main web applications I live in, it seems that nothing is ever a short click away, and a good deal of my day is spent navigating the flurry of tabs within tabs. Pinned tabs help to organize the chaos a bit, but they don't bring back the speed of alt or cmd tabbing between active applications.

 

You may suggest using multiple browsers, and I do. But I use the browsers to work within different life areas. Safari is for extracurricular work, Firefox is for Evernote, and Chrome is for personal.

 

Fluid was recently suggested to me, and I may yet try it--it turns web apps into alt-tabbable apps. But before I dive in, figured I'd drop a line to the community as well.

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This is quite the quandary. Indeed I have avoided web apps as much as possible largely for this reason, though more and more I like the "light weight-ness" of web apps, especially for mail. 

Because I've avoided web apps, this hasn't been so much of an issue for me, but I am interested to see what others have to say because this could be something I need to address in the not-so-distant future. 

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I am a huge fan of Tabs Outliner - it's an extension built for Chrome. I switched to Chrome just to be able to use Tabs Outliner.

 

Youtube video overview.

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I have a single tab open right now. My recommendation? Force Quit everything. Take some deep breaths. Be here, now :)

 

Just because we have the power to do something (open multiple tabs at once) doesn't mean that we should. I figure that I can only read one thing at a time with mindfulness anyhow, so there isn't any point in opening up another tab. 

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I have a single tab open right now. My recommendation? Force Quit everything. Take some deep breaths. Be here, now :)

 

Just because we have the power to do something (open multiple tabs at once) doesn't mean that we should. I figure that I can only read one thing at a time with mindfulness anyhow, so there isn't any point in opening up another tab. 

 

How oh so very zen of you.

 

While I regularly practice meditation, I do still need to have multiple browser tabs open ;)

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I have a single tab open right now. My recommendation? Force Quit everything. Take some deep breaths. Be here, now :)

 

Just because we have the power to do something (open multiple tabs at once) doesn't mean that we should. I figure that I can only read one thing at a time with mindfulness anyhow, so there isn't any point in opening up another tab. 

 

How oh so very zen of you.

 

While I regularly practice meditation, I do still need to have multiple browser tabs open ;)

 

 

Tabs open, but empty. That'll do it. I get it :)

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You probably already have multiple displays - and they don't easily translate to mobile working - but I run with three big screens these days so things can get spread out.  Modern browsers do have that nice thing where you can 'tear' off a browser window and pin it somewhere else if you need to...   (Why do I have three screens?  Mainly because I don't have room for four...)

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11" MBA here. I'm probably a fraction of one of your screens. Don't get me wrong, three screens would be great! They won't fit in my bag, though.

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11" MBA here. I'm probably a fraction of one of your screens. Don't get me wrong, three screens would be great! They won't fit in my bag, though.

 

I do have an artist portfolio case (about A2 size) and a portable HD USB screen but you wouldn't want to be carrying that setup very far.  It's not heavy but even in a light breeze you can get blown onto a lee shore.

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I love Fluid but I also love Chrome notification support, so I'm a bit torn and keep flipping between using the two. Currently I just have one Chrome window open in one OSX Desktop Space that has all of my web apps as pinned tabs, and another Chrome window open in my second Desktop Space that has all of my social networks, Feedly, etc. in Pinned tabs. I swipe between the spaces when needed, And use Cmd+Number (Cmd+1, Cmd+2, etc.) to quickly navigate between the pinned tabs in the window I'm currently viewing. I also use Cmd+Tab for the applications I have open all the time in full-screen mode (Apple Mail, Evernote, Skype, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). It's not ideal but I have not lost my mind yet ;)

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