Sometimes the best productivity hacks are the most obvious. If you’ve never worked with a second screen at your side, it’s time to reconsider.
As devices and technology becomes more compact and touchscreens have moved from high quality smartphones to laptops and desktops, it’s tempting to think small. For portability, that’s fine. But when it comes to productivity, there’s one area where you should always thing big: screen real estate.
Large monitors and dual monitor setups have been definitively shown to increase efficiency. Multiple studies done over the years have shown that for different tasks, the edge in productivity is anywhere from 9 to 50 percent! And documented in a whitepaper by Dell, research also shows that user satisfaction also jumps just as significantly.
The Multi-Monitor Difference in Learning
If you work with graphic design software with multiple tool panels and palettes or in spreadsheet or database applications with rows and columns spanning your line of sight, the usefulness of an extra screen is obvious. Jobs like video editing practically require them. Multiple monitor setups are everywhere at Infinite Skills, and nearly all of the training we produce has crossed paths with a multi-screen user before being delivered to you. But just as importantly, there are massive benefits to you as a learner using more than one screen to watch our training.
In fact, we prefer you do. Our step-by-step tutorials are designed to be followed. We provide working files that exactly match those used by the trainers onscreen so you can go hands-on and get the same results. Having a second monitor or device with our training playing frees up your main screen for full use of your software or IDE.
The other clear advantage is that your training playback window can be shown full size, in HD, so there’s no confusion about what the author is typing or clicking on throughout the lessons.
Did you notice we said a second monitor OR device? For both iOS and Android, Windows and Mac OS, there are a plethora of solutions for turning a tablet or large smartphone into a second monitor or mirrored display. Having a tablet as a second display is especially helpful for laptop users, who probably don’t want to lug around a full screen secondary monitor while on the go.
It’s time to think about your mobile devices as an integrated expansion of your workspace, rather than a collection of separate gadgets. Even if you aren’t using a screensharing app, using a tablet to stream our training, such as through our iOS app gives you that same freedom to watch our tutorials while you follow along on your primary screen.
While not for everyone, there are also specialty mobile monitors for laptop users who absolutely need the extra screen real estate while on the road.
Switching to a multi-monitor setup can make you more productive and more at ease while you work. They’re also invaluable as an educational resource when using any kind of video-based training. If you don’t want to put the money down on one, you should also look to the existing devices you have, from your mobile phone to your HDTV to consider how you might be able to incorporate the screens you do have into a cohesive work environment.