Why I Stopped Using Multiple Monitors
Cory House

While you make some excellent points here — I completely agree about the need for focus and the desirability of having the same work setup at your desk and on the road when you do a lot of traveling — my experience has been that I am significantly more productive when I am able to easily have multiple components of a task up at once so I can quickly see how they interact.

For me, the bottleneck to my productivity is almost always at the interface between components, and being able to see both sides of that interface at once is very valuable. Whether it’s debugging back-end code where my database query app and/or profiler sits alongside my back-end IDE, or working with the front end via hot reloading where my VS Code instance sits alongside Chrome with debugging tools enabled, it is almost always valuable for me to have two functioning applications running at close to full size right next to each other.

I use an ultrawide monitor and generally set it up so I have my primary code on the left and whatever other tool (query tool, browser, source code control, etc.) on the right. I drive this off a laptop and have the laptop’s screen open well off out of view to the right with any communication applications. This way any chat, email, etc. is out of my direct line of sight but there at a glance when I need it, and I can give full focus to the interplay of the two apps running in front of me.

I don’t do much work on the road, so in those cases I suffer with the smaller laptop screen and the need to shuffle applications around somewhat. Worse than a restricted screen layout though, for me, is the lack of a full-size ergonomic keyboard when I travel.

I suspect everyone’s mileage will vary at least a bit on what is the most efficient setup for them given their work patterns and tools used. Thanks for giving us a glance into your configuration!

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