ChromeOS is all about efficiency and simplicity. When you’re constantly on the go, and ease-of-use could make or break your workday, it’s a good thing you’re working with a Chromebook. With a new feature that has landed in version 89 of ChromeOS (or the beta version, which is currently 90.0.4430.30), that efficiency is about to go up a notch.

The new feature is called Tote and it is built into the File Manager and Downloads subsystems. The new Tote tool features:

  • Downloaded files that can be easily accessed from the system tray

  • Files that can be pinned to the Tote notification popup

  • Files that can be dragged from the File Manager into Tote

  • File previews that are directly accessed from the Tote popup

It’s not packed with features, but the minimal features Tote does add to the mix make it a really handy tool to have, especially if you have particular files you frequently access. Instead of having to first open the File Manager, navigating to the directory housing your files and then opening the files, you click on Tote and double-click the pinned file you want to open or the most recently downloaded.

Let me show you how to use Tote.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to enjoy the new feature is at least version 89 of ChromeOS.

How to use Tote on ChromeOS

Tote is built into ChromeOS, only it’s hidden from sight. You won’t find mention of Tote anywhere in the settings app. To reveal Tote, all you have to do is download a file with Chrome. Once the file is downloaded, you’ll see the Tote app appear on the Shelf as a round icon for the downloaded file (Figure A).

Figure A

With a file downloaded, Tote is now active.

If you click on the newly-added Tote icon, a popup will appear, where you can view the downloaded files (Figure B).

Figure B

Two files that were recently downloaded, showing in Tote.

Double-click any one of those downloaded files to open it. As long as ChromeOS has an associated app, the file will open.

How to pin files to Tote

One of the handiest features of Tote (and the reason why I use it) is the ability to pin files to the Tote popup. With files pinned, you will always have quick access to them, right from the Tote popup.

To pin a file to Tote, hover your cursor over any of those files to reveal a Pin icon (Figure C).

Figure C

The Pin icon is revealed.

Click the Pin icon and the file will remain in Tote, until said time that you unpin it.

You open a pinned file in the same way you open a non-pinned file within Tote–with a double-click.

And that’s the sum total of Tote. This handy addition to ChromeOS should make your mobile Chromebook life considerably more efficient.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.

Image: Jack Wallen