Beeminder Forum

Please help with tab panic - 3020 firefox tabs are making me go insane

How does the queue work? Is it shown somewhere? This sounds really helpful - is there something like it for Firefox?

Awww!! thanks so much!!!

Thanks for bringing those to my attention! so the web clipping thing is exactly what I need! It looks like there are at least 3 to choose from: Evernote, Joplin, and Notion. (anyone know of any others?)

The databases/spreadsheets in Notion seem really great, but Notion’s webclipper seems more limited in that it can only save the whole page, right? The others can save screenshots, selections, and URLs too.

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There’s also OneNote (web clipper), which uses an organization structure much more analogous to physical notebooks.

Just a little technical tip in case you don’t use it: the same author’s “Multiple Tab Handler” works well with Tree Style Tab and makes it very easy to close large numbers of tabs.

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Yeah, I think you’re right about the different clippers. Notion has an Evernote import, so should you want to switch, that’s totally possible.

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I’d recommend against finding the world’s best web clipper right now, especially if you are a little anxious about the task. It’s easy to turn that into avoidance, where you can’t start whittling down your tabs until you have the world’s best system for tab review.

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That avoidance sounds like my life, lol.

@mufflon @halfplane @narthur or anyone else, does anyone know:

Is there any way to webclip multiple pages or bookmarks at once, or any way of sending a bunch of bookmarks to a note-taking app in one fell swoop?

That would be helpful. Then they’d all be in the note-taking app already and I could process them there.

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TLDR: I couldn’t figure out a good way to do it.


You’re definitely not the first person to ask:

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like either Evernote or Notion currently has this feature, though Evernote does seem to allow you to right-click and clip a link’s content without actually opening the page. Also unfortunate, it doesn’t seem to work with moz-extension://, so the right-click feature won’t work on the OneTab page (and Tree Style Tab seems to use a sidebar, not a page at all, so no go there).

It seems like Pocket doesn’t have this restriction with extension pages, and you could probably set up IFTTT to save new Pocket articles to Evernote and/or OneNote, though it doesn’t seem like they have the right Notion integration. Still, you’ll be saving each web page one at a time, even if you’re doing it from a single page.

You can use this Firefox extension to save all your tabs to your filesystem.

  1. Install the extension
  2. Right-click one of your tabs and choose “Select All Tabs.”
  3. Right-click one of your tabs again and choose “Save Tabs as Files”
  4. Use your downloads manager to locate the folder that the extension created to save all your tabs.

You can then import the saved web pages into Evernote, but in my testing they all came in as attachments, so not that helpful.

Notion also supports importing HTML files, and they do come in as actual pages, however the new pages don’t have proper titles, and the content is messy and sometimes missing. But… it may be worth a shot.

Do note that if you’re going to try to import your thousands of tabs into Notion, that’s going to use your free tier allotment of blocks pretty much instantly.

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Wow, thank you for going through all that!

I wonder if using one of the Firefox addons that allow vi-style commands (pentadactyl and vimperator used to do this; I don’t think they’re still around, but I think there are newer ones) would help, since they let you open multiple links in new tabs at once with a single command. There might be a way to make a macro with them that would have the effect of saving multiple tabs if used from the OneTab page.

I’m not sure if I should try to import saved web pages as you suggest - most of my tabs don’t need to be saved, so it might be more work than necessary especially if the pages get distorted in the process. On the other hand it might make things easier because I’ll be less tempted to open new tabs. Hmmm. ponders

This at least is not a concern:

"If I import content into Notion from elsewhere, will it count toward the block limit on the Free Plan?

Nope! Any imported content does not count towards the block limit :ok_hand: Import away!"

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And that Evernote forum thread you linked to has a script that might help:

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Woohoo, glad you found something!

Even so, given that Notion’s free tier comes with a fixed block limit of 1000, I think you should probably look at it more as a free trial period and less as a tier you could reasonably use indefinitely, unless you have a solid plan for preventing the amount of content you keep in Notion from increasing over time.

You can actually get the Personal tier for free with a .edu email address. Otherwise it’s only $4/month for unlimited storage and no upload limit (for now).

But I still don’t know what to do. Do I:

  • Just go through all the tabs seriatim (possibly first putting them all, or maybe just the relevant ones, into bookmarks with TabsAside), and clip the ones I want to save, putting them in notebooks by project,

or

  • Save them all as html files and import them into a note-taking program, or use that script to get them there, then go through them and sort them there?
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Ok, honestly, if I were in your shoes, here’s how I’d do it:

Set up repositories

I’d want places to track the four following categories of items:

Purpose Options
Todo items Todoist, a physical notebook, an Evernote note, …
Project material Evernote stack (1 notebook / project), Google Drive folder (1 doc / project), …
General reference Gitbook notebook, Evernote stack, Google Drive folder, …
Read later queue Pocket, Evernote notebook, Google Drive doc, …

What you decide to use for each category matters significantly less than that you simply have a place for each, so I’d do my best not to overthink it at this stage.

Prepare for processing

Use that extension you said you had to copy all the URLs from your tabs into a single place, whether that’s Evernote, a Google doc, a Google Keep note, or something else, doesn’t really matter.

Create a Beeminder goal to ensure you make steady progress working through the backlog.
You might be able to automate the goal using URLMinder if you used a Google Doc for your backlog and made the URL public…

Process the items

For each item I’d ask:

Question Action
Does it represent a task? Create task(s) in todo system
Is it related to a specific project? Save it (or just the link) to project material
Do I otherwise want access to this in the future? Save it (or just the link) to general reference material
Is this just something I want to read? Save it (or just the link) to read/review queue

Once I’d done the appropriate actions for the item, I’d check off or delete that item from the list.

:rocket:

That’s how I’d personally tackle the project.

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Ich feel if you just do a full import you just push the problem along. If you work through them, you know where the information is and what’s important. Going serial also means you can actually group appropriate information, making it valuable instead of a dump you will once again dread

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Seconding mufflon. Make sure you’re not sorting your garage by taking things one at a time and then moving them across town to a storage unit that ends up being exactly like your garage only in a different place. :slight_smile:

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Damn you guys just summed up my life! :open_mouth: :scream_cat:

Seriously I’ve done that “garage move” thing many times with different kinds of things, like also with my todo list.

The analogy is helpful thank you!

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And wow!!! @narthur thank you for the detailed map!!! :heart_eyes:

I was thinking of, rather than copying the URLs to a different application, using the Firefox TabsAside addon to move them to bookmarks. The addon has its own sidebar which gives me a numbered list of all the tabs I’ve moved into bookmarks.

Any particular reason you suggested using a different application?

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Glad to help! :smiley:

My reasoning was along the lines of what @adamwolf expressed:

But it sounds like TabsAside would be just as good as using a different application, since it would also free you up to start handling your tabs in a new way. :smile: The only reason I can think of that you still might want to choose another application is to be able to automate minding your progress.

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[[replying to the now deleted comment: “if you really needed them, you would have processed them”]] Nah, it’s not a matter of “needing” them or not. There are plenty of things that you don’t need per se, but still make your life a lot better if you have them.

I also have a long backlog of books I want to read but haven’t yet read. That’s a good thing: it means that every time I finish a book I have a large menu of options to choose from for what book to read next, ones that I have already decided are worthwhile for me to read. To discard that backlog of books would be absurd: what harm does it do to me that I have pre-selected some options for what to read next? Yes, I don’t need to read any specific one of those books, but all in all I like to read books, and keeping track of “books I want to read” means that always have available a large selection of them.

Of course, as with any backlog, it’s a good idea to not let that backlog of books grow too far out of control. But that’s not too hard: I’ve got good tools, like Beeminder, that can help me manage it.

Everything I just said about books also applies to web pages. All the more so, because a book will often get read over days or weeks, whereas a web page is generally short enough to be read in a single sitting.

So yes: I have a backlog of books, and separately a backlog of tabs (that is, web pages.) Both serve a similar purpose, and to discard either one of them would be a loss to me.

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Seems to me that that’s what bookmarks are for though. There is no need to use open tabs for this.

This may be excessive but it works for me, and could help someone (once the number of open tabs has been reduced sufficiently). My Firefox is configured to not store my session. When I close it all tabs are gone, unless it is bookmarked.

If there is something I really want to revisit later I will bookmark it, but I have noticed that very few things are actually worth the extra friction of bookmarking it.

My suggestion would be to go through each tab one at a time. For each you have two options: to bookmark it, or to close it. Repeat until you reach 0 open tabs.

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I personally find that tabs are a lot better at this, with much lower friction and a better interface. That might be largely because I use the Tree Style Tabs extension, which really is an amazing browser extension. Its variation on the tab interface is so incredibly powerful and easy to use that it’s hard to imagine using anything else.

But bookmarks, tabs, whatever. Potato, potato. There isn’t a substantial difference: either way, the backlog of pages still exists, and you manage and read from it through whatever interface you chose to use. The specific interface chosen, tabs or bookmarks or anything else, isn’t at all the important or interesting part: it’s all in service of making the list of webpages you choose to keep around be accessible. Choose whichever is your favorite. If the original post in this thread had been @zedmango writing about bookmark panic over his 3020 Firefox bookmarks that were making him go insane, all the relevant advice in this thread would have been substantially the same.

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