How to clean up your digital life

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

If you want to make your web searches more fruitful and more effective, consider downloading a free app called OneTab for your Chrome browser….

I’m a fan of writer and tech expert Clive Thompson, pictured above. You may have seen a link to one of his videos I posted on my site just over a year ago. In it, he dissects the difference between writing with a pencil and a keyboard, offering the pros and cons of each.

After seeing his video, I started following his eponymous blog and this week it gave me an unexpected payoff. He turned me on to a piece of free software called OneTab. Be aware that it works only with the Chrome browser, but it allows you to keep as many tabs open as you like, all at the same time, and keeps them easy to reference.

While I’m the kind of person who likes a tidy desk, my computer desktop is always far more cluttered. To me, being able to open things — applications, documents, web pages — easily and quickly, is far more important than a clean “look.” But when I have two dozen tabs open, even I start to feel overwhelmed and confused. (Plus, my kids tease me mercilessly about this.) OneTab solves this problem.

Here is what Thompson says:

When I have 53 tabs open, a single button-press closes them saves them as a single list. Which you can later open up! So now I’ve been using this thing like mad, because it adds a new mnemonic heuristic: I can look at a big huge list of days and days of links, getting jolts of serendipity and remembrance.

Indeed, I don’t keep a diary, but sometimes I think tab history is just as good better. It’s a record of where your mind has been.

His words convinced me. I downloaded OneTab immediately — it took less than 20 seconds — and I now have a small blue funnel icon on the top right-hand corner of my Chrome screen. It’s making my life better already. You can read Thompson’s full column here, if you’re interested.

Scroll to Top