Two screens are better than one and three are even better …

Desk and screensReaders of my blog know only too well that I love screen real-estate having 3 19” screens and I certainly would never go back,  what amazes me is the fact that the productivity benefits are truly amazing and yet are largely un-tapped by most businesses.  According to Microsoft Research you can expect between 9 and 50% improvements in productivity, which equates to an ROI of significantly less than 1 month for most people.  In my case these are the main benefits I see:

  • I am more relaxed
  • I am bout 30% more productive for about 2 hours per day and 10% productive for another 3 hours (I work a short day)
  • I hardly ever print anything, in fact I have purchased a Tablet PC (TC1100) in 18 months just from the savings in ink cartridges, let alone the savings in time, space, paper and increased security associated with not using paper.
  • My desk is paperless, meaning its much easier to focus, tidier and more productive
  • I can manage interruptions much better,  instant message conversations can be placed in my right monitor while I work uninterrupted on my other two.  when I am sharing my screen in a web conference or watching someone else share theirs I can still have a screen for IM conversations and another for reference material or note taking.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pretty cool setup Steve. I would be interested to know what software do you use to manage 3 screens. Is it a matter of just using Windows and then dragging what you want to each screen or is there some way to manage it so that certain applications always open on a particular screen. Also you obviously need a video card that can handle multiple screens or is there a device that you use like a monitor hub that then plugs into one video card. I would love to do this, even just with 2 screens but my laptop only have 1 video port.



  2. Anonymous says:

    I use Ultramon to help me manage applications, it adds property panes to a shortcuts properties that allow me to configure the monitor an application opens on and the size it opens. In addition it allows me to easily move applications between displays and adds taskbars to each display, the task bars are configured to only display the applications on that display.

    I have two graphics cards, one AGP and one PCI these are both from ATI and both have a VGA and a DVI connector so in theory I could connect 4 displays.

    If you want to do this with a laptop then you could use a device from matrox, I think they have 2 and 3 head versions

  3. Anonymous says:

    After reading your earlier blog Steve on 3 monitors I have recently moved from a dual monitor setup to a 3 monitor setup and similar to yourself use 2 x ATI cards (1 AGP and 1 PCI) which are dual head cards allowing 4 monitors.

    Again from reading your blog I picked up on the UltraMon software. I certainly wouldn’t go back to a dual monitor setup let alone a single monitor setup. I have found it so much easier to cope with VM’s and build docs at home now.

    A quick pic of my 3 screen setup.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nice write-up, Steve. I posted a little about my setup at the lnk below. Just waiting for the PC card to support multiple 24″ wide-screen displays. 🙂

    Thanks for your helpful and informative write-ups.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Have a look at the Matrox products (, the P series & above support multiple widescreen monitors.



  1. January 29, 2015

    […] this point, also about 10 years ago I started to work from home and adopted a desktop with three screens, a big 27” central screen running at 1920×1080 resolution with two 19” 1280*1024 displays […]

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