Having a good work environment is incredibly helpful for your studies as well as in your future employment. Customising your digital work environment is also an important aspect of managing your Identity. This page will introduce some of the ways in which you customise your Microsoft 365 and Windows experience. Your identity is also about your preferences. You want to make both the Windows operating system and the software you use as quick and easy to use as possible. This guide is designed to help you get started.
Maximising your use of large screens or multiple monitors
As a student, you may often be using a laptop but when going into the workplace you are likely to either be working with one large monitor, or a multi/dual-screen set-up. This section is all about making the most of your setup.
The main benefit of a dual monitor setup is productivity. Research has shown an increase in productivity and a reduction in the time it takes to complete tasks. A study by Jon Peddie Research found a 42% increase in productivity when using multiple displays. For example when moving from one window to another on a single screen laptop or desktop not only do you need to take time to find the right tab or window to open, but you need more time to access the information. This can interrupt your flow and consequently make you lose your concentration.
However, when working with two screens we get a more natural flow and concentration levels remain high. Over a long period, this can add up to a significant amount of time. Consider how many times you use the process of switching between windows every day and it is probably quite a lot.
What if my digital work environment is just a laptop?
You might not know that you can actually split your screen which can greatly increase your productivity. It allows you much like dual monitors to look at two different programs or screens at the same time. You could have a web page open for reference on one side of your screen and a word document open for making notes on the other. This video explains how to go about splitting your screen on a Windows computer or you can visit here for instructions on a MAC.
This may seem obvious but keep your laptop/computer updated. Many of us often ignore updating our computer for days, weeks, or even months before actually updating the software that our laptop is recommending to us. Software updates are recommended for good reason. They not only ensure that you’re working with the most up-to-date and best quality version of the software that you need to complete your work, but they help your laptop to run as fast and as well as possible too.
I thought it would also be useful just to finish things up with a few handy shortcuts to help increase your productivity. Practice these, and you’ll be a Windows ninja in no time:
- Alt+Tab: Open task switcher.
- Windows+Tab: Open Task View.
- Windows+Down Arrow: Minimize window.
- Windows+Up Arrow: Maximize window.
- Windows+M: Minimize all windows.
- Windows+D: Display desktop.
- Windows+Home: Minimize all windows except the active one.
- Windows+Shift+M: Restore all minimized windows.
- Windows+Shift+Up Arrow: Stretch window to the top and bottom of the screen.
- Windows+Left: Snap current window to the left side of the screen.
- Windows+Right: Snap current window the the right side of the screen.
- Windows+Up: Snap current window to the top of the screen.
- Windows+Down: Snap current window to the bottom of the screen.
- Windows+Shift+Left or Right Arrow: Move a window from one monitor to another.
Relevant Skills guide: Integrated sessions: Personalising Windows, using shortcuts and managing multiple screens