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Big Monitors Can Increase Productivity?

Jakob Neilson has an interestng observation on how large monitors impact your productivity. Interesting reading. The article is about what screen resolutions web surfers use. Look for the “Big Monitors” heading in the middle of the article:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/screen_resolution.html

My persoanl experience is that larger screens, and more specifically more screen real estate, do lead to higher productivity. Years ago I was given a 21-inch monitor to work with. I liked the size but the picture would never go square for me. I had other people look and it didn’t bother them. It bothered me – a lot. So I traded the 21″ with the fellow in the next cube for his 17″ monitor. That gave me two 17″ montors to work with. We set the video up and put both 17″ monitors side by side. It took me all of ten minutes to decide that is how I wanted to work from now on.

I went on vacation and the other people in the area tried my computer while I was out. Within the month everyone in the area had two monitors on their desk. It made that much difference.

Why is it so productive. You could keep notes and research visible while working on other tasks. Not switching back and forth, loosing track of your thoughts the list goes on.

Today you really have two choices – one really large montitor or two smaller monitors. It all depends on what you want to spend. For home use keep an eye on people you know who upgrade or are buying new computers. You may be able to pick up that extra monitor for a great price.

Using multiple monitors is much easier now. New versions of Windows and Linux have built in support. Even having one small monitor and one large monitor can make a big difference in what you are doing.