Monday, October 12, 2009

5 Efficiency Tips for Dual monitors

Remembering back when I originally switched to a dual monitor setup to gain efficiency online, I know I'll never go back. The productivity benefits came not only in apparent gains but actually relieved stress and tension associated with my increasing frustration. Frustration that stemmed from the "single monitor blues." O f course I have written about how easy it is to setup a multiple monitor system including but not limited to adding a dual monitor video card, to using a dual monitor adapter. So we already know how easy it is to create multiple monitor displays. Now we're going to look at how to make the most of your multiple monitor setup. Here are 5 tips on efficiency using dual screen monitors that have worked for me. If you have a multi screen computer these tips will benefit you as well but to keep it simple this blog will address dual monitor backgrounds.

Relax Browser Tension.

In the days of the "single monitor blues" we can and often do fall into the trap of using one browser at a time and collecting tons of open tabs. That can increase crashing and slow PC performance way down. With dual monitors you can keep your Firefox open on the left screen and say Google Crome open on the right. Evidently Crome is well known for running applications and pages in tabs in such a manner that if one of the tabs go down, the other remaining tabs will stay intact, unlike the ole IE. However, we can say that Crome doesn't have (yet) the available customizing features and huge array of extensions than that of Firefox. So to maintain "Maximum Up-time Efficiency" use a browser like Firefox for apps that use your favorite extensions, and Crome for the tab browsing and so forth.

Mighty Mouse Power.

Eventhough a lowly name such as mouse conjures up the idea of a small thing to be shooed away, the mouse proves to be a significant force waiting to be harnessed. I'll give you some ideas here to make possibly the smallest deveice do some of the larger work.

1) Open a new tab in your browser by clicking on your scroll wheel once over a link.

2) Increase the size of your text in a document by holding the Ctrl key down and lightly move your mouses scroll wheel down. The text will increase in size. Hold the Crtl key down and move the scroll wheel up and the text returns to it's normal size.

3) Instantly Select Lines of Text and paragraphs by using multiple mouse clicks. Highlight on a word with two quick clicks of a button, or scoop up the entire sentence with three quick clicks. If your in a word-pad document you can put the cursor in the middle of the paragraph, and click it three times and it will select the whole paragraph. Hit the delete button if want to see the quickest way to eject a whole paragraph.

Organize Your Desktop.

I use a bunch of different software applications, so my desktop can get cluttered very quickly. Having at dual monitor desktop can give you a place to separate operating system utilities from browser specific applications. This will also free up time used to find a shortcut in a sea of many, much like a diamond in a haystack.

Use Keyword Shortcuts.

Learning how to manipulate the keyboard and the mouse at the same time has been one of the most underrated (and least used) features of the system. Keyboard shortcuts are skills we can all use and they serve a helpful purpose when they can be recalled quickly. Here, I will remind you of some neat little shortcut tips to give you more time to do other things.

1) Quickly Access the Start Menu: hit either of the two those infamous "Windows" keys located on both sides of the space-bar.

2) Quickly get to your System Properties: Windows key+Pause/Break instead of going through that whole process of "My Computer" and so on.

3) Quickly Lock your System: Need to step away from your PC without hesitation but don't want to leave your work to sneaky eyes? Use this Keyboard Shortcut: Windows key+L

4) When you need to access the Utility Manager try this handy Keyboard Shortcut: Windows key+U

5) Toggle through different open programs without the old minimizing and maximizing with this easy Keyboard Shortcut: Alt+Tab

Let the PC Rest.

Many times when our PC gets congested we can generally shut the system down and restart to a fresh rested computer. To minimize productivity loss from these types of CPU brain-farts, shut down your computer when not in use. Turn it back on while your preparing to get into your state and let your PC get into it's state. This will help your PC be free from the many side dumps of data we typically go through throughout the day, and can help prevent your computer from freezing up when its had enough.

With these 5 tips on staying efficient, you and your beloved PC can go on to see many more miles in less time. After all isn't that the whole point? If you have questions on mounting dual monitors check out my other blog. Go Surf!