It isn’t 2003 anymore, when just about all you had was Internet Explorer and more than one window open meant risking the blue screen of death. Fortunately, times have changed, and with those changes come more productivity tools. You may not have thought of the browser tab as a tool of productivity, but we guarantee that after reading this piece you will think otherwise. Once the tab was invented, things changed for Internet browsing entirely. Here’s how you can use them to get the job done.

Close Tabs When You’re Done with Them

If you have so many tabs open that you can’t read what they’re all for – most tabs have part of the website title visible so you have an idea of what’s open – then you may have too many tabs open. This can mean it takes longer to figure out what you’re looking for, and sometimes by the time you’ve found what you’re looking for, you don’t remember why you’re looking for it. Just because there aren’t 24 windows open at the bottom of your screen doesn’t mean that your space isn’t cluttered. As soon as you’re done with a tab, close it. If you need it again, reopen it, but then close it again once you’re done. This will help keep your focus on the project at hand and not the other six things you need to do today.

Only Have Tabs Open That are Pertinent to the Project at Hand

It can be very tempting to have a tab open to Facebook or another favorite website for your browsing pleasure while you’re working on an especially tedious project, but those types of things slow you down. This goes for open tabs for other tasks as well – you may be tempted to check on something else while you’re working on one project, which just delays you in multiple ways. Multiple tabs can help you with one thing at a time, even though the word “multiple” seems to imply something different.

Use Tabs, Not Other Windows

Sometimes when you have a two-screen workspace you are tempted to have multiple windows open to try and get as much as possible done at the same time. While this is sometimes appropriate, especially if you have a web-based program open in one window and the information you need in another, a lot of the time it’s just one more hindrance that stops you from completing tasks on time. Having two or more windows open is a thing of the past because of the time it takes to switch between them; use them sparingly, and stick to one browser window’s worth of tabs.

Tabs are a great gift from the creators of window browsers, and since they’ve been introduced, they’ve been a blessing in multiple ways. Just the ability to open up whichever tabs you want when you boot your internet browser is amazing. When you close tabs when you’re done, minimize the number of tabs you have open and remember this is not the ‘90s when you needed to have six windows open: you can use tabs to help you in both your personal and business life.