How to Set Up Dual Screens for Greater Productivity

dual screens, dual computer monitors

We’ve shared before the benefits of using two (or more) screens when you’re working. In fact, Todd himself uses more than three screens. Yet without the technological know-how, setting up dual screens can be daunting. Fortunately, it's easier than it seems.

We want to help you be as productive as you can be, so we created this post to help you get set-up on more than one screen with as little hassle as possible. 

Why You Should Have Dual Screens

Dual screens help boost productivity primarily because they increase the amount of screen space you have. This means, for example, that with two screens you could spread out multiple Truth Concepts calculators, instead of working within the cramped space of a single screen. Additionally, dual monitors allow you to run complimentary programs at the same time, or have multiple windows open where you can see and access all of them.

If you often have multiple applications open, and find yourself flipping back and forth, two monitors can free up all the time and tediousness of clicking back and forth. 

You can even make your laptop one of your screens, which means you may not need to spend money if you have an extra monitor lying around. Then when you’re on the go, you still have portability. Check out this article to see how to compress your calculators back onto your laptop when you’re on the go. 

As a financial advisor, the likelihood that you have a dozen applications running at any point is high. On a good day, we bet you’re using Excel, PDF, your internet browser, Truth Concepts, a note taking tool, Zoom, and much more to accomplish your tasks. 

Is Your Computer Compatible With Dual Screens?

The first and most important step in this process is to determine whether your computer will support a second screen. There are a few ways you can do this:

Check Your Motherboard

Not to get too technical, the motherboard is your computer’s main circuit board. This is typical at the bottom of your computer tower. If there are multiple VGAs (Video Graphics Arrays, where you plug in your monitor) or HDMI outputs, then your computer can support multiple monitors. 

Check for HDMI and Thunderbolt Ports

If you’re hoping to make your laptop the primary display, you must make sure that your laptop has an HDMI port to plug it into. Check along the sides of your laptop, where you would plug in a charger or USB drive, to see if any of the ports are labelled HDMI, or have a thunderbolt symbol. Unfortunately, Macs often lack HDMI ports. 

Google Your Make and Model

Never underestimate the power of a Google search. If you’re not sure whether your computer will support two screens, it’s time to do a search. In order to get the information, you’ll need the brand, make, and model. For example, Lenovo ThinkPad X1. A quick Google search with this information, plus the words “support dual monitors/screens” shows that this computer can power four additional monitors beyond the laptop itself. Pretty impressive! (Though it’s important to note that the more screens, the lower the quality may be unless you update your graphics card).

Setting Up Dual Screens in Windows

Once you’re armed with the know-how, it’s time to get your dual screens set up!

  • Plug in your monitors. This is the first and easiest step. 
  • To ensure that your screens are setup, go to your settings tab in the PC’s start menu. Then you’ll navigate to the “Display” tab.
  • Under “Multiple Displays” you’ll choose how you want your dual screens to operate. We choose “Extend these displays” from the drop-down, so that your new screen(s) act as an extension. 
  • You’ll also want to check the box “Make This My Main Display” to set your desired screen as primary. This is especially important for laptop users. 
  • From there, you should be able to toggle between different display options quickly by holding down the Windows symbol and “P” at the same time.

Boost Your Productivity

We hope that this article leaves you feeling confident in the ability to get a second screen with ease. The process is actually simple, and it's a cost effective way to boost your efficiency. We're sure you'll love the added benefits of an extra screen.