Bigger Monitors More Productive?

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I keep reading that people with bigger monitors are more productive than those without.  Recently, I went from a 15″ LCD to a 22″ Widescreen LCD.  I have to admit, when I first put it up on my desk it seemed HUGE.  I mean, ridiculous, as in, “What did I just waste my money on?”  But, I’ve learned how to work with it, and I can say that it definitely provides a huge productivity boost.

Take Full Advantage of Bigger Monitor

The only way a bigger monitor is going to increase your productivity is if you use it differently than you used your old smaller monitor.  It takes a few days to get used to all the real estate and what you can do with it, but once you do, there is no stopping you.

To help cut down on how long it takes you to start maximizing your usage, here are some tips.

Re-visit Your Application Settings

When you first started running your applications, you combed through the settings and moved the toolbars and windows around to suit your old monitor.  It’s time to do that again.  The file folder view that you squished to make more room for the main window can now be widened to actually be useful.  This will be especially useful for those development, imaging, and desktop publishing apps that come with so many features that they can’t all be displayed at once.  They probably still can’t, but you can display a lot more of them.

Double Your Windows

Ok, with a small monitor, you got used to working in a full screen window and then switching to another window when you needed to.  With a 22″ widescreen monitor, a full screen window almost never makes sense unless you are in one of those feature heavy apps above.  In fact, you’ll notice yourself moving your head around in a cartoon like way as you end a line on the right side of the screen and go all the way back to the left edge of the screen.  At 22″ a half-half isn’t usually optimal, but I find that setting  two windows at 2/3 (more like 5/8) of the width means that I can switch back and forth super fast.  Sometimes I don’t even need to switch because I can get enough of the picture from the rest of the window I can see behind my main window.  This is awesome for when I am referencing information in one window and typing or coding based on that info in another.  If I need to see it all a lot, then I go to 1/2 and 1/2 and it is awesome.

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