Some people (like me) prefer to have one monitor set directly in front of them and they use it for the main tasks. They have the second monitor either set to the side or above the main monitor and use it for minor tasks such as referencing and background tasks such as playing music, etc. Personally, I use it for both plus I toss stuff onto the minor monitor that I want to read later and bring them to the main one when I’m ready to tackle them.
Other people like to use both monitors equally and have a dual monitor configuration where they are positioned more equally in front of them. They could have two very important tasks that they need to do simultaneously. I suppose a designer could have tools on one site and a view of the project on the other. Some people may even have something they’re working on span both monitors.
What I did was scour Flickr to find examples of both approaches to making use of dual monitors. Let’s take a look and see how it’s done.
1. The Major and Minor Monitor Approach
It appears that nicksieger is using one monitor as the main workstation. Notice that the keyboard, mouse and light are centered over it and how the second monitor is off to the side. I’m not totally sure what’s going on but the main monitor seems to have some sort of coding but I don’t know about the second monitor. Either way, it’s off to the side in more of a referencing or glancing position.
Andy Beal‘s setup has one monitor set to one side in order to keep an eye on social media, etc. and has some browsing going on with the main monitor. While I do rely on browser plugins (namely Chromed Bird) to keep up with my Twitter fetish, having a secondary monitor to keep an eye on Facebook is very helpful. Andy seems to be doing something similar.
2. The Two Equal Monitors Approach
smemon87‘s setup is a good example of an equal monitor approach. He is doing what I do when using WordPress: use one for blogging and the other for previewing. Basically, if you hit the “Preview” button, you get another tab opening to preview the article. Pop it into its own window onto the second monitor and it’ll refresh whenever you hit “Preview” again. Very cool!
memoreks seems to be doing the “browsing in one and email in the other” thing. For me, I’d have to do one of these at a time. Basically that’s why I prefer one monitor to be dominant. If I’m browsing, I’ll pop the browser into the main monitor. If I’m working on an email, I’ll switch that program over. Some people prefer to have them both on an even playing field and that’s OK too.
There you have it, both basic approaches with some good examples of each. Which approach do you prefer? Or would you rather have both monitors so close it seems they’re looking back at you? Like tmray02‘s setup here.
Let us know your preferred dual monitor configuration. What do you use your main monitor for?