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December 3, 2020

All I Want is. . . a Tab Manager?! Maia Tries Toby!

I don’t know about YOU, but I’ve got a lot of tabs open these days—literally and metaphorically. Between Nearpod, Zoom, Together Teacher book edits, Google websites for every online class, three calendars, and more, my desktop reflects the busy-ness and just-holding-on chaos of my 2020 brain.

Guess what? There’s an app for that! I learned about Toby for Chrome from two amazing educator sisters, Meredith (a teacher and grade level leader in Dallas) and Ashley (a project manager network in NYC.) Sidenote: I heart educator families.

Toby for Chrome (Click to Enlarge.)

Meredith gives the teacher perspective overview: “Toby is free. It saves ALL tabs for sessions you need, so you don’t have a million tabs open. Mine are sorted in buckets like Grad School, Department Chair, and Teaching Websites. It feels AMAZING to close out of everything when I’m done with it, and know it’s all saved for when I need to come back to it!”

And from the district level, Ashley chimes in: “My main work interest is leveraging technology to improve school-wide and teacher-level efficiencies. I like looking for simple solutions to make things run more smoothly. As a lot of people know, but few really think deeply about, when a computer hasn’t been restarted in a few days, it runs slower, decreasing work efficiency. The more tabs that are open, the slower it tends to run. At the same time, the more tabs you have open, the less you’re inclined to restart because you’re going to lose your place in all those different tabs.”

I ACTUALLY DIDN’T KNOW THIS. Restarting now.

“Toby solves this predicament by allowing you to ‘save’ a session of open tabs. If you’re moving quickly, you can save the set by timestamp. Later, if you want, you can sort tabs into categories that represent different projects.” 

Ashley’s helpful tips for teachers right now?

  • Keep folders for different subjects you plan, so you can quickly access multiple web pages in one streamlined place.
  • For example, a first-grade writing teacher could create a session to easily access links for:
    • -The TPT link for a template with lines for writing
    • -The Lucy Calkins blog for new ideas
    • -An article about coaching small group writing sessions
    • -A Pinterest board with ideas for an upcoming author celebration 
Toby Tab Group (Click to Enlarge.)

When you want to open tabs, you can open them either one at a time or all at once as a whole group. And the ultimate bonus? You can share a collection of tabs with other people–for example, a bundle of resources on an upcoming unit with your grade-level team. Amazing!

Sharing a Toby Group (Click to Enlarge.)

I am using Toby immediately. In fact, here are my tabs. LIFE CHANGING.

Maia’s Toby Tabs (Click to Enlarge.)

Reader Reflection: Anyone else have digital organization tools to nerd out about right now?

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