Have you considered using a dual monitor setup? As a time-pressed business owner, you’re probably looking for ways to improve productivity when it comes to computer usage. You can consider a faster processor or a larger hard drive, and you probably should. But one easy, affordable way to boost your productivity is to upgrade to a dual monitor setup. A good 22” monitor costs less than $200 and can quickly pay big dividends in boosted productivity and reduced headaches.
In fact, having a dual monitor setup has been shown to increase productivity by 20-30 percent. Some studies demonstrate additional benefits, including improved ergonomics and workplace satisfaction by workers who use dual monitors.
I have become a huge fan of using a dual monitor setup for both my office and home workstations to gain screen real estate. Using dual monitors helps me reduce time alt+tabbing back and forth between two different programs or views. I can easily view multiple programs side-by-side without scrolling. A dual monitor setup uses two screens operating from a single computer. This lets you move your mouse back and forth between them, dragging programs between monitors and creating an extra-large desktop.
A dual monitor setup works great for laptop users, too.
While the portability of laptops makes them convenient, tiny screens are a downside. At Synergy, I use what’s called a “docking station” for my laptop. I can bring my laptop to my docking station at work, plug in two cords and instantly have access to my desktop work station’s larger monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, speakers and more. This eliminates the need to have both a laptop and a desktop computer.
Situations Where Having A Dual Monitor Setup Is Useful
- View web updates in real time: Web designers or developers can easily view web updates in real time, using one monitor to view the site while logged in and the other to view the site from a user’s (not logged in) perspective
- Sharing data between applications: For instance, you can browse images online and simply drag the image to the other screen where your photo editing application is open, without downloading and saving the image.
- Reference critical information: Dual monitors makes it easy to have reference information displayed on one screen while you work on a new document on the other. For example, one screen could have a PDF file, while you’re utilizing the other screen to write a report in Microsoft Word.
- Watch a video while applying the information: If you frequently watch how-to-videos, you can have the video going on one screen, while doing what’s instructed on the other in real-time.
- Convenient video conferencing: Ideal for multi-location businesses or companies with remote workers, dual monitors make it easy to see the person you’re video conferencing with while referring to their files on the other screen.
- Multi-task: Okay, technically, statistics show we can’t truly multi-task. However, most of us are frequently switching between various types of tasks throughout the day. Using multiple monitors makes this easier and less disruptive. View a web page while writing an email, refer to a document while writing something, or work with two large spreadsheets side-by-side.
- Easily edit presentations and documents: Having a second monitor makes it easier to refer to your source document while adding info to your presentation or new document, whether your source document is a spreadsheet, word document or web page.
- See more of your game world: Dual monitors aren’t just useful for work tasks. Avid gamers can extend their game across multiple displays.
Creating A Dual Monitor Setup
Most modern computers can accommodate dual monitors, including laptops. Synergy Networks can help you configure your monitors if you like. Settings for multiple monitors are located in the same place as the controls for your individual monitor, so you don’t need extra software.
You can purchase and connect a second monitor yourself. Synergy Networks can also do this for you.
Most new desktop computers come with more than one port for a monitor—whether DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, the older VGA port, or a mix. Some computers may include splitter cables that allow you to connect multiple monitors to a single port.
Most laptops also come with ports that allow you to hook up an external monitor. Plug a monitor into your laptop’s DisplayPort, DVI, or HDMI port and Windows will allow you to use both your laptop’s integrated display and the external monitor at once.
Configuring a dual monitor setup in Windows is relatively easy.
Just plug the monitor into the appropriate port on your computer, and Windows should automatically extend your desktop onto it. You can then drag and drop windows between monitors. However, Windows may mirror your displays instead, showing the same thing on each one by default If that’s the case, it’s easy to change.
You can control the way dual monitors displays information under “Display Settings” on your computer. If Windows failed to detect all your connected displays or monitors, there’s a “Detect” button you can click to help find new monitors you’ve recently connected.
You can click each connected display and choose an appropriate scaling level for it, which is useful if one display is a high-DPI display and one isn’t.
Need More Information about Dual Monitors? Give us a call.
If the idea of connecting multiple monitors is appealing, but the thought of doing it yourself is daunting or confusing, just give us a call. Synergy Networks would be happy to help you set up workstations for you and your employees that optimizes productivity and makes each workday a breeze!