Don't Touch My Tabs!

"Don't touch my tabs" by Lisa Hess (

Image credit: (2019), CC0/PD

When it comes to organization, I think of hot spots first. My desk. My dining room table. All of the spots in my home where my I need to see it/drop and run styles are abundantly in evidence. I definitely don’t think of my electronic devices, although recently, it’s become clear that my styles influence their usage as well.

Take my laptop, for example. I leave my browser tabs open. Lots of them. All the time. On multiple devices.

Can you say “I need to see it?“

Since I use my laptop in class, this has shocked more than one of my students. A few have even offered to “clean up” my desktop for me. Clearly they don’t understand that their idea of cleaning up my laptop would not be helpful. Hide my tabs??

Still, I am embarrassed. I can’t help feeling as though it somehow makes me less professional.

So, when I took my old MacBook into the Apple store because it was having power issues, I asked one of the technicians about this habit, and whether or not it was the cause of the battery issues. He shook his head (in a good way) and assured me it wasn’t a problem. “That’s what this machine was designed for,” he said.

That was all I needed to hear. I mean, I already loved my MacBook and now someone who knew what he was talking about was telling me it was designed for my I need to see it style?

Music to my ears!

And so now, when one of my students is horrified by all of my open browser tabs and/or the collection of colored folders on my MacBook desktop, I remember that technician at the Apple store and I feel validated. Leaving those tabs open serves as informal electronic to-do list and the bottom line is that I’m more stressed out by closing those tabs than I am by leaving them open.

I know my plan doesn’t work for everyone, but it doesn’t have to. From time to time, if it’s not working for me, I need to go in and see which tabs need to be closed but, otherwise, it’s my style and I’m sticking to it.

And someday I will read all those tabbed pages but, given my penchant for gathering information, they’ll only be replaced by more tabs. And, in the end, I’d rather spend my time reading interesting articles than cleaning up my desktop.

Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.


  1. My Tabs… are my friends!! In fact… if I have to reboot, and I am still working on stuff. I will cut and paste them all into an email to myself, so I can be sure they all get relaunched after the reboot. Though… ironically, it is probably those very 10 million windows taxing my system and causing the tech difficulties in the first place! HA

  2. If you should ever consider another option, you may want to think about the (free) Pocket app. The app allows for you to send webpage links that you would to read or refer to in the future to Pocket. And when you finally do get time to read through all those things you wanted to get to, it’s all in one place. You can read it on your MacBook or smartphone. God bless.

    • Hi Mary! Thanks for the suggestion! I tried Pocket…and once those tabs were out of sight, they were out of mind. One could argue that if I really wanted to read them, I wouldn’t forget about them, but I’m not sure that’s accurate. There’s sooo much I want to read and just not enough time. I do go through and clear out tabs several times a week and then, the things I want to save for later get moved to my reading list, but the tab system works for me as a means of keeping track of info I need to have readily accessible.

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment!

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