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Increasing Productivity

There was a time that I really felt I would be more productive with two monitors. I think I found myself flipping between two windows a lot, so I made the decision to buy a 2nd monitor, got a second video card, and set myself up with dual displays. It was something like this:


I’ve had a setup like this for nearly 5 years and it’s worked well. I’d figured out how to move certain windows to certain screens and it made work much better.

However over the last 2-3 months I’ve noticed that I’m still flipping windows around more than in the past. I think some of that is the addition of some social networking gadgets and more video stuff to my desktop. I find that I’ve watched some video shows or podcasts and it’s nice to have them up, but if I give up monitor space for those, especially if I’m reviewing my own podcasts, then I can’t flip windows and that impacts productivity.

I last week I decided enough was enough. I ordered a low end nVidia based card (I learned last year you can’t mix ATI and nVidia very well) and it arrived over recently, I stuck it in there, and then fired things up.

Now things look like this:

I’ve decided that I’m using the two on the left as my main workspaces with the one on the right being saved for Twirl and video displays as well as iTunes. We’ll see if this makes me more productive. If not, I can add a 4th as long as I can find space on the desk :)

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Jack Corbett on 14 January 2009

The only problem with working with 2 monitors is when you are put in a situation where you only have 1 and it's a 15 inch laptop!

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 January 2009

I know, I'm dreading traveling to the UK with just my laptop. I actually thought about bringing two and using some of the solutions to link them :)

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