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Do You Suffer From Tab-Hoarding?

This is Part 1 of Martin’s Anti-Procrastination Series

Info-Hoarding, or what I sometimes like to call “Research Material” Hoarding and otherwise also known as excessive bookmarking and/or tab-hoarding and can quickly become one of your worst enemies. You’re looking for a particular topic like free WordPress themes or Photoshop tutorials and before you know it your browser is about to crash and has become awkwardly slow.

Then you realize that the amount of tabs you have opened and the information that is hidden in each of these tabs exceeds by far the amount of information that you were looking for. After all you were only looking for one place that explained everything about your desired topic.

Chances are that that you weren’t able to find this magical place – but you found so many other exciting and amazing places, all of which you had to at least consider. “Maybe all this additional information will become useful one day.” Like the webcam review, or the car foot mat stopper – that holds it from moving around, or the 10 best celebrities’ vacation homes review on YouTube. That’s all great info you stumbled upon, although totally not related to your original topic.

At this point you stop for a moment – not because you want to – there is a lag, the video about the most dangerous animals just won’t load and stopped. You realize at this point you’ve gathered enough information to read and watch for the next couple of days and you stop.


The fear overcomes you – what if my browser crashes now? Oh my god there are about hundred tabs I haven’t even looked at yet – I will NEVER be able to find them again!

This is usually when excessive bookmarking takes place. Quickly you add all these tabs, all these new, exciting and useful tutorials, blog posts and funny fail videos you came across on YouTube by accident, to your long bookmark list of doom. This is the infamous black hole: the moment a new bookmark is attached to it, makes it another old one disappear in a stacked mush of dusty code, never to be seen again, possibly lost forever…

If someone would make a statistic of how high the percentage is of the material we bookmark versus what we actually come back to and read fully or watch – I’m sure it will be so shockingly low that we will think twice before spending all that time searching for stuff we don’t actually need. Even when we found exactly what we were looking for we often keep going on and on – like gold diggers.

I think cautious bookmarking can help. Only one out of ten websites need bookmarking anyway. You know, those rare websites that you know you wouldn’t be able to find again. Most websites or services are only one word typed in into your favorite search engine away.

Another tip I recommend is to organize your bookmarks by topic. This way you will see if you have one particular bookmark already or if you simply have enough material about a topic – where excessive researching won’t be necessary. If you don’t organize your bookmarks you might as well delete them since you need the bookmark-search option anyway to find something again. If that’s the case you better off doing  a Google search – since you will find information just as fast and it probably will be more up to date.

Does anyone else have this problem? What are some creative ways you solved the problem?


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Martin Labud

All around nice guy from Germany who is learning how to code, and raising two cats while traveling the globe. He is Co-founder of Tipabl, a social giving platform. Previously he worked as an Animator and Game Designer.

8 thoughts on “Do You Suffer From Tab-Hoarding?

  1. Katherine Harms

    Oh, boy. I am the grandmother of all bookmarkers. I have a pentafolded favorites list, and some of those folders have folders. I do exactly what you describe, day after day. I have made a few attempts to corral all those wonderful, fascinating, memorable sites that I don’t even remember the next day.

    Obviously, my first workaround was to have actual folders. That helped for a while. Then I realized that they are not saved in alpha order, so I try to put each day’s folders in proper order each day. NOT! But I do gather them up every so often.

    Recently I acknowledged that there are sites I really want for a couple of days, and then no more. So I allow them to fall to the bottom of that long list, and every so often I delete all that junk dangling down there.

    I do wish there were a better way. I know that some of the “stuff” is never looked at again, but I actually do roam my list extensively every day. It replaces the little index cards I used in high school for research. Now my favorites folders are my banded groups of index cards — batches of related material that I use in writing my blog and in my comment thread conversations.

    I understand that some people use Evernote with great success. Microsoft One Note is supposed to be a solution, too. I have tried both of them, but I guess I need a real teacher. I didn’t have a lot of good luck with them, so I just load up my favorites.

    I certainly hope that other commenters will shed some light on this big problem.

  2. erica

    I can relate to this post SO much! Especially now that I’ve been doing so much online business and marketing research. Friends and family wonder what I fill my days with and my responses don’t properly reiterate the intensity of the rabbit hole!

    I recently upgraded my browser from safari to chrome, and I’m loving it. I avoid obsessive bookmarking by literally reserving that VIP spot to site that provided immense value that I know I won’t be able to find again. Otherwise I rely on the cookies in chrome’s search bar that brings up websites I’ve visited based on a few keywords.

    I also do a tab check every 45 mins or so to see just how off track I’ve gotten. Doing regular mental checks keep me on course and remind me to close down any sites that literally have no relation to the initial research goal!

  3. Michael Durek

    With firefox, I can EASILY overload the CPU! Amen to just letting things go. Is anything REALLY that hard to find on the internet? That you found in the first place. And, I have history in place. Thanks! CLOSING TABS NOW! 🙂

  4. Renee

    Guilty! I’m a recovering Info-Hoarder. I too recently decided to let it all go. I don’t bookmark. If I need info I just Google it. I used to hoard info on fundraising and marketing. Now, I just follow one source for each.

  5. Michael Knouse

    Oh yes! I was in this exact same situation earlier this week. I was researching the top video hosting services and there are approximately 2,476,859,403 different opinions and blog articles dedicated to this topic. Before I knew it, Safari had so many tabs loaded up that I had that same fear you spoke of…that my browser would crash and all of my important findings would be forever lost. What to do? Well, I actually did just what you mentioned. I created a folder for ‘video hosting.’ Here’s the kicker. I decided to only choose 10 sites to save in the folder. I figured that 10 was plenty to give me the information I would need to make a decision. I gave myself an hour to research the 10 sites and then I made a decision. Whew! Crisis averted. 🙂

  6. Paula

    Hahaha that is so me! I have so many that I think ‘I’ll go back to later’ but never every do! I must now do as you suggest. Thank you for the reminder! It’s just remembering why I saved them in the first place!

  7. Ray

    OMG, that is totally me… I stacked a mountain of books and all the tutorial videos but I never watch it… I was like “hmm… I’ll watch this later”. I need to stop this.

  8. Cliff

    This describes me 100%, from “tab hoarding” to omg I ‘ve got to bookmark these pages before I lose them all. I’ve bookmarked so much into a folder (the “startup” folder) that Chrome automatically sent my bookmarks to another new folder. I really need to cut down on the bookmarking. But first I’ll make sure to bookmark “twonontechies” 🙂 I am glad I came across your site. I am looking forward to your next post!


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