Are you thinking of expanding your work area into a dual monitor system? Or perhaps you already have two monitors and are questioning if it’s really helping your productivity? Well here are two key things to keep in mind perform before changing your monitor setup.
Dual Monitor Pro - Viewing Many Applications at Once
The ability to have two applications viewed at full screen is the single biggest benefit of a dual monitor system. This can bring a big boost to your productivity. As you reference one application on screen 1, you can then use that information (copy, paste, etc.) on another application on screen 2 without toggling between windows.
A good example of this would be referencing your email while preparing a document based on the content of that message. You can easily see the reference text while creating your own document on the extra screen.
This is also beneficial for communication tasks such as video conferencing. While holding a meeting with a client, you can simultaneously look up their website and other information on the other screen. This is a big perk of having more screen space.
Dual Monitor Con - Distractions
While so much extra room can be a blessing it can also be a curse. Sometimes having more than one application in view can distract you from completing important work.
A good example of this would be keeping your email inbox open. By seeing every new email arrive, you distract yourself from the work at hand. Soon you'll begin to spend a disproportionate amount of time with incoming messages. Distractions can be frequent with a dual monitor system. This is because you will tend to always have two applications open (even if it’s not necessary).
So take into consideration both of these factors before changing your setup. You may want to try things out for a two week period and record your findings from a productivity perspective. Your role, your tasks, and the applications you use will all be important factors in making the best choice. One or two, what’s right for you?