As a busy Cheltenham copywriter, I’m always on the lookout for productivity tools that help me work smarter. Like mastering keyboard shortcuts, moving to dual monitors was an eye-opener for my writing , researching and editing productivity.
Now I’ve started using two free utilities to make the best use of my available screen real estate. I’d recommend that you give them a try too. Whether you are a copywriter, a web designer or just a busy manager using one, two or even three monitors, my discovery, allied to a few simple keyboard short-cuts makes working in multiple windows so much easier. And that means saved time and money…
Here’s my typical scenario: the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, an email client and a web browser open on one screen, with a Word document and a spreadsheet in use on the other – and probably a couple of other applications open in the background. Historically, sizing and positioning these, and switching between full screen and part-screen, was a distracting fiddle.
But with WinSplit Revolution and Multi Mon (the free version of the acclaimed UltraMon monitor management utility) it’s easy to position windows in quadrants or halves of your multiple monitors, quickly resize them and even switch them between monitors – and all with a few keyboard short-cuts involving Ctrl + Alt, the cursor keys and your keyboard number pad.
Amongst other things, MultiMon gives you the convenience of a second task bar on your second monitor and an easy mechanism to jump windows between monitors. WinSplit Revolution lets you use Ctrl + Alt and the nine Num Pad keys to position the active window. It’s fast and easy to maximise the use of your screens. There’s even a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Alt + F) that puts a Windows Fusion slider on screen so the size of two adjacent windows can be simultaneously adjusted.
With your windows set up, sized and positioned, it’s couldn’t be easier to switch between them using the Alt + Tab keyboard shortcut. Layers of windows and awkward manual dragging and resizing are things of the past now – which means more time for your copywriting (or whatever it is you do) and less time wasted on juggling the Windows desktop.
Using these two utilities with multiple monitors is one of those discoveries that I’m sure will change the way you work for ever. And even if you only use a single monitor setup, WinSplit Revolution is a great way to manage your screen. Give them a whirl; they’re small, fast downloads and you’ll be improving your productivity in minutes. I only wish I’d had these six years ago when I started out as a freelance Gloucestershire copywriter…
Tell me how you get on. And what your favourite productivity tool is.