I always find people’s desk setups and how they work a little interesting. So today, I thought I’d share how mine is setup, what I’m using and how I like to work.
Let’s start with a picture…
I’ve almost always had a dual-monitor setup. I find that I’m more productive that way because it’s easier to jump from one screen to another (research and writing) without having to minimize and open up new windows.
Here’s what I’m using:
- Two 20″ Insignia LED monitors.
- An Apple mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter. And,
- An Eclipse USB to DVI External Video Adapter.
For those interested, I’m using an Ergocraft Ashton L-Shaped desk I found at Staples.
Connecting the first monitor was easy, just connect your monitor cable to the mini DisplayPort adapter, plug that into your MacBook Pro and you’re all set to go.
The second monitor requires that you install a program from the Eclipse USB adapter (which is funny because I don’t think I’ve ever used an installation disk when using anything on a Mac). But once installed, again, just connect the monitor cable to the Eclipse USB adapter and plug it into your USB drive and you’re all set to go.
Then, so that your screens sync properly from left to right, just do the following:
- Click on System Preferences,
- Click on Displays (under Hardware),
- Click on the Arrangement tab in the center,
There, simply click and drag your monitors in the order you’d like them to function. As shown below:
I have mine setup with my MacBook Pro in the center and one monitor to the left and right.
So far, I’ve noticed a very small lag (again, barely noticeable) on the monitor that’s connected via USB. But as I’m not doing anything video heavy, I’m not experience any performance issues with regular writing and web browsing.
How I’m Using Each of My 3 Screens
I’m using the screen on the left for writing. I use the Byword app for mac which is a simple text editor that allows me to write a blog post, then I just copy-paste the text into WordPress when I’m ready to publish. (Mars Edit is a pretty neat off-line blog post editor for Mac). I also really like using Ommwriter but have found that you can’t run other programs on multiple screens when you open up the program. Really, I just like the music and typing sounds. I’ve found that I need something (usually music) to help me focus.
The left screen is for writing and writing only. I have my iPhone 4s standing up on a dock I purchased at the Apple store just below the screen. I run the Repeat Timer Pro app in 15 minute intervals with 2 minute breaks repeating for 3 intervals. (More on that here). Basically, it helps me stay focused when I need to focus.
I use Pages (for Mac) to create the weekly emails that go out to Real Estate Blog Topics members (they look like this).
I use the screen in the center (my Mac) for email (daily correspondence, Aweber), Skype, running iTunes or Pandora, webinars and publishing posts or editing things within WordPress.
I use the screen on the right for web surfing, accessing forums, reading articles and adding them into Evernote or Bufferapp. I’m often reading more than two articles at once (skimming and bookmarking). And I’m often answering questions on a few Facebook Groups: What Should I Spend My Money On?, Tech Support for Real Estate Agents, and WordPress for Real Estate Agents.
Is It Too Much?
Most people do well enough with just one screen. But right now, I like my new setup. And I think I’ll get along just fine like this for a while 🙂
What about you? What does your setup look like? How do you like to work?
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