browsing the internet through multiple tabs is non-linear thinking

Browser tabs enable us to pickup and leave off any task at any point in time. This is essentially a form of non-linear thinking, since our minds are holding space for multiple threads of thought at the same time.

It’s constant context shifting, which can be draining on the mind, but it can also be an effective method of following thoughts and curiosity to see where your mind leads. This emboldens distraction and discovery, one of which can be incredibly productive. So why not play along and follow your curiosity?

Until recently we have not had effective tools to help us capture and truly make sense of the information we collect on a daily basis. Most were analog systems which are in entirely different leagues than digital tools.

Thus far most digital tools focus on collection of ideas and resources—bookmarking, highlighting, archiving—but fall short when it comes to the processing and refining of those materials.

Fortunately, Tools for managing information overload and improving how we think are on the rise, which is a trend to keep an eye on. It’s what’s helped me build out my digital ecosystem and create my digital garden.

Managing multiple tabs is challenging over time, which is why I make sure to close all browser tabs at the end of a work session. Whatever requires action gets moved to Things, anything to read goes to Instapaper, and anything else either gets moved to an appropriate place or simply closed and let go of.

Makes me wonder

  • What is the ideal workspace for online research?
  • What is the best interface with which to collect, organize, and review all discoveries?
  • How do browser tabs and the content they hold move through time and resurface as we want them?

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