How tedious is getting your work done on the computer when you have to constantly flip between documents, email, instant messaging, multiple web tabs, etc? Technology is always being updated to be more convenient and productive. Well you can increase your productivity a lot without any upgrade. Just get another monitor.

What are the advantages of using multiple monitors? Whether you are working between documents and the internet, or running apps side by side, putting everything together on one screen makes every window smaller. Using multiple monitors gives every window more space and is friendlier on your eyes. “It’s the same idea as having a larger desk; If you can spread your work out, you can move from one item to another more easily.” It’s not very costly either since you are only buying the monitor, not the whole computer.

There are really very few disadvantages to having two or more monitors. Because you don’t have to switch between open files and programs so much, you end up saving a lot of time. Multitasking is not the most efficient way to finish a task, but more screen space certainly helps. Most often, users will keep one monitor stable, while they go through documents and files on the other. You can keep your email, data sheet, video, or game up on one while you do research, filter data, video chat or type documents on the other. You can even turn one of them to a portrait orientation so that you don’t need to scroll through the information in a list or document.

Some files and games are actually better suited to multiple monitors. If you are working on family history you can spread out your family tree so it is easier to see where each ancestor fits in. Some games “use your center monitor as the front window of your race car or plane, with monitors on either side acting as your side windows.”

What about my laptop? No worries. You can even get an extra screen for your laptop that plugs into the USB port and props up for easy viewing.

So if more screen space is better, shouldn’t I just get a very large monitor instead of two or three smaller ones? Well, you can but there are some definite advantages to the smaller screens. They are cheaper for one. And then they reserve desk space while being able to “curve” around you. You also don’t have to look up very high, like when you sit in the front rows of the movie theater. If you like to see bigger spreadsheets or work a lot with photos, you may prefer the larger screen. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget.

So what are the disadvantages? The taskbar doesn’t stretch across, and neither does the wallpaper. You can, however, pay about $25 to $40 to companies that will give you this convenience. More monitors will take up more desk space, obviously, so plan accordingly.

Try it out for yourself. You will probably not want to go back to only one.

1. PCWorld: Make Multiple Monitors Work for You

2. Windows: Work and play better with multiple monitors