I have been using multiple monitors for about 10 years both at home and work. I think that having only one or two puts you at an extreme disadvantage in so many ways. Having three or four or more is essential to get high-speed work done.
Having multiple monitors using video cards is the best way to go but will require a large computer and typically a workstation. But if you don’t have extra slots and more than one video card, there are a few good USB devices available. The J5 Create USB to VGA and the Kensington USB 3.0 Multi-Display Adapter both work great and the prices are below $50 each. They have an adapter for both DVI and VGA so you can actually use any old used flat-panel such as a Dell flat panel. A 17 inch is fine because the 17 inch monitor has the same resolution as a 19 inch monitor and requires less space, especially when mounted on a multi-monitor arm. You can get these monitors on eBay or Amazon for around $45. Kensington says that you can run up to five extra monitors from even a laptop. I have found that running a few extra monitors via USB works great, I can’t even tell the difference from the monitors that are running on a video card. They display great without any weird glitches, they are fast and you can run movies. The J5Create product is equally as good. I have a few of them running along with a couple on my video card and when I’m doing websites or Internet marketing or creating business listings for companies I find that I am at least 40% faster than if I only had one monitor. My whole goal with my company is to create a lot of quality content really quickly at one half to one third of the price of a big marketing company or big marketing agency.
So for less than $300 I was able to add three monitors to my system. I also like using the multiple arm stands, I like the Mount-It! MI-756 Multiple 6 Screen Articulating product.
Something I really love about Microsoft Windows is that it supports multiple monitors very very well.
Google Tasks, Calendar, Gmail, Docs, Sheets and other products are an amazing tool to help you start and quickly grow your business. They’re free and amazing. It is now easy to keep track of all the things that you have to do with Google. And they will automatically appear across all your devices inside of your google account. Because all these products can do everything that Microsoft office can do for you and save yourself the $185 charge for purchasing Microsoft office. If you need an office program on your desktop Windows PC you can use openoffice for free. Google tasks is a big asset to the new small-business owner. It is so incredibly powerful with the apps that are available on iPhone and android. They are outstanding, especially the paid ones, but the free ones are definitely excellent and definitely will do the job. Most of them work flawlessly and fast, don’t lose any tasks, quickly delete things and you could sort them by priority quickly by simply dragging one up or down. You can look at your phone and try to get something done if you have five spare minutes, which is absolutely crucial when you’re starting a business. Many times a small-business owner works 60 or 80 hours a week but you don’t have to if you manage your time wisely. Google tasks is such an invaluable tool that I don’t know how you could do it without it. The fact that it’s digital means that you can have tasks with names and addresses and passwords, and all that information is there that you can copy quickly to webpages and other things. Company address, business hours or text you frequently have emailed to customers can be made as a task. They can be copied and become calendar entries, an email, text for posting on Facebook, an addition to the website. You need every advantage you can get when you’re starting a business or when you’re trying to grow a business and need to be purposeful and intentional and powerful and you can’t be any of those things without the proper tools. Your competitors are already using them so you need to quickly get up to speed and put the tools to use heavily in your business.
I have been using TurboTax for home and business for more than 10 years. I’m highly impressed with this product, it’s always worked flawlessly, it actually makes taxes almost enjoyable. I highly recommend this product for business. You can buy from Amazon through their download manager, and the price is cheaper than buying the DVD but what I really like about it is that it imports everything from last years return that was saved on your computer. I recently switched to the website version and it also works great. It imports your name, your job employment, deductions, your bank accounts, children and all their information and social security numbers. Then all you have to do is change dollar amounts of any income, deductions, etc., It’s definitely a robust product that can handle many types of businesses, I think that if you weren’t confident that it was robust enough you could still try to do your own taxes with it and then print out what you have so far to take to an accountant.
I am a big proponent of using multiple monitors and think that one or two just isn’t enough. I am sure that you really need to have three or four or more to get high-speed work done. Something I really love about windows is that it supports multiple monitors very very well. It can be tough to have multiple monitors with video cards, but it can be done with a workstation especially. But if you don’t have extra slots, the Kensington Universal USB 3.0 Multi-Display Adapter is great and they have their price below $60 now. They have an adapter for both DVI and VGA so you can actually use any old used flat-panel such as a Dell flat panel and 17 inches is fine because the 17 inch monitor has the same resolution as a 19 inch monitor. You can get these monitors on eBay or Amazon for around $45. Kensington says that you can run up to five extra monitors from even a laptop. I have found that running a couple extra monitors via USB works great, can’t even tell the difference from the monitors that are running on a video card, they display great without any weird glitches, there fast and you can run movies. The J5Create product is equally as good. I have a couple of them running along with a couple on my video card and when I’m doing websites or Internet marketing or creating business listings for companies I find that I am at least 40% faster than if I only had one monitor and my whole goal with my company is to create a lot of quality content really quickly at one half to one third of the price of a big marketing company or big marketing agency. So for less than $200 I was able to add two monitors to my system. You want to turn off Windows animations they can slowdown USB monitors and your whole system too when it happens.
The MX922 could be used as an office or business printer, copier and scanner. It’s a residential grade unit at the high-end. If you don’t have in your budget the money for an HP office jet or something similar this could be the ticket at not much over $100. It has a network port so you don’t have to rely on wireless, but if you do want to run wireless it does have it along with AirPrint. The tray capacity is huge so it holds quite a bit of paper, it scans very fast and comes with a one-year warranty. I did a lot of research and found that for the money you can’t get more with anything else that’s for sure. The only thing I don’t like about this printer scanner combo is the software which has a desktop component to it, however once I learned how to use it, it wasn’t that bad, but it is quite cumbersome. The driver works fine however.
A lot of times a business will use a residential grade printer for their office or business needs. The Canon IP7220 printer is at the higher end of residential printers so it is quite appropriate for business use. It prints fast and it prints good, it has wireless, and although it does not have a network port, if you have a wireless network that should be fine. I have had mine for quite a while and it has not dropped off the network at all. I’ve always had good luck with Canon, having an IP4200 which was like a tank, and I expected this model to be similar. It may be, but the only complaint I have is that it has a ridiculously low paper quantity for tray capacity. And it also does not have a paper feeder in the back with paper standing up vertically. It makes it really tough to see how much paper is left and when you’re printing a lot, paper becomes a problem. However it is very easy to load paper into the front tray, you can slip paper in quick and shove it back in and be ready to go. Another nice thing about this printer is that you can stack things on top of it because it’s flat since there is no paper loading from the top and the cover is quite thick so you could stack something heavy if you don’t have that much space in your office. If you don’t have a color laser printer in your budget right now, this would definitely be a printer that can handle printing brochures, orders, business cards, flyers, restaurant menus, etc. because it prints very very fast. It’s also using a popular inkjet cartridge with generics already available cheap, it uses the same cartridge as the MX922 printer, scanner combo.
It’s really amazing that you can buy an Apple fourth generation iPod Touch, which has the iPhone 4’s Retina display, on eBay for $60 in great condition. These were only discontinued one year ago and the screen is high enough resolution and big enough to run many apps. It can greatly benefit you and your business even if you have a nice smartphone or even the newer iPhone 5 which runs iOS 7 and has a bigger screen. But you can still benefit from having a second device that can be used when you are using your smartphone for a conversation as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. A second device can be a great way to look up information and give it to the customer that you’re talking to on the phone or if you are in the grocery store such as Sam’s Club or Meijer’s that has free Wi-Fi you can hold your shopping list on the second device while talking to your wife on your smartphone. Or you could also do all the functionality of an App most of which still run on iOS 6 on the iPod touch, it’s really like having an iPhone for $60. If you are not an Apple fan, bad esn smartphones on ebay for can be purchased for $10 and run android 4 and make a great wifi device. It’s also amazing that you can purchase a 7 or even 10 inch tablet for way less than $100 that is fully capable of doing almost everything a $700 iPad can do. Because when you’re starting a business, keeping costs low is extremely important and when you can get multiple devices at such a low cost, but yet not be too far behind the technological curve your business can really benefit. Having multiple devices also enables you to watch a YouTube video or be logged into multiple Google accounts at the same time or to share a device with somebody who’s with you. Another benefit is that if the battery dies on one device you have another one at the ready.
Email in your business is obviously one of the most important aspects, and it seems to be only be getting more important not less. It is a technology that is not going away anytime soon. A great way to handle it is to add your email from your domain to Gmail in accounts and import tab in settings. Add it both in the “Check mail from other accounts (using POP3)” and in the “Send mail as:” sections. When you do this you can respond quickly to customers from your phone, tablet or any browser from any computer. Also all email is kept in your Gmail folders which can quickly be searched. You can import old mail using IMAP perfectly. When you make the switch you need to shut down the e-mail program you were using to check your domain e-mail using such as Outlook, Eudora or Thunderbird because it will cause some weird results and duplicates. Or you could remove that domain account from the program. If you are using the Gmail app, a Gmail browser window and even Gmail in a mail app or program with Gmail pop access you wont have any trouble.