One of the fabulous features of Firefox, and now Internet Explorer, is the ability to use tabs inside the browser. I have a complete routine upon starting up my computer each morning at work, loading up tabs that I will use frequently throughout the day: our trouble ticket system, gmail, the staff directory on our Intranet, the document center on our Intranet, the local television news site that I look at when I have a pause in activity, etc. The effect is a neat and clean task bar that includes only one Firefox tab, along with the other things I may have open to work with (Outlook, MS Excel, Omnipage, etc.). I can even save these tabs when I close Firefox for the day, and they will reload when I boot up in the morning. Using tabs rather than several instances of the browser makes it that much easier to switch between items I’m using, as I don’t have to open or re-maximize a window every time. I just click the tab and the web page appears almost instantly.
I am surprised at how many techs in my department either don’t know about tabs, or haven’t tried them. One of my coworkers has so many instances of her browser open that there is no task bar left, and I can’t imagine how she even figures out which item is which in that mess, the tabs are so squished in her task bar.
I rarely use IE, so I can’t speak as confidently about how tabs work in it as I can about Firefox, which I use 99% of the time. If you’re a tech and not using tabs in the browser, I’d be interesting in knowing why not. If you haven’t heard of them before, or tried them, you should.