Many people often keep a multitude of tabs open in their browser – I am one of them. The tongues are a disguised rabbit hole. You open a few tabs during the search and you end up with several of them open. It becomes difficult to manage and organize such a chaotic tab experience. Browsers offer very limited functionality for organizing tabs. Fortunately, Chrome extensions such as Toby and Workona come to our rescue.
Toby is trying to improve your tab organizing experience, and Workona is a complete productivity tool in itself. While Toby uses collections to save your tabs, Workona is made up of workspaces. You can also use them as session managers.
Let’s see what makes Workona and Toby similar and how they differ.
Workona works on Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Toby, on the other hand, is limited to Chrome and Opera only. None of them offers dedicated mobile applications.
However, you can access your workspaces on Workona via mobile browsers. Toby does not have a standalone web version. The extension must be installed to use it, and that is why you can only use it on a PC.
New Tab Page
Both extensions take control of your new tabbed page in Chrome. While this is a good approach for faster access, it is not viable to use a new, different page extension.
Fortunately, you can disable this behavior for Workona in the extension settings. Once disabled, you can open workona.com directly or use the Workona pinned tab. Although Toby does not allow you to change this behavior, it does offer a separate extension called Toby Mini if you want to continue using a new, different tab page.
Work and user interface
Workona is a combination of a bookmark and a tab manager. Workona consists of workspaces, which are smart folders. The workspaces contain web pages and are found in the left sidebar. To switch to a workspace, click on its name in the left sidebar.
Each workspace consists of two sections: open tabs and resources. Open tabs, as their name suggests, are the tabs currently open in each workspace. They will reappear when you switch between workspaces. To save tabs for later, you need to add them to the resources section. The resources section is made up of blocks. Think of the block as subfolders for workspaces. So you can continue to organize your links here in different categories. You can rename blocks, open all links in a block, move links between different blocks and much more.
Each time you switch to a workspace, Workona hides the tabs for the current workspace (or session) and opens a different set of tabs from the second workspace in the same window. So instead of switching between multiple Chrome windows, you have to switch between Workona workspaces. You can change this behavior so that each workspace opens in a separate Chrome window.
On the left side of the sidebar you will find the list of applications. These are populated based on your web history. You can also add them manually. The applications section allows you to view, create and open resources or application pages directly from Workona without leaving it. For example, here is a list of my frequently viewed Canva pages that are automatically displayed in the Canva app in Workona. Instead of opening the Canva website first and searching for my favorite model, I can open it quickly with the help of Workona.
Toby is simple compared to Workona because it only works as a tab manager. The tabs are organized in folders called collections, where they are displayed in map format. You will find the list of tabs currently open on the right side. Click the Save Session button to save all of the tabs for your current session. To save a tab for the current session, drag it from right to left in a collection.
To open a collection, simply click the Open Tabs button. The tabs of different collections will open in the same window without hiding the other tabs. You can also open individual tabs from any collection. To help you organize your tabs, Toby offers a tag and note function.
Ease of use
Imagine that you open 3 workspaces from Workona and open more tabs in these workspaces. Interestingly, Workona will save all of the tabs currently open in your workspaces under the Tabs section of each workspace. This is to protect them in case your browser crashes or Chrome is accidentally closed. No need to worry about losing your precious unsaved tabs. It saves your work automatically. Toby does not offer this functionality. You must click the Record Session button manually.
Point: Learn how to restore Chrome tabs after a reboot without extensions.
Fortunately, both offer a drag-and-drop function to easily move tabs between different sections. Although Workona allows you to select multiple tabs, you cannot do the same in Toby. This can be a problem if you want to rearrange the tabs in bulk.
Toby also does not have the function of manually adding links to collections. You can only add them if the tab is currently open. We are free from this restriction in Workona where we can add any link by clicking on the Add Resource button.
Although both offer the search function, the one inside of Workona appears to be on steroids. In addition to finding pages saved in workspaces, you can use it to find your web history. That’s not all. You can even generate a search request for applications in Workona. The web page for that particular application will open directly with your search query.
You can use Workona’s search box to open web pages to compose a document, compose an email or tweet. Just type /New and a list will fill up. Click on the website to open it directly. Regarding Toby, it can only be used to search for tabs saved in collections.
You may have heard of suspender belt extensions. Workona offers it as an integrated function. When you suspend tabs, they consume less memory than when they are active. Toby doesn’t let you hang tabs. However, when you move a tab to a collection from the currently open section, it is automatically closed. You must open it again to use it.
Synchronization and collaboration
Both extensions offer the synchronization function for easy access to your saved tabs on all devices. As mentioned above, you can also open Workona from a mobile browser and view your saved websites. When it comes to collaboration, both offer the same thing again.
In Workona, you must share your workspaces with other people to collaborate with them. Only the tabs under the resources will be shared and not the tabs currently open. At Toby, you will need to create an organization to share the collections with your team.
Currently, both extensions are available for free. In Workona, you can only create 10 workspaces in the free version. A pro version is in preparation which will offer unlimited workspaces.
Manage your tabs
Workona tells you that you can open many tabs. And in a way, it’s like an operating system for efficient work. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve involved in addressing the multitude of features.
Toby, on the other hand, is as simple and easy to use as mentioned by Workona. You will master it within 5 minutes.
If you’re looking for something simple to save your tabs for a later user, Toby offers a great experience. For a full-fledged tab and session manager, you should try Workona. It even acts as a bookmark organizer.
Don’t like any of these extensions? Check 5 other Chrome extensions to save the open tabs of the following link.
Last updated June 6, 2020
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