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How To Use Multiple Desktops on One Screen, Stop Distractions, and Improve Writing Productivity



Last Updated on November 8, 2022 by Ben Oakley

Regardless of what writing software you use, there are ways to improve your writing productivity. One of these ways is by using multiple virtual desktops.

How To Use Multiple Desktops on One Screen, Stop Distractions, Improve Writing Productivity

Here’s a little rundown of what it all means, how it can help improve your writing, and speed up your productivity.

I’m not one for pushing productivity on others.

  • You don’t have to be productive.
  • You don’t have to follow a set of rules.
  • You don’t need to improve productivity.

You certainly shouldn’t work yourself to an early grave believing productivity means success.

But if you want that extra boost when writing, then multiple desktops is one way to do it.

What is a virtual desktop on Windows?

With this writing productivity tip, you don’t need a second computer. You will be using virtual multiple desktops. Two virtual desktops to keep it simple.

You can use a second screen but if you have too many tabs/accounts open, then it can become a distraction.

A virtual desktop is exactly how it sounds. You can manage different applications on a second desktop, giving you the freedom to run what feels like two different systems.

You can also use virtual desktops on a laptop. If you don’t have a laptop, check out the ASUS Vivobook. Being able to take your work anywhere is vital in this day and age.

How to open a new virtual desktop?

In Windows 10 and 11, open up the Task View pane by pressing the Windows Key + Tab.

You can also click on the Task View button in your taskbar. It is a black and white overlapping rectangle. If you can’t see it, right click on the taskbar, and click Taskbar settings. Then go to Task View and toggle the switch On.

How To Use Multiple Desktops on One Screen, Stop Distractions, Improve Writing Productivity

As you can see from the image above, I’m doing this as I’m writing this post, so you can see exactly what to do.

Click on add new desktop and you will have created a whole new virtual desktop, with none of the applications you have open on desktop one.

How To Use Multiple Desktops on One Screen, Stop Distractions, Improve Writing Productivity

How can a virtual desktop improve writing productivity?

Let’s face it, we live in an age of distraction, bitesize consumption, and getting our information on the internet as quick as possible.

As a writer, we can get distracted all too easily, or not find the impetus to get started on a project.

Having a second virtual desktop can help mitigate some of that distraction.

Tips for using a second virtual desktop to help improve writing productivity.

  • You can add distraction tabs on desktop two.
  • Distraction tabs can include social media and news sites.
  • Use only writing software on desktop one.
  • You need to physically go to desktop two to view your distraction tabs.
  • Having writing software on one desktop removes distraction.
  • Stop you jumping to social media tabs.
  • Turn off ALL notifications on your writing desktop.

It’s relatively easy to jump from one desktop to the next. However, having all your writing-specific applications on one desktop can help minimise distraction.

Try it out and see what you think. It’s easy to set up and easy to remove if you want.

Writing is all about having focus and commitment. The more distractions we can remove, the better our writing will become.

READ NEXT: Why Do Authors Pay a Publisher to Publish Their Book?

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Ben Oakley is a bestselling author, researcher, publisher, blogger, and mental health advocate from Camden, England. Usually found on Twitter or in the bars and parks of Camden. Agathokakological is his favourite word!