by Tony Rushin
No, not a DUEL.
A DUAL – as in two monitors.
Already use two monitors? Read on – there are some tips below that could boost your productivity even more.
I’m not going to inundate you with references of various studies that show productivity increasing by 10% to 60% when people use two monitors versus one. You can Google the topic if you want to find the studies: my search turned up 876,000 references. A quicker way to get a sense of the increased productivity is to ask someone who uses two monitors if they would go back to using one – their reaction will tell you everything you need to know.
I met a paralegal who had recently changed law firms. I noticed that she had dual monitors while several attorneys and staff only had one monitor. I asked her how she rated and she said, “Are you kidding? I’ve used dual monitors for about 8 years now. I’ll never go back. When I saw my setup only had one monitor I ordered another one with my own money; it was a no-brainer.” (note: the firm reimbursed her).
Cost is not a factor. Monitors are cheap in the big scheme of things. You can buy a nice business-quality HP or Dell 20” for less than $180. Or, you can pick up a low-end 20” monitor at Fry’s, Best Buy or Micro Center for less than $100. Hint: get a stand that lets you adjust the height for ergonomics (swivel would also be nice but not as important as height if you’re on a budget).
Note: Most business-class computers, especially if they were purchased in the last three years, will come ready to support dual monitors. However, many consumer-grade computers will need a second video adapter (about $60) installed to support dual monitors.
Just do it. Don’t do more research or justification. Just take $100 and get a second monitor. If you’re an attorney or financial advisor – or the staff that supports these professionals – it will take you about a week to get a full return on your investment. Trust me on this.
Already have dual monitors? Here are some tips to increase your productivity even more.
- Do they match? If your monitors are different, that means you need to move and size things differently on each one. Although you’ve undoubtedly adapted to the idiosyncrasies of your setup, do yourself a favor and get two models that match.
- Go bigger. You don’t have to break the bank (some 27” or 30” monitors are $800); just move up a notch. If you have 17” screens now, bump up to 20” or 22” – you’ll notice a tremendous improvement.
- Get a 3rd one. Full disclosure: I’m not taking my own medicine here since I only have two monitors. Here’s a good article that has a quick use case for an attorney with three monitors: one in portrait mode for editing Word documents (see “Flexibility” section of article).
It’s the old saying: time is money. Dual monitors will save you time… try it!
Network 1 Consulting is a 15-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for professional services companies: law firms, medical practices and financial services firms. Our IT experts can fix computers – but what our clients really value are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.