Future Law

Seeing Double: The Surprising Reason I Use Dual Monitors

man adjusting dual monitors

We all have our attention on what’s next, including better ways of working as we emerge from COVID-19. Many of us have developed new methods for boosting our efficiency and productivity while working from the confines of our homes.

Now, as we determine which road to take back to a new way of doing business, we should also reevaluate our workplace setup and if it’s improving or impeding our ability to stay focused on the task at hand.

As you fine-tune your remote office or maybe readjust your in-office workspace, don’t skip on the computer peripherals as a way to better harness the technology at your fingertips. One such addition should be a second monitor. Dual monitors easily connect to a single desktop or laptop providing a visual extension of our virtual workspaces.

Time To Spread Out

We call it a desktop for a reason. Just as you might lay out a project on your desk, expanding the on-screen space on your desktop provides more real estate to focus on the web pages, documents, and platforms that enable you to do your job successfully.

Dual monitors that are laid out in a double horizontal or a horizontal and vertical (my preference) position enable you to see the big picture all at once. When using two monitors from a single computer you can run multiple applications at once without having to change windows, minimize certain windows, or greatly reduce their size to utilize them simultaneously. Moreover, dual monitors function in harmony, allowing you to drag and drop content from one screen or application to another.

I realized one great advantage of dual monitors on a video call. It’s next to impossible to simultaneously collaborate on a project while engaged in a video call with a shared screen. However, a second screen can display content that supports the discussion while not losing sight, literally, of the video call.

This brings us to what I think is the biggest advantage of using dual monitors. It’s NOT that I can do more at once; quite the contrary. It’s that I can better monotask on a single project while utilizing various resources.

Rather than multitasking on several projects, a tremendously inefficient method of error-prone outputs, I can spread work that supports a single goal across both my screens for quick referencing and interaction.

For example, say I’m drafting a Motion for Summary Judgment. I might have a primary drafting Word document open on my main horizontal screen with a wide, 2-page view. At the same time, I can quickly glance over to my vertical monitor, which displays legal research above PDFs containing pleadings and related documents that I can easily toggle between in the lower half of the screen.

Mark’s dual monitor setup

Easy Setup

While configuring your workspace to house dual monitors may seem intimidating, the setup isn’t too difficult.

Most computers and laptops inherently support dual monitors, which can be easily configured in the computer’s settings. You may have to connect the second screen to a USB port instead of an additional HDMI input using an adaptor. Lastly, adjust your monitors so they rest at eye level whether you’re sitting or standing.

As you get used to using dual monitors (including how your mouse moves the cursor seamlessly between screens), I bet you’ll wonder how you ever managed without a second screen.

The next time you pop open your laptop while on the go, you’ll appreciate the productivity add-on that dual monitors provide at a relatively low cost.

Have you made the change to dual monitors? What’s been your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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