Articles, Blog

Will a Second Monitor Really Make You More Productive?

October 24, 2019


(mellow contemporary music) – So for the longest time I had been doing most of
my computer-based work with two computer monitors to the point where even when
I traveled with my laptop I now travel with an external, USB-powered
secondary display. So it could be said,
without overstating things, that I am a huge fan
of using dual monitors but the question still remains, does using two monitors actually
make you more productive? Do you need a second monitor? Well that’s the question
I hope to answer for you in this video and we’re gonna
give you the pros, the cons, and also go over some
alternatives to dual monitors that might actually fit the bill based on the kind of work that you do and to just spoil things up front here the answer is it depends
on the work that you do. I’ve actually gotten some comments in previous YouTube videos
from people asking me why I would ever use a dual
monitor, it’s a distraction, it’s extra money, why
would you ever do it? And my answer to those
people is actually a question and that question is have you ever done
professional video editing? Because for professional video editors and for other people like programmers and UI designers and Photoshop jockeys, is that an actual job? They have jockey on the job listings for people who use Photoshop? – [Tony] I don’t know, maybe. – Either way, some types of
jobs, some types of work require or at least are very, very benefited by extra screen real estate. So when talking about the pros for adding a second monitor to the main was that for certain types of work it adds a lot of useful space and that lets you do some useful things and let’s use video editing as an example. My editor Tony is right
over there and he uses, actually how many monitors do you use? – [Tony] I got three now. – You have three, okay you have three
monitors for video editing. So when you’re using a
video editing program like Premier Pro you actually have several
different little windows inside that main program that
you’re accessing all the time and if you’re working on an
itty bitty little monitor that preview window and
all of your other windows are gonna start getting
really, really small and it gets harder and harder to use them. So when you have a bigger monitor you have more space to get things done and adding a second monitor just expands your capabilities even more and it’s not just video editors. Let’s take programmers or web developers for a secondary example. If you were building a website
you could use one monitor to have a column for your HTML file, a secondary column for your CSS file, and then the other monitor could be purely dedicated
to the browser window so you could actually preview your work by refreshing the page and the same could be
said for UI designers. When I do UI design I have a program called
Figma open in one monitor and that program really
needs a lot of space to work well and then I’ve
got reference material or inspiration or notes
open in a second monitor that I can easily look at
just by turning my head or moving my eyes. So that’s really the main pro
of having a second display. You get more screen real estate to do work either with a single application that can benefit from
two different displays or with combination of applications that you wanna have open
at the same exact time. Though we also can’t fail to mention that two monitors on your
desktop just looks cool and that’s a pro as well. So what about the cons? Well the main con that I see with having more than one
display for your computer is that it really encourages multitasking. When you have a ton of screen real estate you can feel tempted to put a ton of different
programs up at one time or you can go overboard
like I did in college and start using desktop
customization programs like Rainmeter to have your
computer’s temperature, and your calendar, and like the time in
Singapore on one window which is really just pointless and from a cognitive perspective the way that your brain pays attention to one specific task or
stimuli in its environment is not just like shining
a spotlight on one thing. It kinda works like that but there are also filtering mechanisms. Your brain actually works actively to not pay attention to everything else that’s going on in your environment. That’s why you can pick
out a single conversation at a crowded party. Your brain is actively working
to block out everything and not really pay attention to all the other extraneous conversations but the more things that are
going on in your environment or the more windows you
have open on your screen the harder your brain’s
attentional muscles have to work. So by putting all of these
things up on secondary displays you can make it harder to pay attention to the one task that you need to be doing and that’s really the main drawback of multiple monitors, that temptation. Of course there are also more practical considerations
as well such as the cost. When you have to buy another monitor that can be a hit to your wallet. Also if you’re anything like me when it comes time to upgrade monitors you’re gonna have to upgrade two displays because well you can’t stand
having mismatched displays on your desk and speaking of the desk, you also need to have a bigger desk to accommodate multiple displays, especially as they get bigger and bigger and they also take up more
of your desktop space. Now I will note that I’ve kind
of gotten around that problem by using monitor arms that
clamp to the back of my desk but still the desk has to be wide enough to accommodate those monitors. So when it comes down to it the question you need
to ask yourself is this. Will the work that you do benefit from the addition
of a second display and will those benefits
outweigh the drawbacks? And before you try to answer
that question for yourself I do wanna give you a couple
of different alternatives. The first one is to try
using virtual desktops. Windows, Mac OS, and most Linux
distros all have a feature that allows you to create
multiple virtual desktops that you can switch between. For example on Mac OS I have
probably four of these set up at any given time and I could
easily switch between them by swiping either left
or right on track pad with four fingers. And while I definitely
do prefer having apps on multiple displays where
I can just move my head and see them both at one time, being able to switch between desktops is at least a heck of
a lot more convenient than trying to switch
between overlapping apps on one desktop. Of course there is a way to make sure those apps don’t overlap which is to use the Windows
snapping features in Windows to have apps sitting
right next to each other, each filling half of the screen. Now on Mac OS there are no
built-in window snapping tools but you can spend two bucks and get a really nice
utility called Magnet which basically gives you
all that functionality and even adds in some extra tools like being able to snap
Windows to the corner or to thirds of the screen and there are even keyboard shortcuts. The third option is just to use your phone or a tablet like an iPad or Tony, what’s the one you have, an S6? – [Tony] Tab S6. – Tab S6, yeah either one
if you already have a tablet or a phone sitting around could function as an additional display. Obviously you’re not gonna
get as much screen real estate but for some uses just
having a little display that costs a heck of a
lot less than a monitor could be really, really useful. Now obviously it’s not gonna
work for single applications where you wanna put
say Premier Pro Windows onto a second display but
say you’re writing a paper on your regular computer monitor you could easily have
reference material or research up on your phone or for another one if you’re editing a video and you have a checklist of items that you need to check off as you go you can put that on your phone as well. Option number four would be to consider an ultra-wide monitor instead of two regular monitors and this is actually
what my editor Tony uses. Though again you have three monitors so it’s one ultra-wide
and then two more monitors because you’re ridiculous. – [Tony] And one is vertical so like I can see my Slack messages. – Okay, so one’s vertical as well. So with these ultra-wides you don’t get that
annoying gap in the middle that you would have with
two regular monitors and again you do get
more screen real estate but it’s important to know that with most ultra-wide monitors, even though they are called ultra-wide they’re really only kind of ultra-wide. The aspect ratio on most
ultra-wides is 21 by nine or actually 64 by 27, but most people don’t wanna
remember those big numbers, so 21 by by nine is close enough while regular monitors,
regular, have a 16 by nine or sometimes 16 by 10 aspect ratio. So what this means is that an ultra-wide, even though it looks super wide, is not going to double
your screen real estate. It’s more like a 1.3 times increase. The one exception to this rule are the ultra-ultra-wide 49-inch monitors and those literally do double
the screen real estate. I think they have like a
5,120 horizontal pixel count but those are pretty darn expensive and yeah my friend Ali
Abdaal actually does have one on his desk and I’ll link
to his desk setup video in the description. But for my money two 27-inch
normal 16 by nine monitors works a little bit better. I can get them in 4K and
they are a bit cheaper than buying that one huge
honkin’ 49-inch monitor. Now there is one other alternative that you should probably consider if you’re still using a 1920
by 1080 or 1080p monitor and that’s to instead of
getting a secondary monitor simply upgrade your main display to what’s called a QHD monitor which is gonna have a
resolution of 2560 by 1440 or it’s called 1440p. That might be all you need. And I will note that the
monitors on my editing desktop are 4K which is even bigger resolution but I found that having
those at native resolution actually makes text and all the desktop elements
way too hard to read to be productive. So I actually have my
windows scaling set to 150% which makes it effectively 1440p. And yes, the text
rendering is a bit smoother but that’s probably not
worth the price increase you’re gonna pay for 4K monitors. Now a couple of things that
you might wanna consider in case you do decide
to add a second monitor. First, if you are a programmer or you’re somebody who likes
to see lots of lines of text then you might want to get a
monitor that has a swivel mount which allows you to turn
the monitor sideways and then set your desktop to
portrait mode on that monitor. Now if you have a monitor
that has a VESA mount on the back which allows you
to put monitor arms on it and the stand you get by
default doesn’t matter because most monitor arms
you’re gonna get on the internet are gonna let you rotate a display. So that might be something to consider. Additionally, if you do any
kind of color-intensive work; photo editing, video
editing, that kind of thing; you’re gonna wanna make
sure you get a monitor that is highly color accurate
and there are very expensive color accurate monitors out there that I do not own and that are
probably not worth the money unless you’re like a professional
movie color grade person but you’re at least gonna wanna look for what’s called an IPS display which is gonna be a
lot more color accurate than cheaper TN displays. Most gamers will use TN displays because they’re great
for a fast refresh rate and that kind of thing
but for serious color work like photography editing, that
kind of thing, go for IPS. But of course the main consideration that you should be
making is asking yourself whether or not adding a second monitor is going to distract you because your ability to focus on one task for a long time and put
all of your energy into it is hugely important in your
ability to get things done. And one additional
element in that equation is your ability to solve tough problems which is why I think you
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solving problems in general along the way. In their course library you’re gonna find courses
on calculus, geometry, statistics, science courses
like gravitational physics, and computer sciences courses
like computer algorithms and Python programming. And in addition they have a
feature called Daily Challenges where every single day you can log in and get a new problem from a new area which can expand your horizons and further sharpen your
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daily challenges feature you can go over to
brilliant.org/thomasfrank and sign up and if you wanna get access to that entire library of
more than 50 in-depth courses you can use that link in the
description below to sign up and if you’re one of the
first 200 people to do so you’re gonna get 20% off their
annual premium subscription. Big thanks as always to Brilliant
for sponsoring this video and being a big supporter of my channel and thank you for watching as well. Hopefully you found something
useful in this video. If you did get subscribed right there so you don’t miss out on new videos. Hit the Like button and
also click right there if you haven’t gotten a copy of my book on how to earn better grades yet. Last but not least, I’ll throw a couple of other
videos right here and here if you wanna binge my channel even more or you can smash your face
into your phone screen if you’re watching there ’cause the touch screen is on there. Thanks for watchin’ and I will
see you in the next video.

100 Comments

  • Reply Azyreal October 23, 2019 at 2:19 am

    3 monitors really helped me up my productivity. Add my tablet and phone I have 5 things going on at once

  • Reply Medy October 23, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Love my 55 inch tv / pc setup 😀 … Its superior for media consumption & works well for working too…

  • Reply Tarique Ali October 23, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I'm an Architect and almost everytime I work I appreciate the fact that I've been using an extra monitor since grad school, it definitely gave me an advantage in the pace of the work I did. Now, I've started craving for a third monitor and figuring out if it might be an overkill.

  • Reply Mathieu Céraline October 23, 2019 at 2:27 am

    On Mac, by long pressing the green button (for fullscreen mode) there is the default system mode to have two apps sharing the same screen, just like on the iPad. I’ve tried Magnet, but I find it way less practical than the system option !

  • Reply internetultrageek October 23, 2019 at 2:49 am

    Yes, always, if you’re not easily distracted. This was already determined over a decade ago. I use between 2-6 screens, depending on the work I’m doing

  • Reply Geoffrey Burdo October 23, 2019 at 2:49 am

    Haven't watched the video but yes. 1 is frustrating 2 is necessary, 3 is nice and beneficial, 4 is luxury

  • Reply Abby Hark October 23, 2019 at 2:52 am

    CS student here. Only got 1 monitor myself which I connect to my laptop. I close the laptop though. 28 in. is enough with a split screen for me, and having a monitor instead of looking at a laptop improved my posture, so less back pain.

  • Reply Elias J. October 23, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Hi Thomas! Are you ever gonna make fitness videos? Or a separate channel about fitness?

  • Reply Abhiraman S October 23, 2019 at 2:53 am

    Guys alt + tab works!! Just get laptop with good specs.

  • Reply yensteel October 23, 2019 at 3:20 am

    For notebook use the best alternative for multiple monitors is switching between virtual desktops with finger gestures. Mac OS executed it the best but it is also usable on Windows. For Macs you can rebind switch left and right to option+arrow key.

  • Reply Dennis G. Diede October 23, 2019 at 3:20 am

    I am very computer savvy but obviously Thomas Frank is WAY more tech smart than I could ever be. He helps me think in ways that help me that he never intended. Keep up the great work Mr. Frank

  • Reply Xydrome Studios October 23, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Haters : Oh! Multiple monitors are just a waste of money!
    Unity Game engine: Try making games in me using one monitor

  • Reply Defrauxche October 23, 2019 at 3:29 am

    really digging this content, I would love another book recommendation video. I have finished all the ones that you recommended, and saying that "they changed my life" would seem cliche but yeah they did do it. So , I look forward to it. Keep up the great work Thomas

  • Reply Centrine October 23, 2019 at 3:29 am

    I use a split screen on my Macbook when I'm reading and writing notes. When I'm using my ipad pro, I always do the same with a split screen to save time and effective studying – for me anyway..

  • Reply ArtAway October 23, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Man, the first time I heard he says linux haha

  • Reply John N. October 23, 2019 at 3:32 am

    It makes me a really productive procrastinator.

  • Reply myexplodingcat October 23, 2019 at 3:37 am

    Maybe this is obvious to most of this video's audience, but just in case: check if your graphics card is powerful enough for the combined programs you want to run. Adobe CC programs plus streaming a Skillshare class, for example, might be a little much for the graphics card that's embedded into your motherboard.

    Graphics cards tend to be among the easiest upgrades you can make to a desktop computer, but you could easily end up paying more for the graphics card than the new monitor. I built my computer out of decent-but-budget parts, and I think my monitor was between $100-$200 and my graphics card was $200-$250. (It's been a while and I don't remember what brands/models they are.)

    Finally, one more second-monitor alternative (which is actually more expensive but potentially more useful): a screen tablet. I have a Gaomon PD1560, which currently runs $290 on Amazon and is generally considered comparable to the cheaper Wacom Cintiqs. It's not huge but the resolution is great and it's big enough to use for coding, or for displaying your ebook textbook while you do homework on your main monitor, when you aren't doing digital art.

  • Reply Falesam October 23, 2019 at 3:48 am

    That's a really good video about a critical question in my life lol… I'm a game developer and I prefer one monitor. One that is really big and good! Helps me focus more and it is less tiring. At least for me, having 2 monitors is a nightmare, but I'm not against… wish I could get used to 2 displays. I know is more productive. Also, when I work with 2 screens in the company's office, I always let one of the screens idle. I need all the info in just one place, has to be in front of my eyes, one app per time if I wanna any work done. I degraded from two to one, 2 years ago and I felt better. With 2 monitors I got the feeling that I was just pretending (to myself) being more productive, and was a bit of dev "status".

  • Reply Jennie V October 23, 2019 at 3:49 am

    For the past few months, I'd been telling myself to get a second monitor. Yesterday, I finally bought one. And today, you made this video. Thomas Frank, are you a mind reader??

  • Reply Julie_V October 23, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Are you kidding? I'm not a professional video editor, I am a post doctoral researcher and now a tech to the university and the secong monitor was a game changer for me. I run two monitors for the past 8 years. The times I used it for note taking to write my theses (pdf on one and word on the other) or to report statistics (SPSS and word / excel) or just to upload to my blog something I already have stored it offline are innumerable.

    When I don't need the second one, I just turn it off. See? No distraction or extra blue light on my eyes.

    I've got a question. Aren't your monitors too low for the right body posture? I have mines way higher than that.

  • Reply Kozorvia October 23, 2019 at 4:12 am

    I'm a video editor, so I've been looking into buying a second monitor for quite sometime to improve my productivity. I've been researching the past couple days. Everyone I have come across can't provide at least one con besides this video. I don't even own a second monitor and I recommend it.

  • Reply ANIK October 23, 2019 at 4:21 am

    10:25 ror2! Such a great game.

  • Reply Daniel Najar October 23, 2019 at 4:22 am

    At work I use two screens. It's definitely more helpful. At home I just need one screen on my laptop. I'm not doing anything that requires multiple screens.

  • Reply Samuel Nasta October 23, 2019 at 4:28 am

    I just cannot pay attention to you if you're not centered and there's a huge light pacman fighting for attention.
    It looks nice, but it's totally disturbing.
    And it's hard to be looking all the time to the left and the center when you put a b-roll or illustrative images.

    Had to just listen your video because of this.

  • Reply Baxtexx October 23, 2019 at 4:33 am

    Yes.

  • Reply SCJ Drill Designs October 23, 2019 at 4:37 am

    Three monitors when I'm designing.

    Got to the point I couldn'teven work from a laptop anymore. So I sold it and replaced it with a cheaper Chromebook to have around when I'm on the go and need to do invoices or write up something.

  • Reply what October 23, 2019 at 5:03 am

    I'll say this, if you are a student of architecture and your powerhouse is an OP laptop, you need a second monitor, even if it's the same size. I need one and I'll have to get one. AutoCAD and Sketchup for example, open on seperate displays

  • Reply Justair October 23, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Looks like the equipment upgrade really pays off 👍🏻👍🏻

  • Reply Michael Friedemann October 23, 2019 at 6:00 am

    I sold all my Desktop gear a year ago. Since then I got used to working on my laptop from coffee shops. Considering I don't game anymore and I don't do a lot of editing, the only time one display becomes hard to use is when compiling data from multiple spreadsheets. The program TidyTabs helped a lot so I could have a second layer of tabs outside of my browser window. I can highly recommend that one.

  • Reply Margaux October 23, 2019 at 6:07 am

    I work in a museum's collections department and I use 2 monitors. It's not a common practice in where I work but I need it in my specific job.

  • Reply Peter Šebela October 23, 2019 at 6:12 am

    No YouTuber has ever advised me to smash my face into a phone screen. Going to try that now. Love your humor.

  • Reply Max Stevens October 23, 2019 at 6:33 am

    I have my laptop connected to an eGPU and I have 4 displays in total, one of which is vertical. I find with each display I add I get more productive. When I'm doing schoolwork, I have the assignment open on one monitor, my word processor open on my main display, and a textbook or some kind of reference on the vertical display. When I'm programming, I'll have AWS on one monitor, my IDE on my main monitor, and either my file browser or a reference web page open on the vertical display. When I'm working on my home server, I'll have an online guide, whatever service I'm interfacing with, and a terminal window. When I'm doing work, I'll have a spreadsheet or another document or Trello, the document or spreadsheet I am currently working on, and email or a reference page. My 4th display is a permanent Spotify or messaging display at this point. And I'll use the desktop switching to switch between all of my different tasks. I feel like that all the work I do always requires an endless number of windows and the more monitors I can have to help me spend less time switching between things and loosing things, the more productive I am.

  • Reply Michael Raynar October 23, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Haha I use my tv as a second monitor.

  • Reply Leo Sigman October 23, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Mac OS has been able to split the screen for some time, and iPad OS now does the same.

  • Reply Dani Abadeister October 23, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Lmao paying to be able to snap windows… That's just so pointless

  • Reply Rajasekar October 23, 2019 at 9:18 am

    Most hotels have a LED TV, which can be used as a secondary monitor via a laptop or a smartphone. The the resolution of the screen may be less.

    What would be pros and cons of using a projector for portability as a secondary monitor other than for presentations.

  • Reply Cris Camara October 23, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I skipped 3 min of the video and the guy was still asking if a monitor would help your productivity. This subject is definitely not worth a 12 min video.

  • Reply Muhammad.T Hafez October 23, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I don't want to be more productive, I just want to be a normal human being.

  • Reply BoopyTheFox October 23, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Short answer: yes
    Long answer: yeeeeeeees

    Detailed answer (why): because it enables you to do "glance" to the second monitor instead of taking effort of "switching" between virtual workspaces/tabs, and always keeps some info in front of your eyes and in peripheral vision, even when you're not paying attention. And since people react quickest to visual information, having this residual image in your peripheral makes you a bit more "aware" of what you're doing when you're "lost" in solving some single task.

  • Reply BoopyTheFox October 23, 2019 at 9:32 am

    More monitors == more space for post-it notes, so yes.

  • Reply xanasago October 23, 2019 at 9:44 am

    6:20 There is a nice tool for W10 that expands the features of window snapping. It's called FancyZones and is part of PowerToys that is soon to be native in W10.
    You can customize zones, even overlap them and move all your windows between zones with a simple hotkey that is already in W10 (windows+arrowkeys).

  • Reply Stefan Jovčić October 23, 2019 at 9:54 am

    I'm using 3 monitors for video editing for over 3 years now. Every time when I have to do something on 2nd pc with only one monitor I feel like I don't have enough space to complete the task. I'm so used to 3 monitor workflow that I can't go back. And I love it! I'm working 150% faster because of my setup. And of course, 3 monitors look cooler than 1 or 2 😀 Everybody needs to keep that in mind. If you enjoy your setup, and if you're happy with your setup, you can get more done!

  • Reply Alfons Schuhbeck October 23, 2019 at 10:04 am

    as a CS guy with stack overflow or documentation: yes

  • Reply Jean-David Pozzi October 23, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Always interesting watching your vids. Keep up the good work !

  • Reply Alfons Schuhbeck October 23, 2019 at 10:06 am

    I'm studying abroad rn and I don't have a second monitor but only my tiny 12" Surface screen, it's so horrible

  • Reply rando01 October 23, 2019 at 10:11 am

    How did you learn UI design and Figma?

    Also thanks for the video!

  • Reply Alfons Schuhbeck October 23, 2019 at 10:11 am

    you get me everytime with your smooth transition to the video's sponsor

  • Reply mhussain5669 October 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

    What's the tldr

  • Reply xxSkyLoverxxHolla October 23, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I use dual monitors. It’s a life saver, even if I’m not using both actively. (It helps because my laptop in general just is a smaller display then usual. Better for portability). I already split screen for my daily tasks anyways but a second monitors help sooo much. It can strain my neck if the screens aren’t symmetrical but overall would rather deal with that then a small scresn. Good video!

    (Although PS am I the only one that did not realize there are usb displays for on the go?)

  • Reply Memekachu October 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Well I'm a pro overcooked player so yes

  • Reply SCMT Studios October 23, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Um there is a windows snapping on mac. You just hold the green button

  • Reply Jeff Eisley October 23, 2019 at 11:08 am

    What's the black box on top of your Focusrite interface?

  • Reply Jeff Eisley October 23, 2019 at 11:18 am

    You are THE god of transitioning to sponsors lol

  • Reply Arya October 23, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Something is seriously wrong with your audio…….it sounds muffled

  • Reply Travis Broneske October 23, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Due to cost, for the last several years I have used HD TVs via an HDMI as my monitors. Is there a particular reason to use monitors over a TV?

    I assume the color on TVs are not completely accurate, atleast not at the budget of TV I have uses.

  • Reply Alex October 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Tom and Ali become friends.
    Me: oh yeah, it's all coming together.

  • Reply Alex October 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I work a standard office job and even then it's really helpful. Data entry and having regulations handy while I'm drafting technical docs saves me loads of time and helps me maintain a flow state.

  • Reply А М October 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    later
    me:will a third monitor make me more productive?

  • Reply Google Is A Cruel Mistress October 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    It will give you more work space, I for one like multi tasking and already use the internet, word and sometimes excel or a different program at the same time, it gets squishy, more monitors would definitely make multi tasking more easy

  • Reply Gillian Biernat October 23, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    I'm a graphic designer. I use multiple monitors. One is used for clients brand guidelines and/or mood boards, another for Photoshop (or whatever program I using at the time), and the third for slack so I can chat with my coworkers if needed.

  • Reply Atanasia MANDRU October 23, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    I’m an urban planner and I have to reference multiple documents all at once in order to do my work. The second display is a welcome addition.

  • Reply Tobbeturboneger October 23, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    In the newest MacOS Catalina its actually a built in windows snapping feature 🙂

  • Reply benson kwok October 23, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    spectacle is a free version of magnet

  • Reply The REAPER Blog October 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    is the sound weird on this?

  • Reply Demorthus October 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Can someone here educate me on the videos this channel has that are factually & practically useful? No, seriously, I've been looking at thumbnails and what seems to be clickbaity titles to a channel I don't remember having subscribed to. If there's something to be learned from it I'm interested, if it's just time going into the ether because it's one of those vague self help things that are just uploaded for the sake of uploads, it'd help me just cut it off right here tbh.

    Just reading the title for this video is more of a no brainer. Whether you're a student or work (especially in IT) there's OBVIOUS reasons as to why have additional screen real-estate is more than useful (actually necessary). So, why the video? That's essentially one more detailed example behind the question & what I ask those of you who've likely followed this creator for a long time.

    If you do any artistic work you'll have tutorials to follow along with, or reference material on your second display whilst the main one being the actual program you're painting/scultpling/modeling in. If you're testing out a new computer build you'd likely have a game open and something like HWinfo64 /MSI Afterburner to monitor the voltages, Temps, etc. of the system whilst you're testing for live data. If you're a gamer it's more common to see many have music in a separate window or YT videos (thinking from a productivity point of view you may feel inclined to say gaming is not a productive activity. However you must not dismiss the fact there's actual jobs and self-employed markets where playing games is not only profitable but actually integral to finding bugs & instabilities. Adding music or video on the side simply helps to not burn you out over the prolonged amount of hours that usually are put into it.). Accountants.. I think this one answers itself lol.. IT, it's a mixed bag because we can usually do whatever we want however we want it; we can have monitoring applications send alerts to our phones or have critical stats displayed on a wide range of displays, along with the usual do whatever you want – troubleshooting tutorials, online courses, etc. This is a field where it's both work & learning in a form that never ends nor has a "cap" ; akin to being a MD.

  • Reply n3ff October 23, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    The "little display" would cost a ton more than a additional full size monitor.

  • Reply brigita krista October 23, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    great video with improved quality! love it!

  • Reply Ryan Pletcher October 23, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I can watch more Thomas Frank videos because of my third monitor!

  • Reply John Tibaldi October 23, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    can you talk about how to dress? I love your T-shirt

  • Reply Joel Fogelman October 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    I love having a second monitor. I have a 37 inch 4 monitor to connect my laptop makes things way easier.

  • Reply Jordan Robson October 23, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Learning through osmosis would lead to the white space of the book or screen moving into your brain, not the text as osmosis is the movement of a solvent (eg water or the screen background) instead of the movement of a solute (eg salt or the text on the screen).
    Learning via diffusion would be a more accurate phrase. Apologies, rant over!

  • Reply Vinicius Raphael October 23, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    It's up to the person who uses it. I have worked with 2 monitors since my first job and some tasks would never be completed if I had to check in just one.
    In my new job I started with one and most people work with one, but now that I got a 2nd one I believe the time I spend on tasks is way shorter than before.
    But as said, it's up to you. If you don't like what you are doing, probably this won't improve your productivity and will be just one more tool for distraction.

  • Reply Zina Doan October 23, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Super well done video. Lots of info, quick, concise, and easy to follow.

  • Reply Sachithanandam Karthikselvan October 23, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks for your suggestions.

  • Reply Alexandro Theodorou October 23, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Great video!! Amazing increase in quality!!!

  • Reply Chapister October 23, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    You look like Allison Becker :/

  • Reply Munira Hoosain October 23, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I've found that having a second monitor is helpful for certain tasks but not all for me. Coding definitely needs two monitors for me, but if I'm just reading or writing I just prefer to use a larger screen.

  • Reply Monish Kumar October 23, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    fantastic Work, I enjoyed it a lot!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_x5rlxirO-WKjLIyk6okQ?sub_confirmation=1 , you might like 🙂

  • Reply Christian Saavedra October 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    How do you advise to set up two monitors? For example, one in front of your body and the other in the side, slightly angled? Or to have both angled at the middle?

  • Reply FilipTheDev October 23, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Okay that shoe is pink and white

  • Reply Leandra McGriff October 23, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Thank you so much, Thomas. This week I got a monitor from a friend to see if I would like the set up. Your video was very timely.
    Also, thanks for always having awesome subtitles! My hearing just went out this last year in one ear and I heavily rely on them. 🙂

  • Reply Odai Rahme October 23, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Thomas: Will a second monitor increase your productivity?
    While using an iPhone that's lacking multi-tasking / Multi window capabilities retarded "Smartphone"

  • Reply Doctor Soul October 23, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Being a digital illustrator, it gets HEAVILY tedious to constantly switch between references, commission descriptions, internet searching, and the actual illustration at work all on one monitor. I always ran double monitors until I got a Cintiq Companion which does act as a 3rd monitor. But now it seems im not entirely sure if the use of multiple monitors helps raise productivity rather than it just thins it out over multiple things.

    All I can say, being a person diagnosed with ADHD and gets anxious at multiple things not being initiated, you better have your focus priorities set straight on what you are trying to get accomplished and ensure that your work zone is better structured to at least make a good chunk of progress in whatever is important (and sometimes urgent) to you.

  • Reply Eric Ling October 23, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    It can be productive, if you use it properly. My work involves remote desktop support so we need to be able to handle multiple windows at the same time as sometimes both the pc and their network device are having issues so we need to reconfigure both.
    If you handle lots of content, having your workspace on one monitor and file explorer and other things on the other can be rather useful to easily see and access the files you need.

  • Reply Nikhil Marathi October 23, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I love the wallpaper😍 Can anyone share please? Tia

  • Reply Tike Myson October 23, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for another video which I won't use in my whole life, even if I was forced to work at NASA with A gun to my head id refuse if my station has two screens

  • Reply Backyardfilms2 October 23, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Anyone who programs would most likely benefit from a second monitor. same with many artists. People who do business or writing might not get advantage.
    edit: some writers might find it advantageous if they have to do heavy research. I was thinking about other writers like novelists when I wrote this.

  • Reply Frank Martinez October 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Yes, I have had up to eight but the magic number is two. Downey California

  • Reply Kanishka Chaudhry October 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Quick tip: if you want to update your iPad as external monitor, update
    Your Mac to Catalina… and use SideCar to use it as external monitor!

  • Reply R S October 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    As a developer, two monitors are fine, but a ultrawide is also ok.

  • Reply Sleeper47 October 23, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    dual monitor user here, when my adapter to my second monitor died I almost break down because I have no more screen to organise my stuffs.

  • Reply Talha October 23, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Mac's DO have a window snap mechanism! Hold the green expand button on a window and viola

  • Reply Gaunter O'Dimm October 23, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Instead of wasting your money on magnet just go ahead and use spectacle, literally does all the things magnet does but for free!

  • Reply Jakub Michalak October 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I just use a window manager on Linux

  • Reply Ace Hardy October 23, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    🙋🏽‍♂️🎶🔥

  • Reply ¡Mucha Lucha! October 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Shout out to all ALT+Tab comrades!

  • Reply Abraar Zwareef October 23, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Why is there no ad? Is sponsorship enough?

  • Reply Jenny X October 23, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Don’t think I could program without second monitor anymore. Your wireless one is way cool 😎 and I need one now since I’ve seen it.

  • Reply O O October 23, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Yes, yes it will.

  • Reply MrGuidogr95 October 24, 2019 at 12:28 am

    Yes

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