I had the optimal setup and it went south yesterday. I had
half a dozen pods docked in such a way that they only took up half
of the vertical space on the left for two tabs. In other words, I
had two pods selectable by tabs on the top left and the other 4 on
the bottom left selectable by tabs. I have no idea how I set this
up in the first place, but it was really working for me until I
dragged something by accident.
Now I can only get the pods to take up the entire left side
in a single pane with six tabs at the very bottom. I spent an
exasperating 30 minutes or so trying to restore my setup, but to no
This sounds like you need to pin the pods in an open state
and then drag them to your desired location and then pin them to
the margin. By the way you do know that you can save your
environment for later use. Look inside the File menu.