Are dual monitors more productive?

I recently made a new PC and monitor purchase. I had been doing research for months while I waited till I had enough in my PC savings fund. (By the way, this was a goal to be met by the end of March 2014 and I purchased the new PC early March.) Anyway, that’s neither here nor there were this article is concerned. Dual monitors … LOVE THEM! Tweet This!

I’ve been using them for about a  year or so now I guess, and when I made my new purchase I made sure to invest in another monitor so I could maintain my dual monitor set up. 

Now, dual monitors is not something new and in fact people have been utilizing them for years, but they are now becoming more and more popular in the mainstream. Why? Because dual monitors are awesome! So why are they so awesome? 

Dual monitors obviously allow more screen space and more room for more windows, but this is not always a good thing for some and can actually be a distraction if you have a hard time focusing … for me though the two monitor system functions quite well. The problem comes in when you lack self-control or are easily distracted (read this article against the use of dual monitors)  and use the dual monitors inefficiently. 

For me this system has opened up a world where I no longer have to print documents (saving paper) and not having to switch back and forth from one window to another (saving time), but now being able to keep whatever windows I need in full view and thus less time and hassle switching back and forth and less errors made in getting my job done. Increased efficiency, less wasted time, less errors, no more unnecessary printer and paper use are all excellent reasons to have a dual monitor system. 

RVO

RVO

As you can see by the picture here (sorry the lighting is not the best, but you can see the monitors) I’m using dual monitors, and actually have 5 different windows, that are readable, all at once. This is often how I spend my day. To me this is easier to get my work done instead of hunting through multiple windows to find the right one and then playing the switch-a-roo game. 

In the monitor to your left in the image you see my writing program open (OneNote) in the center of the screen and two research articles on working with dual monitors. Then to the right of you in the image, you see the second monitor with two windows open and facing me. One for using dual monitors and one against the use of them. Now in the window to the far right you’ll see I have multiple tabs open, but not readable to me. They are hidden. This is the way a single monitor often looks and I find it quit cumbersome when I’m working or writing. Especially given the nature of my work. Now, when I’m working I don’t have to constantly switch from tab to tab trying to remember where things are and then when I do find it switching back and forth to make sure I got the information I needed. 

Yes, if you look closely I have 4 tabs locked into place. Normally there are 3 locked in. Calendar, email, and ProWorkFlow (at the moment). These are my tabs for work. I’m a virtual assistant and I monitor more than my own email, but clients as well. I also have client calendars on my screen. So I find it easier to leave those two windows open so that I can easily pull my client calendars of emails when needed. The third tab is my project management system and I need that to manage my projects and teams. 

The type of work one does could greatly determine the usefulness of dual monitors. In this research article it says CPA’s find them especially useful as they have so many windows they need to be working from. Us virtual assistants find them very useful. Often the work we do requires multiple windows be open at once from typing to web design. I have personally found them most useful. 

I’m not typically the kind of person that goes for the aisle candy. I can easily pass by such distractions, however, I will admit to on a bad day if I’m not feeling well or having trouble concentrating to be more easily swayed. It’s difficult to see, but down in front of the monitor to the left is a cooking timer. I bought it at the dollar store, and I use it to set time limits when I need them. It reminds to take breaks, switch tasks, and keeps me on my game. 

So if you’re like the guy who wrote the article against dual monitors and find it too tempting and stray often. It might not be a good idea for you. At least not right now. First, I’d recommend you learn behavioral tricks to keep yourself in check. Getting a timer like the one I use that cost me a whole dollar is a huge help when you need to stay focused and stay on track. 

Personally, I love my dual monitors and I’ve found it saves me time and earns me more money because I’m more efficient. 

What’s your take on dual monitors? Are they more productive for you? Tweet This! I’d love to hear from others on their perspective or experience with working them. Please share in the comments below. 

SOURCES:
Dell Monitors Boost Productivity, User Satisfaction – Report by Dell 
Increase Productivity with Multiple Monitors – Article via Journal of Accountancy 
Discovering Two Screens Aren’t Better Than One – Article in the New York Times 
Increasing Productivity: How Dual Monitors Changes My Life – Article by the Counseling Geek 

 

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Christian Mom of 2, animal lover, your virtual business partner helping you create success in your business, owner and CEO of Rhonda's Virtual Office and Partner of One Life ... Plan-It! discovering new passions in my business everyday and loving it!

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