Dual-ing Monitors

Office_Worker_with_Two_Monitors

If you are a power user (and you know if you are), most likely you’ve got a set up like this.

Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of using multiple monitors. With my background in web/print/digital production, I’ve experienced  and enjoyed a lot of the benefits that comes with this type of setup.

Of course, one of the biggest perks is not needing to “flip” or navigate between application windows on a single screen. When designing websites, I can code & create on one monitor…and then preview on another. With print projects, I can utilize one window for layout…the other window for graphics, text, and other elements.  Digital video editing is much easier with your work space in one window and a preview window in the other.  Most of the time though, I’m simply viewing a web browser in one and my email open in the other.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-desktop-spaces_6

Image courtesy of heresthethingblog.com

Prior to purchasing an additional monitor, I had used Spaces on my Mac to multi-task.  For those of you that don’t know, Macs have the ability to create virtual multiple monitors… all within the same window. Mac OS X’s Spaces (part of Mission Control since OS X 10.7 “Lion”) is a feature that allows you to spread your programs across up to 16 separate desktop areas. These spaces will help you to organize your activities, since they provide you with far more ‘space’ to work with than is available on your physical display(s).  Unfortunately, Spaces is only available for Mac computers and laptops.  However, Spaces is a cost-effective solution if you have a Mac and are unable or unwilling to purchase a 2nd monitor.

I have seen many different configurations to the multi-monitor setup…each with it’s own unique purpose and style…and some more extravagant than others.

Recently, I did find some research at work for multiple monitor options. I was surprised to find a solution where an iPad could be set up as a second monitor.  I have never employed this method so unfortunately I cannot personally vouch this as a viable method.  If you would like to know how to setup your iPad as a second monitor, check out the following video by FStoppers to learn more.

While I advocate the use of multiple monitors, there are those out there who feel that this does not boost productivity. In fact, they speculate that the added screen space provides more of a distraction and a lack of focus rather than increasing output.

http://lifehacker.com/5616859/is-the-multiple-monitor-productivity-boost-a-myth

What are your thoughts?

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