February 20 2019 – Alexa Van Sickle
A Day in the Life: With vs. Without a Second Screen
A second screen is one of those things that you can convince yourself you don't need. Like air conditioning or vegetables, you can pretend like you could do without, but once you've gotten a taste of what life is like on the other side, you realize how uncomfortable your one-monitor comfort zone actually is. I'm going to take you through two very different work days: One with a second monitor and one without.
Day One: With a Second Screen
My first task today is completing my monthly expense report. I have my list of expenses open on my main screen, and I'm using the other to track down receipts. Instead of switching from tab to tab trying to remember how much that Amazon bill is for, I can easily glance over and match my expenses to their receipts. I'm done in no time.
One of my coworkers asks me to help her choose between two photos she's editing. I pull one image up on my first screen, and the other up on my second. Comparing them side-by-side, it's easy to tell I prefer the image on the left.
I've decided to order lunch. Why not; you have to treat yourself every so often. I want to order from one of my favorite restaurants, but I can't remember which delivery service offers fewer fees. Thankfully I can pull them both up and easily compare prices.
I'm conducting some research for a project I'm working on and find an article that's really interesting and helpful. I don't have the time to devote to reading all of it at once, so I'm able to keep it up on my second screen to refer back to when I want to take a break from the task I'm working on. Reading just a few paragraphs at a time really helps me retain the information, and keeping it up on my screen ensures I don't lose it in the void of endless tabs.
I'm editing a document, and when I say "editing," really I mean giving it a serious facelift. I need to add in a bunch of new information and move around the order, but I want to remember what the original looks like in case I need to go back a few steps. Thankfully I can work on my copy and keep the original open on my second screen to refer back to.
It's been a really productive day! I've tackled a lot of things on my to-do list, and now it's time to head out. My friends want to meet up at a restaurant across town, but I'm not sure if I'm up for it. Before I go, let me just compare the two routes. It says if I meet up with friends it'll take an hour with traffic, but on my second screen I'm seeing that I could be home in sweatpants within 30 minutes...sorry guys, the second monitor (and staying in) wins once again.
Day Two: Without a Second Screen
Good morning! I always start my day by checking my email and my online to-do list so I can make a game plan for the day. I like to be able to look at both at the same time to help me prioritize, but today I'm just working on my laptop, so I'll have to do one at a time and make it work.
There's this really interesting webinar that I want to attend. Normally, I'll have the webinar playing on one screen and use my second screen to do a task that doesn't require much attention or brainpower to make the best use of my time. But today, I only have the laptop, so that won't be an option. I try to toggle back and forth between two tabs, but it's just not the same. Plus, I accidentally close out the webinar halfway through and have to search for it again, which wastes time.
I'm trying to find my online to-do list. I know it's around here somewhere, but I have about 45 tabs open right now, so I'm just clicking aimlessly until I find it. Another time suck that could have been avoided if I just had a second screen.
Currently inputting data into a spreadsheet. This type of thing usually takes no time at all when I'm using two screens, but because I have to click back and forth to copy and paste the numbers, I'm getting seriously slowed down.
I have a few more edits to make on yesterday's document, but today I'm doing it with just one screen. I keep having to minimize and maximize my two versions to compare them, but it's just not the same.
Another day has come to an end, but I don't feel nearly as productive as I did yesterday. I make a mental note to never again work without a second screen.
Does day 2 sound familiar to you? If you're like me, you probably also get seriously frustrated trying to get it all done with just a laptop. Or maybe you've never considered the second screen life and you don't know how good you could have it. Either way, a portable monitor for your laptop solves all those problems and practically does your to-do list for you. Sign up for our mailing list to learn more about the SideTrak portable monitor: