Bloggers are information workers. And information workers need a big screen monitor — and/or multiple monitors — to be optimally productive. The Wall Street Journal blog recently posted about a study by the University of Utah that found that folks using a 24-inch screen completed tasks 52% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. And folks using two 20-inch screens completed tasks 44% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. So size (and quantity) really does matter. This conclusion was affirmed by most of the commenters to that WSJ post.
So… what monitor size are you blogging with? And are you using two monitors, or just one? That one single small monitor you’re using for blogging is holding you back!
According to a Google employee who commented, Google engineers get to choose between a single 30-inch HP LCD or two 24-inch monitors, and employees in other departments get one 24-inch.
My office setup is 3 screens — my MacBook Pro laptop screen which is 15-inch, a secondary, 17-inch monitor plugged into my laptop, and an iMac with a 17-inch built-in display. The iMac and my MacBook Pro are set up to both use the same keyboard and mouse. To accomplish this, I use a free software program called Synergy. It is amazing! I can move my cursor across the three screens with one long swipe of my mouse. I can copy text on my iMac and paste it onto my laptop, and vice versa.
When I went from one screen to three screens, I definitely saw a productivity benefit across many activities, including email, blogging, article writing, and Powerpoint creation. Right now as I write this post, I have the “Write Post” screen on one display and the Wall Street Journal post open on another display. It makes it so much easier when I want to quote or reference bits from the WSJ.
Another interesting point that another commenter to the WSJ post made was that monitor size was a criterion he used in evaluating potential employers. He called it an “environment factor.” That was really good insight. We at Netconcepts are in the process of trying to fill 11 open positions. Seeing workstations configured with awesome monitors could very well influence a candidate’s decision to come work at Netconcepts.