Reduce Browser Clutter with OneTab and Increase Productivity

Reduce Browser Clutter with OneTab and Increase Productivity

Are you ready for a new productivity tip? Imagine you are in the middle of a research session with ten different tabs open on Google Chrome. Glancing at the clock you realize you have to join an online meeting and close your tabs, but you hate to lose the web-pages that will take you several minutes to relocate and reopen. Perhaps your internet has slowed down because you have so many tabs open but again, you don’t want to lose those URLs. Does this scenario sound familiar? Enter the solution – OneTab.

Overview of OneTab

The overview for OneTab explains:

Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.

When your tabs are in the OneTab list, you will save up to 95% of memory because you will have reduced the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.

I am always looking for tools and methods to increase productivity in my research. Often I have multiple tabs open for a project – my research log, project document, Ancestry tree, the FamilySearch Family Tree, census records, etc. It takes time to open all the needed websites for a research session and time is precious! Also, in the course of a research project I may have discovered a valuable website that was buried among the Google search results that I don’t want to try to uncover again. By adding the OneTab extension to my Google Chrome taskbar, with one click of the icon, all my tabs are consolidated into a list that I can then name.  When I return to that project, I can restore all those tabs with one click and I’m quickly ready to resume my research session.

The screenshot below illustrates my point. I’ve named this tab group “Cox project.” According to the date, I created this group on 6 April 2020. It contains my DNA research log in Airtable, the pedigree view of an Ancestry tree, two other research logs in Google Sheets, a Cox family website, and the facts page for Benjamin Cox. When I am ready to work on this project again, I simply click “Restore all” and my tabs open.

Another valuable aspect of OneTab is saving memory when using Google Chrome. Before using OneTab I would have as many as 20 tabs open and then get frustrated with websites loading slowly. Having too many tabs open at a time can take up much of your computer’s memory and OneTab reports up to 95% memory reduction. The overview explains:

Depending on how many scripts are running inside your tabs, moving them to OneTab can also speed up your computer by reducing the CPU load. We have also had reports that this also contributes to your computer resuming from sleep more quickly.

The screenshot below shows the top of my OneTab web-page and notes that I have a total of 34 tabs. Scrolling down I would see that these are spread among six projects. I can restore or delete all the tabs for a project or open just one of the tabs.


The blue OneTab icon is added to your list of Chromes extensions and whenever you’ve come to the close of your research session, a simple click of the icon shrinks those tabs into a nice neat list.

The website explains the extension is also available for Firefox if that is your internet browser of choice. OneTab is a free extension created by developers who needed it for their own use. The website addresses privacy issues and states the following.

We take your privacy seriously. Your tab URLs are never transmitted or disclosed to either the OneTab developers or any other party, and icons for tab URL domains are generated by Google. The only exception to this is if you intentionally click on our ‘share as a web page’ feature that allows you to upload your list of tabs into a web page in order to share them with others. Tabs are never shared unless you specifically use the ‘share as a web page’ button.

OneTab for Genealogists

As genealogists, OneTab provides several intriguing uses. Besides keeping project lists for our personal use, we could use OneTab for collaboration. Perhaps you have collected a number of tabs regarding a family you are researching and would like to send the links to a cousin.  You could export the list of URLs or share the entire list as a web page with just one URL.

Perhaps you have several URL’s from a research log that you’d like to import into OneTab. Simply copy and paste into the “Import URLs” box and OneTab will create a list you can rename and then share.

OneTab might be handy in creating a locality guide where you have several tabs open for the locality, such as county cemeteries. By clicking the OneTab icon, those tabs would be consolidated into a tidy list. Next you could export the URLs then copy and paste them into your locality guide.

Perhaps you have several tabs open in online trees trying to discover a DNA match. With OneTab you can consolidate those tabs into a list then create a web page from that list with only one URL. That URL could be shared with other researchers or could be entered into your DNA research log, taking up only one cell.

The best way to learn OneTab? Try it!

Are you already using OneTab? Do you have other great ideas for using OneTab for genealogy? Share in the comments section.

Best of luck in all your genealogical endeavors!

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