I’ve recently been thinking about how different users utilise a multiple monitor setup at home or in the office. A mulitiple monitor setup will, in many cases, help improve productivity, by making you spend less time in context switching when looking up information. However, it seems some users struggle with distractions. [nytimes]
Developers seem to unite on documentation on a secondary screen and code on primary. I can recommend looking at some Stackexchange threads on this. Here’s two threads on how to utilise a multiple screen setup: Thread 1 and Thread 2.
Personally, I can’t manage without lots of screen “real estate” while working. For less important stuff, a 15″ laptop screen will do (hey, I sometime use my phone). What I have not tried is one huge screen instead of 2×24″. Some vendors produce large super-wide curved screens. Might give it a try sometime. Just make sure not to have lots of distractions (non-necessary webpages, apps, etc) to avoid falling in the pits described in the nytimes article.
Ps. I would also recommend reading up on how you sit in front of your desktop and how you place those monitors. It’s not easy to work when your back and neck hurts.