Featured Hack: How Dual Computer Monitors Increase Productivity


When I first graduated college with my degree in architecture, the last thing I was worried about was having dual computer monitors.  In fact, I was looking for anyone that would just take a chance on me.  But, eventually I got my foot in the door and gained some experience and decided to move to greener pastures.  When I started thinking about the kind of questions I wanted to ask during interviews, oddly enough, one of the first things to come to mind was, “Will my workstation have dual computer monitors?”.

I spent a little time working as a graphic designer right out of school. One of my coworkers there ranted and raved about the benefits of dual monitors as he looked over my shoulder and saw that I only had one. I didn’t know any better at the time so I sort of just brushed it off. But it didn’t stop there, my friends started to rant and rave about their dual screens too. So when I was building my own computer, I decided I’d give it a go.

What I Learned From Using Dual Computer Monitors

I’ll be straight with you here. Now that I have used dual monitors it pains me to imagine going back to just one. The benefits vastly outweighs the one time cost of a monitor.  It’s easy not to realize how much display real-estate all of your programs and windows take up.  The time it takes to close and open windows because you’re trying to manage what you see on a single monitor really adds up quickly.

Single Monitor Vs. Dual Monitor Case Study

I decided put my thoughts to the test and see just how much time I could save using dual computer monitors against a single computer monitor.  I assigned myself a short task (resizing & saving 10 photos in photoshop) and kept track of the amount of time it took to complete the task in both scenarios.

In the case the a single monitor, the task took 532.39 seconds

In the scenario with multiple displays, the task took 507.76 seconds

You’re probably thinking that a 25 second difference isn’t that big of a deal, but let me explain.

For this task I saved 25 seconds for about a 9 minute period of time by using a double monitor.

Over the course of:

  • an hour that’s  2.8 minutes saved
  • an 8 hour work day that’s:  22.4 minutes saved
  • a 40 hour work week that’s: 112 minutes saved or 1 hour and 52 minutes
  • over a 52 week period at 40 hrs per week that’s: 5824 minutes or 97 hours & 4 minutes or 4 days & 1 hour & 4 minutes

Really seems to add up doesn’t it?  It drives me crazy to think that every year I’d be throwing away almost 100 hours of my time simply because I lack display space.  Is dropping a couple hundred dollars on a monitor worth that time to me?  You bet.

Best Dual Monitors

If you’re looking to gain back your time, I want to make things easy for you.  Based on my own experience in building computers and using monitors, I’ve compiled a list of the monitors that I think will give you the most bang for your buck.


Benefits in design
Benefits for learning
Benefits for video games


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

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  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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