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 One-tab.com 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!
I down loaded One Tab a while ago after hearing you mention it on a RLP Podcast. I just have not implemented it into my routine. I am one of those researchers who have at a minimum of 20 tabs open. I am looking forward to testing this out a bit more.
As always, thank you for a great tip!
I think you’ll love it – a total game changer.
Thanks, I’m going to check it out this weekend.
I love this idea! One question – if I open a previously-saved One Tab list, can I add new tabs to it or do I need to create a new one and delete the first one? Thanks!
Once you open a OneTab list, you can add new tabs. Then at the end of your session you’ll save whatever tabs are open for that project and name the list again.
I’m glad you did this post – I already use OneTab (and love it), but now I know more about how I can use it – thank you!
I use OneTab in Firefox, and I also ‘pin’ tabs for sites I regularly access. I was very happy that when I send everything to OneTab, it does not disturb the pinned tabs.
Yes, great point about the pinned tabs. I do the same thing – pinning tabs like my email, calendar, etc.. There is a setting for OneTab though that will include pinned tabs if you decided that would be something useful.
I’ve found that if I have a group of tabs, and then add a new item that fits the category but forms another group, I can drag the new item down into the previous group. The group will still retain the original date, I believe.
Thank you, thank you. That’s probably the easiest thing I’ve done researching my ancestry. Now I don’t have to keep hunting for all the websites I’ve discovered! Love they’re all in the same place and I can name it to keep everything in one place for one ancestor!!!!
Great, so glad to help.
Thanks for the heads up I just downloaded the extention and will try it out this week.
I love OneTab! I’ve been using it for a while and cannot work without it. But I did not know you could do as much with it as you have taught me in this blog post, Diana. Thank you so much! One thing I found out is that if you click “Restore all,” the default is to delete all the links from the OneTab list. You have to go into Options and change it to keep them in your list. Otherwise, what’s the point in naming them for use over and over? Thanks again for the extra tips.
Great point about changing the settings. There aren’t many but it’s worth it to check them all out and see what works best for you. I’m glad you picked up a few new tips!
I love One Tab! I use it when doing research on member trees as a ward and stake temple and family history consultant. I am able to send the list of url’s I have used when looking at their tree with just one url that I can add to their plan on familysearch.
This creates a unique paper trail for them to follow. I make sure I lock their file and give it a name. As a consultant, “one tab” has become my new best friend.
Thanks for sharing this great use of OneTab!
I have OneTab thanks to a post in one of the genealogy groups a couple of years ago. That same group also suggested using session buddy in conjunction with OneTab. The difference is, session buddy will remember the whole history of that tab, not just the one open when you save it. I use the two together (and still have problems with how many tabs I tend to have open) and they are great together when I manage to actually use them.
Thanks for the tip about Session Buddy! It sounds very interesting.
After reading this article, I have tried using many different extensions that let me save and organize my tabs. The one that I have found most helpful is “Workona”. It allows me to easily switch between “workspaces” and to pin “resources” that I use most often. Once I finish a project, I will be able to archive that workspace in case I want to revisit it later. Workona also helps me to quickly find the google drive and evernote files that I need. I highly recommend checking it out. Thanks for this article!
You can also use workona to collaborate on projects and to easily send tabs to people.
Thanks for sharing this tip! I’m looking forward to checking it out.