How to limit split view to just 2 panes and open new tabs in those panes

What I’m trying to do

My workflow involves having two tabs open in side-by-side split view: a to-do list on the left, and a tab(s) for the task(s) in progress on the right. Sometimes, I want to click a link (i.e. a task) from the tab in the left-side pane and have it open a new tab in the right-side pane. In particular, I would like for the new tab to open in the right-side pane on top of the other tabs that are already open there.

I have tried several approaches to accomplish this:

  1. I use the “open in a new tab” shortcut (Cmd + click), which opens the link from the left-side tab as a new tab still in the left-side pane. This covers the original left-side tab, which I always want to see. This is not what I want.

  2. I use the “open to the right” shortcut (Cmd + Option + click), which opens a new, third pane in the middle of the window between the left and right panes. This is definitely not what I want!

  3. Forgetting about split view entirely, I can drag the main task list document into the left sidebar. Once it’s there and no longer behaving as a tab, I can use Cmd + click and get links to open in the main pane area on top of the other tabs. This actually is the desired behavior, however it requires that I sacrifice my left sidebar (I always want to see this one document), which makes this a compromise solution at best.

Things I have tried

I tried linking tabs and pinning tabs, neither of which does what I want. I also scoured Google for anything involving “split view” and “tab groups” and did not find anyone dealing with this kind of use case. As far as I can tell, what I’m asking for seems to be impossible. It’s not the end of the world—I can make option 3 work—but committing my left sidebar entirely to showing one document feels quite suboptimal, and I would really like an option to have links clicked in one pane open tabs in the other.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Ctrl alt clicking an internal link or ctrl alt clicking a note in the Explorer pane will open in different tab group. You may be interested in this request: Hotkey or Modifier click link to open in pane to left/right/above/below

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