I beemind my browser tabs. I’ve got a “whittle down” goal with a rate of -2 per day. That is to say, I need to end each day with two less browser tabs open than the previous day. I can open as many as I like, so long as by the end of the day I’ve closed at least two more than I opened.
I made this goal after reaching about 1500 open browser tabs, and realizing that something needed to be done. Over the best part of a year I got it down to around 500 open tabs (doing actually significantly better than the daily rate of -2 that I set myself), then I archived the Beeminder goal and the number shot back up again. Around when it reached 1500 for the second time I restarted the goal, and I’m currently down to 1029 (as of writing this.)
Admittedly, I’m sure that this is way more tabs than most people have open. But Firefox is pretty amazing at running even with a huge number of tabs open, and I use Tree Style Tabs which means that all these tabs are not lost in the depth of my browser bar, but actually accessible.
Not only are they accessible, I actually do access them. I just needed that nudge from Beeminder: “That thing you said you wanted to read later: go read it.” It’s pretty great: honestly, most of the things I say to myself I’ll come back to later actually are pretty interesting, and I’m glad something forces me to actually come back to them.
I don’t use a browser extension to count my tabs. Instead, I’ve got a little shell script that parses the JSON that Firefox stores in it’s profile directory (for session recovery purposes) which has the data I need about which tabs are open. I’ve also set up a keybinding set up in Gnome that uses
notify-send to notify me how many tabs I’ve got open currently, so at a keypress I can know exactly where I’m up to.
In theory I could set up a cron job to report this number to Beeminder every day; but in practice I personally somewhat like the accountability of entering data by hand. I’ve never really been so enthusiastic about autodata: part of the point of Beeminder is to make salient where you’re currently at and what you need to do in order to meet your goals. Autodata feels like it takes away half of that. But that’s a different topic.