Dual-monitor setups and multi-monitor setups have been gaining traction is productivity hack for workers for many years now. According to some studies, working on dual monitors can increase efficiency by anywhere from 45% to 70%. The University of Utah also found that the probability of making mistakes on certain tasks was reduced by 20% while working on dual screens.
The reason is simple. While working on dual monitors, people naturally absorbs the information coming from various sources a lot faster as they don’t have to shift focus the whole time. The whole process becomes smooth with dual monitors enabling the user to multitask without breaking concentration.
If you are looking for more reasons to invest in dual-monitors this article has some excellent advice on dual-monitors setups and their benefits .
Starting Out with a Dual-Monitor Setup
Placement of your second screen will depend on many factors including if both the screens will be used equally or if the extra screen is secondary. Here are some general tips for setting up a dual-monitor workstation:
- The screens should be placed next to each other to avoid any physical movement while accessing the second screen.
- The top of the screen should be a little lower than the eye level. If the screen is 30 inches, eye-level shall meet the upper one-third level of the screen. The check if you have the correct positioning check if you can see the screen clearly without bending your head backwards.
- If the screens are of different sizes, place the monitors aligning their tops.
- If possible, it is recommended to use small monitors to keep the screens closer and reduce the movement. For avoiding eyestrain, use monitors of the same size and resolutions.
- The brightness should be kept minimum to avoid extra blue light entering the light and damaging the eye.
- If the other monitor is used as a secondary monitor, it should be placed at a 30-degree angle to the primary monitor.
Best Dual-Monitor Management Apps
After setting up the monitors on your desk, you must be able to manage them properly too. Here are some applications, both paid and open-source, to overcome this hurdle.
Dual Monitor Tools
Dual Monitor Tools is a free program is available in the open-source domain for anyone to use. It is a collection of a number of smaller apps and tools that can be accessed and used according to the user’s need and specifications. For instance, dual wallpaper is one tool that allows users to have different wallpapers on both screens.
It also allows the user to customize the behaviour of the cursor. It can be used only for one screen exclusively or moved freely or in a restricted manner. The feature is added to avoid any mishap if the cursor ends up landing where it shouldn’t, saving the user from a major blunder.
All the tools are found in the DMT library from your notification area. The graphics may look a little medieval, but it is very useful.
DisplayFusion is a paid multi-monitor management app, although the free version of the software is a complete package and may fulfil most of your needs. Features of the free version include:
- Multi-monitor taskbars
- Window snapping
- Monitor splitting
- Useful Windows 10 tweaks
- Advanced monitor management
The paid version adds some high-end features, but they are only relevant to users who need to get their hands on these extendable features like bezel compensation, triggers, customizing desktop icons, and monitor splitting. Bezel Compensation is a feature where a single picture is displayed across connected multiple screens as one.
Another useful feature of DisplayFusion is window snapping. With this, users can align the windows of screens with each other. For example, if you want to use an app on another screen, you just need to drag that app over and it will snap to any existing windows.
Windows 10 Multi-Monitor Features
Although limited, Windows 10 comes with a number of inbuilt tools for managing multi-monitors. It supports screens having different wallpapers and multi-monitor taskbars. There are shortcut keys to toggle between monitors and switch between multi-monitor and single monitor mode. The windows on either screen can be snapped or maximized through shortcuts too.
Dual-monitor and multi-monitor setups have some a reliable track record of improving productivity it’s a wonder not everyone is using them. Hopefully in this article we have provided some excellent apps to help with managing your dual-monitor or multi-monitor setups for the lucky few of you who have already cottoned on to this hyper-productivity trend.