Welcome to our new advice series, Help Me Out, where we ask expert Googlers to share their best tips for navigating common tech conundrums. Whether you’re trying to achieve inbox zero or want to get a handle on all those Chrome tabs, we’ve got a Googler who can help you out.
Help me out!
I come to you in need of Chrome tabs tips. First, you should know that I love my Chrome tabs. Exhibit A: I apparently have 42 Chrome tabs open on my work laptop right now. Exhibit B: Rumor has it I have 83 additional Chrome tabs open on my personal laptop. You could say closing my tabs feels…taboo.
There’s just so much internet to explore — so many fascinating rabbit holes to fall down with a simple search. Sometimes I’ll bookmark all open tabs into folders that are too vaguely named to be useful. What differentiates “New Folder 1” from “New Folder 2?” No one can say. I’m never going to give up my tabs, but I definitely could use some tidying tips.
—Keepin’ tabs on my tabs
Dear Keepin’ tabs on my tabs,
Coming to you live from a tab that’s buried amongst its kind! I confess that I, too, am a tab enthusiast. Since I’ve got the same issue, I decided to ask a Chrome expert to help me help you.
Edward Jung is a UX engineer who works on the Chrome team and describes himself as a “tabs maximalist.” “I’m using an extension right now that tells me I have 250 tabs open,” he says. The difference between us and Edward? He’s got a solid tabs organization system on his side. Edward says in the 12 or so years he’s been working at Google, he’s come up with various strategies to cope with his tabs use. And his tips can help us, too.
First, something that’s helpful to know if you accidentally close tabs: You can always restore them (although Edward says whenever this happens he takes it as a sign from the universe that it’s time to let those tabs go and start over!).
But that doesn’t quite solve your specific issue about organization. For starters, Edward suggests using Tab Groups. “I helped design Chrome Tab Groups because tab organization was a problem I was experiencing,” he says. This feature allows you to group various tabs together, so if you want to open a handful of tabs all at once related to a subject in particular, a project you’re working on or even something like a trip you’re planning, you just need to find that label and everything will open simultaneously. Plus, after grouping, the tabs collapse together, keeping your tab strip less cluttered. You can even add color-coding or use an emoji when you’re naming a Tab Group, which helps you immediately identify it.