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Dual Monitors: Great for Blogging

Each time I post about changes in my home office HERE, someone will usually ask why I have two monitors.    Before I really get into the whole dual monitor thing, I need to tell you about how I came to buy the system I have today.

When I began working from home about a year ago, I worked each day on an HP laptop I’d had for around 3 years.  I decided to purchase a desk top computer since I knew I’d be working my laptop to death.  I wanted something super reliable and my plan was to use the laptop as a back-up computer and for travel.

I had my computer built by Vision Computers here in Metro Atlanta because of all the awesome things I’d heard about them.  They are known for quality and service and have technical support available 365 days a year with a hold time that averages less than 15 seconds.  I wasn’t sure how they were able to advertise a hold time for tech support of less than 15 seconds until I bought a system from them.  Now I understand….you never need them.  I love that their systems come with just the programs you’ve specified with none of those awful spam programs filling up your hard drive that you didn’t want and don’t need.  Their warranty is amazing, too:  3 years on parts and labor, Lifetime for technical support!  Love that!

Dual Monitors: How I Use Them to Blog and Work

In case you’re wondering, Vision Computers hasn’t paid me or perked me in any way.  I’m just sharing this information because of how pleased I’ve been with my computer.  It’s hands down the best system I’ve ever owned.  After a full year of working on my mine a gazillion hours a week and adding a bazillion photos to it, it’s still as fast and efficient as the day I brought it home.

When I first met with Adam, my salesperson at Vision Computer, I told him how I would be using my computer.  Adam listened and gave me his opinion regarding what type system I would need to achieve my goals.  I had heard about dual monitors and felt they would be helpful for the way I work.  I’m so glad I went with two monitors because the additional expense was minimal (monitors are pretty inexpensive these days) and I adore how they work and make my life so much easier.

I thought I’d share a few of the reasons I love using dual monitors, in case you’re debating going that way.

1. There’s the obvious advantage of being able to have your e-mail up all day.  This especially comes in handy if you’re waiting on a particular e-mail or if you are a Blogger and need to moderate comments throughout the day, as you work.

Dual Monitors: How I Use Them to Blog and Work

 

2.  I love it for editing photographs. I’ll usually have a collection of photographs up on one screen (right) and as I click on each pic in the collection, I’ll have the pic open up on the other screen.  That way I can edit it or do whatever I need to do while checking to see how many I have of that particular shot in the collection.  You can literally drag a pic from one screen/monitor to the next.  That really comes in handy when you’re creating folders and want to move your pics from one folder to another one.

Dual Monitors Save Time and Frustration

 

3.  So often when I’m writing one post (left monitor) I’ll wish to link to a past post on the same subject.  I’ll bring up the past post on one screen (right monitor) and grab the link to the post from the address bar.  I might even copy a sentence I need from the old post…maybe a sentence that has a link in it…and paste it into the post I’m working on in the other screen…left screen in this example.  That saves me the trouble of having to recreate the link again.  Dual monitors save me time, but mostly they save my sanity.  Dual monitors…how I do love thee!

Dual Monitors Save Time and Frustration

4.  There are so many ways to use dual monitors.  You may read or see something on a blog or on a website and wish to compare it to something on another site.  Below, I have the post I wrote about the house in the movie Something’s Gotta Give on the left screen.  This particular scene shows the pretty table in Erica’s bedroom, while the other screen, the right screen, shows the same exact table for sale at Rose Tarlow.  It was great having the movie scene up at the same time as the Rose Tarlow site.  I could directly compare the two tables to see if they were really the same.
Dual Monitors Save Time and Frustration 2

Screen saver:  Windows 7 comes with this cute “Bubbles” screen saver.  I wasn’t sure how it would work with two monitors.  It’s really a hoot!  When the Bubble screen saver kicks in, bubbles begin appearing from the far left side of the left monitor.  They float across the left monitor, as you might expect.

Dual Monitors

 

And when they reach the far right side of the left monitor, they just cross right on over as if there’s no gap or space.

Dual Monitors

 

Isn’t that just the coolest thing?  The reason everything works so well is because Windows 7 is designed to automatically detect when a second monitor is connected.  The picture I’m using as my background/wallpaper can be seen in THIS post where we toured The Isle of Hope in Savannah, Georgia.

I didn’t have to do anything special when I brought my computer home.  Vision Computer had already put in the extra monitor card (or whatever it is the system needed) since they knew I was going with two monitors.  When I got home and set up my system, Windows 7 recognized there were two monitors and it automatically worked.  Awesome!

Dual Monitors

 

Now that I’ve had dual monitors, I’m totally ruined.  I could never go back to working on just one.  It would be like trying to work with an arm tied behind my back all day.   Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing, because you don’t know what you’re missing.

Some folks even work on three monitors.  This would come in handy if you wanted to have your e-mail up and visible all day and needed the other two for work.  It would also be great if you’re working in a job where you need multiple spread sheets etc… up at one time.  If you type “dual monitors” into Google Images, you’ll see some pretty wild set-ups with multiple monitors, even 5 and 6 monitors.  It can start to look like a NASA control room! ;)

Dual Monitors: How I Use Them to Blog and Work

 

There are so many more ways dual monitors come in handy; I’m literally flipping back and forth between them all day long.  Sometimes I’m comparing products on both eBay and Amazon at the same time.  Sometimes I’m watching/listening to a program online or watching a movie on one monitor while I’m working away on the other one.  The multi-tasking options are endless, truly endless.  This was just a brief glimpse into some of the ways you can use dual monitors.

Have you thought about getting a second monitor?  Double check to be sure your computer will work with dual monitors before you purchase another monitor.

Do you already have dual monitors?  If so, what are some of the ways you use them?

Related links in this post:
Something’s Gotta Give Movie House Tour
Isle of Hope Tour in Savannah




Comments

  1. The French Hutch says:

    hi Susan, I've notice your dual monitors in your office shots. I think it would be great to have this set-up. Wow, how many hours would this save. Bloggers do spend a lot of time on the computer. I won't be doing this anytime soon but I do use my ipad along side my mac to help me out, does this count? I had a great chuckle over your NASA comment. Have a great weekend……

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

  2. My son uses the 3 monito set up and he's crazy about it but for now I'm in love with my iPad.

  3. Jenny Harris says:

    I use two monitors at work – love it! I usually keep email open in Outlook on the left (and flip between the email and the calendar views there), and then use the right for spreadsheets or Word documents. Sometimes I stretch my spreadsheets across both monitors if they have wide rows with lots of columns.

    Having two monitors for work is an absolute necessity for me! Haven't moved to two monitors at home – I love just curling up on my couch with my laptop.

  4. Rosie Goins says:

    I had an external monitor for my old laptop when I was doing a lot of digital scrapbooking. Mainly I used it for checking colors and such.

    The monitor moved to college with my oldest grandson this year. I miss it at times, but am doing ok without it. The screen resolution on my newer laptop is good.

  5. Snap Peas says:

    I've had dual monitors for several years and, like you, could never go back to one. I keep my email account open on one, and the internet on the other. Even when I'm using the computer for fun (Pinterest and Blogger), the second monitor allows me to keep an eye on business.

    BTW – Love your new office, it makes me consider de-cluttering mine :-)

  6. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    That is amazing how you can place things from one screen in the other, Susan! Showing the bubbles and how they do it is pretty cool. I can relate to reasons why you love having two; many times I want to link something but I wind up opening Internet Explorer a second time on my laptop to get it, while keeping my original page open. Definitely something to think about! Especially since we have a dedicated home office in the new place.

  7. I don't personally use multiple monitors, but there are people at my work who use quads. Its a trucking company, so they're able to track trucks, update customers, and do whatever else they do over there! When I've had to fill in for someone, I can see the benefits.

    And they hide behind them!

  8. Gosh!…tooooo cooool!…Susan you are ambidextrous,teehee.I do good to just get one post a week on this old PC.
    Have a fun weekend!
    ~JO @ LazyonLoblolly

  9. I use dual monitors on the laptop from time to time–especially when I am getting taxes together for the accountant. Works great! :)

    Also, I have worked with projectors a lot. The laptop views the projector as a monitor.

    Multiple monitors are just wonderful! :)

  10. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Emily…that definitely counts…that's a great idea!

  11. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Jenny, I'll have to try stretching something across the two monitors. I don't think I've done that, yet. I will definitely play around with that…glad you mentioned it!

  12. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Kathy, it really comes in handy when you need to keep referring back to an old post you've done or another website. Having the multiple windows open on the task bar always drive me a little batty. You would love the dual monitors.

  13. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Lisa, that's funny…the part about hiding behind them! 4 monitors…that's a bunch! I could definitely see adding one more to my work station…two is great…three would be amazing!

  14. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Snap Peas…yep, I do the same thing. Like you I don't think I could ever go back to just using one now…would be really hard to do that.

  15. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Jenny, I couldn't give up the laptop either…they are great for being so portable! Do you have anything you keep underneath it to keep it cool while you're using it?

  16. Hi, Susan. I used dual monitors at work and they were great. I don't have them at home yet, but maybe someday. I have to ask – where did you get that beautiful screen saver?

  17. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Thanks, Marianne! It's a picture I took when visiting The Isle of Hope in Savannah, Georgia. It's the third picture in this post below. You're welcome to copy and paste it to your computer to use. I do love that house!
    http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/2011/05/isle-of-hope-home-tour-part-ii.html

  18. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Marianne, I have may answered a different question. lol The screensaver came on my computer…came with Windows 7. I think it's called Bubbles.

  19. Great information. I love this line…
    "Sometimes you don't know what you're missing, because you don't know what you're missing."
    Is that your original or a quote. I want to save it in my quote folder.;)
    Cheers always!
    Rita

  20. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Rita, lol…I'm afraid that came from me. :) I was just thinking last night…sometimes it's hard to convey the benefit of something, unless the person you're talking to can really try it for themselves.

  21. Meadowsweet Cottage says:

    Now I know the secret behind your swift and gracious answering of email!

  22. Hi Susan,

    I've been using dual monitors for several years. Simply had my tech add the flat screen monitor I had to the new pc with it's monitor. How spoiled are we?

  23. ps….yes, you can stretch a frame across both screens. I do it with my favorite photos of my grandchildren.
    Blows their minds when they come in and see that.

  24. Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) says:

    Hi Susan, yes I have dual monitors, after seeing some of the things in your office I remembered my daughter bringing back the monitor I had leant her quite some time ago.. what a huge difference having 2 makes. Have to admit it took some getting use to, don't think I'd like working with just one again. lol.. Best part no money spent.. lol hugs ~lynne~

  25. The Quintessential Magpie says:

    Neat, Susan! Thanks for sharing!

    XO,

    Sheila

  26. I have used two at work for about 6-7 years, and I would really prefer 3 at this point, one for my database, on for my document imaging program and one for email. I still only use one at home for personal use, but that is mainly because I do most of my blog-surfing on the couch with a laptop!

  27. I have two monitors for work (at home) because I have to have so many programs open to do my job. Love them, but my personal computer is a laptop…alas, only one! Looks like you have found LOTS of ways to use yours!

  28. Kathryn Ferguson Griffin says:

    Now you got me wanting two monitors! Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  29. TheDoctor says:

    I also bought my computer at Vision and I have had no problems. Be warned that if you do not buy a printer there they will not help you with the set up.

    I use two moniyors ant work and would be lost without them. I do want three!

  30. I have dual monitors at work and I love it. I am much more productive. I even wish I had three. I don't have this at home but I hope to some day.

  31. Hi there,
    I love love love this site of yours. So much fun and full of great, inspiring ideas! I am adopting your brew and boo (or is it boo and brew?) idea this year at halloween. Thanks for the idea!
    Wanda

  32. Lorraine@creativedaily says:

    Thanks for writing up this post Susan. Since I don't have any formal graphics background and hadn't seen them in action, I always wondered what the benefits were. Now you've got me thinking – oh no!!! Are both your monitors 26"? This is a really helpful post. Thx again.

  33. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Lorraine…mine are only 18.5 or 19 inch…wish they were bigger. I think I'll upgrade them eventually. You'll love them…don't think I could go back now.

  34. I am mildly new to blogging and I never thought to use our dual monitors for blogging! The hubs HAD to have two monitors for gaming and they have just sat there for…. idk…. a LONG time! Tomorrow is the day! Dusting off that desk/mess my husband calls a desk and getting my blog on.

    lifeoutsidetheoffice dot blogspot dot com :)

    Love you blog by the way.. I’ve spent over an hour only looking at your posts. :)

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