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Living On the Edge

internet browser microsoft edge Jul 18, 2023

I normally can’t stand Microsoft products. I prefer Google Sheets to Excel, Google Docs to Microsoft Word, and definitely prefer Google Slides over Microsoft PowerPoint.


I tried to play with Microsoft Forms recently, but it looked like I needed to pay extra for that, which I only learned after the usual struggle of figuring out how to get logged into the RIGHT Microsoft account – the one where I know I’ve paid for my MS Office subscription. 


No good! But Google Forms works great, and it doesn’t cost me anything extra. In fact, anyone can use it for free with a Gmail account. But of course, once you have a paid Google Account, you can access any document type in the Google Workspace suite without any friction. 


With Microsoft, I consistently experience a ton of friction any time I try to dig into their products. 


So it almost pains me to admit that over the July 4th weekend (2023 in case you’re reading this much later) I completely switched browsers.


Prior to this I was using Opera. And I love Opera for its workspaces, which make it easy to organize open tabs, among other things. But most apps don’t “officially” support Opera, so getting support when something isn’t working requires going into another browser and replicating the issue to prove to support that the issue is not the browser!


Prior to Opera I was using Chrome, but I grew concerned about security issues. I was reading a lot of bad stuff about how Google was handling security with its browser. 


And let’s face it. 


Google being Google, I have to assume that they are mining every bit of data about everything I do, whether they admit it or not. At the core, Google is a data mining company. That is what they do.


So what made me switch to Edge?


I’m going to let the video do most of the talking here. By contrast with what I mentioned about Chrome above, I have been reading consistently good things about the Edge browser ever since it came out.


After many years of many browsers being around, they solved a lot of the problems the other browsers had not yet solved. And let’s face it, Microsoft needed this “edge” in the browser war, because before Edge came out, the going meme was that Internet Explorer’s sole purpose was to install Chrome!

As I mentioned above, I often have to use another browser to prove to various applications’ support that my issue wasn’t the Opera browser, and for this I would use Edge, because Edge was on the list of most developers’ supported browsers. 


Moreover, since I didn’t use Edge for much else, this also solved the question of cache issues.


I was also using Edge to test what some of my projects looked like through the eyes of someone who was not “logged in” to my website, or whatever app I was using. I do this a lot to confirm that something isn’t visible to the public and other things along those lines.


So I’ve gotten a little familiar with Edge, but I hadn’t dug in too deep until Jul 4, 2023.


For some reason that I can’t recall, I just started playing with Edge more.


One thing that caught my eye was that there is an option to “turn on vertical tabs!”


Vertical Tabs


What the what?! 


I spend many hours logged in with other people who are sharing their screens. I see how you have so many tabs open in your browser that you can’t possibly read (or remember) what is in any of those tabs. 


You have to click on every single tab until you find the thing you’re looking for. This may not seem like it eats up much time, but multiply that by the number of times per day you do that, times the number of days of the week you are in your browser, which I’m assuming is all seven.


That adds up for sure. 


Plus it adds stress when tools like your browser are supposed to reduce it. 


With vertical tabs, I can have many more tabs open and see clearly exactly what is where. And I can collapse and expand it easily to move between focus and browsing.


This is a much better way to browse the web.


But wait! There’s more!


Tab Groups


Combine Vertical Tabs with tab groups, and the fact that Edge saves the tab groups when I close it (just make sure the window with the tab groups you want to keep is the last one you close), and I was hooked.

Look how beautiful that is!




I love the bookmark system in Edge. I wish you could choose to have it on your left, but when I have the vertical tabs expanded, I like having the bookmarks on the right. It works, especially on my widescreen. 


I also love the fact that you can choose to have the bookmarks bar show only on a new tab. This makes a lot of sense. Once I open a site or an app, I am where I need to be and I like having the extra real estate on my screen. 


The Bottom Line on browsers


Your browser should be a productivity booster, not a productivity killer. I would tell you that you are better off closing all of those tabs and having a good bookmarking system for WIP (Work In Process). 


Notion is a great tool for this. You copy and paste those URLs for your open tabs onto a page in Notion, so you can close those tabs and quickly get back to what you were doing later on when you are ready to.


If you can’t see what is inside each tab, then you are killing your productivity instead of boosting it. Every time you look at those tabs, your stress levels are probably increasing (even if you don’t realize it).


With Edge and its vertical tabs, tab groups, and bookmarking system, I think we have a winner here!


Let me know what you think by commenting in my community:

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