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Friday, June 14, 2013

External Monitors and Productivity

IMG_0405Maybe this is a generational thing, but up until about six or seven months ago, I just assumed that the screen that came with the computer was the screen you got.   This, despite the fact that I saw on a regular basis that my son-in-law Simon, the person I respect most in the world when it comes to technology, had multiple monitors in his home office.

I am pretty sure that the best investment I have ever made in personal productivity, other than the computer itself, is the second monitor.  Being able to see multiple documents at the same time, for example, the text of the casebook while I am working on the teachers' guide, is invaluable.  In theory, you could do this on a 13" or 15" laptop screen, but either you can't see the documents at the same time or you have to make them so small they are almost impossible to work with.

Here we have a picture of the author's writing cocoon with the 15" MacBook Pro and the 24" Dell external monitor.  Note that we are able to have the draft open (the piece for the Larry Ribstein memorial symposium at Illinois this fall) at the same time that we can see one of Professor Ribstein's own articles, and still have room on the screen for Typepad in case, as I have just proved, we have an uncontrollable urge to post something on the blog.

WARNING:  I also discovered the large external monitor is wonderful for streaming Netflix, which makes for counter-productivity.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on June 14, 2013 at 07:57 AM | Permalink

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Aw, thank you, Jeff. As far as Netflix goes, what you need is to find a nice cheap 19" display and hook up an Apple TV to it so it gets the Netflix off your workspace and your CPU. Or do what I do and stream on the iPad propped up in your sight-line.

Posted by: Simon | Jun 14, 2013 8:48:50 AM

MacBook Pro to do legal writing? Now we know why law school tuition is so high.

Posted by: Derek Tokaz | Jun 15, 2013 9:08:33 AM

Sorry to disappoint, Derek, but it's mine, not the school's.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jun 15, 2013 9:13:15 AM

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