Productivity On Trading Computers with Multiple Displays

Mulitple monitors

As power computer users the first thing we notice after adding a second display to our trading computer systems is usually the freedom that a larger amount of screen real estate gives us.  No longer are we forced to flip back and forth between applications just to view our charts or email.  But there are also other unseen benefits that most of us may not even realize. 

A study conducted by the Office21 research project concluded that adding more monitors to our systems was the best way to improve efficiency.   Adding a larger screen – such as upgrading from 19” to 24” displays – was shown to significantly improve our speed and productivity.  Their study showed that a user on a 19 inch display had a much harder time replicating the work accomplished by those using a 22 inch display.

Their study also showed that upgrading to just three screens improved upon those numbers by another 35%.  That is over an 11% gain per additional monitor.  Their findings prove what we already knew – active computer traders and power users of trading computer systems should use as many monitors as they can fit on the system.  This allows us to absorb and process all of that digital information faster – and faster is always better.

Whether you are an active day trader, or even just prefer to casually swing trade, a multi-monitor trading computer will improve your work habits.  With the ability to move icons, shortcuts and entire application windows around just being able to pick and choose where to display your data on your trading computer can be a life saver.  Imagine having four screens just to display charts, a fifth screen to display your active trading window, and four others just for email, chat, web browsing and even live streaming financial news.  Multiple screen locations also give you the chance to experiment with designing your own visual placement – to truly customize how you see your world.

Laptop trading computer systems can also take full advantage of multiple monitors – so do not think that having multiple displays are just for desktop users.  By adding USB powered portable monitors you can even take trading setup on the road.  Most laptops can run upwards of 6 additional screens along with the primary built in display by using a small portable powered USB hub.  Simply pop those lightweight portable monitors into your laptop bag and you are on your way.

From a strictly “improving your productivity” stand point it is important that all of your displays are set to the same resolution.  This is especially important for laptop users but it affects desktop users as well.  Most applications will open to their initial size and resolution depending on your primary display settings.  If you drag from one display to another with a different setting the window will have to be manually resized to fit.  It is not the end of the world but it does get bothersome very quickly if you have to move a lot of windows around on a regular basis.

A final thought – before you rush out and purchase more monitors be sure that your system has the current ability to add more displays.  In some cases you will need to add additional video cards or even USB to DVI monitor adapters.  Also be sure to measure the space that you have available before you order any additional monitors.  You do not want to end up disappointed upon their arrival after discovering that you do not have a place to park those 8 new 27” LED screens.

For more tips, information, and opinions on technology and trading computers, please feel free to get my buyers guide here.