OK, I’ll admit it … I’m hooked! I tried dual monitors about 12 years ago and I’ve never looked back. As a matter of fact, I often wonder how I managed without multiple monitors for so many years! When I train others via remote access and I am relegated to one monitor, it can drive me almost batty. 😕 This has to be my best tip for increasing productivity … it’s a small investment that will save you hours every week.
When it comes to productivity, two or three monitors instead of one will definitely improve your workflow! It will make a huge difference if you’re multitasking, which most of us are doing every day. I find that dual monitors are especially helpful when working with QuickBooks or other financial software. I’ll also confess to being one of those people who have a LOT of programs running at one time. Typically I have at least QuickBooks open, my email program, a few browsers, Word, Excel, a remote desktop connection (or two), and a host of other things. At the very least I have QuickBooks open on one monitor and my email and bank/credit card statements open on the other monitor.
While the use of multiple tabs in your internet browser is a great feature – I find them to be limiting. If you find yourself copying and pasting a lot during your work day, or you are constantly looking up information or referring to another document – then it is much easier and quicker to just look at another screen instead of swapping back and forth between tabs or using the ALT-TAB combo over and over.
You don’t have to take my word for it; according to research by Fujitsu Siemens Computers, workspaces equipped with three monitors increase productivity by 35.5%!
Before you buy any extra monitors, be sure that you have enough desk space and that the monitors are supported by your current computer. If at all possible buy the same model for all your monitors so they line up easier. I have mixed and matched monitors and had great luck, but I will say it’s easier to purchase the same model whenever possible. If your current computer does not handle multiple monitors by default you can usually add a video card (at least to desktop models) for a reasonable price. Most laptops have a port to plug in an external monitor, except the newer ‘slim’ or ‘ultra-book’ models.
If you do decide to go to two or three monitors, just beware: you will have a very hard time going back. It might take a few minutes to get used to using more than one monitor, but I promise you … once you try it you will be hooked too! When I’m on vacation and I have just my laptop, it’s almost painful. 😉
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