Seeing Double – Practical Productivity
Do you have the luxury of doing only one task at a time? If you’re like me, I would guess the answer is probably “No”. I find myself answering email, working on a spreadsheet, looking at an accounting issue and searching for info on the internet all at the same time. It’s just become part of the way that we all work. Most computer users, however, are forced into single-tasking because of the way they see their work – on a single monitor. Windows XP, VISTA and Windows 7 provide desktop users with the ability to “spread” their desktop across multiple monitors.
Having two monitors has changed and improved the way I work. I’ve seen several study results that state two monitors can improve productivity from 20-50%. I agree. I can cut and paste from one application to another without having to change applications on screen. I can look at the info that I need on the internet and type that information directly into a spreadsheet at the same time. With two monitors, I can read the email with an accounting question and look at the accounting screen at the same time to understand the problem a user is having. I have become so dependent on two monitors that you could never get me to go back to a single screen.
Is it expensive? Well, if you are using a laptop, all you need is the second monitor. You can connect an external monitor to your VGA output and use the screen display settings to stretch your desktop across them. If you use a desktop, you may need to add a dual display video card. Not convinced that your company might benefit from providing dual displays to certain users? Here are some examples that might make you think again. Dual displays are a must for any user that must key in data that resides from application into another application. I’m to the point that I can barely remember a phone number from the phone book to the dial pad. Seeing what you are typing reduces errors. If you rely on the internet for information, it’s easy to understand the importance of seeing what you need as you use it in word processing, spreadsheets, etc.
Dual displays are no longer luxuries – they are necessities as the pace and complexity of our worklife continues to increase. It’s a small investment that yields big dividends. . . . sometimes it’s the little things that make the largest difference!