Get More Done: Using Tabs as Your To Do List

Are you the type of person that loves their to-do lists? I have a love/hate thing going with them — sometimes they help me to be more productive and other times, they're a burden that I am all too happy to lose along with the list itself! However, as more and more of the tasks on the list involve the internet in some way, I was happy to discover a new way to get more things done.

What's the new thing I'm doing that only takes a few seconds and has helped me be more productive? I'm using tabs in my browser as a to-do list!

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Tabs are my new best friend. First thing in the morning, I open up a new browser window and start creating tabs for each item that needs to get done. Since almost all of my tasks involve the internet in some way, this is a great fit for me. Once the item is completed, the tab is closed. Of course I dislike very much the look of multiple tabs crowding my browser, so I have even more of an incentive to complete tasks.

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As I have gotten in the tab-productivity habit and seen it help me get more things done, I've decided to take things further for days when there are so many things to do. On those very very busy days, I create browser windows for each topic and then create the corresponding tabs. An example is my little sister's upcoming wedding... I have a window for the wedding and inside of it are the tabs for the tasks that need to get done that day that relate to the event. When I'm feeling extra organized, I line the tabs up (just click and drag them) in the order that I need to accomplish them, but honestly most of the time I leave them in the order they were created, which is as I thought of them.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that using tabs as markers for things that need to get done has helped me tremendously. I think it's the combination of a visual reminder of the things that need doing coupled with the tools to do them that makes it so powerful. Unlike an online to-do list where I would need to list the items that have to get done and link to the sites I need to use to do them (or a paper one where I'd have to write the urls I need to visit next to the to-do items), I have everything I need to accomplish the tasks in one place, and it's very satisfying to see the tabs disappear throughout the day.

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Most browsers have tabs enabled by default, but if your browser does not, go into your browser preferences to turn them on. Once they're enabled, save yourself some time and learn the keyboard shortcuts for starting a new tab, closing a tab, and switching a tab, knowing these shortcuts will save you quite a bit of time.

Of course, like all productivity tips, your mileage will vary. If you have an older computer, or one that's not well endowed with memory, leaving a bunch of tabs open in your browser is not going to be a party &mdah; if you notice your computer crawling at a snail's pace with only a few tabs open, this is not the tip for you.

What are some ways you use technology to be more productive?

MORE PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FROM APARTMENT THERAPY:
5 Productivity Apps and Utilities We Use, Love, and Recommend
Manage Productivity in 10-Minute Increments to GTD
Getting On The Same Page: Online Shared Calendars

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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Joelle loves technology and making things and is in an almost perpetual state of problem solving. She's quite fond of airplanes and coffee and is pretty sure she will eventually read all of the books in her library.