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May 11, 2010


I could not fuctional as efficient as I do today when I am using triple monitors so I must recommend you all, just try it and you will understand...

I 100% agree with Bill Winterberg. Dual or triple monitors are very useful in situations where reference material is needed to complete the main task at hand.

Valuable article about dual monitors and multitasking !! And if I talk about the "Benefit of multiple monitors", then I am high;y agreed with Tom Rowe. Certainly, Benefits are same one.

Interesting article about multi-monitor for lawuers here - http://www.actualtools.com/articles/detail.php?ID=1282

Many computer applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Flash have so many palettes and windows that are auxiliary to the main window, but needed constantly, that it is really useful to have them open side by side on dual monitors. When web programming, I like to have my code document in one monitor and the browser in the other, to preview the finished product. It just isn't a valid assumption that multiple monitors means multitasking.

I'm not an attorney, but I am the Technology Director for a non-profit agency. My assistant and I both use dual monitor configurations. On my side, I use Excel on one monitor to prepare vouchers, for which there are sidebars where I input data from our agency phone bills. On the other monitor I have Adobe Reader displaying the electronic invoice. This setup is extremely efficient, as opposed to the Alt-Tab method. As for my Outlook, it remains minimized until I hear HAL telling me there is a message.

I echo the comments above. People who don't find much use for multiple-monitor setups tend to still use paper a lot. If you take away the hard-copy casebooks, treatises, and notepads, it is hard to imagine being as productive with a single-monitor set up, unless you have a very large, landscape monitor where you can comfortably view multiple windows side by side. Having to ALT-TAB switch between the document I'm drafting and my reference sources is far more distracting than having each open in its own monitor, something I am reminded of every time I'm traveling with my single-monitor laptop.

Dual (and triple) monitors are very useful in situations where reference material is needed to complete the main task at hand. I consult with CPAs that thrive in triple monitor configurations. In their work environment, the middle screen typically contains the active tax return, the left screen displays the taxpayer's source forms, and the right screen displays the IRS Instruction or Publication materials.

I firmly agree that email should never be displayed continuously on a second or third monitor. Ideally, email programs shouldn't be open at all while other tasks are being completed.

I agree with Tom Rowe. The benefit of multiple monitors is the same, in the old days, of having several case books open when drafting a pleading or brief. If I am answering interrogatories or preparing a motion for summary judgment, it is enormously beneficial to have another screen with the interrogatories themselves or the opposing party's deposition transcript. Dual monitors are beneficial for many single tasks.

While I agree with most of your comments on the loss of productivity of multitasking, multiple monitors doesn't have to mean multitasking. For example, with our bankruptcy system, BKexpress, it is not uncommon for firms to need to have three programs open to prepare a petition - Time Matters/BKexpress where the list of scanned documents is located, Adobe for displaying the documents, and the petition prep software into which data from the scanned document is entered. Having all three visible on two or three monitors is vastly more productive than using Alt-Tab to switch back and forth. In this scenario, the end user is performing a single task - preparing a petition. It's just that it requires input from multiple applications. That isn't multitasking, and is a much more efficient way to work.

All that being said, I, too, fear for the future of the Union when people think they can do 10 things at once with any acceptable level of quality.

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