Most of my development time is spent with Chrome, of late. I tend to keep multiple windows of multiple tabs open, with all minimized but one. I am creating interfaces and sometimes applications, so there is always ongoing research. I want to be sure that css-tricks has not found some new magic for Responsive Tables, for instance. And I need to be sure of Jeremy Keiths’ thoughts on a certain method for Progressive Enhancement. And I need to review the latest design and UI thinking from A List Apart, and Filament Group. Which leaves barely enoough time to go over the Google Developers channel on YouTube.
So, a lot of research = a lot of tabs and windows open. In my defense, the windows are organized in a manner that makes sense to me. I have one window with five tabs for all the current methods and patterns for responsive tables, all from Brad Frosts‘ main directory. I have one window with numerous tabs for the technical side including jquery api documentation and stackoverflow answers. I have another window with visual inspiration. And of course, I have another window with several tabs of the actual work I am previewing locally using MAMP. This ends up being a boatload of tabs. I can remeber haveing to restart in the middle of theafternoon each day and realizing, I neede a better method.
A friend recommended TabMemFree, a productivity extension for Chrome. You can set the timing, while it parks all your idle tabs.
Lower RAM and CPU consumption by parking idle tabs
This proved extremely worthwhile. I can’t remember the last time I needed to restart during work, because the brower got sluggish. This proved so worthwhile I forgot about how many windows and tabs I had open. I could go back to research of a couple of days ago. I no longer had to go through my history of links for that one snippet that I passed over, but which now would be invaluable to the process at hand.
Until the day…
Until the day I could not find the right window of tabs to open, and ended up going through 20 windows before finding that specific site resource I wanted. Initially I cleaned up the no-longer-needed tabs. close – close – close. But I was still had a huge repository of research that needed to be at hand.
I came across a CNET review of OneTab and thought I would give it a try.
Save up to 95% memory and reduce tab clutter
I will warn you, if you are currently running TabMemFree. You will need to make all your window tabs active and disable TabMemFree, and check that ALL your tabs are active, before uninstalling TabMemFree, since the two extensions conflict with each other. You will get a specific error message after installing OneTab that tells you to uninstall TabMemFree. If you uninstall the TabMemFree extension, before disabling it and making all your windows active again, you will lose those windows, and the browser url that you are left with is undecipherable.
Once you have OneTab enabled, it will be listed in the Chrome bar with your other extensions. Go through and focus each window and select the OneTab icon, which will close that window, adding those tabs to a one sheet bookmark collection. Fabulous! I am extremely happy with this method, so far. It fits the way I work. For the last 2 weeks I have maintained a single working window. My work flow feels simplified. Yet, I have all my resources close at hand.