Do you remember back before web browsers had tabs? I do. In fact I remember when my Dad first put a tabbed browser called NetCaptor on the family computer after reading a Walt Mossberg column in the Wall Street Journal in 2004. Since that time NetCaptor development has stopped, but haven’t stopped using browsers with tabs. I can’t imagine life without tabbed browsing.

That last line isn’t strictly accurate, because the computers at the store where I work still have Internet Explorer 5 installed. I do know what life without tabbed browsing is like, and it’s painful. The benefit of tabbed browsing is that it allows you to pursue multiple internet pathways at the same time without losing the place you started from. It also allows you to reference many web pages at the same time without filling your taskbar up with a dozen Internet Explorer windows.

I routinely hold the Ctrl key while I click links on web pages to open them in new windows so I can finish reading the page I’m on and remember to read the links later on. Using browsers without tabs forces you to focus on one page at a time and navigate in a forwards and backwards manner. Tabs open up a whole new world. In effect you can go sideways.

This post is the second in a series on using technology to work quickly.

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