One of the joys of having more than one monitor is to be able to have two documents, two programs or the internet and a program open simultaneously. I now use 3 monitors – two freestanding ones and one on my laptop computer.
Benefits of Multiple Monitors
One of the benefits of having a multiple monitor setup, is you have more work space. There’s no more toggling in between screens if you only have one screen. You have the ability to view multiple documents at the same time which increases your speed, which therefore increases the amount of work product that you turn out, which therefore increases your revenue.
Tips for Multiple Monitor Purchase and Use
- Buy the largest monitor you can afford that is practical for the workspace that you have.
- Widescreen monitors are better for viewing in portrait modes.
- Buy monitors that are high definition capable. Everything is going to high definition with HDMI cables like we have on our TVs and our Blu-ray players. Computers have them now; it gives you the best resolution on your monitors. When you’re using demonstrative evidence you want to be able to see things as clearly as you possibly can. If you’re staring at a computer for 40 hours a week, it can really start to hurt your eyes if you’re not looking at something that’s very clear.
- If you’re starting off from scratch buy all of your monitors in the same brand. All of the software that runs those monitors is going to be either identical or very similar. This will make your computer run a little bit better.
- Every monitor that you buy comes with a stand, but most of them only sit in landscape mode. If you have one in the middle, that should be in landscape position.
- Get a monitor stand that will enable you to rotate to a portrait mode. If the stand cannot be rotated, you might have to get a new mount or a wall mount. If you display pages on a portrait monitor, it is long enough to be able to capture the entire page at one time. It’s visually large enough to be able to read without any alterations. And if it’s a large file you can go through it page by page by just hitting page down.
- If you have your desk up against a wall then you can also use wall mounted monitors. This set up frees up all the space on your desk.
- Setting up multiple monitors is easier if you are using a new computer that has the appropriate graphics card. Think this through when you purchase the machine and purchase the card that will work with multiple monitors. Ask the sales person for help if you are not sure what you need.
I learned this the hard way that it is difficult and expensive to retrofit an older computer with the right graphics card. Our company spent a few thousand dollars on computer consulting time and hardware to try this with one machine in our network. The results were unsatisfactory. We abandoned the attempt. I bought a new laptop for my home, with the right graphics card and two monitors and it works like a charm. And I am really looking forward to using multiple monitors at work.
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC is president of The Pat Iyer Group. These tips are modified from material presented by Lee Houston.