Tab Management in Chrome with Toby

Tab management is one of those problems that’s kind of funny.

Remember back in the day when we had browsers and we opened multiple windows so we could track all of the various sites on which we were browsing or on which we were working or whatever?

IE6
The browser everyone loved to hate.

Yeah. Those days.

Then remember when Firefox came along (or one of the open source alternatives), it was kind of nice to be able to install an extension or add-on that added tab management.

But now we’ve just kind of increased the problem exponentially. At least I have. Because I have multiple windows each with multiple tabs.

And yeah, the Merge Windows extension is nice because it helps bring everything together. But then we’ve gotta deal with saving our session (which there are some nice extensions for that) or keeping track of where we were.

That’s where tab management starts to get a little bit rougher.

Tab Management for Chrome

Some time ago, I happened to stumble across an extension called Toby that I’ve been using quietly using a for a while now (not that I – or any of us – need to share all the stuff we use, but I try to share useful things here).

Tab Management with Toby

From the extension’s homepage:

The first tab management platform that prevents tab overload, saves time, and makes finding information easy.

For some, it may sound a lot like any other browser extension that promises to help you get your tabs under control. But after using it for several weeks, I’m a fan of it for a number of reasons.

  • you can categorize your tabs so you can organize them based on work, home, to read, etc.,
  • you can create groups of tabs that you name so there’s, say, “high priority” tabs, “resources” tabs, and so on,
  • it syncs with data in your Google Drive (though this will be managed differently in an upcoming release),
  • you can change the theme of the extension to suit your preferences,
  • it syncs across computers,
  • and more.

Like many, they have a blog and keep it updated regularly. There are a few nuances around the extension that might irritate some but they address many of them in their FAQ.

What if It Goes Under?

One of the fears that I have in using free plugins like this – that provide a sincere amount of utility – is that they won’t be able to sustain their product.

So I emailed the team asking them about the plans for the product and this is what the team told me:

In terms of monetization, we’re evaluating some of the options, brainstorming quite a bit and I promise you we’re considering our next steps carefully – we don’t want to quit on Toby anytime soon and want to make sure we have a sustainable way of maintaining Toby in order to keep it available and constantly improving for everyone.

This is one of those projects that I’d be happy to pay for because it’s provided that much help in organizing the, what, tab explosion (is that a phrase?) that I tend to experience every day.

I know some of you do, too because you’ve tweeted about it and shared screenshots. So maybe you’ll dig Toby.

A Small Side Note

If you do dig the app, they’re nominated for an award on Product Hunt so feel free to vote ’em up if you dig what they are doing.