Safari is an inbox

5 November, 2006

Do you know that moment between when Safari hangs and when you realize it's about to crash? Or when you accidentally hit 'cmd+q' when what you meant was 'cmd+w'? There are a frantic couple of seconds where you're desperately trying to remember everything you had open, maybe hitting Exposé while you still can and trying to memorize what shows up. You know those seconds? Well, the other day, I had a revelation during them:

Safari is an inbox.

At any given time, my Safari is filled with bits of research, things I plan to watch, things I want to read or buy, blogs I intended to subscribe to, mp3s and applications I'm going to download, etc., etc. Right now I've got about 27 windows open with countless sub-tabs. When I hit Exposé, it looks like this:

Too many open windows!

Yikes! No wonder Safari crashes all the time, right? And no wonder I'm so horrified when it does. A suddenly and inappropriately emptied inbox means necessary tasks won't get done, new inputs won't get properly acquired, precious research time will be lost.

And yes I know there are ways to get Safari to remember your open tabs. I've tried Saft; I'm not sold. And yes I know that Firefox will prompt you if try to close a window with multiple open tabs; I prefer Safari.

But losing lots of open windows isn't really the problem. The problem is having them open in the first place. Since I hadn't realized that Safari was an inbox, I wasn't treating it as one: processing the items that come in, acting on the ones that require it, filing those that don't, getting it empty. I was suffering from bad 'inbox hygiene', just letting things stack up and stack up and vaguely worrying about them.

But not anymore. Now that I've realized that Safari is an inbox, I know how to deal with it. I can del.icio.us the pages I want to be able to recall in the future. I can capture the tasks represented by my open pages into to-do lists. I can close all my open windows without worrying I've forgotten anything.

In fact, screw you guys, I'm going to shut up right now and go do it. When you next hear from me, I'll have my Safari at Inbox Zero.

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