The 23 Browser Tabs I Open to Start Every Workday

Five years ago, my workday routine was much the same as it had been for the better part of a decade. Arrive at the office. Open Outlook. Open Word. Open Excel. Prepare and revise documents that would be saved on my PC or my office LAN and then would be distributed via email.

Those days are long gone. Today, I find myself working more and more in my browser and Web-based apps and less and less in Microsoft Office programs.

Yes, I still open Outlook when I arrive at the office (though I have already cleared most of my email from my BlackBerry). The traditional flow of calendar requests, email, task assignments and notes are there. And it works extremely well.

But from that point forward, everything is different. I don’t open Word. I don’t open Excel. Instead, I go straight to my browser. And I’ll spend a significant proportion of my day in my browser. And to make the start up process easier, I save a set of tabs that I open as the start of every day.

So, what browser tabs do I start my day with?

Tabs 1 – 7: Publishing

WordPress admin consoles for the blogs I publish or contribute to:, Social Mediators, Inside PR, Corum App, and the CCPRF. I’ll moderate comments and try to write early in the morning – ideally before I answer email and begin to be dragged into the routine of the day.

The Aggregator Admin consoles for the Thornley Fallis and 76design Websites. Our Websites feature content drawn in from a variety of blogs written by our employees. I use the Aggregator Admin console to curate the content that appears on our Websites.

CoTweet: I use CoTweet to check and manage the @thornleyfallis and @76design identities on Twitter.

Tabs 8 – 11: Collaboration We use as our “behind-the-firewall” micro-publishing app. I keep this tab open to follow conversations among the TF/76team members.

TF Wiki and Agent76: We use a Wiki as our Intranet. It’s also a gateway to agent76, our time tracking and activity diary app.

Another WordPress admin console for my internal company blog, “Joe Behind the Firewall.”

Tabs 12 – 17: Social Networks & News

Google: I use to get search results tailored to my interests as a Canadian. And my iGoogle homepage includes: Google Reader, GMail, Google Map Search, YouTube Search and Google Trends. I use this tab constantly throughout the day.

Google News: I open this every day. But I have to confess I rarely use it. Virtually all the news I want comes into Google Reader through my subscriptions to online news sites RSS feeds.

Meetup: I use Meetup to coordinate the Third Tuesday Toronto and Third Tuesday Ottawa social media meetups. I keep the app open all day when a Third Tuesday is approaching. When Third Tuesday is inactive, I’ll close this after a quick check.

LinkedIn: This social network is on the upswing in utility. I don’t spend much time in discussions here. I’d rather participate in the open discussions on blogs and Twitter. However, LinkedIn has proved to be a highly useful place to recruit new employees for our firm. So, I see myself investing more time in this network in the future.

TripIt: TripIt is an outstanding service that I use for trip planning and to find friends who are travelling to the same locations as me. It helps to cut down on the room service meals.

Facebook: With 500 million users, I can’t ignore it. But Facebook can be the greatest time suck. And I rarely open it during workdays. Much activity of little consequence.

Tabs 18 – 23: Measurement

Radian6: We’ve standardized on Radian6 as our preferred social media monitoring, management and measurement suite. I track everything relating to our companies. Clients too.

PostRank: PostRank gives me unique insight into the engagement of my community with the content I publish. What’s getting their attention? What’s not. An indispensable tool that just keeps getting better.

Google Analytics: another view of what’s really going on with my blog? With our Websites? A free analytics tool I couldn’t live without.

Feedburner: Although Feedburner has suffered from inattention and hasn’t really been developed since Google acquired it, it’s still a must-have to spot trends of use with my RSS feeds.

Google Insights for Search: I start here when I’m trying to understand which search terms people are using for concepts that I’m interested in …

Google Search-based keyword tool: … and then I use the search-based keyword tool for ideas on other search terms I should consider.

How about you?

How much has the programs and apps you use in your workday changed in the past few years? Are you still using traditional wordprocessors and spreadsheets or are you relying more and more on Web-based apps?

  • Hi Joe,

    I always have TweetDeck open and a million tabs ; I’m always doing everything on the web. I have my netvibes, Facebook, Gmail, CoTweet, Synthesio, etc open and a ton of other ones from old projects I need to finish and new ones I want to get started on.

    Michelle @Synthesio

  • Hey Joe,

    Great list, and actually I have many of the same tabs open. A few things I do differently:

    Blog analytics: I use and highly recommend Clicky ( because I find it’s much easier to quickly glance at. I do also use Google Analytics, however I reserve that to look at every month or so for more big picture trending. Clicky gives you a quick overview of traffic, visitors and it integrates Feedburner, thus eliminating my need to use Feedburner (which I’m also sad about it’s post-Google neglect) Clicky is also super fast and has a really awesome mobile version so I check it on the go. (yes, I’m that analytics obsessed)

    For measurement, another one I love is for searching across every type of social media. Also provides some high level analytics, though standard disclaimer about the danger of automated analysis. I love to do use to vet issues/keywords before loading into my paid tool.


  • Joseph,

    I love this list. When I worked in an agency, I had anywhere from 20-30 tabs open at once – all on something different.

    I think its important for those in the industry to see the different sectors and what they can accomplish on a daily basis. Also, they can see what is out there to help with productivity or finishing different tasks.

    Neat to see that we are one of the tabs you open on a daily basis.

    Lauren Fernandez
    Agency Community Manager, Radian6

  • 23 tabs just on start up? Not too shabby.
    Just a personal tip: I’d try moving to chrome from firefox, just in case one of those 23 tabs crashes you won’t lose the other 22.


    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

    • Hi Sheldon, I agree with you that Chrome is a great browser. I work in Chrome, Firefox and IE, using XMarks to save and syn my bookmarks and tabs.

  • I’m the same way.

    The cloud has really changed the way I experience my workspace. My browser has become my new starting point.

    At kmsm we use most of the apps listed above, with the addition of Basecamp (project management) and FreshBooks (accounting and time keeping).

    • Our team uses Basecamp as well. Great, simple project management. I wish we could use FreshBooks, but the last time I inquired, they indicated that they weren’t really targeting companies our size.