By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018
Small changes sometimes deliver big savings in efficiency. One example of that is using dual monitors on your computer. It may seem like a luxury, but it’s a proven timesaver that makes you more productive.
Plenty of sign people take advantage of two monitors to work more efficiently. Two sign makers featured in the November/December issue of SignCraft Magazine use dual monitors.
“One of the best things I’ve done in the past year is to add a second monitor to my PC,” says David Hassan of Hassan Signs. “It lets me use a different program on each monitor, which really saves time when you’re jumping between programs. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.”
A second monitor lets you have a different application open on each of them, such as your sign design software on one and image editing software on the other. Or, your sign design software on one and the software that drives your CNC router on the other. Or, you might choose to have your email open on one and design software on the other. It works great when you use programs that require a lot of workspace on the screen.
“Dual monitors is mandatory,” says Dennis Stanworth of Stanworth Signs. “I’ve used dual monitors for 20 years and find it hard to get anything done with just one. It’s like trying to watch TV on a little 20-in. screen after you put a 65-in. in the living room.
“I keep my email open on one, then design and surf on the other. If you work in Photoshop, you can have it open on one screen, and Adobe Bridge on the other. I’m a speed freak and I get a lot more done with two large monitors. They also let you increase the size of your type so you are not straining your eyes.”
It boosts productivity.
Using two applications simultaneously is far more efficient than jumping between the two on one monitor. Copying data from one program to another is faster and easier. Sharing data between apps is smoother with two monitors, too. If you are reviewing images in File Explorer or Finder on one display and have your design software open on the other, you can drag an image to the other display and drop it on your design software to open it.
The improved efficiency of using dual monitors has been well documented in quite a few studies. That’s why many corporations provide dual monitors to their staff—not because they like to buy extra monitors. It saves time and saves money.
It’s cheap and easy.
The functionality is built into both PC and Mac operating systems, and monitors are inexpensive. You can get a 27-in. monitor for under $200 each. No more squinting, no more fishing for minimized programs.
First, confirm that your computer has at least two video connections. Most recent computers do. If you use a laptop, the laptop screen can serve as one display then you can plug the second display into the laptop’s video port.
If your desktop computer doesn’t have two video ports, you can add a video card that has one or more additional ports. Getting a card with two ports is smart, since both ports will use the same driver. iMacs come with a second monitor port.
Next make sure the video connections on your computer match the connection on the monitors. Connect and configure both monitors, and you’re ready to start saving time and maximizing your productivity.
You’ll find plenty of explanations on how to set up dual monitors online. Do a search for “dual monitors” and your operating system, such as “dual monitors with Windows 10.”
Increasing your efficiency is an easy way to make your sign business more profitable. If you’re not already using dual monitors, make plans to take advantage of this time-saver today.
Every issue of SignCraft delivers layout ideas and great tips to boost your efficiency—and your bottom line. Subscribe today!